Simpsons Did It!: “Dark Knight Court”

Former Attorney General Janet Reno has a voice cameo as herself in this episode.  Her sister, Maggy Reno Hurchalla, also apparently voiced Janet’s Simpsonized self, and though I don’t know which sister is used when, I do know the episode was dedicated to their brother who died of Alzheimer’s, and there’s nothing funny about that so I’m not even going to try because sometimes I want people to believe and know I am a decent human being.

It’s Easter!  Everyone is out in their finest bonnets!  Well, the women are.  Not the men so much.  Anyway, it comes time for the school band to play and the horn section isn’t sounding so good.  Eventually, the kids blow hard enough and out of the brass sections comes a whole lot of eggs that splatter on the crowd and make a real mess.  Who did such a thing?  Well, Bart’s laughing his ass off on the side, so it sure looks like he did it.  That leads to an angry mob chasing the boy and Mr. Burns and Smithers are knocked into Comic Book Guy’s store.

And it turns out Mr. Burns used to love comic books!  As a boy, he read all about superheroes, and this was back when he lived with his loving, biological parents before being taken away by a soulless billionaire.  Someone remembered!

Or not.  His “loving” biological father took an ill shine to a superhero called the Good Shepherd who looks an awful lot like he could be Jesus and burned down the publishing company…after locking all the employees inside so his son would truly learn a valuable lesson.  That’s…really dark.

As a result, Burns buys Comic Book Guy’s entire stock to catch up on his reading.

Meanwhile, Bart is insisting he didn’t do anything, and while he can easily lie to his parents or Lisa, he can’t lie to Maggie.  Maggie just knows.  And Maggie believes Bart.  That leads to trouble since the marching band is outside looking for blood.  Lisa calls upon the by-laws for a Youth Court, which the band’s drummer confirms is something that can’t be reversed once called upon.  Since the drummer is Principal Skinner, that works.  Sure, Mr. Largo is still mad, but Bart can get away if Homer distracts everyone by stealing the baton and conducting a very effective bit of music, good enough to get cheers and a bouquet from Ned Flanders.  About the only person unimpressed is Mr. Largo since he says anyone can conduct John Phillip Sousa.

I guess he should know.

So, who will be the judge in a town where everyone knows and mostly hates Bart?  Grampa says he knows someone.  He was arguing in front of the Supreme Court once with Jasper (literally in front of the building, not the Justices) when they were interrupted by then-Attorney General Janet Reno.  Grampa has been playing chess through the mail with her ever since.  And she does indeed come and immediately squashes Grampa with a verbal checkmate so he didn’t make that part up.

What did Mr. Burns do during all this since he is not a small child?  Well, he read a lot of those comics and hated every one of them until he got to one about a dark vigilante who doubles as a mysterious billionaire.  As it is, Burns decides to become the most fearsome of all nocturnal creatures, the fruitbat.  Hence is born Fruitbat Man!  As Fruitbat Man, Burns breaks up all kinds of crimes!

OK, his first one was to stop a Kwik-E-Mart robbery, but Smithers ran in ahead of him and bribed both Snake and Apu to play along.  After that, Smithers takes to paying all kinds of people to pose as criminals for Burns, with Lenny, Carl, Homer, and the Crazy Cat Lady becoming knock-off Batman villains.  Oddly enough, the Abominable Dr. Lenny is actually just a weird coincidence.  Besides, no one is fooled by the disguise anyway.

Back at the school gym/courthouse, Lisa seems to be doing very well as Bart’s defense attorney, showing that Lunchlady Doris had the only key to the room with the missing eggs, and Milhouse is a good alibi.  Prosecutor Principal Skinner isn’t getting very far.  But then disaster strikes as Judge Reno says there also has to be some anti-Bart witnesses.  Those include Sideshow Bob, Homer, and Moe, who apparently is well aware who’s been crank calling him all these years.  Can anyone help?  Well, Lisa sees Fruitbat Man in the paper and goes to Stately Burns Manor for help.

But Burns says no.  Then he finds out Smithers set up all those crimes except for the Abominable Dr. Lenny.  That puts the wind out of the old man’s sails.

But all hope for Bart is not lost.  Marge had volunteered to clean all the egg off everyone’s clothes hoping no one would take her up on the offer, and Lisa finds a skirt with hardly any egg on it, something that looks like it was smashed there on purpose to fool people.  That person must have known about the eggs!  And then Marge points out Lisa’s one mistake…it’s not a skirt…it’s a kilt!

Yes, Groundskeeper Willie did the deed.  As a Scottish presbyterian…you know, I don’t want to retype it, and later Willie says he did it for some weird Scottish reason, but he copied the key after a night of passion with Lunchlady Doris and that’s how he got the eggs.  He starts to get away with his tractor when in swoops Fruitbat Man!  As fighting the old man is like fighting a silk scarf, Willie doesn’t stand a chance.  Bart is exonerated, and Willie is unpunished because he’s actually good at his job.

Will Fruitbat Man be back?  Probably not.  There’s a Nick Fury lookalike who says there are other elderly superheroes in town to face off against the likes of the Abominable Dr. Lenny, who looks nothing like regular Lenny, and I’d show it to you, but it’s not on YouTube.

Oh well.  At least Bart got a good defense attorney out of this.

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