This was one weird episode. There are, like, a half dozen or so plots from the looks of things, and while all of them seem to be resolved, they do without giving too much attention to any of them for the 22 minute run time.
Ostensibly, the main plot deals with Grampa Simpson. It’s his birthday (did they say he was 87?), and Homer took him and the rest of the family to the Springfield Planetarium because…old folks like that sort of thing? Homer asks for two adults, one student, one kid who’s just going through the motions of school, one senior citizen, and asks for his former astronaut discount. That actually works as long as he has his NASA diaper. He does. He’s wearing it.
As it is, Grampa’s bad hearing causes problems all day, so he goes back to the Retirement Castle where the residents have a party for him that includes the gift of a hearing aid. Now Grampa can hear, well, everything.
If you think this is the main plot, allow me to point out that once Grampa learns what everyone says about him under their breath, he gets angry and leaves. The other Simpsons eventually win him back by reading a script saying how much they love and miss him. Problem solved.
As it is, that’s not the only plot. We also have:
- Lisa upset that she wrote a school report saying the universe was “millions” instead of “billions” of years old, so she convinces Bart to break her into the school to change one letter, but the guilt gets to her and she confesses to Miss Hoover. Miss Hoover more or less knew it and didn’t care. She just wanted her nicotine gum back (Bart stole it).
- Bart has Groundskeeper Willie on his payroll to find out when it was OK to break into the school. Willie was addicted to red licorice, and that led to him crashing like something out of Trainspotting.
- There’s a callback to Bart putting a live snake into Skinner’s mailbox.
- Principal Skinner was living in the school after he learned his mother had withheld an acceptance letter to his dream school, Ohio State, where he wanted to be a drummer in the school band. Not only was he accepted, but the president of the college wrote that he would replace the outgoing bandleader when Skinner graduated. He does get Agnes to apologize (wow!) when she confesses she just didn’t want him to move far away. He moves back in but he gets the parental controls taken off the TV. Now he can watch Game of Thrones. He also has to room with Barney from the looks of things when Agnes rented out Seymour’s room after he left.
- A bit at the end shows everyone abuses Hans Moleman. That’s not funny. That’s sad.
See, way too many plots. I didn’t time anything, but I think Skinner and Grampa got the same amount of screen time.