Lisa gets an imaginary friend here, one who seems to know stuff Lisa doesn’t and even swipes Homer’s credit card at one point. Yes, the show acknowledges that this friend can do things in the physical world in inconsistent ways. I will simply acknowledge that here and move on.
Oh, I am also aware a certain real world rocker’s manager objected to this episode, but I don’t much care about that for the purposes of this write-up.
Homer is getting his annual physical, and while most of the news there should be horrifying, the only thing that really bothers him is a slight dip in his testosterone, the hormone that gives Homer all of his unearned confidence. Hibbert can give Homer a drug to make up for it, but the video to explain how the medication works comes after a pick-up truck ad that oozes Homer’s idea of masculinity, so you know he’s going to buy the truck instead just to get the torque. No, he doesn’t know what that is. The truck makes for a convenient series of gags throughout the episode, like when Bart challenges Homer to do some truck stuff, or Marge points out what torque is, or Bart causes his parents to get into an argument for his own amusement by simply complimenting the truck while he’s riding in it with Marge and Homer.
Yes, I am sure the truck will be gone next episode.
Regardless, the truck came with a trial subscription to a Spotify-type service, so Lisa takes advantage of it to look for some music, discovering Quilloughby and the Snuffs. Quilloughby is a vegan and into a lot of the sort of music and politics Lisa is into, so it inspires her to do more, like arrange for the school cafeteria to eat mushroom vegan tacos. That’s fine, until Nelson finds some bacon in his because Lunchlady Doris thought “vegan” meant “vegetables plus bacon”. Lisa had eaten some, sees everyone in the school enjoying more, and runs home crying.
And, in her sorrow, Quilloughby (guest star Benedict Cumberbatch apparently though it didn’t sound much like him) appears in her bedroom as her new imaginary friend. He’s kinda rude, hates just about everybody but himself and presumably Lisa, and he gives her a tip on how to ruin Bart’s day with just a simple question about whether or not his friends are growing tired of his antics. Soon, Lisa is doing up her hair differently and wearing an old army jacket and looking very punk 80s.
Marge does not approve. The two fight. And then Lisa learns the real Quilloughby, who’s been something of a recluse for years, will be giving his first live show in ages at a nearby music festival. That would be why Imaginary Quilloughby stole Homer’s credit card. Natuarally, Lisa got her two VIP passes, one she questions the need for since her Quilloughby isn’t real, and off she goes.
It all ends mostly well…you know, except for Lisa when she sees the real Quilloughby is a lot fatter, more hostile, gave up veganism, and is a huge racist who thinks immigrants steal too many jobs. Even as the crowd points out he’s not an American and as such, he is an immigrant that took someone’s job by being the headline act here. Then he shoots a gatling gun loaded with sausages into the crowd. Lisa is disillusioned, but fortunately she’s OK when the crowd riots. By then, Marge has picked Lisa up as Homer and the truck were stuck in traffic (Marge walked over and back while Homer took a nap), and the family goes home, safe in the knowledge that Marge will be able to handle all of Lisa’s fads just as Marge gave her own mother problems years ago.
Huh. One of those flashbacks to teenage Marge showed her saying she was going to end things with Homer but since her mom didn’t like him, she wasn’t going to…
That’s not good.