We’ve seen Lisa is a gifted musician. Could Bart be one too?
Um, well, he was as a jazz drummer, but anything else, not so much.
Oh, and the show opened with this:
So, that was a weird thing that happened. But it has nothing to do with the rest of the episode, so let’s move on.
What else does the rest of the plot have nothing to do with? Homer losing the last two hairs on his head. He spends the episode embarrassed and wearing a wide variety of silly hats to keep Marge from noticing until a vigorous, older bald man (returning guest star geek fave Patrick Stewart) tells him he should embrace his newfound baldness. When he finally does tell Marge, she still accepts him, and then the hairs grow back. That was weird.
But what was that about Bart as a musician? Well, Principal Skinner thinks getting Bart music lessons will lead him to finding an alternate outlet for the boy’s excessive energy. Makes sense. Bart may not want to do it, but Marge pushes it a bit, and Bart then rejects a series of music teachers starting with Lisa, Sideshow Mel (who can play “Flight of the Bumblebee” on the slide whistle), Comic Book Guy, and Professor Frink. But when Marge takes him to see a young Russian girl a little older than Bart that Bart opts to take piano lessons. The teacher, Zhenya (guest star Jane Krakowski), is very talented, but Bart’s sausage fingers make things difficult. That would be a genetic gift from Homer. And all Zhenya wanted was one student to do well enough to get her lots more. As it is, the girl is attractive, so while Bart may not be learning to play piano very well, he also doesn’t mind spending time with his teacher.
How is Marge paying for all this? By giving driving lessons to the girl’s father Slava (guest star Bill Hader). He doesn’t do very well, but when Chief Wiggum pulls him over, he can bribe the Chief with counterfeit jeans. Those have been an acceptable bribe for a very long time…
But then the big recital comes and Bart plays beautifully to the wonder of both Zhenya and Marge. Now Zhenya has lots of new students, and Bart, well, he used a CD of prerecorded piano music instead of playing himself. That can’t go wrong. Sure, Lisa smells something fishy, but that might just be the Sea Captain. He thinks there’s something funny there, and it definitely isn’t Krusty.
But Lisa doesn’t expose Bart. Marge enters him in an under ten talent competition, and they won’t let guest star Justin Bieber compete there. He’s clearly older than that. So far the plan has worked for Zhenya, but what about Marge? Bart finally confesses on stage he cheated so as not to disappoint Marge. She was disappointed anyway. What changes her mind? Slava. He got his license (by bribing Patty and Selma with more of his crappy counterfeit jeans), and he points out that he and Zhenya aren’t mad because Russians cheat all the time, and Bart did it to make his mother happy and out of love for his teacher. Sure, Bart will still be punished by having to take a plate of freshly baked cookies over to Grampa, but that works out too.
Turns out Grampa loves getting empty plates.