“My hair! You chopped off my hair! Oh, God, I’m ugly!” – Homer Simpson
- Well, it was certainly nice of the Robot Chicken guys to eat up ninety seconds of screentime with that opening.
- And it’s a good thing they did, because if this scene with Marge and Skinner is any indication, we’re mostly in for filler here. Skinner is now playing a guitar he pulled from behind his desk as surely as if it was a rabbit from a hat, and this goes on until well after Marge had left the building.
- Sideshow Mel is now giving Bart music lessons, why?
- And then Frink and Comic Book Guy because . . . oh, the hell with it.
- What’s with the licorice thing?
- “Let’s drink vodka” – Good advice for anyone watching this episode.
- The scene where Bart walks across the playground to deliberately run into the bullies made very little sense, then they topped themselves by having Marge and this Russian guy sitting in her car in her driveway. Impressive.
- I’m confused by the Russian Makin’ Whoopee montage, though I really shouldn’t be. It’s 30 seconds long, the entire episode (credits to credits) is only 18:30, so that ate almost 3% of the runtime right there. And it was only the first of two montages.
- Krusty and Captain McAllister sure had valid reasons for being at that recital we never learned anything about. Someone in comments pointed out that this one was heavy on people just showing up for no reason, and they were correct.
- Uh, is that going to be the whole Patrick Stewart thing? [End of episode note: Yes, yes it was.]
- Whoa, Helen Lovejoy really doesn’t sound like herself anymore.
- Hey the Russian guy is back to exposit the end for us. That was nice of him.
- “It was wrong of me to force my dreams on you”, where did that come from? Marge made Bart take up music because Skinner suggested it, not because she wanted to be a piano player. Is it possible that by the end of these they’re phoning it in so badly that no one remembers the beginning?
The incoherence of this episode cannot be overstated, and yet I also cannot use any extreme superlatives because, let’s face it, it’s no more or less incoherent than most episodes these days. Characters appear out of thin air, stories are dropped for no reason whatsoever, the plots (such as they are) get resolved with single scene twists instead of having anything to do with what came before.
To take but one example from this episode, here is the entirety of Homer’s plot:
1. Homer’s last two hairs fall out (note that this has happened before).
2. Homer goes to the Kwik-E-Mart where he gets atrocious jokes spat at him by Apu, Flanders’ Dad (for some reason), and the Rich Texan.
3. Homer goes to Moe’s where Moe rips off his own hair and gives some to Homer.
4. Homer goes to work where he talks to Patrick Stewart, who tells him being bald is okay.
5. Homer reveals his baldness to Marge, who doesn’t care, which in turn causes his hair to grow back.
That’s it. That’s the entire story. Homer doesn’t do anything, he isn’t in any way affected by his brief loss of hair, and then it’s over. And this was – by far – the most put together of the various goings on here. It certainly made more sense than the Russian guy learning to drive, or Bart’s story, which started with him wanting to impress his teacher and then abruptly switched gears mid-episode to him being afraid to disappoint Marge.
Anyway, the ratings are in and they are just as bad as the episode itself. On Sunday, just 4.05 million viewers wished they had bootleg Russian vodka to make the time go faster. That dismal total is good for second worst on the all time list. Next week is the two episode season finale, which appears to be just two random episodes crammed together and not an actual two-parter, though the descriptions FOX has released are so vague and pointless that I really can’t tell. Oh well, we’ll find out soon enough.