Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Bart the Fink (S07, E15-143)
After spending a night at their recently-deceased Aunt's haunted house, the Simpson family each receives $100 as part of the Aunt's will. Marge 'encourages' Bart and Lisa to invest that money into a savings account at a bank, though Bart instead puts it into a checking account instead. A short time later, Bart just misses out on getting Krusty's autograph, but is able to slip a check for 25 cents in his pocket, reasoning that if Krusty wants that money, he'll have to sign it, and Bart will get the check back in his monthly balance. However, when the check comes back, he finds that it was endorsed with a stamp from an offshore holding corporation. He goes back to the bank to demand a signature, but the banker there notices something odd about the stamp. A five-minute investigation (hah) reveals that Krusty is a giant tax evader, and with Bart's help Krusty has finally been arrested for tax evasion (or as Kent Brockman puts it, tax avoision).
Given just how much evasion Krusty made, the IRS decides to garnish 95% of his salary, leaving his show in disarray. To further pay for his taxes, his estate and belongings are auctioned off for mere cents. Bart tries to comfort Krusty, but Krusty can't deal with his new life as a regular guy. That night, Krusty gets into his last remaining possession - a personal plane - and flies through the skies, garnering a lot of attention before crashing into a rock formation. The plane wrecked and no body to be found, Chief Wiggum declares Krusty dead, much to Bart's horror.
After the funeral, Bart starts seeing a man that resembles Krusty at various points, but nobody believes him as they believe its just his grief messing around with him. However, each sighting has something in common so he takes Lisa along to the place where all the threads meet: the wharf. There, he finds a check featuring a signature very similar to that of Krusty's, and finds the owner of that signature, Rory B. Bellows. Upon finding him, it doesn't take much for the kids to break him down to admit he really is Krusty. Krusty reveals that just before the plane crash, he jumped out to start his new life out at sea, but Bart and Lisa are able to convince him that his celebrity life, where he got to hang out with phonies and be more respected than scientists and educators, is still worth living for. He decides to go back to his old life, using the 'death' of Rory B. Bellows to handle his tax problem.
Bart the Fink is another solid episode, albeit not among the best episodes of the season. After Krusty's 'death', the episode goes into a sort of lull for awhile though Bob Newhart's appearance is appreciated for its humor. Otherwise, there were still quite a few good jokes and bits and is still a classic episode.
Final Score: 8.6