Friday, May 24, 2013

The Father, the Son, and the Holy Guest Star (S16, E21-356)

Something about this seems so absurd, but it could just be me.
Plot Summary
The school hosts a medieval festival with everyone playing a role of some sort.  Willie is forced to be the village idiot, though, and becomes so angry about it he exacts revenge by stuffing a giant pie full of rats that get all over the place.  Willie gets away with it too, as Principal Skinner places blame on the act on Bart, and expels him from the school.  The family frantically searches for someplace to have Bart learn, and decide to take him to a Catholic school, as its one of the cheaper alternatives.

Bart gets rocked by one of those strict nuns, but he starts to take a liking to the school when he befriends Father Sean, a rather down-to-earth priest.  With Sean's help, Bart takes a liking not just to the school, but the entire Catholic faith, which begins to worry Marge.  She sends Homer to the school to have a talk with Sean, but thanks to a pancake dinner and bingo, among other things, Sean converts Homer to Catholicism as well.

Marge begins to worry, especially when her Protestant friends Ned Flanders and Reverend Lovejoy 'remind' her that if things stay as they are, Homer and Bart will go to a different heaven than she will.  Upset, Marge goes to the Catholic school and pulls Bart straight out.  She takes him to a Protestant fair of some sort, and Bart takes a liking to the paintball that's offered there for some reason.  Homer and Father Sean catch up to Bart, wielding paintball guns of their own, but are forced to a standoff with Lovejoy and Flanders, also holding paintball guns.  Bart intervenes, reminding everyone that, hey, Protestants and Catholics are both Christians, and there's no reason for the two to be at odds.  The four men come to terms, and Bart begins to teach tolerance and understanding.  A thousand years later, two warring factions continue their battle, one side believing in Bart's message of tolerance, the other in Bart's message of understanding, once again proving that people will go to war over anything.

Quick Review
Go figure, a heavy-handed satire on Catholics and Protestants wasn't funny at all.  The two underlying messages of the episode ("you're both still Christians, you idiots" and "people will fight over anything, religion just happens to be part of anything"), were well understood, but again the 'jokes' in the episode were awful nearly half the time and often cringeworthy as well.  This disaster of an episode is perhaps a microcosm of what has (mostly) been a disaster of a season.

Final Score: 4.4

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