There are very few rules for episodes like this.
Rule #1: Sideshow Bob episodes must include some crazy scheme of revenge against Bart (Or Krusty)
Rule #2: The guest star must have more than five lines if he's a recurring guest star
Rule #3: If you bring in Sideshow Bob, the episode MUST be about him, no excuse
The writers violate all three rules and the episode suffers for their incompetence. I personally discredit this episode as a Sideshow Bob episode and it ranks up there with "Principal and the Pauper" in terms of retcon episodes. Let's watch this and see why the writers were such dicks to Kelsey Grammer.
We begin with the church after Reverend Lovejoy explained off camera that there are only two real commandments (Sure for the way you live, you better hope so). Lovejoy then tells the audience that the Parson will come for a visit
(The who? .....Whoooo are you...)(Protestant's version of the Pope, yeah this is all bull). Ned screams like a girl and faints, which causes the Simpsons to leave early. Later we see the whole town is lined up to meet the Parson as he arrives in a white convertible (Is the whole Protestant religion just very lax? Reverends can be married, no communion, and their "leader" seems to be a laid-back southerner). After explaining his purpose there, he goes off to Lovejoy to talk to him at the church (Where we find out they were roommates at TCU, no real significance, they just were). It turns out that Tim's (Lovejoy) last re-certification wasn't approved because the fee was never paid (Nice, that's like saying a diploma doesn't count because you didn't pay your last room and board fee). After some mindless chatter (including a retcon that Helen was a man once) (....why) we find out that during the processing, anything Tim did involving the church didn't count (So a baptism didn't happen because the reverend wasn't a reverend in the eyes of the banks, but was in the eyes of the Lord. Sure why not? This entire premise is just plain dumb, pure and simple) Tim goes out to everyone during that span and tells them the bad news while pointing out the stupidity of this plot (Hey! That's my job).
Tim ends it by going to the Simpsons and references the A Milhouse Divided plot where Tim remarried them and says it didn't count (Marge reminds anyone who hasn't seen that episode and makes us wish we were watching that instead. Not a good idea to be showing better episodes, writers, not a good idea). But really, you're trying to retcon that episode now just so your shitty little episode will work? I wasn't a big fan of that episode, but that doesn't mean you need to piss on continuity some more writers. I'd rather not get into the time paradox this creates for me considering that happened over twelve real years ago but Tim's license was gone for three months (but not told which three months). Homer and Marge tell the kids during breakfast and Lisa thinks it's great that they'll get remarried while Bart wonders if he's a bastard
(I thought that was settled they were talking about the REMARRIAGE, not the original marriage!)(Lisa's mind is really messed up here, in what world is getting remarried to make the marriage official great? Voluntary renewing of vows is great, but they aren't FORCED).
At Town Hall, Marge is upset and Homer decides to get remarried the right way (Great, now just get everyone from your unofficial remarriage in and, oh wait he doesn't think of that because this is stupid and this episode pisses on that episode God I hate this already). Back home, Homer sets up clues that lead her to the basement (Interesting how for Valentine's Day you got a monkey valentines day card, but for this you'll willing to spend thousands just to get her downstairs for a romantic dinner. I'm just going to leave this gun here, anyone want to just point it at my head and shoot me?) and he proposes to Marge to remarry him to which she says yes. We see Marge shopping for a wedding dress (Just use the one from your second marriage, oh wait that'd make sense), Bart getting a suit, Homer and Marge getting a cake, Marge and Lisa getting flowers, and Marge and Homer prepping the wedding reception area (We start to see Marge trying to be obsessive compulsive that the wedding is just perfect. Odd how she was ecstatic about having her friends for the second wedding and is now being selfish for this one, it's almost like this episode solely relies on the idea that she's out of character). Back at homer, Marge becomes even more obsessive about the wedding and Homer calls her a "Bridezilla" and Marge counters by calling him a "King Wrong" (Which causes Maggie to imagine them fighting as King Kong and Godzilla)
(Is that a movie? That'd be pretty cool to see).
The day of the wedding, Homer gets cold feet because he's afraid of what she'll be like after the wedding (Oh Booze I love you today)
(....you share. Now). We then see Marge get ready as Homer doesn't show up at the altar and Marge becomes sad because she thinks he ran out on her (This episode continues to physically hurt me). As Marge continues to be sad we find out that Homer was kidnapped and taken to the set of Saw, er I mean... nope, screw it, he's at the movie set of Saw (This review makes me want to watch those movies). Marge continues to be a broken record as Bart and Lisa go into Homer's room and find a set of keys with the initials SB. As a result, they assume it's Sideshow Bob getting revenge by preventing Homer and Marge from marrying (While a better idea, it doesn't fit with Bob's M.O. so....why suspect him?). After a pointless house scene, we cut back to Homer as he's given a lollipop made of hotsauce that has the key to the chain in the center (I guess Tootsie pops are coming up with new ideas every day). We then cut to a silhouette of Sideshow Bob with a knife before it turns out that he was using the knife to create a bust of Krusty (... I don't know why, logic left this show years ago).
Krusty vouches that Bob was with him the whole time and Sideshow Bob gives plenty of alternatives of who SB could be including Selma Bouvier (Nice to know Sideshow Bob was used so effectively)
(Poor Kelsey Grammer. Sideshow Bob's one of my most favorite characters of all time...I'm a fangirl, DEAL WITH IT). I'm being serious, Sideshow Bob is given all of five lines and is immediately dumped from the plot. His presence was pointless as it contributed nothing and just padded out the story for a good minute. I really hate this episode. We cut to Patty and Selma watching Homer try to get to the key as Patty exposits that the key is just hot sauce shaped like a key (They then laugh evilly at their booth at the DMV. Hey I don't see anything out of the ordinary with that, my last renewal of my license included a guy with blood on his shirt). Patty and Selma continue to make fun of Homer in the Saw voice as Homer asks for them to give Marge his wedding vows.
This causes Patty and Selma to cry and release Homer back to Marge
(I think it's worth noting that, in recent seasons, Patty and Selma have hit all-time lows and I can't even begin to understand why Marge doesn't disown them. Remember when they were mean but still sympathetic? I don't know WHY the writers want them to be so evil, but it doesn't work, in my opinion.....moving on). Bart and Lisa come back to find Homer is already home with Marge. As Patty and Selma are disposing of the evidence, Bart and Lisa blackmail them into giving Homer and Marge a wedding reception with their 401 (K)s after they get married at the Town Hall (Bookending!).
|Because it worked so well in That 90's Show, the writers have decided to rewrite this story as well|
|Because when I think of romance, I think of Santa Claus|
|I think this is how the writers view Marge and Homer (Or at least Homer)|
|Seems like Sideshow Bob found the director's house. Let's look the other way, shall we?|
|Apparently "Parody" now a days just means "Do exactly what they did"|
Final Judgment: This episode is bad, not the worst from this season but it ranks pretty low. The story is stupid and pisses on a previous episode, the writing is subpar, and bringing in Sideshow Bob and not making the story about him is the biggest sin of all. Fortunately, in most people's eyes, this is not counted as a Sideshow Bob episode and I'm glad (Even though his recent episodes have all sucked, they are still better than this).
Final Grade: 2.6/10 Pitiful