After the death of Marcia Wallace on October 25, 2013, The Simpsons retired her character of Edna Krabappel. She played a cynical, chain smoking fourth grade teacher from America’s longest running comedy.
Bart Simpson believed to be getting a new teacher, but that did not happen until 2022, when the show cast Kerry Washington as Bart’s new teacher, Mrs. Payton.
“Like all the best teachers, she knows that her students have just as much to teach her as she has to teach them. And teaching Bart is a job filled with growth opportunities,” said Washington of her new role, in an interview with People Magazine.
Ever since The Simpsons retired Edna, the show tried to fill the void with comical guest stars. They featured Willem Dafoe and Sofia Vergara. It seems Mrs. Payton will be a permanent character.
“I don’t know why we’ve been putting it off. I do miss our dear Marcia, and I think there was a little sadness and reluctance to do it, but it’s been nine years,” said Carolyn Omine, the writer of Washington’s first episode, in an interview with People Magazine.
In the episode, Bart realizes that he has seen Mrs. Payton before. He realizes it was the previous year when he had almost drowned, and she had saved him. He embarrassed her by saying he was fine and wasn’t about to drown.
Bart also develops feelings for his new teacher and starts to act violently, but his father, Homer, tells him it’s just how it is and to get over it. Homer actually offers solid parenting in this episode. It’s nice that Marge isn’t the only one working hard to be a good parent.
Lisa starts a documentary about an octopus that she affectionately calls Molly. It appears in her film that a shark eats her, but Lisa stops the shark at the last second and secretly keeps it in a small tank in her room. After she overhears Homer’s advice, she realizes it’s time to let her go.
Overall, this was a beautiful episode. It was a coming of age for Bart, and Lisa learned about ethics and integrity with our natural world. Even Homer grew a little as a person.
Hey, I’m Noah and I am a staff writer on The Mycenean. I participate in Executive Council and I am on the autism spectrum which is useful for retaining information about my special interest, politics.