Wait, is it the first day of school again? Did the Simpson kids repeat second and fourth grade again?
Yes, it’s the first day of school, the day Homer and Marge celebrate the kids not being their problem during the day. And all Homer has to do is drop off an envelope in the mail to pay the insurance. Homer likes insurance.
Interesting how the framing device is HD and the rest isn’t, and apparently Homer remembers at least one Halloween episode.
But Springfield Elementary is having the Vice President’s Assessment Test. And no, Nelson, shouting “HE SUCKS” doesn’t count because he’s evaluating you, not you him. Kids these days. As it is, success on the test will have something to do with school funding, and Lisa is certainly excited about that, while Bart couldn’t care less.
Then Bart learns he did so well on the pre-test that he’s getting a helicopter flight to a pizza party with the other high scorers the day of the test. Who else is that? Well, Nelson, Jimbo, Kearney, Dolph, and Ralph Wiggum…wait, that sounds like a trick. Wait…that is a trick! The helicopter is the school bus in disguise! Skinner and Chalmers are just getting rid of the low performers for the day by taking them to Capital City, birthplace of Capital Punishment. And somehow, only Bart figures that out.
Oh, and then Chalmers tricks Skinner into getting on the bus too, allowing Otto to take Skinner with the kids.
Well, at least Lisa will be able to do well and…she’s blanking on the test. Uh-oh.
As for the bus, while Otto doesn’t sometimes think he really is flying a helicopter, an unexpected pit stop at a gas station has the bus stripped for parts with Otto still inside (he didn’t notice). So now, Skinner, Otto, and the kids are wandering the mean streets of Capital City, a city that never seemed that bad before. Things get worse when Ralph somehow ends up on a garbage scow, and Skinner’s attempt to get the attention of a crane operator go wrong in a way that will spill a piano onto Ralph’s head. Skinner has to do some running on the shipping crate to turn the thing around, save Ralph, and deliver a new piano to an orphanage for the musically gifted as a bonus. That use of physics impresses all the kids, and probably Otto too. So does Skinner reading The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn on the ride back to Springfield Elementary via that garbage scow. Now everyone there is all set for real learning.
That means Skinner can go in and somehow cancel nationally mandated tests, introduce some new stuff, and remove a rule that outlawed dancing. Chalmers has some sweet moves.
Oh, Homer forgot to mail that check until two weeks later, and then had to try and live in an accident free lifestyle. That means protecting Marge’s book club until the check would be cashed at 3:00. He sure does see awful stuff happening, but the only injury goes to a passing Mr. Burns at the exact moment the insurance kicks back in.
Is Marge mad? Nah. She knows Homer isn’t capable of doing something like mail an envelope.
That’s kinda sad…