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The ‘Righteous Gemstones’ Halo Report: The Plot Thickens Like Fancy Nancy’s Gravy

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.



Pissing off a character played by Eric Roberts

gemstones ERIC

I’ve watched enough movies and television shows in my life to know two things for sure: One, if you cross a character played by Eric Roberts, things are going to get real dicey for you real soon; two, Eric Roberts should be in more movies and television shows. He’s the best. I don’t know anyone who plays a slimeball as well as him. Anytime he shows up I’m like “Ooo buddy, here we go, things are about to get sleazy.” It’s thrilling to me. I can’t and won’t explain it.

Point being: Eli Gemstone is not going to be having fun for the foreseeable future. Anything could happen here. There’s a lingering chaos in the background. I’m really very excited. My only complaint about any of it is that they came so close to dropping a “you and I are not so different” in the car and then veered away from it. You can’t do that to me.

Clipping your jimmies

gemstones ELI

The thing about The Righteous Gemstones is that one character’s alibi for a murder can include an extended flashback sequence about bowling with a mobster and a crew of fast women and a manscaping mishap that leaves a prominent televangelist bleeding profusely from his nether regions and it can still somehow not be the funniest or weirdest scene in that particular 30-minute episode. We’ll get to BJ and his rollerblades soon, I promise. For now, I mean, prayers up for Dr. Gemstone’s… uh, gemstones.




gemstones TITUS

One on hand: Challenged Kelvin and got lippy and ended up crumpling under the weight of a massive cross during a failed test of physical strength that resulted in him getting locked in a wooden cage as punishment.

On the other hand: This moment, the ripping the phone book into the look of heavenly possession into the little still-possessed dance move, was an absolute delight.

gemstones TITUS

I worry about Titus.

Baby Billy


No Baby Billy this week. My thoughts on the situation are as follows:

  • Come on
  • Bring him in there
  • Do it
  • I miss him
  • Come on

Thank you.



Jesse Gemstone

gemstones CART1
gemstones CART2
gemstones CART3

Things are not going too great for Jesse. He’s making no real headway on his plans to branch out and/or takeover, he accused his father of murder and then had to listen to the jimmies-clipping story (maybe worse), his kids are plotting against him and/or leaving crusty drawers all over and/or being blonde sociopaths. He should be in the zero or one halo section, by any fair system of judgment.

And yet, the golf cart thing made me laugh enough to give him an extra halo. There are no rules here. Or maybe my omnipotence is going to my head. It’s probably fine.

Kelvin Gemstone’s alpha status

gemstones KELVIN

Kelvin is:

  • Getting sued for his Jesus Tower debacle
  • Getting yelled at by Eli
  • Getting challenged by his followers
  • Kind of running a cult?

This is a situation we will continue to monitor.



Pontius Gemstone

gemstones PONTIUS

As I mentioned above, all three of Jesse and Amber’s kids are maniacs. Gideon schemed with criminals to ruin the family last season. Abraham has his issues. But Pontius might be the real wild card here. I half-expect one of these episodes to open with him like just staring into a raging fire he built in the yard. A wild madness in his eyes. Maybe eating a popsicle a little too casually. He might murder someone just to see how it feels.

He fascinates and terrifies me. I want to follow him around school for a whole episode someday.

Riding a rollercoaster by yourself


See, this is one of those things that seems fun on paper, especially when you’re a kid. “When I grow up, I’m gonna build a whole amusement park with lots of rides and they’ll be all for me and no one else can come and I’m gonna ride the rollercoaster over and over all by myself.” We’ve all been or known one of those little brats.

The thing is, though, in practice… less fun and/or cool. Kind of disturbing, actually. Just riding the same rollercoaster over and over with no emotion in your face and no one to share it with. Sorrow in your soul that not even a loop-di-loop or two can cure. It’s borderline serial killer behavior. You can see why BJ was suspicious.

What I’m saying here is to be careful what you wish for. And also do not murder anyone. Those two things, mostly.



Judy Gemstone

gemstones JUDY

I must once again stop the discussion of the actual plot-based elements to the episode to point out how freaking hilarious Edi Patterson is. Every line gets delivered with a little extra sauce, every physical comedy bit goes a tiny bit sideways from where you expected. Look at her with that magnifying glass. I paused the episode and just started giggling when I saw it. It’s a remarkable piece of business, truly.

On the subject of the magnifying glass:

  • I like that she apparently just keeps one in her purse at all times in case something like this happens
  • I like that neither of her brothers questioned it for a second
  • This is actually not the first magnifying glass gag the show has done, as Jesse used one while looking at his laptop in season one

I choose to believe every member of the family has one. I need to see BJ use his. Immediately.


gemstones MARTIN

You absolutely need at least one person in your life who you can call in the middle of the night because you nicked your balls during an impromptu manscaping session to prepare for a one-stand with a woman you met in a bowling alley and now you need to get out of there. That’s a real friend. Martin is a solid dude.

Keef and sexual tension, generally

gemstones KEEF

I don’t know. What are we thinking here? You saw this moment. You saw the way Keef touched Kelvin tenderly a handful of times. You saw the way he rubbed his own butt while talking to Kelvin. You see Kelvin’s face in that GIF. It’s… it’s a lot.

And again, I don’t know. I legitimately thought they were going to kiss last night. I was kind of rooting for it. Keef so clearly wants something more from life and he seems resigned to the fact that he’ll never reach it and it makes me very sad. I don’t know if that look in his eyes is a romantic longing or a longing to be viewed as Kelvin’s equal one day or both. I love him and want him to be happy. I think he can do better than Kelvin, but still.



Fancy Nancy’s Chicken

gemstones GRAVY

I support any restaurant that has what appears to be a gravy fountain dispenser.


gemstones TORSTEN

It’s fun to think about this guy’s life. Just smashing bricks with his head and hands and brushing his hair and staying incredibly yoked at all times for Jesus Christ. Let’s go ahead and add him to the list of characters I want to follow for an entire episode. Give me Torsten’s Day Off and let me see what he’s out there getting up to. I have this image in my head of him like lifting up old ladies in the supermarket so they can reach items on the top shelf.

He could just grab the items himself. He knows that. But he wants to give them a little thrill. He’s a sweet man.

BJ, generally, but also specifically

gemstones BJ

The rollerblading, yes, of course. The baby blue outfit he wore to do it. The fact that he says he rollerblades as a way to stay swole. The little tricks he did and his weird two-wheeled rollerblades and the music selection and the thing where he wiped out spectacularly and got up and kept going like nothing happened. All of it. Perfect. Flawless. Exactly what I’m looking for in a television show.

And yet.

It wasn’t even my favorite part of this scene. Which seems impossible. But look at this screencap…

gemstones BJ

Do you understand what happened here? There was a whole conversation between the Gemstone children about documentary filmmakers and suspected murders and, apparently, BJ was just standing there, behind that tiny section of wall between the door and entrance, the whole time. I cannot possibly explain how funny that was to me. How long had he been back there? Was he just staring at the wall? It’s such a perfect little character note. Like, this tells me more about BJ than anything else anyone has said about him or watched him do.

And then…


gemstones bj

BJ slinking around doing little act-outs while telling the story. Hiding behind walls. Really getting into it and selling all the action like it’s a middle school Christmas pageant and not a story about rollerblades and rollercoasters and suspected revenge-based homicides.

He’s a wonderful and pure soul.

We must protect him.