Marcia Wallace, the late actress who played Bart’s teacher Mrs. Krabappel, somehow got another episode in. Did they piece together some lines from older recordings? Did they have some stuff they never used before? I don’t know, but it sounded…wait, I looked it up. They had two previously recorded lines they never used before and got Wallace’s estate’s permission to use them.
OK, that works for me.
As for how Krapabbel, dead on the show as the actress is in reality, came back, therein lies a tale, a tale of a fateful trip, that started on yard sale day at the Flanders house where Ned is sort of selling his old stuff. He wants these items to go to places where people will respect them. Instead, this is Springfield. That doesn’t happen.
But then Bart and Milhouse want to buy some books. Sure, that seems innocent enough to anyone who has never seen this show before, and it isn’t. See, Bart wanted a pile of burning stuff he could vault over with his skateboard. That was ruined when Milhouse held the camera the wrong way and recorded a close-up of his own face instead. But then there’s one book in there that Bart wasn’t expected: Mrs. Krabappel’s diary. Sure, he could just toss it into the river and let it go out to sea, but that’s what the mob does. Joe Mantegna’s Fat Toy sure wasn’t happy that their latest body wasn’t dead yet. Fortunately for the boys, Fat Tony won’t kill kids even if they are witnesses. He’ll wait until they’re 18.
That’s dark. Good thing these characters don’t age.
However, then Bart decides to read some more, starting off by reading where Chalmers keeps his car keys and the passcode to the faculty breakroom where Skinner and the teacher are doing phone solicitation to make money. But then Bart reads about how Mrs. Krabappel loved a spikey-haired fellow who, despite being a pain in the ass, shows real potential. That actually inspires Bart into doing the unthinkable: trying to do better.
He even largely succeeds! Getting an “A” on a test makes a lot of people suspicious, starting with Lisa. Marge searches Bart’s dirty room, cleaning it in the process, finding nothing. Lisa then comes in and restores the mess, also finding nothing. Maggie then points to the treehouse where Lisa finds Bart and the diary. Lisa, being a little more circumspect than Bart, takes a look inside when Bart references an incident in the diary he didn’t recall involving bringing a dead bird inside.
Yeah, Mrs. Krabappel was writing about her cat.
So, now Lisa has a dilemma: does she dare to tell Bart the truth since his false belief in Krabappel’s faith in him is leading him to success, a path Bart sees as a journey to the Oval Office…as the president’s seat warmer? Hey, it’s an ambition.
Well, there won’t be much of an episode if Lisa doesn’t eventually act. Bart’s continued success leads him to enter the school’s spelling bee. Oh, he doesn’t study or anything. He just assumes that because he has potential, he’ll just do really well regardless. It’s only then that Lisa shows Bart the diary’s later entries, and he’s devastated just as Lisa’s guilt over, you know, holding back so much she got a rash, starts to alleviate.
There was no good answer for Lisa here.
Fortunately, Ned does have a story where he and his family, while he was married to Edna, seriously considered leaving Springfield, but Edna alone wanted to stay because she really did see something in Bart.
Feeling better, Bart returns the diary to Ned, saying he comes across pretty well in there.
And he does, because this isn’t the sort of show to ruin the spirits of a two-time widower.
That was kinda sweet. Why can’t more shows be this sweet?
Wait, I don’t watch a lot of sweet shows.