Revenge of the Male Anchors is the 18th episode of Queen of the Willis. It was first aired on December 3, 2007. The episode was written by Ava Zinn and Holly Everman, and directed by Season Atkins. The episode, inspired by the real-life Zach Myers filling in for Angela Ganote on WXIN-TV’s morning newscast a year earlier (December 4, 2006 to February 2, 2007), deals with Rags (now Tabby) burning down Quillsville 24 after he bites anchorman Zach Mullins’ leg, but Peggy gets blamed for it due to her sexist attitude towards the station accepting a transfemale anchorwoman (Michelle Wilson), who would anchor solo as Mullins recovers from his injury and Angela Stroup goes on maternity leave.
The female anchor, Angela Stroup (voiced by Alexandra Moffitt), is expecting a baby any day, and is due to be replaced. Much of a surprise to the town, including Zach Mullins, is a man that has since transitioned to female, Michelle Wilson. Ava is surprised upon first meeting her and filling in for Stroup for six to eight weeks. Rags, however, absconds under the table growling and barks, at Mullins and then tears off Mullins’ leg. Upon discovering the news, a hurt Mullins and Wilson along with everyone else assumes that someone was so disrespectful they directly attacked Mullins, and Rags is too ashamed to admit to his gluttony.
The following day, Rags has such an upset stomach from biting off Mullins’ leg, that he quietly rushes off to the bathroom in the middle of Michelle Wilson’s first newscast. Meanwhile, Peggy arrives on scene from Blooomington, having been informed of the new anchorwoman by Melissa. When Zach Mullins asks the audience over the broadcsat and in studio, Peggy loudly voices her objection to a trans-female co-anchoring with a male, but ends when Tiffani defends Wilson, saying if she’s hurt she’ll strike Peggy down, so Peggy storms off to “the one part of this church that’s still women’s-only”. Entering the restroom, where Rags is still holed up in a stall, Peggy is overwhelmed by the stench; she lights a match in an attempt to mask the odor, but finds the gesture futile and leaves, dropping her matchbook as she goes.
Rags finally finishes and, after locking the door, goes to wash up, but panics when someone attempts to enter the bathroom. In a desperate attempt to get rid of the stench himself, he lights more matches to try and cover the smell, then throws the smoldering matches into the wastebasket and the matchbook into the toilet and then flees through the window out of embarrassment; unknown to him, the matches then cause a small fire in the wastebasket. When Rags returns, Ava comments on an odd smell, but identifies it as smoke just as the fire alarms go off. The staff at Quillsville 24 evacuates the building, watching in horror as the station burns to the ground before their eyes.
As the ensuing police investigation goes on, details of a suspected arson emerge: the fire started in the bathroom wastebasket, with a book of matches from Chippendales’s in Bloomington. Given her Blooomington residence, openly misandroistic character, and declaration of going to the location of where the fire started just beforehand, Peggy becomes the obvious prime suspect in the apparent hate crime, compounded when she attempts to flee Quillsville in the middle of the night upon realizing that all of the evidence points to her; however, only she and Rags are certain of her innocence – even as the police arrest Peggy on the Willis’ front lawn, she still screams for them to look for “the man with the terrible smell” in the stall who must have set the fire after she left.
With the whole town, including Ava herself, out for Peggy’s blood, Rags feels incredibly guilty about letting Peggy take the blame, but at the same time is too scared to come forward about inadvertently setting the fire. Both feelings become so overwhelming that she tries to flee to Canada in shame, but when a despondent Charlie arrives by bus, saying that Peggy believes in owning up to one’s mistakes and had hoped that the baby Peggy’s expecting would turn out as good as Deanna or Tom, her guilt finally overcomes his fear.
Meanwhile, Ava and Angie are at the police station with Peggy, begging her to just admit to the arson, but Rags bursts in, admitting the truth at last. Ava demands that Rags confess to the police, but Peggy decides to take the blame anyway, citing that she is already an old woman, but Rags, Tom and Deanna has their entire lives ahead of them and doesn’t deserve to go to jail or be vilified for Rags’ mistake. Ava and Angie are touched by Peggy’s decision and agree to along with it. Peggy ends up getting away with it by declaring that she had in fact lit the matches, but only to hide the smell of her own, age-related digestive issues, and that she made up the other “smelly person” to cover her embarrassment thereover. Michelle Wilson forgives Peggy and solo anchors while Mullins and Stroup respectively recover from bog bites and giving birth.