The Father, the Son and the Holy Guest Star
Couch gag: The family are balloons who drift towards the couch. The Homer balloon scares the cat, who claws and pops him.
Director: Michael Polcino
Liam Neeson as Father Sean
Synopsis: After being expelled for a prank he didn’t pull, Bart is enrolled into a Catholic school where he and Homer are seduced by the religion.
Discussion: Hot on the heels of Homer predicting Armageddon comes this Catholic romp. This episode originally aired way back in 2005 just after the death of the very popular Pope, John Paul II. I must say that this depiction of Catholicism isn’t particularly offensive, but you know how sensitive people are when famous people die.
Anyhoo, the last 5 minutes of this ep are the best. From the moment Bart steps into the paintball game, the episode shines. It’s almost enough to make you forget how stupid the previous 15 minutes were.
Now, Catholicism isn’t very exciting and has some very strict rules, which Homer disagrees with (“No meat on Fridays? What do they eat, lightbulbs?”) but he’s seduced by the pancakes and bingo. Let’s face it, it’s probably the only way you could get Homer into religion. I don’t see Bart’s motivation for joining the religion though…
Lisa’s observance about religion is about what you’d expect from her, but the real shining point is right at the end when, 1000 years in the future, a great battle emerges between two factions of Bart’s teachings are fighting over whether he was a messenger of peace and understanding or love and tolerance. This sequence is the biting satire one expects from The Simpsons and the perfect way to finish a season.