You know who we don’t see often enough? Ned Flanders’ beatnik parents.
Hey, they’re back! And Homer has found some Flanderses he likes!
Homer is out borrowing sugar from Ned. Then there’s a request for cream. Could Ned spare some bacon and eggs? Exasperated, Ned just asks Homer in for breakfast, and Ned’s parents are visiting. And those two actually pick on Ned in a way that Homer approves of. So much so that a frustrated Ned goes out for a power walk and leaves Homer and the beatniks to hang out. That doesn’t end well when Ned returns to find all three high as a kite off the “medical” marijuana Ned’s father had for dealing with a pain in the neck. As the three mindlessly laugh at Ned, he, well, snaps and punches Homer in the eye. Homer is surprised to learn Ned is left-handed.
While all this is going on, Lisa is surprised to see Miss Hoover out. She’s getting treated for depression, and that means a substitute. Her name is Miss Cantwell. She’s voiced by Tina Fey. She has her own model of the solar system that is up-to-date (suck it, Pluto!), and she seems pleasant enough. She even gives Ralph an “A” when he announces that when he forgets a letter, he just substitutes an “A” and his name isn’t really “Ralpa”. But then Lisa gets a “B”. Huh.
As for Ned, he’s feeling guilty and having bad dreams of a personal Hell that includes “Massachusetts Marriage” and “Non-Jesus Beards” and guest star Richard Dawkins as a devil next to another that looks like Homer. Does the Bible have an answer? Yes! “An eye for an eye” works! He just needs to get Homer to punch him back.
Lisa, meanwhile, gets detention and can’t concentrate on her schoolwork because Miss Cantwell is mean to her for some reason. That impresses other bullies when they see a career as a teacher could work for them.
As it is, Ned goes to see Homer at the Plant the following day, a place where security is so tight, Lenny can lead a cub scout troop through to touch the radiation. Ned tells Homer that Homer needs to punch him back, and as a crowd gathers…Homer refuses. Is it because he is a bigger man than that? No. It’s because he thinks he is and Ned believes it. Homer taunts Ned so much, Flanders punches Homer in the other eye. Homer is surprised to learn Ned is left-handed.
I am sensing a pattern.
This comes after Homer and Marge tried to get Principal Skinner to do something about Miss Cantwell, but that makes things worse for Lisa. So, sure, Homer likes it that Flanders is now a town pariah, but he also wants to make sure nobody messes with his little girl. Which means Homer will offer Ned forgiveness in exchange for time with Ned’s wife…for advice. Sheesh. Homer would never cheat on Marge. Way to put in a commercial break. Can Edna Krabappel find a way to get rid of Cantwell?
Sure. It involves the Nuclear Option, and not the one where Homer gets some plutonium in twenty minutes.
Nope, the Nuclear Option is transferring Bart to the class. Miss Cantwell sees everything go to hell when she takes two minutes to hit the bathroom. Bart even got footage of her in there cursing out Lisa.
That works. The substitute is leaving. Lisa finds out the reason Miss Cantwell hated her was because Miss Cantwell can’t stand pretty girls who don’t work hard to get ahead.
That doesn’t sound right.
Meanwhile, Homer and Ned are getting along fine. Apparently, Ned’s father gave them some “special” brownies.
That somehow does sound right.