Season 2 of The Righteous Gemstones unravelled a shocking conspiracy that got even deadlier when Eli’s past from Memphis returned to haunt him.
WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for the first five episodes of The Righteous Gemstones, now available on HBO.
Season 2 of The Righteous Gemstones Throwing fans for a loop as the backstory to Eli (John Goodman) was revealed. It was discovered before he met Aimee-Leigh and built this Christian empire, he worked as a criminal enforcer for Glendon and Junior decades ago. He beat people to a pulp, moonlighting for them once he clocked out of his job on the Memphis wrestling circuit as the Maniac Kid. However, when these demons resurfaced and Eli’s throne was threatened by a nosy reporter, things got out of hand with a lethal conspiracy arising. Unfortunately, it got even deadlier, threatening to destroy everything the Gemstones created.
It focused on a journalist, Thaniel (Jason Schwartzman), who came in from New York to do a piece on the family. He’s outed Christian cults, capitalists, tax evaders and how these churches come off like hypocrites, trying to cover up their sins while making millions off their congregation.
Interestingly, Thaniel didn’t specify which Gemstone he had dirt on, hinting he possessed intel on the children — Jesse, Judy and Kelvin — who are all fighting to succeed their dad. In addition, Jesse’s son, Gideon, was involved in a robbery and murder cover-up along with his uncle, Baby Billy, in Season 1, so there was way too many skeletons in the closet for Eli to keep track of.
Sadly, Jesse, trying to be leader to ascend the throne, took the siblings, only to find Thaniel dead when they went to confront him, as well as a slew of other guys. They panicked, fleeing and thinking their dad, Eli, did it. However, Eli confessed the blood they found on him was from a date that went bad, where he cut his testicles shaving. He wasn’t into murder, and thought they’d just use their lawyers to deal with Thaniel.
This left them confused as to who’d kill the reporter, and who were the other guys. Eli was worried because it’d mean more eyes coming to town to investigate Thaniel going missing, as well as these other goons. What made it even worse was it seemed like Junior had a hand in it all. He returned to befriend Eli days before, but the pastor cut the cord, realizing Junior was all about milking him for cash. The problem is, Junior has so much dirt on Eli and he was seen wielding a gun, prepping to possibly come after the Gemstones.
He might have found intel how his dad came to blackmail Eli years ago and got killed, which could be another piece of leverage for Junior to use for his own extortion. Or worse yet, being a simple man, Junior may just want revenge. Either way, Thaniel’s conspiracy has a lot of parts intersecting, and what’s clear is it will end in event more bloodshed.
New episodes of The Righteous Gemstones air Sundays at 10pm ET/PT on HBO and HBO Max.
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