The Simpsons Season 28 Episode 18 Review
The episode begins with Bart in science class. He's "dissecting" a frog, and he's having way too much fun doing so. At home, Marge is inspecting Bart's report card, where he gets mostly Fs and a few Ds. Marge starts to get worried about Bart failing. She searches online for some advice, and finds a so-called parenting expert, who comes to speak (for a fee, of course) at Springfield Elementary. The expert tells the audience to build up their kids self-esteem through positive reinforcement. They decide to give him a trophy for nothing, based on the expert's advice. Because of something Lisa says, Homer decides to open up a store in their garage called "Trophyland USA". He's actually selling A LOT of trophies, because the other parents also listened to the expert's advice. The trophies are starting to fall apart, though, because Bart put them together with bubblegum. Bart overhears Homer talking about Bart being a screwup and he gets sad (causing him to make a "pathetic" sound, as Homer would put it).
Bart goes to visit Grampa, who explains that Homer is only repeating what he heard as a child. Grampa gives Bart a Simpson family heirloom, a watch. At school, trophies are being handed out for a Math Pentathlon, and Lisa, of course, wins first. She gets frustrated that her trophy is the smallest, and she smashes her trophy. Frustrated, she searches for another parenting expert. This expert explains that trophies are hurting the kids, and the parents turn on Homer and his trophies. Homer now is unable to sell trophies, and Bart, knowing that his father is upset, gloats about his watch. The watch is actually making Bart obedient, and he's doing well in school. However, Bart soon loses the watch on a hike.
Bart has Milhouse help him find the watch. They don't find it, but Bart does continually hit Mulhouse with rocks. At the Simpson home, Marge is throwing Lisa's trophies away. This upsets Lisa, since she actually earned her trophies. When Grampa calls Bart to appear on the cover of a magazine with the watch, Bart tries to confess to him, but doesn't get the chance to. Homer takes his trophies to a pawn shop, but he finds the watch. It turns out that Mulhouse was angry at Bart and brought it in. He buys is for $22, more than the $20 asking price. When Homer returns home to gloat, he finds Bart crying. Even though he wants to rub it in his face, he gives Bart the watch. Bart and Grampa get their picture taken for the cover. Afterwards, Bart accidentally breaks the watch and Grampa starts to choke him.
This was a really great episode, even better than last week (and I loved last week's episode). It has some nice moments with Bart and Grampa, and also a great Homer B-story. I also liked Lisa's story, and thought Marge was pretty funny in the brief amount of time we saw her. I really enjoyed the opening bit about Frog Heaven, especially as the one frog watched Bart play with his corpse.
Episode Grade: A+
Episode Score: 10/10