The creators of the show had gone to great trouble to make their animatronic lizards lovable, from flannel-wearing blue-collar dino Earl to the narcissistic, love-demanding Baby. So to have Earl cause the entire species’ extinction was, well, out of character, not to mention perverse. Imagine being a little kid and watching your favorite show end with the hero committing genocide on his own species.
Granted, Earl doesn’t do it on purpose. Working for the environmentally disastrous Wesayso Corporation, he’s just doing his job. The company has caused the extinction of a vine-eating beetle, and suddenly, everything is overgrown with vines. Earl proposes to resolve the public relations dilemma by killing the vines with defoliant.
Unfortunately, he kills off all plant life on the planet. The company, believing that rain will restore the plants, tries to make rain clouds by bombing the volcanoes into ash, but the resulting clouds cause global cooling and an ice age that wipes out all the Cretaceous critters. At least Earl gets to apologize to his family (and to Stan, the lone surviving beetle) for killing them and everyone they know. The episode ends with newspuppet Howard Handupme telling newscast viewers, “Good night… goodbye.” Hey, kids, that was fun! Who wants pie?
Next Roseanne (1997)