June 20, 2024

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

Simpsons Did It!: “Bartless”

In which Marge and Homer imagine a world where Bart exists but is not their son.

I thought this episode might not have had a special guest star, but then I saw Kerry Washington reprised her role as Bart’s teacher Ms. Peyton.  She doesn’t have a lot to do in this episode, but I like seeing that character since it makes sense for her to be hanging around, unlike every time I see Mike Wegman pop up.

However, the episode opens with older kids reading to younger kids, and Bart only gets any attention from the kindergarten-lookin’ kid he’s reading to when he starts adding ideas and defacing the book.  That leads to all the small children defacing the books to make them more fun to them and Bart getting into a lot of trouble.

It’s so bad that Homer and Marge take turns yelling at him.  They tag in and out, and Bart just gets surlier while insisting his prank made the kids more interested in books.  Homer and Marge don’t believe that.

That is until Ms. Peyton says the same thing.  All the younger kids love books now.  Heck, Ralph got an idea from one.  He drew a doorway with a staircase on the other side with a purple crayon on the wall, and then he crawled through.

Wait, what?

Anyway, this is a crisis of faith for Homer and Marge.  Bart wasn’t a planned child.  OK, neither were Lisa and Maggie.  But Bart was a rush to the altar.  Homer and Marge are sure they love their son, but they’re very distraught at the idea that they might not like him.  As the Simpson parents cry over wine and a storm rolls in, they wonder:  would they see how good Bart is if he wasn’t their son?

Hey, look!  They can find out!  Marge and Homer wake up in a luxury home overlooking Springfield.  Lisa has a huge Malibu Stacy collection, all of which are still in their boxes.  Maggie is still Maggie.  No Bart.  Marge is the chief of medicine for the Shondaland Veterinarian Clinic where all the other doctors and nurses talk about how they keep sleeping with each other.  Homer runs the jumbotron for the Springfield Isotopes.  He doesn’t drink much either.  The Simpsons are all happy.  So is Principal Skinner.  He’s a respected public servant with a hot girlfriend.

So, does Bart not exist here?  Nah!  Homer accidentally hits him with the car, and he goes back to the Simpson house to heal.  He has no last name or memory of his parents.  But he’s Bart.  He’s still Bart.  He’s always causing pranks and trouble.  Heck, his first action causes Skinner to have a car accident in his fancy convertible.  Should have kept that roof up.

So, Bart is just awful, right?  Nah!  His playing at Homer’s control board psyches the crowd up more than it’s ever been before, Marge borrows his catch phrases to get her staff to start working and stop gossiping, and Bart introduced Lisa to Itchy & Scratchy, causing her first genuine laughter in her life.

Bottom line:  Marge and Homer wake up in their bed–odd since they were in their backyard before–and go off to hug Bart and tell him they finally realized they do like him.

Bart finds that disturbing.  So do I.

Then again, Chief Wiggum is trying to get Ralph to come down that drawn-on staircase.

Wait, what?