|"He is like some sort of... non... giving up... school guy!"|
Just one episode ago, Bart and Principal Skinner had become friends, but when Skinner reclaimed his principal job they both knew they'd have to become enemies again. This episode let the audience know for sure that was the case.
On a particularly nice day, Bart really doesn't want to go to school. Finally, he decides he's had enough and fakes a note stating he's going to the dentist. Mrs. Krabappel and Skinner confirm its fake, and Skinner goes on the hunt for Bart. In short time, Skinner picks up Bart's trail, which Bart picks up on, but Bart is unable to shake him as Skinner's determination is unmatched. Just before Skinner is able to find him, Bart jumps into a car driven by Freddy Quimby - the mayor's nephew - and escapes Skinner. Bart is taken to the Quimby mansion where Freddy is celebrating his 18th birthday. There, Freddy feels like mocking a waiter for pronouncing "chowder" differently than he does. The two take it into the kitchen, where Bart is, and as Bart is able to hide, he witnesses what appears to be the waiter getting beat up. Freddy is blamed, and a trial is soon to start, but Bart knows Freddy is innocent..
Bart is fearful to testify what really happened, as revealing he skipped school would give Skinner the proof he needs to really punish Bart. To make matters worse, Skinner (and Homer) are on the jury for the Quimby trial. However, it seems like the trial is going Freddy's way, with bribed testimonials and high priced lawyers that have Freddy looking like gold (the waiter having hired Lionel Hutz doesn't help him, either). However, Freddy lets his anger get the better of him at the stand, and the jury quickly decides he must be guilty. However, Homer realizes that if the jury is "deadlocked", they would be "sequestered" at a free hotel for the night, full of free things (including Free Willy), and as such votes that Quimby is not guilty.
The extra night Homer buys gives Bart time to think about whether he should confess, believing that Freddy will be found guilty tomorrow. Marge's stories about her crazy Uncle and an episode of McGonigle (this is how you spell it apparently, look it up) don't fill him with much confidence either. Eventually, though Bart does decide to testify (despite the fact that the trial had closed the day before), and reveals that Quimby only took a bottle of wine and then left, it was the waiter whose clumsiness caused him to slip and crash into a variety of things including rat traps and wine glasses. Although the waiter protests (then clumsily falls out the window into a truck of rat traps), Bart has to also reveal that he skipped school. Freddy Quimby is found not guilty, Skinner is somewhat lenient on Bart for his role in the trial and only gives him three, no, four months of detention, and Homer is happy he was able to steal so much crap from the hotel room he stayed in. Good times.
This was one of Season 5's better episodes. The bit with Homer and the jury, Lionel Hutz's moment where he shines, the whole McGonigle bit, this episode has a lot going for it, and how Homer's jury subplot is what allows Bart to make the right decision in the main plot. It was wonderfully written and very funny as well.
Final Score: 9.8