So, what would it take for Bart to turn on Santa’s Little Helper?
And what’s up with the increasingly elaborate couch gags? The previous episode did an Avatar riff, and this one goes for some kind of shrink ray-induced silliness.
There’s a thunderstorm brewing, and though Ned Flanders is actually correct about it being the work of angels bowling, the plot-developing thing that actually happens is that next door at the Simpson house, a carrier pigeon bursts through the window to one of the kids’ rooms (hard to say as the three were sharing a bed while Homer told creepy, inconsistent stories about an undead hangman), and though the bird has a nametag (“Raymond Bird”) and a phone number, the heavily sarcastic man on the other end with a whole lot of pigeons can’t or won’t come get the little guy, particularly since Raymond has an injured wing and can’t fly.
And since Lisa is actually afraid of pigeons, that leaves it to Bart to nurse the bird back to health. Cue montage…
Once healthy, Bart and Raymond have grown attached to each other, and Raymond is even ranked above Milhouse in the order of Bart’s affections (not every toy is a Transformer, Milhouse). And hey, the bird can carry messages, so soon Raymond is delivering what amounts to flying text messages all over town. Cue second montage…
I think that’s the last one. There did seem to be a lot of montages.
Raymond’s so good, Moe comes by to suggest Raymond be entered into a pigeon race, something that sends Homer’s imagination into overdrive as to how, as the owner of a speedy bird, he can get attention from guest star Danica Patrick. Granted, imaginary Marge won’t hear of that, and the two fight. Then they turn on imaginary Homer and even kick him in the crotch. Homer is actually turned on by that.
But the race will not happen, especially as Moe made it up as part of a long con of some kind. Santa’s Little Helper suddenly eats the bird. In fact, Bart and Homer’s efforts to dislodge the bird only end with Raymond getting eaten faster. Now Bart’s mad at the dog.
Will Santa’s Little Helper figure out why? I mean, some old Itchy & Scratchy cartoon showing 30s movie stars torturing to death a cartoon dog for the crime of killing smaller animals doesn’t seem to get through to an animal that spends more time sniffing its own butt than watching TV with angry Bart.
The only thing to do is take Bart and the dog to a duel therapy session with one Dr. Thurmond (guest star Rachel Weisz in what may be the most wasted cameo The Simpsons have ever had). Her ultimate recommendation is to give the dog away since Bart will not forgive an ultimately innocent animal for following its instincts.
As such, Homer and Marge take Bart, Lisa and the dog to an upstate farm. For real this time. It’s an…ostrich farm? Huh. And though Bart shows some reluctance to let the dog go, he also stresses that Santa’s Little Helper should not kill birds.
Then Homer loses his cell phone to an ostrich, the bird gets out, and ultimately attacks Bart. Will Santa’s Little Helper defend Bart from this particular bird?
Um, no. He finally learned the lesson Bart was trying to teach him.
As such, Bart fights the ostrich off himself, ultimately strangling it to the glee of both Homer and the ostrich farmer. Why was that woman excited to see that? I have no idea.
Anyway, Bart changes his mind, and Santa’s Little Helper can come home with the Simpsons. They also don’t need to pick up dinner for anyone other than Lisa since the ostrich is strapped to the roof of the car.
Too bad it isn’t dead.
In other bizarre subplots, Nelson’s mom ran off with a birthday clown.