June 23, 2024

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Simpsons Did It!: “The Wandering Juvie”

In which Bart gets sent to juvenile detention.

We’ve known for ages that Bart Simpson is bad news.

Maybe he should go to prison.  And not just to visit Homer or Marge when one of them winds up in the clink.

The Simpsons, for reasons unknown but they never need a reason to go anywhere, are shopping at Costington’s department store.  Bart discovers ray guns.  Actually they’re for creating a wedding registry.  Simply scan the item and it goes on a registry.  Bart then decides to run a scam by creating a fake registry for himself and a fictional bride-to-be named Lotta Cooties, scans a bunch of stuff, and then sends out fake wedding invitations to people from all over town.  Even Mr. Burns will bring a gift if Lenny is willing to go halfway on a spoon.

You’d think people would check to see if Bart really was getting married, especially guests who personally know Bart and how old he is.  Sheesh.

And so, on the day of the wedding, all the guests go into a tent that Bart zippers shut, thinking he can turn the gifts in for the greatest prize of all:  store credit.  Sadly for Bart, Chief Wiggum is there, and Wiggum only takes cash bribes.  It’s written right on his badge and everything.

Now, Bart has been in trouble a lot, so much so that what looks like a thin folder holding his criminal record actually is just directions to the storage lockers holding those documents.  As such, Jane Kaczmarek’s Judge Harm sentences Bart to Charles Napier’s warden’s juvenile detention center.  Bart offers to give state’s evidence on Homer, but the police already have an inside man there, someone Homer correctly guesses is Lenny.

Of course, Marge won’t just hand over Bart, but the cops have a procedure with a substitute kid getting slipped in, and Marge finds herself holding Ralph Wiggum instead.

Juvie is pretty bad.  It looks like a prison for adults, and the bullies there are even worse than the ones Bart sees in school all the time.  Homer has an idea and applies to become a prison guard.  Since Homer knows the children are the future and as such someone has to stop him, he’s in.  And Homer as a guard works for about ten seconds before his shift is over and he has to go home for the extended weekend.

But as bad as the boys are, the girls are worse, especially one in particular:  bad girl Gina (guest star Sarah Michelle Gellar).  So, when the warden arranges for some kind of mandatory dance and Bart finds himself handcuffed to Gina, a girl who looks to be a little older and bigger than he, she takes advantage of it and escapes with Bart along for the ride when he only has two weeks left on his sentence.  And since Gina knows how to play at crying, Bart can’t even get out of this by telling the truth.

With Wiggum in hot pursuit, there’s one witness to two kids lost in the woods:  Cletus the Slack-Jawed Yokel.  Fortunately for Wiggum, he whittles  everything he sees, and he did see the kids.  He also sometimes whittles the future that shows Wiggum attacked by a bear.

After finally getting a key made by a blacksmith, Gina goes one way while Bart goes the other.  And there was Wiggum getting attacked by a bear.  As it turns out, Gina has nowhere to go and no family to go home to, so Bart takes a bit of pity on her.  And when Wiggum catches up, Gina confesses and Wiggum lets Bart go early since the car was full.  The cops also arrested that bear.

But the Simpsons got together to get Gina a nice taco meal in juvie that night.  That’s sweet.

So, when you arrest a bear, does he go to jail or the zoo?  Help me out here.  The episode never said.