Attention! Contains spoilers for the second season of The Righteous Gemstones!
Season 2 of Righteous Gems, episode 5 “Interlude II” laid many important plot points for the future of the Gemstone family—most importantly, that Eli Gemstone, the wealthy pastor of the megachurch, may have killed someone and then stolen $3 million. “Interlude II”, like the fifth episode of the first season, “Interlude”, takes place before the rest of the show, which means that it sheds light on some parts of the characters’ past, leaving other parts shrouded in mystery. “Righteous Gems” is full of characters doing mean deeds, but if Eli really did what the series hints at, this one could get a greedy pie.
The Righteous Gemstones follows the hedonistic Gemstone family, consisting of father Eli and children Jesse, Judy and Calvin, who are trying to keep their family and their ministry together. Many consider the two “Interlude” episodes in The Righteous Jewel series to be the best in the series, as they take place in the past, providing deeper character development and context for the rest of the series. The most recent episode, Interlude II, follows Eli Gemstone in 1993 as he tries to secure funding for an expansion of the Gem Rescue Center and confronts a dubious figure from his past, Glendon Marsh Sr. Marsh, Eli’s former wrestling manager and criminal organizer, offers Eli one million dollars in cash if he washes $3 million through his church. Reluctantly rejecting the offer, an armed and angry Marsh shows up at the Gemstone complex on Christmas Night to confront Eli, who has taken his accountant Martin hostage. During the confrontation, Eli’s father shoots Marsh with a shotgun, killing him. Deciding that they should hide his body, Eli and Martin cover Marsh’s body with cement, hiding it deep under the Gemstone Amusement Park.
Like his character in “Oh Brother, Where Are You?”, it seems that John Goodman’s Eli Gemstone is using his religion as a cover to increase his wealth, no matter what crimes he has to commit to do so. Since Eli is still thriving and serving as a pastor in his church these days, when the rest of the series takes place, it can be assumed that no one has solved his crimes. However, it is not known what happened to a large amount of money. It is unlikely that the money simply disappeared, and it can be assumed that Ali and Martin wanted to cover their tracks, which led to the possibility that Ali and Martin simply stole the money.
How Righteous Gemstones Teased That Eli Stole $3 Million
While his son-in-law Baby Billy has learned the lesson of redemption, committing this crime shows that Ali still has a lot to strive for in this department. Offering him money, Glendon Marsh brought a large sports bag with money. Obviously, a bag with three million dollars in cash will be very suspicious in any case, and it is almost impossible for the police to live for almost thirty years without finding an empty bag just lying around. Throughout the episode, it becomes clear that Eli was in great need of money and decided not to take it only because of opposition from his wife Amy-Lee. However, the church somehow found the money to build a new campus in Gemstone, so it’s possible that Eli and Martin took the money and, as he suspected, gave it to the church as an anonymous tax-free tithe.
Like many other HBO Max shows, “Righteous Gems” is filled with compelling mysteries, some of which can be explained by the fact that Eli Gemstone stole money. For example, Glendon Marsh’s son and Eli’s old friend Glendon “Junior” Marsh seems to be trying to get close to Eli again. Although it seemed that Junior was up to something else, the end of “Interlude II” confirms this by showing Junior flicking a gun while looking at photos of Eli and his father. The younger one may have found out what happened to his father and his condition, which prompted him to take revenge on those who covered up his father’s murder. It seems that Eli had the means, motive, and opportunity to use Marsh’s death to his advantage, and the fact that he stole $3 million explains many of the mysteries that persisted in the second season of “Righteous Gems.”