|Who Shot Mr. Burns? (Part Two)||
For the first part of this episode, see Who Shot Mr. Burns? (Part One).
- “Mr. Burns was admitted to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. He was then transferred to a better hospital where his condition was upgraded to 'alive.'”
- ―Kent Brockman
"Who Shot Mr. Burns? (Part Two)" is the first episode of Season 7.
Smithers is convinced that he was the one who pulled the trigger while drunk, so he confesses to a priest who turns out to be Chief Wiggum, and he is arrested, then released when he recalls more. The Simpson car is searched and the police find a gun covered with fingerprints, so Homer becomes the prime suspect. He escapes from the prison van, and advances on Burns, who wakes up in the hospital and finally reveals the culprit's identity.
In a dream, Smithers wakes up in his trashed apartment to hear someone having a shower in his bathroom. When Smithers opens the shower door, he finds Mr. Burns, washing himself. After Smithers proclaims the events of the previous night were a dream, Burns announces that the year is 1965 and that he and Smithers are undercover detectives on the Hotrod circuit, in some imaginary T.V. series called "Speedway Squad". Whilst driving round the race course, Mr. Burns pulls out a shotgun and shoots three times. Smithers wakes up in his trashed apartment and coughs up cigarette butts as he has been eating them.
Kent Brockman reports on Mr. Burns' shooting. He was immedistely rushed to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead, until being transferred to a better hospital where doctors "upgraded" his condition to alive. Chief Wiggum gives a brief summary about the shooting and reveals that Maggie and Santa's Little Helper are in police custody for questioning due to them being witnesses to the shooting.
Whilst in question, Maggie and Santa's Little Helper are unable to cooperate with any inquires or questions due to them being unable to speak.
At the Simpson residence, Lisa says that everyone in Springfield had a reason for shooting Mr. Burns, even themselves. Everyone starts arguing among themselves about who did it, when Marge announces that there is already a prime suspect: Smithers.
Smithers begins to wonder the streets alone wondering if he shot Mr. Burns in a drunken attack. Just as Smithers begins to have doubts, he finds a recently fired gun in his jacket pocket and starts to have a flashback. In the flashback, Smithers is walking home and runs into a mysterious figure outside where pulls out the gun and shoots him in the leg, believing he shot Mr. Burns. Smithers breaks down, crying "Mr. Burns, what have I done!"
Moe, Barney, Lenny and Carl arrive at Homer's house and ask if he wants to come and help pull down Burns’ sun blocker. With the help of Snake, Otto, Groundskeeper Willie and Bumblebee Man, they snap the machine in half. The sun blocker crashes into Shelbyville, much to everyone's delight.
Been drove crazy by guilt, Smithers goes to church to confess his sins. Thinking he's talking to Reverend Lovejoy, Smithers confesses that he shot Mr. Burns. Chief Wiggum bursts into the confession box and takes Smithers to the police station for questioning, whilst being held at gunpoint.
Both the police and the press interrogate Smithers. At a press conference, Smithers cracks a Madonna gag to Kent Brockman. Krusty, who is watching the TV at the time, claims it was his joke, but Sideshow Mel says that Krusty stole it from an episode of "Pardon My Zinger". Mel remembers that Smithers once said that he never missed an episode of that show, which airs on "Comedy Central". While contemplating this he realizes something. Mr. Burns had been shot between 3:00 and 3:30 pm, and the show airs at 3:00 pm so if Smithers had seen the episode, he wouldn't have been able to have also been the one to shoot Burns.
Mel heads for the station to point this out and Smithers realizes that he had seen the entire episode and recalls that he left the town meeting early to get home in time, and that the old man he ran into on the way was Jasper. Smithers hangs his head in sorrow when he realizes that instead of shooting a crooked old man who betrayed or crushed everyone he ever came across, he shot an innocent old man walking down the street. But Chief Wiggum then realizes that if Smithers did in fact shoot Jasper, why did nobody report it.The police and Smithers head for the newly repaired retirement castle to check on Jasper and discover that Smithers did shoot him, but luckily the leg he shot was his wooden prosthetic leg.
With the prime suspect cleared, the police continue to investigate the matter. Lisa chooses to help by making a chart of all the other major suspects. However, she forgets about Tito Puente, and when she tells the police (when Wiggum points out he is a suspect) that he did vow revenge, the police go to check him out.
Tito's plan for revenge is a jazz song. After listening to the song, Tito is cleared of shooting Mr. Burns.
Skinner is next on the list, but the police clear him when he tells the police that he did go to the town meeting to ambush Burns, but he was in the lavatory applying his camouflage makeup at the time of the shooting. Superintendent Chalmers can vouch for Skinner's whereabouts as he entered the lavatory at the time of the assault too, just as Skinner realized he had taken his mother's makeup kit instead of his camo make-up (Skinner is quick to point out anything else Chalmers tells the police "is a filthy lie!").
Willie is taken to the police station for questioning but hold him at gunpoint as the police aren't satisfied with his answers to the inquires. Willie reveals he has arteritis in his fingers which he got from playing "Space Invaders" in 1977. This makes it impossible to pull a trigger on a gun.
Marge discovers Grampa's gun box has been dug up in the back yard but the gun has gone missing and immediately questions Grampa with whom is denying any acknowledge of the gun since she took it of him. When Marge leaves the room, Grampa strokes the gun and says he missed it. Grampa quickly hides the gun up his shirt when Marge reenters the room.
Chief Wiggum prepares to have some coffee but realizes there is none left, so he drinks warm cream and falls asleeps, spilling the cream everywhere. In a dream, Wiggum is on a curtain-closed stage eating doughnuts. Lisa walks on stage. She is taking backwards and is holding a card on fire, with the flame not getting any bigger. Lisa tells Chief Wiggum to look on Burns' clothing on the night he got shot for clues. However, Wiggum wasn't quite understanding her, causing her to bluntly (and in a normal tone rather than talking backwards) yell at him to look for DNA evidence in Burn's suit. Around this time, Eddie suggested that they trace DNA within the suit Mr. Burns was wearing, with Wiggum then asking Eddie whether he had the backwards talking dream as well, to his confusion.
At the hospital, Wiggum looks up and down Burns' suit until he comes across an eyelash. A DNA test is ordered were the eyelash belongs to a member of the Simpson family. Burn's regains conciseness in hospital and shouts "Homer Simpson."
The police raid the Simpson home for clues. Wiggum reveals that Simpson DNA was found on Burns' clothing and that Burns mentioned Homer was the one responsible. A gun is found under the seat of Homer's car, which Homer claims does not belong to him, although his fingerprints are detected all over it. The bullets loaded in the weapon match the bullet that was took out of Burns. Homer is then arrested for attempted murder.
After Homer is led into the police wagon, Wiggum and the cops stop at Krusty Burger. Due to the trucks height, they are unable to enter the drive-thru. Wiggum chooses to drive up the curb, which succeeds until Wiggum takes the food. The imbalance of the police officer's weight causes the truck to tip, busting the back doors open in the process. Homer seizes this chance and he escapes from the truck, heading for the hospital.
At the station, Smithers makes a live TV appeal. As Burns wants justice, Smithers offers a $50,000 reward for Homer to be captured, wither he was either dead or alive.A police bulletin reports that Homer has been spotted at the hospital. Lisa, the police, and the rest of Springfield race to the hospital. Lisa gets there first, protesting to everybody that her father wouldn't hurt a fly. On entering the ward, everyone finds Homer shaking Mr. Burns vigorously, telling him to stop telling everyone that Homer shot him. As Homer continues to shake him, Burns finds his voice and asks, "Smithers, who is this beast that's shaking me?" Homer yells at the top of his lungs "D'oh!", snatches a gun from Wiggum and shouts at Burns to tell everyone that he never shot him. Burns laughs, stating that Homer doesn't have the cranial capacity nor the right amount of fingers to use a gun. Looking round the room, Burns identifies the culprit as Maggie. Burns begins telling his story from the point where he left the town meeting. With the success of his sun-blocker, he had felt like celebrating. He walked into the parking lot to find Maggie, alone, in the Simpson car. She appeared to be smiling, so he asked what she was so happy about, and she held up a lollipop. Homer pulls that very same sucker out of his shirt pocket; he had picked it up off the car floor when he was searching for an ice cream cone he had dropped. It was also there that he had absentmindedly handled the gun, which explained why his fingerprints were all over it despite his claiming that he never even saw the gun before in his life, let alone using it to shoot Mr. Burns. Burns had tried to wrestle the candy away from Maggie (literally trying to take candy from a baby), which was proving difficult. Eventually, the gun he was armed within his shirt hade fell out and landed in Marge's car, causing Maggie to pull the trigger. The gun and the lollipop hade fell under the seat. Mr. Burns, losing strength, tried to find aid, but finding only a useless Jimbo, he gave up and collapsed on the sundial, where he used his last ounce of strength to suck out his gold fillings and swallowed them so as to keep paramedics from stealing them. Burns demands that Maggie will be arrested, despite Marge's protests that the whole ordeal was an accident. Wiggum says that no jury in the world will convict a baby—except maybe Texas. Marge also adds that the shooting must have been an accident, but a final focus on Maggie shows her sucking her pacifier in a way resembling gunshots, implying that she may have shot him intentionally.
Allegedly to keep the ending from being leaked from animators and writers, there were actually several different conclusions created. Most were nothing more than footage of various characters shooting Burns, but there was also a full-length conclusion animated in which Smithers shot Burns and explained his doing so at Burns' bedside after Homer's wild chase, with the consequence being Smithers' five percent pay cut (despite the fact that Smithers had already been fired by that point and thus shouldn't even be paid anyways). This footage was seen in "The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular." This was done to prevent the public from sussing out the real killer. As Troy McClure states in "The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular" the alternate ending wouldn't have made sense because for Smithers to have done it, all of the Simpson's DNA evidence would have to be ignored, which would be "downright nutty", a reference to O.J. Simpson and his acquittal after the jury ignored the DNA evidence.
As revealed in the DVD commentaries for the episode, a number of subtle clues, were planted in Part One for viewers who wanted to unravel the mystery - but there were also a few red herrings that might put people off the track.
Burns' "Oh, it's you" when he sees his assailant tells us that he knew the person who shot him. Much was made of the fact that Burns lay his hands on "W" and "S" on the sundial. It was assumed that these initials stood for the name of his assailant, and a lot of potential suspects had the letters 'S' and 'W' as having some significance in their names, or even the letters 'M' and 'S' as when flipped upside down.
For example Jimbo Jones is present in the town square, and as everybody looks around suspiciously, he looks nervous. He too has a motive - Burns steals his clothes to impersonate him, and we never did see what would have happened to Jimbo in the meantime. And Burns did recognise his attacker, right?
Apu asks "Where's a gun-toting lowlife when you need one" and Snake Jailbird, known as such for the Snake tattoo clear on his arm, shows up right there with a suitable revolver, apologising for not showing up in time to do the job, due to being on the toilet.
Just before the Town meeting, the gun in the yard that Marge buried it in after Bart touched it was dug up. However the only person who should have known where it was buried was Marge - unless somebody else saw where she buried it. It's actually never explained who dug it up as it wasn't the gun used in the shooting.
Otto MaNN agreed with Sideshow Mel about killing Mr Burns, and he was one of the last people to leave the Town Hall as he observed Agnes Skinner had been left behind by Principal Skinner. He never did get his Double Guitar. He was also one of the last people to leave the Town Hall when he noticed that Agnes Skinner was still there and he was one of the people who came to the sundial. During Kent Brockman's news report, Otto Mann is the only person seen smiling when Mr Burns is being loaded into the back of the ambulance.
Grandpa's gun was a Smith & Wesson. Only Marge Simpson knew where it was buried (although of course she is seen standing alone as the gun goes off). There's Groundskeeper William MacDougal who is Scottish, who lost his job and his dream of a crystal slop bucket. When Burns receives chocolate from Homer, he talks about the family and says about Santa's Little Helper, "Oh there's that Simpson mutt." There's Waylon Smithers. There's Maggie Simpson, as Lisa points out in the end. When Mr. Burns was talking with Skinner in his office there was a diploma in the background that said "W. Seymour Skinner." Moe's liquor license reads Moe Szyslak, his last name being revealed.
In Smithers' flashback scene where he is drunk and walking home from the town meeting, he runs into (at first) an unidentified figure. It was revealed that the figure was Jasper; he had a walking stick in his hand. In the first flashback, the unidentified figure didn't have a walking stick.
After Mr. Burns says "You all talk big, but who here has the guts to stop me?", the camera pans across the entire crowd. All the people look at Burns and then at each other, as if hoping that someone else will do the deed — all except one. The only person in the whole crowd who keeps her eyes fixed squarely on Burns is Maggie! When Burns was viewing the oil pump he said, "Oh Pish Posh, it'll be like taking candy from a baby." Burns was trying to take candy from Maggie when he got shot.
Also, back at the Simpsons home Lisa says that she doesn't think that anyone in the family is capable of attempted murder. At that point Maggie, who was asleep on the floor, woke up and started to look side to side suspiciously. She then crawled away from the scene.It was suggested that the assailant was not Skinner, as he had a silencer on his gun, as the shot that wounded Burns could be heard clearly. Moe also had a shot gun which would have done much more damage to Burns, indicating that someone else shot him (although one of the "alternate endings" features Apu firing multiple shots at Mr. Burns with a submachine gun at point-blank range, with Mr. Burns receiving only a single gunshot wound). Also, it is worth noticing that Sideshow Mel's full name is Melvin Van Horne, and when everyone is threatening him (Mr. Burns), Sideshow Mel is wielding a knife and Groundskeeper Willie is holding an axe and a gunshot was heard at the time of the incident. Jimbo and Marge also have an alibi, for as Mr. Burns staggers towards the sundial at the end of Part One, he passes both of them and we even see Marge alone as the gun goes off.
However, shortly before Burns collapses on the sundial, his holster is seen with no gun inside. As explained, it fell out of his holster into Maggie's hands, whereas the majority of the suspects had guns of their own at the town meeting. This means that regardless of whether somebody had a gun or not, or what kind of gun they had, they could still have shot Mr Burns.
Smithers states that he never misses a program on Comedy Central that airs at 3:00pm on weekdays called Pardon My Zinger. Burns was shot at 3:00 pm at Friday. Therefore, this proves that Smithers was not the gunman as also suspected by Sideshow Mel as well as going home drunk and shooting Jasper's artificial knee. Smithers also turns in the opposite direction to Burns after the town meeting. When Burns collapsed at the sundial, he does not have his gun with him, indicating that was what he is shot with.
Mr. Burns' gun was found under Homer's car seat. When the gun was searched, Homer's fingerprints were found on the gun and Maggie's weren't. The bullets loaded into the gun matched the same bullet that was took out of Burns' body during surgery. An eyelash was found on the clothing that Burns' was wearing when he was shot. The DNA tests matched the eyelash to a member of the Simpson family. When Burns woke up in hospital, he immediately sat up on the bed and shouted "Homer Simpson!"
Viewers were invited to participate in a contest to guess who shot Mr. Burns. The winner would be animated on an episode of the show. No one, however, was ever animated on the show.
This was because, as the DVD audio commentary for the episodes reveals, no one officially guessed the right answer. Due to contest regulations, a winner had to be selected out of a random sample of entries. Since the winner did not have the right answer, the commentary reports that the individual was paid a cash prize in lieu of being animated.
The creators and writers added on the commentary that they were aware of one person who posted the correct answer to the Simpsons newsgroup online after the night of the broadcast. They were forbidden from contacting the person while the contest was underway, but after it ended they wanted to contact the individual. The answer came from a person using a college internet account, and after the summer the person's address was no longer valid and they were unable to track the person down. They issued an invitation on the DVDs for this person to reveal him or herself.