Homer: Why would I go to Utah? I love booze, caffeine and monogamy.
This episode, which first aired February 11, really felt like two episodes in one, with both Lisa's story about her made up Native American heritage and Bart becoming involved with an older girl (played by Natalie Portman). Overall, my first reaction --having only seen the episode once-- is that it felt like the quintessential Simpsons episode with plenty of smart dialogue and enough hidden gags.
The one thing that struck me about this episode, and some others before it, is how the writers will "cheat" in order to tackle issues that would usually be impossible because of the fact that none of the characters age. If this were a live-action sitcom, Bart would have received a driver's license at some point, but since he's perpetually a ten year old, they had to come up with another way of getting him behind the wheel. In this case, he's awarded with a license when he inadvertently puts out a town fire using stolen fire extinguishers (which caused the fire to spread out of control in the first place).
There's a kind of poetic correlation between Bart's desire to run away to avoid having to run errands for Homer all the time, and his new girlfriend's belief that marrying a ten year old will solve her problem of being a pregnant teen. They're both convinced they can handle things on their own, but neither really knows the first thing about what it means to be an adult.
Here's a few things I caught in this episode:
- Ralph Wiggum, at the school assembly to celebrate family history, is dressed as a puppy.
- Mr. Burns striking a Jack Benny pose when Smithers catches on fire and exclaims, "but sir, I'm flaming!"
- When Lisa is giving her speech, a Native American is wearing a shirt with the same corncob curtain design as Lisa's.
- The best exchange in the episode:
Utah minister: How many brides will you be marrying today, Mr. Simpson?
Bart: Just one.
Utah minister: What are you, gay?