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The Righteous Gemstones: “Burn for Burn, Wound for Wound, Stripe for Stripe”

by Ellie Wilkin-Smith
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The Gemstones are under fire again, but its actual fire this time as the opening sequence shows Judy, Jesse and Kelvin each getting kidnapped by members of Peter’s (Steve Zahn) church for incels and he plans on holding them for a hefty ransom, finally getting the riches he has desired for all of these years. But in an episode named after a verse from the book of Exodus, one can only assume that the result of such an act will be pretty volatile.

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In one of the highest ratest episodes of the season so far, the best moments come with Jesse, Judy and Kelvin locked up in a silo while they await their fate. These scenes provide some hilarity as they are literally forced to come together to escape. Its not money or success that is their driving force, but literal survival which allows them to reach a little deeper into their cold, dead hearts. However, don’t expect some kind of emotional, heart wrenching scenes where they discover their true selves and a deep routed love for one another, the Gemstone children are horrible people so it only gets as deep as it can. Every action is still propelled by each ones own self preservation, if they have to feign a deeper kind of love for one another in the meantime so that they seem to be noble, its only so that one of them can be seen as the bravest. When they are actually face to face with death, their true colours shine through.

tim-baltz-cassidy-freeman-skyler-gisondo-1024x683Once they learn that Eli isn’t going to pay the ransom, Peter decides to frog march the children out of the silo and give them a chance at delivering a sermon to the congregation. Something that they are paid millions of dollars to do, something that millions of people watch them so. But without rehearsals or scripts, they struggle to bring it together and are humiliated by Peter and his gang. Meanwhile, the hero of the season lurks in the shadows. Gideon (Skylar Gisondo) has quietly been in the background of most episodes as Eli’s driver and after hearing what has happened to his father, he takes himself to the compound and heroically rescues the three in the most Gemstone-esque way possible.

With two episodes left, both of which are airing back to back on the 30th July, there are a lot of unanswered questions. Now that the children are liberated from captivity, will they make any changes? Have the finally bonded in a way that the church can be saved? We still don’t know what Amy-Leigh did to May May in the past that caused her to chase her (the scene right at the beginning of the season, which I assume is going to anchor everything together) and finally, what about the Simkins? The family we met in episode one who are the rival family who took Dusty Daniels endorsement?

The final two episodes of The Righteous Gemstones air on Sunday 30th July.

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