May 18, 2022

Gabbing Geek

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Simpsons Did It!: “Bart To The Future”

In which Bart sees his future.

There’s a moment in this episode, a flash-forward to a future where Lisa is the President of the United States, where we learn she inherited a mountain of bad economic news from a President Trump.

I’ll just leave that here for now.

Oh, and Entertainment Weekly once referred to this episode as the worst one in the entire series, but that was a bunch of years ago, so surely there have been worse episodes since then.

After a disastrous trip to Larva Lake where the mosquitos have more or less taken over, the Simpson family ends up at an Indian Casino despite Marge reminding Homer she has a gambling problem, and Homer’s not in the door for five seconds before he’s making some racist joke or other.  Bart desperately wants in and manages to sneak in by tossing ventriloquist dummy Gabbo out of his case and being carried inside.  He’s caught and taken to the head of the casino who knows his name because Homer listed his son as collateral on a second mortgage.  That sounds about right.

But in what is surely not a racist depiction of a Native American, the guy turns out to be a mystic who shows Bart his own future.  Thirty years in the future, Bart is a nearly penniless musician living the bum’s life with roommate Ralph Wiggum.  Bart makes what little money he can by mooching off his parents or the blind Ned Flanders next door who is grateful Bart never outed the blatantly, stereotypically gay Rod and Tod.  Lisa, on the other hand, seems to have bounced back from her wedding fiasco to that British guy (it is the same future since the extension Homer built is still on the Simpson house), and she’s been elected president to a broke nation with a lot of angry creditors.

Look, this is a fairly slight episode, where Lisa tries to put in a tax increase under a less threatening name that came from top advisor Milhouse, and Homer leads Marge all over the White House in search of Lincoln’s gold which turned out to be a metaphor.  A broke and homeless Bart moves into the White House where Marge is already doing laundry, and Maggie…well, adult Maggie is nowhere to be seen, but an identical baby version of her named Maggie Junior is seen at one point.  Lisa sends Bart away on a phony mission at Camp David which Bart believes is legit until Billy Carter’s ghost tells him otherwise.  I kind of wonder why they didn’t shoot for the still alive Roger Clinton as a guest voice, but what do I know?

As it is, Bart gets back in time to help because if there’s one thing he knows how to do, it’s stall for time with creditors, even the heads of state from other countries.

It is worth noting in the future that Lisa is the one person Bart’s patented line of “What happened to you?  You used to be cool.” doesn’t work because Lisa knows she was never cool.

Say, maybe Lisa being president is how Bart ends up as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court!

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