Hey, you know what we haven’t had in a while here on Lifetime of Simpsons? A wedding. And even more specifically we haven’t had a wedding between Homer and Marge lately. So how about we fix that for convoluted reasons.
The episode starts off with everyone at church while Reverend Lovejoy is explaining that really only two of the Commandments matter, and the rest are filler. And with that important information imparted on his flock Lovejoy then tells them that he has big news. One of the leaders of their particular sect of Christianity, a man only known as the Parson, will be visiting Springfield. And the town promptly loses their shit.
Everyone in town is apparently a member of this sect, and they’re all really psyched to see the Parson come to town. To the point that there’s a huge crowd of citizens standing around in the center of town, waiting for him to arrive. And when he does, he doesn’t disappoint. The Parson is basically just Bing Crosby, and is a very charismatic fellow, easily convincing the people of Springfield that he’s a great dude.
But the Parson isn’t here for no reason. He’s on a mission. So he heads over to the church, where Lovejoy and Helen are waiting for him. Turns out the Parson and Reverend Lovejoy went to college together, and used to be roommates, but since the Parson is basically Lovejoy’s boss he still acts a little weird. Especially when the Parson drops the reason for his visit on Lovejoy. Apparently a while back the church had been going through some hard times due to a stolen credit card, and as a result for a few months Lovejoy wasn’t a certified minister.
This shouldn’t mean much, but according to the episode this means that everything Lovejoy did in those months are no longer valid. So he’s going to have to go and tell people that all the random blessings, funerals, weddings, and other priestly stuff he does didn’t actually happen. Or something. Listen, I don’t really understand what the big deal is, I guess because he didn’t pay the Parson his magic wasn’t active or something.
But what does matter is that one of the weddings that no longer are valid is the one that Homer and Marge had way back in Season 8 in “A Milhouse Divided.” They give us a handy refresher on the plot of that episode, since it happened more than a decade previously. But the bottom line is that Homer and Marge were never legally remarried after Homer’s spur of the moment divorce. So they’re going to have to go downtown and fill out a new marriage license.
However, as they’re waiting in the horrible line downtown at City Hall, they start to get bummed out. Because even though they had a decent wedding in “A Milhouse Divided” this weird little ceremony isn’t that great of a wedding. And while they’ve had two different weddings, neither have been full blown ones with receptions. So they decide to leave City Hall, and plan a more legitimate, full-scale wedding that they’ve never had.
Homer then plans out and incredibly elaborate proposal for Marge. It involves Homer calling Marge and having her look out the window, where she finds a sky-written cloud telling her to open the front door, where she finds Barney standing with a message on his chest that says to turn on the radio, and when she does that Bill and Marty say to go down to the basement, where Homer is waiting. He then proposes to Marge and tells her that they’re going to have a fancy wedding.
So Homer and Marge then hit the town, ready to get everything planned. They go get tuxes, dresses, flowers, cakes, and everything else that goes into planning a wedding. And along the way Marge gradually becomes more and more domineering. She has a very specific vision for this wedding, and she’s pretty short-tempered with anyone who stands in that way. In short, she’s becoming a Bridezilla. And when Homer points that out things get pretty bad. She yells at Homer, leaving him in a weird state.
The day of the wedding then arrives, and while Homer is sitting in his changing room he starts to feel strange about the whole wedding. Marge is acting very different from all of the wedding planning, and he seems to be having some doubts. Which really becomes a problem when the ceremony is about to begin, and Homer is gone. They go check his room, and find that all signs point to him having bailed on the wedding. Everyone is pretty understandably crushed about this.
But the episode has a pretty big curve-ball for us. Because Homer didn’t bail on the wedding. He was drugged and kidnapped, and awakens chained to a pipe in a mysterious room like he’s in a Saw movie, while having to eat a hot sauce lollipop to get the key for the chain. Yep! Shit’s getting weird! And it gets even weirder when we check back in on the wedding and find that while Marge is getting drunk and crying with her bridesmaids, the kids decide to investigate. And when they go into Homer’s room they find a set of keys with an SB on it, which they obviously decide means Sideshow Bob.
So Bart and Lisa set out to find Sideshow Bob, and somehow come across a shed in the woods that he’s living in. But when they get inside the find that Bob is just hanging out with Krusty, making wooden sculptures of each other. Huh? Whatever, Sideshow Bob isn’t the kidnapper, but he does have a pretty good suggestion. Selma Bouvier. Which turns out to be correct. Yep, Patty and Selma have kidnapped Homer, locked him in a room, and are watching him suffer while working at the DMV.
They apparently plan on keeping Homer there until he agrees to split up with Marge, because they’re goddamn monsters. However, their plans change when Homer starts reading his vows to his mysterious captors, and they’re so moving that Patty and Selma just let him go. So Homer returns to Marge, just as the kids arrive to explain everything, and Homer and Marge head downtown to just get their quickie wedding. However, Bart and Lisa blackmail Patty and Selma into hosting a massive reception outside the Court House, giving Homer and Marge the party they deserve.
This is an incredibly strange episode. And I kind of keep changing my mind how I feel about it. On one hand, it’s so insane that I kind of appreciate how little sense it makes. On the other hand, it’s kind of garbage. The idea that Reverend Lovejoy wasn’t ordained back when “A Milhouse Divided” happened and no one ever noticed is a little ridiculous, and really the whole idea of Homer and Marge needing to have a third wedding is dumb. I don’t know how it works in other states, since I got married in Colorado, but here it doesn’t matter if you’re married by someone ordained. You just need someone to sign the stupid paper, which Lovejoy presumably did. But whatever, let’s just deal with the necessary set-up, because the writers clearly learned about the concept of a Bridezilla and worked backwards to have an episode about that. But then I guess they got bored with the idea of Marge being a Bridezilla, and it suddenly becomes a weird Saw pastiche. Which is kind of terrible. Plus, I’m so not a fan of Patty and Selma being this monstrous. They’re literally trying to destroy their sister’s marriage in a very hands-on matter in this episode, and it bugs me. Really, the whole episode bugs me. It really just felt like four different episodes stitched together, which can sometimes be entertaining, but in this case it’s just kind of a complete mess.
Take Away: Don’t kidnap your sibling’s spouse. And don’t take your wedding so seriously, it’s a celebration.
“Wedding for Disaster” was written by Joel H Cohen and directed by Chuck Sheetz, 2009.