Man, this episode here is one of the ones where people claim the show lost its edge, it wasn’t as good as it used to be, and even the characters in the show tried to pretend it didn’t happen.
What could it have been? Well, how about that Principal Skinner was an imposter? His real name was…Armin Tanzarian. Yeah, that name is ridiculous too.
It seems the real Skinner was Armin’s commanding officer in the Army, and he appeared to be killed, so when Armin went back to Springfield to inform the real Skinner’s mother, she mistook him for her son and he ran with it to keep from devastating the poor old lady.
This may be the only time anyone ever described Agnes Skinner as a poor old lady.
Wait…isn’t this the underlying plot to Mad Men?
I mean, I can see how fans would be upset. The people of Springfield are initially too at the man who came back to Springfield, stole his sergeant’s identity while he was being held in a sweatshop, and even took the man’s dream. What may have made things worse is, ultimately, the people of Springfield didn’t care. Agnes and Mrs. Krabappel liked Armin better. Just about everyone liked Armin better. Sergeant Skinner, voiced by Martin Sheen, seemed like a regular enough guy, but who else would shout, “Up yours, children!” as he rode away on a motorcycle? The two women get Marge and then what looks like half the town to bring Armin back, and then Homer has the perfect solution to the real Skinner problem, which amounts to tying him up on a railroad car that leaves town forever. And he was a war hero. Then the town judge can grant Armin the rights to everything the real Skinner had, such as a name, job, past, present, future, and mother, and no one will ever speak of it again under penalty of torture.
Um, oops. I guess it’s back to the iron maiden for me.