Simpsons Did It!: “Bart The Bad Guy”

Corporate synergy:  it’s not just something Lindsay Naegle says for laughs anymore!

It would seem the entire town of Springfield really got into the movie Vindicators: Crystal War.  Everyone except Homer, of course, who slept through it.  Ending with the villainous Chinnos (guest star Kevin Feige…yes, that Kevin Feige) turning the assembled heroes into crystal and then shattering them left everyone in a deep funk.  Also, the fact they had to wait an entire year to find out the ending left them in a deeper funk.

Funks happen.

Anyway, eleven months later, and we have a school assembly where Principal Skinner is advising the students not to go for the latest online fad of flagpoling, something that involves having your buddies haul you up a flagpole by a rope and then hanging like a flag in the breeze.  This can cause terrible accidents, as is the case of popular online personality Reaction Guy (guest star Tal Fishman…yes, that Tal Fishman…no, I don’t really know who that is either) who seems to have become Accident Guy.  Naturally, this doesn’t dissuade anyone, so Bart is doing it the next day with his buddies outside the Veterans of Endless Wars building.

That’s a depressing joke.

Good news for Bart is he doesn’t fall off.  His friends thought to tie the rope to a cannon.  Bad news for Milhouse is the cannon still rolls down some stairs and he got caught in the rope.  Bad news for Bart is Milhouse has the code to put the video online.

But then something happens.  As Milhouse recovers in the hospital from some bad bruising, Bart comes to visit.  As Milhouse is taken off to physical therapy with the dreaded purple bands, his Make a Wish comes true.  That would be drunken Australian actor Glen Tangier (guest star Taran Killam…yes, that Taran Killam…no, I am not tired of this joke yet), in costume as his Vindicator character Airsoft.  And since he’s drunk and doesn’t check around much, he stops to see Bart in Milhouse’s room, and after he passes out, Bart gets out the man’s laptop and watches the upcoming Vindicators sequel a whole month early.

You know what that means?  It means Bart has a superpower, and that’s the power of spoilers.  It really works.  Comic Book Guy initially will give Bart anything for more than the short scene the boy had, but then will give Bart even more if Bart doesn’t tell him how the movie ends.  This allows Bart to get whatever he wants all over town, including Skinner’s hairpiece.  Yes, Skinner had one.  The only person it doesn’t work on is Homer because he doesn’t care.  Heck, Homer already knows how the movie ends:  the good guys win.

But this is Homer, so he will use Bart to get a lot of free beer out of Moe.  And in another depressing turns of events, Moe is dating Lunch Lady Doris…or Dora.  Something.  Who is that depressing for?  You decide!

Marge and Lisa are less enthused about all this, though Lisa changes her mind when Bart uses his powers to force Airsoft to take Lisa to a school dance.  Bart even blackmails the town into building him the ultimate treehouse with Homer as insurance in case Fat Tony (returning guest star Joe Mantegna for one whole line…yes, one whole line) follows through on a threat to give Bart an “accident”.

Marge, however, worries that Bart might be a bad guy.  There’s only one way to fix that:  Bart has to meet the Vindicators.  The real ones.  Especially the one voiced by guest star Colbie Smulders…yes, that Colbie Smulders.  Did you think the only MCU people involved would be behind the scenes people?  C’mon!

Anyway, Magnesium Man shows up just as Milhouse is telling Bart what a jerk Bart is, and soon Bart finds himself in another reality where the Vindicators are real and everything that happens in the movies happens to them.  And since Bart revealed one scene, Airsoft is now dead.  Can Bart keep a secret for one more day in order for the movie to come out?  Especially when Chinnos offers Bart superpowers if he tells everything?

Does this seem a bit much?  It should.  Two unnamed executives (guest stars the Russo Brothers…yes, both Russo Brothers) have Bart in a VR suit while his family watches.  Lisa thinks it might be a bit extreme until one suggests the whole global economy depends on the movie making oodles of money, and Marge is concerned about lying to Bart, but Homer suggests there’s no harm in a little gaslighting until Marge agrees.

That’s another depressing joke.

Anyway, Bart agrees, everyone is happy, and the executives decide Bart can live…for now.  Same with the rest of his family.

Anyway, Bart gives all his ill-gotten gains back, and everyone gets to enjoy a spoiler-free trip to the movies…if they went on day one because the people who got out there that day spoiled the whole movie on social media.

I guess there’s a lesson there.  Always go on opening night?

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