Since airing, this episode has developed a reputation online as the moment the show officially began its downward slide. This is in large part thanks to the third-act twist, which reveals that horse-riding jockeys are actually brain-eating elves. That sounds dumb, but it’s actually worse in the episode.
This half-hour of The Simpsons also includes a lot of weird, out-of-place meta jokes commenting on how “Saddlesore Galactica” is repeating old storylines and jokes, which isn’t very funny and also just highlights how bad the episode actually is. While I think the show has had great episodes and even seasons after this point—even if many people online think otherwise—I can’t deny that “Saddlesore Galactica” is likely the end of the show’s golden era.