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The Simpsons - Warrin' Priests (Part Two) - Review: Will History Remember Another Two-Part Episode?

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*NOTE – This review may contain spoilers.

"Dear God, please let The Simpsons never end. Amen."

After a dismal first half, the conclusion to the two-parter makes the wait worth it as we're given a great half hour of comedy to enjoy.

Being one of the very few hour-long stories in the show's history, we see one of the most iconic hour long storylines referenced when we remind ourselves who shoots Mr. Burns within the opening of the episode. Is FOX attempting to resurrect the frenzy of those episodes? With the occasionally serious tones and the aforementioned gag, it seems so.

Fortunately, they're on the right track this week.

What this part of the tale does well is that it allows Lisa, a character we properly know and enjoy, be the most prominent voice, as opposed to last week where Reverend Lovejoy plays that role. The first part forces a character whose screen time peaks at a quick gag, whereas in part two we see somebody that has many episodes about her under her belt. Throughout the episode Lisa has great lines ("[the Bible is] good, but I have a few notes") whilst allowing the story to naturally tell itself through her involvement; she is the show's moral compass. She sees things through an unbiased eye (through the most part) and her intentions are consistently good. And here we see her trying to help Bode whilst aiming to keep the popularity of the church on the rise. She brings the humour and the story progression that the first part fails to deliver.

By allowing Reverend Lovejoy to call shotgun this week, we quickly see him as the ill-intentioned yet easily enjoyable supporting character we know him as. He isn't taking up unnecessary time so that we get to know him as the protagonist of the story (thanks, part one!) without boring us. He is the vengeful, ill-intentioned, scheming Priest we know him as, and we love it. By the end of the episode we don't take his side, but we get the satisfactory feeling of knowing that everyone is back to how we usually have it, which is expected and required for pretty much every story.

When cartoons take on religion it becomes sticky territory, but 'The Simpsons' is able to hold a decent debate without anything notably offensive. Bode spends the episode putting a positive spin on religion, aiming to allow the Springfielders to see it as something that is made to connect others.

That being said, Ned's very clear anger feels misplaced as although he is known to be bias towards the church, it's odd that he disagrees with Bode's message. When Bode expresses the real meaning of religion, it doesn't steer anywhere away from Ned's traditional values as a Christian and a human, so it appears as though the show just needs somebody more entertaining than Lovejoy to oppose the newbie, and Ned unfortunately is chosen to do so. It's an odd choice, but as he is the only prominent religious voice left, it's not easy to pick somebody else.

This episode makes up for the sub-par beginning, but it doesn't prove worthy enough to be as iconic as the 'Who Shot Mr. Burns?' two-parter. It's a great standalone story that can hold up, but everything we find out in part one could easily be told within the first five (or less) minutes of part two. That being said, "Warrin' Priests (Part Two)" is one of the best episodes in recent memory, and is worth putting up with its prequel to really enjoy it as it deserves to be.

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