Kredit Kookies: Flyby: Princess Penelope.And there are no further credits, as we immediately begin the episode.

After a disastrous assembly that concludes with her smacking Bart Simpson, Edna Krabapple is sentenced to a school-board mandated purgatory while waiting to see if she’ll have her license revoked.Bart tries to spring her from the class, but when the fire escape crumples mid-escape, he abandons her to be caught by Ned Flanders.Ned and Edna embark on a relationship that turns out to be solid and mutually beneficial, but when Edna gives Ned a backbone Homer and Bart plot to break the twosome up.

Here’s the good part – the Edna/Ned part of the storyline is surprisingly touching and enjoyable.The characters are incongruous but work due to both character’s general senses of decency.Homer and Bart’s decisions to remove Edna from Ned’s life also makes sense, and I love that the main conflict of the story arises from actual differences in their makeups.

Bart wanted Edna and Ned to break up because it brings school too close for comfort to his home life and Homer wanting the same because Ned stole all of his power tools also works, and when Homer’s pre-determined, nicer attempt at breaking them up is supplanted by Ned’s knowledge of Edna’s previous carnal forthrightness is the best possible plot twist that could have come out of this plot. Enda having no shame about her life is just as awesome.

The event that draws the biggest question mark and the biggest facepalm within the episode is the show letting the audience decide the fate of the twosome.This has led to a viral marketing blitz and a grasp at interactivity that the show rarely if ever has had, but it’s also a creatively cowardly and severely bankrupt choice.The show should have just pulled the trigger on the pairing without asking the public; after all, it never asked us how we felt about Skinner and Krabapple, but managed to run that relationship aground as well.

Overall, this is one of the top episodes of the season, an excellent watch.

Letter Grade: A

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