Is Eli Gemstone Dead In ‘The Righteous Gemstones’?

Episode six of the second season of The Righteous Gemstones, entitled “Never Avenge Yourselves, But Leave it to the Wrath,” ended on a doozy: Was Eli Gemstone (John Goodman) really shot to death? The patriarch of the evangelical powerhouse family was beset upon by a group dubbed by Danny McBride’s Jesse Gemstone as the “Cycle Ninjas” — mysterious black-clad assailants on motorcycles who, alas, use uzis, not blades. Eli was shot while driving alone at night along an otherwise deserted road. He could have been left for dead.

So is Eli Gemstone really dead?

The answer, as revealed on episode seven, “And Infants Shall Rule Above Them,” is: Nope. He miraculously made it. The episode opens with Eli safe in a hospital, in a wing his three sometime-screw-up children rented out entirely for him. Eli is comatose and when the episode begins, there’s much anxiety over whether or not he’ll pull through. There’s so much anxiety, in fact, that Jesse, his wife Amber (Cassidy Freeman), his sister Judy (Edi Patterson), and her fiancé BJ (Tim Baltz) wind up in an epic puke-a-thon before the opening credits roll.

Then again, who are the “Cycle Ninjas”? So far it’s unclear. They first appeared in episode four, “As to How they Might Destroy Him,” attempting (but failing) to kill Jesse and Amber. Jesse seems to suspect Junior, but it seems unlikely. With two more episodes left, we’re bound to find a surprising answer as to who would want to wipe out the Gemstone family. Or maybe they’ll save that one for the recently greenlit third season.