The Simpsons Season 24 Review “Pulpit Friction”

Is “Pulpit Friction” the first time a couch gag has led directly into the plot of an episode on The Simpsons? I don’t have an encyclopedic knowledge of the series, but it certainly feels unique. And the opening segment, all stemming from that broken couch, is a lot of fun. It’s basically an extended montage of the bedbugs spreading across town.

What that leads to, in the plotting style of classic The Simpsons, is one larger plot, and a secondary one. The main plot involves a charismatic, pop culture obsessed new reverend, voiced by guest star Edward Norton. Norton’s Rev. Hooper is a lot of fun, throwing in references to TV shows whenever he can, and generally being a little too eager to please.

Homer’s newfound role as a deacon is almost fun, and Bart’s subsequent plan as well, although both include at their centers musical montages, which feels both excessive and lazy. (If I had to keep one, it’d be the one set to “Day by Day,” if only because I have a strange fondness for that song.) There are some good jokes nestled in there, though – I particularly enjoyed the off-hand reference to a bingo riot last year. (“God called all their numbers that day.”)

Oh, and also, Marge loses her wedding dress, and Lisa announces she’s never going to get married, then helps Marge find the wedding dress and backs off from her previous declaration, if only a little. It’s a whisp of a thing, just giving the two Simpson women something to do for two scenes, but it fills that time well enough, and honestly, more Krusty jokes are usually welcome. (The vodka in the prank flower being the final identifying detail was nice.) All in all, “Pulpit Friction” makes for an episode of The Simpsons that’s just a shade or two above average, but fully enjoyable.