Hey, you know what we haven’t had in a while? One of the kids falling in love. Let’s say it’s Bart’s turn. Go!
The episode starts off oddly enough with Homer and the family having an insane car-chase where they’re getting followed by a helicopter owned by the Olympics. I guess Homer has stolen the Olympic torch in the hope that that will ruin the Games so they won’t interrupt his shows. I’m with you Homer, we’re finally through with the Olympics and I couldn’t be happier. But Marge isn’t down with this behavior and she makes Homer give the Olympics guys back the torch, just in time for them to crash into a mountain.
So that happened. And since that little adventure is over, they’re on the lookout for something new to do, and end up passing some snooty boarding school out in the middle of nowhere that’s hosting a fundraising fair. Sure, I guess they’ll go there. Just like everyone else in town. So they wander around the school for some sight-gags, like Skinner breaking into the building to steal stuff, Homer breaking a bounce house, Marge teaching Wolfgang Puck about putting M&Ms in Rice Crispy Treats, and Lenny and Carl winning microscopes to duel with.
But after we’ve seen the required amount of gags we get the plot moving and have Bart save some girl from some bullies. And she instantly falls in love with her savior. Even though Bart clearly cannot understand that, and just makes awkward conversation until her father shows up, and it turns out he’s none other than McBain himself, Ranier Wolfcastle. And Bart is obviously impressed, so of course when the girl, Greta, invites Bart over to the mansion, he agrees.
And later, after Homer and Marge have dragged Lisa from the snooty school, Bart is getting ready for his little playdate, and gets all dressed up for some reason. Homer also gives him his two pieces of advice for women, not giving them nicknames that make them sound fat, and always ask for receipts to look fancy. So, equipped with that knowledge, Bart is ready to drive back to the Wolfcastle estate in Ranier’s enormous Hummer-esque truck.
And the mansion is pretty damn great. Greta shows Bart all around the place, letting him check out cool props from Ranier’s movies, and even has him watch Itchy and Scratchy on a giant TV with DVD. And boy did it take me a moment to realize the joke was that they were rich enough to have DVDs. That was crazy. Although we get the solid joke about the show having a commentary where Itchy and Scratchy talk about the issues that happened when they were filming the scene.
But it’s not just going to all be about Wolfcastle’s mansion, because we even see that the Simpsons have invited Ranier and Greta over for a dinner of various German sausages. And it felt weird to me that Homer and Ranier act like they don’t know each other, when Wolfcastle helped Homer workout in “King of the Hill.” Guess that got reset. But the plot thickens during that dinner when Greta starts to hold Bart’s hand, and he’s so oblivious that he assumes she’s wanting a thumb-war.
So Greta isn’t being subtle anymore. But it’s still too discrete for poor little Bart, who doesn’t realize that Greta thinks they’re dating, and even brings Milhouse over for to her house when she thought it was just going to be the two of them. Oh, and in true “annoying friend” fashion Milhouse introduces himself by doing that “WASSSAP!?!” thing people did in the 90’s, which I think was from a beer commercial maybe? Keep on keeping on, Milhouse.
But when Bart and Greta are with their dads at a basketball game she decides to strip through some of the artifice by just straight up asking Bart to come to a school dance with her. And because he still doesn’t know what’s going on, he agrees, not realizing what he’s agreed to. So how’s Bart going to ruin this? Well the day of the dance Bart and Milhouse overhear Skinner telling Willie about how he’s going to try stand-up comedy for the first time, and Bart decides that’s way better than a school dance. And he’s not wrong.
So Bart ends up going to make fun of Skinner all night, and when he gets home he’s surprised to find Lisa waiting up for him, and she’s not happy. She says that Greta called because Bart told her he was sick, and she finally explains to him that Greta is in love with him. This shocks Bart, and he decides that he needs to explain to Greta that he doesn’t have any interest in her. So he brings her to an ice cream parlor and dumps her. And she’s devastated.
But because Bart is a boy (ie, an idiot) he didn’t realize breaking up with Greta would mean they had to stop being friends, so he goes over to the mansion to apologize, and is shocked to find that she’s started dating Milhouse, mainly to spite him. And, shockingly, Bart now has a thing for Greta, because as Lisa explains, people want what they can’t have. So now Bart’s main mission is to win Greta back, and after stalking them around town for a few days, he finds out that she’s going with her dad to Toronto. So the Simpsons are going to Canada!
The Simpsons then go to Toronto and have a good time running around and sight-seeing while listening to Rush, before Homer and Bart decide they need to go find Greta. So they sneak onto a movie set where Wolfcastle is filming a wonderful movie called “Undercover Nerd,” and Bart goes to talk to Greta. Unfortunately Milhouse is there, and the two get in a massive fight that ends in a curling match, because of course it does. And when they’re done fighting Greta shows up, announces she doesn’t want to be with either of them, and leaves so the plot can finish. Oh, and we see Bart and Milhouse getting on the Canadian Olympic basketball team. Sure, let’s end it like that.
This is a pretty decent episode I suppose. I’ve talked before on here, but during this project I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m not a big Bart fan. Especially when he’s just kind of a shit. And even though he’s not really meaning to be a shit for most of this episode, he’s still pretty shitty. Although, I’ll be honest, if you ask my wife I should relate to this episode like crazy, because apparently before we started dating she was being very apparent that she was into me, and I remained just as oblivious as Bart. So maybe that’s what turns me off this episode. It’s not a bad one, but Bart is just kind of unlikeable, and he just treats poor little Greta like crap. But I guess everyone has to go through a stage of life like this where they learn how not to devastate a person with a breakup, so I guess it was a good learning experience.
Take Away: Try not to be stupid and oblivious, and if you are don’t devastate someone, let them down easy.
“The Bart Wants What It Wants” was written by John Frink & Don Payne and directed by Michael Polcino, 2002.