The Miseducation of Lisa Simpson
|"The Miseducation of Lisa Simpson"|
|The Simpsons episode|
|Episode no.||Season 31|
|Directed by||Matthew Nastuk|
|Written by||J. Stewart Burns|
|Original air date||February 16, 2020|
"The Miseducation of Lisa Simpson" is the 12th episode of the thirty-first season of the American animated sitcom The Simpsons, and the 674th episode overall. It aired in the United States on Fox on February 16, 2020. The episode was written by J. Stewart Burns and was directed by Matthew Nastuk.
The episode begins with a flashback in a bar in winter where a German police officer demands the Sea Captain and his wife hand over the second half of a treasure map in his possession. Instead, the couple spit vodka into a candle, blinding his fellow guards and starting a fire. Escaping with both halves of the map, the couple head to Springfield in search of the treasure.
Forty years later having destroyed his marriage over the search, the Sea Captain finally finds the treasure, but Mayor Quimby confiscates it saying that it now belongs to the town as it was found within the city limits, which have been redrawn after being warned by the frustrated wife the previous night. With the town unsure of what to do with the money, Marge suggests they build a STEM school to teach children science, technology, engineering, and math to succeed in the future. The residents are initially dismissive of the prospect, but with John Legend and his wife Chrissy Teigen's help, they are encouraged to agree to the idea.
At the new STEM school, run by CEO Zane Furlong, Bart enjoys his new video game-infused education, which allows him to collect badges and skins for his profile, while Lisa is accepted into a gifted class which teaches her about science, coding, math and neural networks. She also learns the school is run by an algorithm to determine the best education for the kids. At a career day meeting at the school, Homer speaks about his job at safety inspector at the nuclear power plant. However, Furlough disparages this as one of several jobs that will soon rendered obsolete within a few months, being taken over by automated machines. At the plant, his fears seem confirmed when an automated soda machine which efficiently mixes drinks and flavors is installed in the break room. Homer, seeking to prove that humans can mix drinks better than machines, engages in a stand-off with the soda machine, constantly mixing drinks for hours for the other employees until he collapses from exhaustion and drinking too much soda. Recovering from the fall, Homer feels relief that his job will not be taken over by robots for the moment, unaware that Mr. Burns is beginning a trial run with automated machines in the workplace.
Meanwhile, Lisa discovers that the kids outside of her gifted class are only being trained to do menial jobs in the present day. She attempts to warn the other kids, but Bart convinces them to embrace their education and career prospects. Frustrated at this, Lisa tries to rewrite the algorithm to ensure the other kids have real STEM education, but Bart stops her. They fight until Furlong stops them, and tries to use the algorithm to determine the jobs of the future. To the three's horror, the algorithm can only find one job - caring for senior citizens. Bart and Lisa warn the kids through the video PA system and the horrified students proceed to negatively rate the algorithm, causing the server to explode and destroy the school.
Dennis Perkins of The A.V. Club gave this episode a B– stated "As ‘The Simpsons’ has aged, it’s occasionally fleshed out some of its supporting characters. Sometimes it’s to (with very mixed success) update a problematic stereotype to something resembling cultural acceptability. Other times, the practice smacks of needing to fill out a season order...Then there are those episodes that seize upon a theretofore one-dimensional joke character’s potential to be a bit more of a human being. (Although, technically, still one-dimensional, being a cartoon and all.) Barney’s entry, the hauntingly self-excoriating ‘Pukahontas,’ in the Springfield Film Festival remains an early, legendary example of a sidekick stepping forward to steal the show".
- "A bewilderingly atonal Simpsons ditches the deep for the STEM". TV Club. Retrieved 2020-02-17.
- "The Simpsons Season 31 Episode 12 Review: The Miseducation of Lisa Simpson". Den of Geek. Retrieved 2020-02-17.