Kerry Washington is the only real “guest star” this time around, returning for her reoccurring role as Bart’s teacher, Ms. Peyton. That’s about all I have to say about that.
The episode opens with Marge supermarket shopping. She sees a bubble gun at checkout and opts to buy it, taking it home where toddler Bart is ecstatic to see her while infant Lisa is a little more troublesome and Homer still has hair. But then as the family plays with the soap bubbles, Marge is horrified to see Bart floating away in one that soon bursts and leaves Bart..nowhere.
Cue Marge waking up, soaked through with sweat, pale-looking, and sick as a dog. Homer is concerned enough to want to call a doctor, but Marge says she has to go to the Bounce-a-thon (whatever that is) for the kids the next day. She also seems to realize that she’s sick because she and Homer went out, had some drinks, and then chased it down with hot dogs wrapped in bacon as cooked in a hub cap by a hobo.
Why isn’t Homer sick? That’s a mystery for the ages. That, or it’s Homer’s cast iron stomach at work again.
So, why did Marge go drinking in the first place? Well, she doesn’t seem to recall, but she’s also a bit delirious and having a hard time remembering much of anything. As soon as she goes back to sleep, she can examine what happened in her dreams with the help of Homer and Lisa. Mostly. Sort of. OK, not really. These are products of Marge’s subconscious, so Homer will take different forms, all trying to help. First he’s an otter that plays the didgeridoo. Then he’s a buff version of himself. And finally, he’s a golden retriever. Lisa is there as memory of a sort that remembers all the things Lisa has told Marge over the years, filtered through by the fact that Marge often doesn’t understand what Lisa’s telling her, but she does seem to understand what sounded to my ears as “Lucy Dreaming,” and Marge can use that to figure out what’s bothering her.
Basically, she’s upset that Bart is growing up and won’t need her anymore. A meeting with Ms. Peyton reminded her that Bart will be going to 5th grade soon (after 35 seasons), and from there, on to middle school and high school, and then he won’t be a kid anymore. Bart is not going to need his mother, and Marge’s request that he give her a thumbs’s up at the Bounce-a-thon (again, whatever that is) is rejected because Bart is all into wacky photos now, and he doesn’t want to ruin his brand.
Then again, Marge throws up at the mere smell of food, so she probably shouldn’t go anyway.
She almost doesn’t, but then does anyway for Lisa since, after passing out again, is shown by Golden Retriever Homer that Lisa was excited to do what Marge wanted even if Bart wasn’t, and that excites Marge. It doesn’t explain what Chief Wiggum is doing in her dream, but she’s excited enough to go support Lisa and get that thumb’s up from her.
Plus, at some point, Homer points out that Bart will probably knock up some high school girlfriend and Marge might have grandkids to coddle before Maggie gets to kindergarten.
That thought pleases Marge far more than it should.
Anyway, Marge does sleep off whatever is bothering her in the first aid tent after screwing up the Lisa photo at the Bounce-a-thon (apparently racing around on giant inflatable rubber balls) but she recovered in time to get Bart doing a novelty photo that she approved of. Yes, Marge will be fine with Bart’s growing up now…once she gets him some good deodorant.
Oh, and that hobo was serving more hot dogs at the school affair. That seems like a questionable practice.