After the supreme bummer that was yesterday’s episode, I guess it’s okay that today we’re getting a very flimsy and light episode. There’s not much to talk about today, but at least it isn’t depressing, so I guess it’s an improvement.
The episode starts off with Barney arriving at Moe’s, only to find it temporarily closed so that Moe can host a meeting of local bartenders. There’s several small-business owners who have all gotten together to discuss Springfield’s decline in interest for their establishments. They claim some weird big-box alcohol store that’s pricing them out of business. They need a fresh idea to get people going back to independent bars again, and they think they have found that idea.
They’re going to have a pub crawl. And, because superheroes are so hot at the moment, they want to make it superhero themed. Everyone signs off of this idea, and we then cut to sometime later where the drunken wrecks of Springfield are all roaming around the town, getting shit-faced and cosplaying various superheroes. It’s a pretty fun little scene, and we get plenty of very solid sight-gags with various townsfolks dressing up as superheroes.
And, the next morning, Homer awakens laying on his front lawn, hungover, and dressed in a half-fallen off and soiled Thing costume, trying to take stock of his life. But this isn’t a Homer episode, so as he’s laying there on the grass the school bus arrives, and we see Bart and Lisa run past him and hop on the bus. They then get to watch the wreckage of the town following the pub crawl as they make their way to school, seeing how horrible Springfield is.
When Bart gets to school though, he finds that for some reason he’s supposed to report straight to art class. Which seemed odd, and I kind of feel like it’s because they’re still dancing around what to do about Mrs. Krabapple. Which is something that I’ve become very interested in. I guess I’ll find out in the upcoming seasons if they ever really do anything about Marcia Wallace’s death, such as recast Edna or introduce another teacher, but it feels weird that Bart just finds a note on the door to go to art class, instead of being told to by his teacher.
Anyway, Bart goes to art class, and finds that he gets the pleasure of painting a nude Willie that day. And, shockingly, Bart is not a fan of this. In fact, he kind of hates art class in general, and specifically the eternally peppy art teacher. Bart gets so irritated that later that day he runs into Shauna, and complains to her about it. Shauna then tells Bart that the best thing to do is go to this voodoo queen she knows and get her to put a curse on the art teacher. Which seems a tad extreme, but let’s roll with it.
So, Bart heads out to this voodoo woman’s weird shack, and buys the necessary voodoo implements from her. He sets up the voodoo spell, and hopes that it’ll give the teacher a stomach ache, making it so she can’t come to school. And the next day Bart heads into school, confident that the teacher won’t be making an appearance. But he gets good news and bad news. The bad news is that the teacher shows up, and the good news is that she does have an ache in her stomach. But it’s because she just realized she got pregnant.
And Bart freaks out. He becomes convinced that his voodoo curse was responsible for getting the teacher pregnant, and this quickly spreads out to a rumor around the whole school, claiming that Bart got a teacher pregnant. And, even though this is absolutely absurd, Bart does somehow get sent to Principal Skinner’s office, where Homer has to be called in to bring him home. I’m not sure if Skinner actually believed the voodoo or what, but whatever.
When Bart gets home though, he finds a young married couple waiting for him. The rumor that he has magical powers that got a teacher pregnant has somehow spread around Springfield, and reached them. They’ve been trying to get pregnant for quite some time, and have run out of options, and they want to see if Bart would be willing to help them. The husband thinks that it’s pretty ridiculous, but since Bart is only charging five bucks, they figure that they can just give it a shot.
So, Bart goes through with the ceremony, and after a couple of weeks the couple comes back to Bart and proudly announce that they’re pregnant. Bart has super powers! And, immediately, he decides to make this into a business. Bart then gets his new business up and running, calling himself the Womb Wizard, and charging the seemingly-barren couples of Springfield five bucks to get them impregnated with voodoo magic.
Bart has a shockingly good success rate for this procedure, and eventually gets the attention of Homer. He finds out what Bart’s doing, and makes him close down the little business, before taking him to Moe’s to talk to him about what he’s doing, and how ridiculous it is. However, as they’re sitting in Moe’s having their chat, Legs and Louie burst in and kidnap Homer and Bart, dragging them off with them.
The next thing Bart and Homer know, they’re brought into a stable where Fat Tony is waiting for them. They of course assume that Fat Tony is interested in Bart’s magical powers, and wants him to give him a son. But they’re half right. Turns out Fat Tony has a prize-winning race-horse, and wants Bart to use his powers to get her pregnant with the child of another champion racehorse that he’s kidnapped. And, to make things interesting, it has to be a male, and it has to be conceived by the next morning.
And, with those insane stakes, Homer and Bart immediately begin to panic. Bart really has no confidence in his magical abilities, and he and Homer begin squabbling about how whose fault this is. But, after getting that out of their systems, they decide they need to do their best to get this horse pregnant. But they run into a weird issue. The champion racehorse that Fat Tony kidnapped appears to be gay, and has no interest in having sex with Fat Tony’s lady-horse.
But, she does seem interested in a Clydesdale that’s also in the stable, who apparently was responsible for Homer drinking his first Duff beer. So Homer and Bart decide that it doesn’t matter who gets the horse pregnant, and create a romantic atmosphere for the Clydesdale and the racehorse, while singing a weird Les Mis song for some reason. And, the next morning when Fat Tony comes back to the stable they confirm that the horse is pregnant, and the Simpsons are free to go. And, for some reason, we end the episode with a parody of the Modern Family opening.
Yeah, I don’t know what’s up with this episode. It just feels very half-assed. I think a major part of that may be the fact that this episode feels incredibly similar to “Faith Off,” but less well-defined. Both are about Bart appearing to discover that he has some sort of magical power that’s probably all just a coincidence, before he and Homer get roped into a plot where Fat Tony wants Bart to use said magical gift to benefit him, or else they get killed. That’s a very specific plot to have done twice. But, this episode doesn’t work nearly as well as “Faith Off.” It just feels rambling, and doesn’t get to that main plot until very late into the story, instead meandering with the superhero pub crawl stuff. It’s just a very weak episode, nothing too wrong with it, other than a general feeling that we’ve been here before.
Take Away: Don’t trust magical children who claim to have pregnancy powers. Also, don’t trust the mob.
“What to Expect When Bart’s Expecting” was written by John Frink and directed by Matthew Nastuk, 2014.
Categories: Lifetime of Simpsons