| Chief of Hearts
| Episode Information
"Chief of Hearts" is the eighteenth episode of season 21.
- "Homer and Chief Wiggum become close friends during Homer's community service stint, but when Homer leaves Wiggum's side during his recuperation to go to Moe's, the Chief takes offense; Bart becomes addicted to "Battle Ball", a Japanese game with cards and plastic balls that turn into creatures."
The show starts when Homer tries to hide his candy apple before going to the bank. Upon entering, everyone thinks Homer has a gun (his hand is still in his pocket), and he is arrested, but not sent to jail. The penalty instead is community service, but Homer thinks jail would be better.
Homer is completing his community service when he befriends his supervisor, Chief Wiggum, by offering him one of his sandwiches. Touched by the act of kindness, Wiggum assigns the other convicts unpleasant tasks, but allows Homer to join him at the picnic table. They continue to grow close, but when the Chief gets injured during a botched bank robbery, Homer doesn’t come through when Wiggum needs him the most to make a dinner reservation. Homer and Wiggum's friendship slowly dissolve, and everything that Homer sees reminds him of Wiggum. Homer then tries to make things up by offering Clancy a bucket of chicken. However, just when all seems lost, Fat Tony and his men are seen stitching their own logos on designer shirts. The Chief and Homer are soon taken hostage when Wiggum tries to confront Tony and his men with a piece of chicken, which he mistook for his gun. In the trunk of Tony's limo, Homer and Wiggum make amends, and Wiggum uses his tongue to rearrange the C.D. player in the back of the car. Louie goes back to chech the C.D. player when one of his C.D.s was played instead of Tony's dramatic music. While Wiggum takes out Louie with some tire repair gel, Homer disarms the other mobsters with a tool he found. After Tony and his men are arrested, Homer and Wiggum take the chopper out to Flanders house. They pretend to be God, and Homer orders Ned to take off his clothes, shave his mustache, and drink the hairs in a cup of cold cocoa.
Meanwhile, Bart becomes addicted to Battle Ball, a Japanese game made up of plastic balls and magnetic cards (a parody of Bakugan, a game played with similar pieces), and his family and teachers try to help him kick the habit. Which they have mistaken for drugs, upon learning its a simple game Marge thinks its cool. Thus Bart gives it up as if parents like it, it can't be cool. Then Bart throws his whole set into the toilet.
The episode was written by Carolyn Omine and William Wright and was directed by Chris Clements. The episode features guest appearances by Jane Kaczmarek as Judge Constance Harm, Maurice LaMarche and Joe Mantegna as Fat Tony.
The episode received mixed reviews from TV critics, with many calling it boring.