Get ready, folks, because it's time for a review of another episode of The Righteous Gemstones. And you know what that means – it's mid-season episode time! These episodes are always a blast from the past, so buckle up and get ready to take a stroll down history lane in Episode 4: "Interlude III."
The year is 2000, and the stage is Rogers High School. Judy is a brash, hot-headed, and obnoxious teenager who believes the world is her playground - but when she attempts to seduce the school's heartthrob and faces humiliating rejection, her deep-seated insecurities bubble to the surface.
Determined not to be walked over, Judy takes matters into her own hands and storms into band practice, where she exacts revenge by destroying her jilted lover's saxophone, an angry gesture that's a lot more symbolic than direct.
Meanwhile, the show takes us on a trip down memory lane and revisits the infamous Y2K scare that had everyone (well, at least some) on edge, fearing the imminent end of the world. It was a time when fringe groups seized the opportunity to stoke fear among the masses, capitalizing on this widespread panic. And you know who played their cards just right? Aimee-Leigh and Eli Gemstone!
Now, we all know that the Gemstones have a knack for greed, but this particular episode showcases their unparalleled capacity for avarice. Using their 'trustworthy' broadcast ministry, the Gemstone couple rakes in obscene wealth by grifting their devoted parish members with so-called survival kits.
Oh, they preached it as an absolute necessity to brave the turning of the millennium. But little did their followers know that it was all part of an elaborate scheme to line their own pockets. Tragically, May-May's husband Peter is among those who believe the Gemstones' con and invests all their hard-earned savings in those very survival kits (poor Peter, he was so innocent and trusting back then).
As the new millennium dawns and the anticipated chaos fails to materialize, Peter realizes that he is now the owner of a mountain of worthless survival kits. Naturally, Peter's confession to May-May doesn't go down well. She goes on a rampage, branding the Gemstones as embodiments of evil and turning down their only chance of unloading their dead stock.
Desperation can drive a man to do unthinkable things in the name of protecting his family. In a last-ditch effort, Peter decides to take matters into his own hands and attempts to rob a bank. Unfortunately, his lack of expertise in bank heists becomes glaringly apparent as he ends up shot in the face (explaining his iconic badass scar) and behind prison bars.
Finally, we have the answers to the burning questions surrounding the complicated relationship between May-May and Aimee Leigh. These two women, while sharing certain similarities, couldn't be more different at their core. Both are drawn to the allure of a simpler life, but it is in the execution where their paths diverge.
May-May, with her fiery spirit, embraces a lifestyle of utmost simplicity. She goes to great lengths to ensure her family lives in destitution, with the sole source of entertainment for her children being hunting and crafting traps.
On the other hand, we have Aimee Leigh, a woman not blinded by naivety. She fully acknowledges the Y2K scam they orchestrated and, burdened by guilt, yearns for redemption. She longs for a chance to make amends and lead a modest life, but she knows that her family, deeply entrenched in their ways, may never accept such a shift in lifestyle.
A major shoutout to the talented young actors who have brought the Gemstone kids to life in those epic flashback episodes, particularly J. Gaven Wilde, who plays a young Jesse with great finesse. There's something about his performance that almost makes you feel like you're watching a mini-Danny McBride in action (that scene where he's rocking a Darkman outfit and strikes a pose before jumping over a fence was pure bliss). When the audience can fully believe in the younger versions of the Gemstone siblings, it makes the storytelling all the more powerful.
Now that we have all the details on why Peter is embroiled in this intense feud with the Gemstone family, we can expect some intense family showdowns in the next four episodes. The battle between the Gemstones and the Montgomerys is just getting started, and it's going to be one wild ride.