Bart the Murderer
High explosives and school don’t mix
Couch gag: The Simpsons form a human pyramid on the couch
Director: Rich Moore
Legs & Louie
Joe Mantegna as Fat Tony
Neil Patrick Harris as himself playing Bart Simpson
Phil Hartman as Troy McClure and Lionel Hutz
Synopsis: Bart’s having a miserable day and ends up meeting mobsters, who offer him a part time job. When Bart gets into trouble from Principal Skinner, the mobsters have a meeting with Skinner and he goes missing. Skinner is presumed dead and Bart is put on trial for the murder. Just when it looks like Bart will be found guilty, Skinner appears in the courtroom to tell his tale of survival after being trapped under a pile of newspapers.
Discussion: What starts out as a really bad day just doesn’t get better for Bart. This episode is chock full of great moments: the trip to the chocolate factory (“Kids! Be sanitary!”), Bart’s aptitude for mixing cocktails, Homer’s meeting with the mobsters, Bart’s trial and the horribly inaccurate made-for-TV movie starring “TV’s Doogie Howser” as Bart. It’s just a really good episode- well thought out and well executed (no pun intended).
The characters of Fat Tony and his cronies, Legs & Louie, are inspired additions to the Simpsons cast. They are the dark underbelly of the town and although they present themselves as good guys, they are delightfully seedy without being unnecessarily harsh or mean. Sure, they’re mobsters, but they’re also truly likable characters. After all, it’s no crime to steal a loaf of bread to feed your starving family, even if you have a large family who don’t like bread, they like cigarettes and you’re selling them at a price that’s practically giving them away…