TV

‘The Righteous Gemstones’ Halo Report: Fathers And Sons And A Surprise Twist For The Ages

The Righteous Gemstones Halo Report is a weekly recap feature that assigns between zero and five halos to people, things, events, and general topics from each episode. There is very little to this beyond an excuse to highlight cool stuff from a good show and make jokes. And do crappy drawings of halos in MS Paint. We’re having fun.

ZERO HALOS

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UPROXX

Getting robbed at gunpoint by your wrestling promoter father

GEMSTONE
HBO

The theme of this week’s episode — and the entire season, really — was set right up front with another flashback, this time to Memphis in 1993, where a young Junior is itching to take over the family business from his father, only to be double-crossed and robbed at gunpoint by the devious old wrestling promoter. There are parallels here, all over the place: Jesse’s relationship with Eli, Baby Billy’s relationship with his unborn and grown children, both of whom were abandoned and the latter of whom we will extremely get back to shortly.

Please do not overlook the layers at play here. There are real things developing, real stories about sons and formidable fathers and the issues that can create for both. There is also, sometimes, a very silly fart joke. We’ll come back to that, too. It’s a wonderful television program. We are all quite blessed.

Various muscle men

GEMSTONE
HBO

I do not know what Torsten and the freshly evicted muscle men will do now that Kelvin and Keef have taken back the house, but I would not be opposed to a spinoff limited series about their adventures going forward. I choose to believe they will either join the circus or loop in with Junior’s wrestling circuit. Possibly both. Any excuse to, to quote Eli here, rip some phone books in half.

ONE HALO

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UPROXX

Junior

GEMSTONE
HBO

Two things worth noting when it comes to Junior this week:

  • It has been my position for a few weeks now that the motorcycle men were sent by the Lissons, not Junior, and it feels pretty good to have that theory seemingly validated, or at least zeroed in on with Junior denying it
  • I really want him to get his hands on that money his dad fled with, mostly because I want to see what he does with it

I love him very much.

Getting bossed around by the ghost of your sister

GEMSTONE
HBO

Baby Billy is a deadbeat and a kind of literal snake oil salesman now (legit laugh out loud from me when he said “No more Covid” straight into the camera while pushing his elixir), and he knows all that, but it can’t be fun to just be seeing visions of your saintly older sister pop up and tell you to stop being such a loser.

That said, it is not lost on me that what we had here was a kind of short-form version of A Christmas Carol where Baby Billy was visited by a spirit and decided to change his ways. Kind of. He’s kind of changing his ways. Maybe. None of this works out perfectly. If I’m being honest, I just wanted to put “A Christmas Carol starring Walton Goggins as Scrooge” into the universe. I feel okay about it.

TWO HALOS

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UPROXX

Baby Billy

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HBO

Good news and bad news here for Baby Billy. The good news is that he appears to be on the road to redemption, at least with Tiffany and the newest child, maybe. Probably. And that he attempted to make amends with the first child he abandoned. That’s good. Sort of.

The bad news is that he had to get punched in the face with a closed fist to do it. And that his trailer is held together with duct tape and bungee cords. It could be better. But there’s progres here. Again, probably. Maybe. It’s complicated.

Motorcycle ninjas

GEMSTONE
HBO

I like that they were broken out of jail by a second group of presumably more capable motorcycle ninjas. I want to know everything about them. And I suspect I will find out more at some point. But I cannot in good faith slot them any higher on this list because it was very rude to fart at Martin. He’s a good man. You should not fart at him.

Eli

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HBO

In no particular order:

  • Recovering from an assassination attempt
  • Told his family and Junior that he once disposed of the body of a crooked wrestling magnate by burying it under a rollercoaster
  • Is now kind of out there solving his own attempted murder

This is honestly too much to handle at once. Let the man take a nap.

THREE HALOS

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UPROXX

Jesse

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HBO

Eli agreed to give him the money for his big adventure land with the Lissons, which is what Jesse wanted. And, after a little tension at home about it all, Eli also agreed to let him take a more active role in the leadership going forward. Jesse is feeling pretty good right now, about that, at least.

The tricky part comes next, though. If I’m right and the Lissons are behind the various assassination attempts, then Jesse can really only go one of two ways: Betray his family for the promise of riches or seek revenge via blood and/or flesh. I hope it’s the second one for a lot of reasons but mostly because we’ve seen what happens when he tries to handle a gun.

Amber

GEMSTONE
HBO

Amber is a schemer and a survivor and she did not come this far to be pushed aside. I am honestly a little terrified of her. She could end up in charge of the whole operation one day. Do not cross Amber Gemstone.

Gideon

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HBO

I like that he was kind of strutting around this week after almost single-handedly taking down the motorcycle ninjas. Good for him. He’s earned this one. I hope he hears about their escape and hops on his dirtbike again and says “Daddy’s gotta go to work” like The Rock in Fate of the Furious and then straps on his helmet and tears off. Just make the rest of the season a full-on action movie. For me. Please.

FOUR HALOS

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UPROXX

Judy

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HBO

Watching Judy’s heart grow until it damn near burst out of her chest on that bus like The Grinch… that was a special moment. Edi Patterson is doing such incredible work this season. I know I say that every week but it needs to be said and I will not stop. Probably my favorite character and performance on the show, which is a real accomplishment when you consider things like who her character is married to and Walton Goggins just doing everything every week, up to and including meowing to drive home a point.

Give her an Emmy. And a million bucks. And a seafood dinner if she wants. She’s earned it all.

Aunt Tiffany

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HBO

What I like about this show is that they’ll make a slew of jokes about Tiffany being a hill person and stuff but then they’ll pay it all off by having her leap from a tree with the grace of a gymnast despite being about 14 months pregnant.

Look at her go.

BJ

GEMSTONE
HBO

The trick to fully enjoying BJ as a character is watching him do stuff in the background while other people are talking. There was the milk-swirling a few episodes ago and then a little veggies and hummus this week. He’s a sweet man. I still want him and Keef to open a detective agency.

FIVE HALOS

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UPROXX

Keef

GEMSTONE
HBO

Keef gets more done in mere seconds of screentime than most characters get done in entire seasons of television. Look at the GIF up in the muscle men blurb. I somehow missed it the first time through. Look at that sad little pathetic slap, like a cat batting at a ball of yarn. Between this and the thing where Eli called him “Queef”… yeah, five halos. He fascinates me. I want to see him preach at a full service someday. Imagine his face.

Kelvin

GEMSTONE
HBO

Gonna be tough to top “smashing your casts on a massive cross and then carrying it across a gauntlet in a show of strength and force to establish dominance and quash the rebellion of muscle men you were once the leader of” on the list of best character developments of 2022. I’m honestly happy for him, even if I did laugh a little when Torsten correctly pointed out that it was his house all along and he could have just, like, told them to leave. But good for him.

Just getting freaking Macaulay Culkin to pop up out of nowhere, holy crap

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HBO

A few notes here:

  • My biggest hope regarding Harmon going into this week was that he either led the motorcycle ninjas or became some sort of like leather jacket badass who ate apples using knives and stole money out of Salvation Army buckets, all of which proved to be a failure of imagination on my paint
  • I did not in one million years imagine I would ever get to see Macaulay Culkin closed-fist punch Walton Goggins in the mouth on any television show ever, let alone one of my favorites
  • I have been laughing about all of this pretty much non-stop since I first saw it and I do not expect to stop any time soon

It took all I had not to spoil this after I watched the screener and it will take even more joy to just like go shout about it in the middle of the mall this afternoon. I might get tossed in jail for disturbing the peace. If I do, please hop on a neon motorcycle and bust me out.

It’s not unreasonable.

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