When Homer's court case determines that a dog's life is more profitable than the one of a human, the status of man's best friend rises in Springfield. When the dogs recognize their new position of power, they assert their dominance over the humans.
The episode starts presenting the ordinary intro as typical, with Bart writing on the chalkboard (which reads ¨Thanks for 28 great years...Taylor Swift¨). But the scene immediately cuts to Homer driving down the street. Homer tosses the radioactive bar out the window as usual, and gets caught in a traffic jam. He then almost mows down several people by cutting through the lanes. Next, he careens into an alley without any room to maneuver and too late to use the brakes, where Santa's Little Helper and the now-homeless Gil are eating out of trash cans. Homer is terrified by the matter of running over a sweet and lovable dog, so he slams into Gil instead, who sustains a serious neck injury and plans to sue the Simpsons for everything they have got.
The jury accepts the defense objection that dogs are not only as good as humans, but better in lots of ways, and they dismiss Gil's case. Mayor Quimby chooses to ride the pro-pooch sentiment by instituting measures that cater to dogs and punish humans who do such activities, like collect stray hounds and even operate animal medicine stores like the poor Dr. Budgie, who gets arrested and put into shackles.
Dr. Budgie's plea for Springfield to realize that the dogs will soon observe that humans have advocated their alpha status and turn on the citizens is not taken seriously until it actually happens. Even Santa's Little Helper joins the feral dog pack, as the town takes shelter from the now-vicious dogs, and a meeting leads to the community begging for their most broken-down citizen to help them: Gil. Gil is prepared to stand up to his fellow street creatures, but it is Marge who steps up, and after finding out that the leader of the dog pack is a wild chihuahua named Taquito, kicks the hound from their showdown park and becomes the new alpha of Springfield.
All of the dogs are reunited with their owners, from Ned's puppy Baz and Mr. Burns' hounds, to Lisa and Bart's joyous reunion with Santa's Little Helper.
In the final scene, Gil thinks that he has found a new friend with the weakened Taquito, which licks Gil's face and barks happily. Gil doesn't realize the hound is only being friendly so he can get a taste for Gil before he finally passes on and Taquito eats his corpse.
Dennis Perkins of The A.V Club gave the episode a C+ stating, "As far as bare bones go, why not? Again, silly and high-concept can work if the jokes are good enough, especially if an episode manages to ground the silliness in some sort of character work. Failing that, a bold stab at self-reflexive meta-comedy can also power things along. But here, the jokes aren’t good enough to sustain the premise, the character elements are perfunctory and sparse, and, as has been the case for a few years in a row now, the season finale has seemed less like an attempt to go out with a bang, and more like an afterthought."
"Dogtown" scored a 0.9 rating with a 4 share and was watched by 2.14 million people, making The Simpsons the second most watched show on Fox that evening.