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  1. #1
    Chatting Simpsons Since '93 Brad Lascelle's Avatar
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    Rate & Review: "Todd, Todd, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?" (ZABF04)



    Season 31, Episode 9
    Original Airdate: December 1, 2019
    Writers: Tim Long & Miranda Thompson
    Director: Chris Clements
    Showrunner: Al Jean
    Synopsis: In this Flanders family-focused episode, Todd blames God for the death of his mother and rejects his faith - causing great distress for Ned, who sends him to live with the Simpsons in an attempt to scare him back into God's arms.

    Previous R&R

    R&R Poll Average Score: 2.50 / 5 (as of December 1st @ 9:24pm / 2 votes)

    Users Who Have Voted & Their Score for the Episode
    Frankbags {3} / John95 {2}
    Last edited by Brad Lascelle; 12-01-2019 at 06:24 PM.
    SEASON 31 RANKINGS
    The Winter of Our Monetized Content - 2/5 / Go Big or Go Homer - 2.5/5 / The Fat Blue Line - 3.5/5
    THOH XXX = Danger Things - 2.5/5 / Heaven Swipes Right - 1.5/5 / When Hairy Met Slimy - 2/5
    Gorillas on the Mast - 4/5 / Marge the Lumberjill - 2.5/5 / Livin' la Pura Vida - 5/5
    THANKSGIVING OF HORROR = A-Gobble-ypto - 3/5 / The Fourth Thursday After Tomorrow - 5/5 / The Last Thanksgiving - 3.5/5
    Todd, Todd, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me? - ?/5 / Bobby, It's Cold Outside - ?/5

  2. #2
    Junior Camper Frankbags's Avatar
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    An interesting concept, with a respectable execution.
    I didn't care for all the 4th wall breaking flanders did but the story was pretty good overall.
    Most jokes didn't really land with me.

    At the moment I'm giving it a strong 3/5.

  3. #3
    R.I.P. Caroll Spinney John95's Avatar
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    Eh, it was OK. Though definitely a godsend when compared to last week. Couldn't help but feel like this episode would've resonated a bit more had this topic been done around the 13th to 15th seasons and not nearly two decades after Maude's death.

    The main thing I'll be taking away from this is how for once they actually dealt with Maude's death besides for the sake of a tasteless joke to which I can't recall there being anything of here. That said, it is somewhat lessened by how this is immediately a week after one of the worst examples of her death being played for laughs (and don't say that it wasn't canon or that she's not real, I don't want to hear that crap!).

    2/5
    Family Guy Season 18 Ratings - Yacht Rocky: 1.5/5 Bri-Da: 2.5/5 Absolutely Babulous: 1.5/5 Disney's The Reboot: 1.5/5 Cat Fight: 1.5/5 Peter & Lois' Wedding: .5/5 Heart Burn: 1.5/5 Shanksgiving: .5/5 Christmas is Coming: TBD
    American Dad! Season 15 Ratings - Fantasy Baseball: 1.5/5 I Am the Jeans: The Gina Lavetti Story: 0/5 Stan & Francine & Connie & Ted: 0/5 Rabbit Ears: 1.5/5 Jeff and the Dank Ass Weed Factory: 1/5 Lost Boys: 0/5 Shark?!: 1/5 The Long March: 2/5 The Hall Monitor and the Lunch Lady: 0/5 Wild Women Do: 2/5 An Irish Goodbye: 3/5 Stompe le Monde: 0/5 Mom Sauce: 0/5 Hamerican Dad!: 0/5 Demolition Daddy: 0/5 Pride Before the Fail: .5/5 Enter Stanman: 0/5 No Weddings and a Funeral: 0/5 Eight Fires: 1.5/5 The Hand That Rocks the Rogu: 0/5 Downtown: TBD Cheek to Cheek: A Stripper's Story: TBD

  4. #4
    Pin Pal bboynexus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John95 View Post
    The main thing I'll be taking away from this is how for once they actually dealt with Maude's death besides for the sake of a tasteless joke to which I can't recall there being anything of here.
    Bart Has Two Mommies would like to have a word.

    Quote Originally Posted by John95 View Post
    That said, it is somewhat lessened by how this is immediately a week after one of the worst examples of her death being played for laughs (and don't say that it wasn't canon or that she's not real, I don't want to hear that crap!).
    It was non-canon and she's not real.
    SEASON 31 GRADES

    The Winter of Our Monetized Content - 3/5 / Go Big or Go Homer - 2.5/5 / The Fat Blue Line - 3/5
    Treehouse of Horror XXX - 2/5 / Gorillas on the Mast - 2.5/5 / Marge the Lumberjill - 2/5
    Livin' La Pura Vida - 4.5/5 / Thanksgiving of Horror - 5/5 / Todd, Todd, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me? - 3.5/5
    Bobby, It's Cold Outside - ?/5 / Hail to the Teeth - ?/5

  5. #5
    R.I.P. Caroll Spinney John95's Avatar
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    @bboynexus, Yeah, well that's why I said "For once" as that episode (which I honestly don't even like) was probably the last (if not only) time before now where it was played for actual emotion.

    By that logic, none of us should give a shit about any of the characters as they're "Not real"!

  6. #6
    Pin Pal bboynexus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John95 View Post
    By that logic, none of us should give a shit about any of the characters as they're "Not real"!
    There's a healthy middle ground somewhere in between those polar extremes. It's not hard to find it.

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  8. #7
    Here I come, world! Financial Panther's Avatar
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    Well damn, this could have turned out a lot better. As it turned out, almost everyone except Todd turned out to be a big jerk in the episode. Todd questioning his faith was definitely new ground, and I’m glad the writers decided to try it. But I wasn’t a fan of Ned’s anger toward Todd, although I can understand it. There needed to be a conflict among the family and reason to kick him out. But what really bugged me was Homer, Marge, and Lisa. Lisa was intent on converting Todd to Buddhism and was a real jerk about it, and Homer and Marge didn’t want him there because they were uncomfortable having sex with him the house. What the hell? That reminded me of Catch ‘Em if You Can when Homer and Marge tried to escape the kids so they could fulfill their selfish desires.

    The episode with its serious nature was understandably light in the jokes department, and that didn’t really bother me because of the subject matter. But I also think it had a real missed opportunity when Homer and Todd were on the bench and Homer talked about how he lost his mother. I would have loved to see some bonding between Homer and Todd there and have the rest of the episode maybe have Homer and Todd try to get over the losses of their parents together. Instead, we got a pretty flimsy conclusion where Homer and Ned were hit by a car and Bart and Todd just said quick prayers and their dads were revived. That was incredibly unsatisfying. The ending with Buddha scolding Lisa was good for a smirk.

    A huge disappointment of what could have been a great foray into Todd’s and Homer’s losses. I’ll give it a 2/5.
    Favorite and least favorite by season
    1. Krusty Gets Busted There’s No Disgrace Like Home 2. Bart Gets an F Dead Putting Society 3. Homer at the Bat Like Father, Like Clown 4. Brother From the Same Planet Krusty Gets Kancelled 5. Cape Feare Lady Bouvier’s Lover 6. Homer Badman Another Simpsons Clip Show 7. King-Size Homer Lisa the Iconoclast 8. Homer’s Enemy El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer 9. Bart Carny The Trouble With Trillions 10. Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo Homer Simpson in: “Kidney Trouble” 11. Guess Who’s Coming to Criticize Dinner? Hello Gutter, Hello Fadder 12. HOMЯ Tennis the Menace 13. Tales From the Public Domain She of Little Faith 14. The Dad Who Knew Too Little Helter Shelter 15. I, Annoyed Grunt)-bot Bart-Mangled Banner 16. A Star is Torn On a Clear Day I Can’t See My Sister 17. My Fair Laddy Bonfire of the Manatees 18. The Haw-Hawed Couple You Kent Always Say What You Want 19. Funeral for a Fiend All About Lisa 20. Gone Maggie Gone The Good, the Sad and the Drugly 21. The Bob Next Door The Color Yellow 22. Donnie Fatso Love is a Many Strangled Thing 23. The Falcon and the D’ohman A Totally Fun Thing That Bart Will Never Do Again 24. Hardly Kirk-ing Moonshine River 25. The War of Art What to Expect When Bart’s Expecting 26. Sky Police Let’s Go Fly a Coot 27. Halloween of Horror Lisa With an ‘S’ 28. There Will Be Buds Moho House 29. Springfield Splendor Throw Grampa From the Dane


  9. #8


    Coming into this all I really knew about Todd was that he didn't want any damn vegetables. Now I have to say I like him as a character. His crisis of faith was believable ( as someone who lost their dad as a tween, I can understand the sadness when you can't remember the face of someone you loved.) I really wish they'd done more to connect Homer and Todd as both loved their mothers. But the story was pretty good, could have done without all the singing and I laughed at the spider in Moe's bar and Hibbert's reason for becoming a doctor. 3/5, not quite enough for a 4 but one I wouldn't mind rewatching sometime.
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  11. #9
    Sub-mediocre artist Venomrabbit's Avatar
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    Uh, wow. In all honesty after last week I was expecting to have no patience for this one but... maybe I was already in a good mood coming in but I sure as hell didn't hate it.

    In a way, I find it in a similar boat to Gorillas on the Mast, where a bit of the plotting was weak... well more accurately, a lot of folks weren't too likeable, particularly Ned but Marge felt like she was being too harsh and, while Lisa's had a track record of being pretty bad lately, it's not as much as usual and she at least got some pushback from Todd.

    Speaking of, for someone who was mostly just "short Rod" he was actually pretty engaging, especially when he renounces his faith. And while it would have been nice to have Todd and Homer end up bonding more I think there's a lot in the third act that did actually affect me. Ah, I'm just soft but I appreciate heart-kicking, I mean done well, and seeing Homer and Mona finally get some closure as well as Maude's spirit tucking her boys in delivered. On top of that even with his limited moments Bart was pretty great too (especially pretending he wasn't praying for Homer's safety, n'aww)

    ... but more than anything this might have been the funniest I've found an episode in a long time. From Kearney's beliefs about projections, omnicient Todd, Bart's riddles and absolutely Jessica Lovejoys disaster of a ballet recital (pretty sure out of the regulars, Bart's the only one any good at it), Tim's exasperation ("seriously, are any of them good?"), Bernice trying to halt the recital, the "keep boy on leash" sign Moleman's revenge, there's a lot that got more than just a chuckle out of me.

    It's an easy 4.5/5 for me, with some of the other characterization issues stopping it from being a 5 but... for the sake of the poll? Fuck it, rounding 5/5 for one of the most enjoyable experiences from the show in years!


  12. #10
    Pin Pal bboynexus's Avatar
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    I really enjoyed aspects of this and I find myself agreeing with just about everything @Venomrabbit has said. There were flashes of brilliance throughout Todd, Todd, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?, but some sloppiness prevent those from cohering. The focus on Todd was fresh and inspired, the direction was stellar once again, and bloody hell it was funny. Genuinely, some of the sharpest comedic sequences and laugh-out-loud one-liners in a very, very long time. Homer in particular was on fire. Unfortunately, there were some poor characterisation choices that diminished what might otherwise have been a really wonderful examination of Todd, his family and their faith. Ned was the worst offender - showing and earning very little sympathy. I don't normally find Lisa that objectionable, but she was a bit on the nose here. It felt excessively harsh and a bit tone-deaf that Marge would call Todd a 'twerp' as well. I liked the ending sequence - great use of Maude and Mona. I just wish the episode had slowed down a little more on those occasional sombre moments to give them some extra weight and that the characterizations were less mean-spirited.

    I'll score this a tentative 4/5 rounded up from a 3.5. There are just a few too many egregious tonal and character elements that undermine the episode and its subject matter. On the plus side, this makes it three decent weeks in a row which is a nice little turnaround after what I consider the worst start to any season of the show.
    Last edited by bboynexus; 12-05-2019 at 10:15 PM. Reason: Amended grade to reflect episode flaws

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  14. #11
    Sub-mediocre artist Venomrabbit's Avatar
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    I think with Ned, it might have been stronger if it was more apparent that faith was his way of coping with Maude's loss and that's why it was such a hot button to him.

    As for Lisa, well, it didn't bother me too much. There's been a lot of really jerkass moments from her lately (bruising and bloodying Bart over insulting Homer, laughing at him being torn down and reduced to tears, making a mockery of her family again, and so on) but this time, it's a little more bearable. Mostly since unlike most examples, there is actually a bit of pushback against her (from Todd and Buddha), kinda like I had no problems with her in Lisa's Rival. To me, it's mostly a problem when they act like she did nothing wrong or isn't remotely punished, or vice versa where other characters get treated in horrible ways despite not doing anything to earn it (or even if there is a "karma" argument, going way overboard) so, this is fair enough. Have a character act like a jerkass if you want, just own it and maybe have some consequences like in this one.

    Marge calling Todd a twerp though, ouch. It IS things like that which made my rating a round-up rather than a straight 5.


  15. #12
    Pin Pal bboynexus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Venomrabbit View Post
    I think with Ned, it might have been stronger if it was more apparent that faith was his way of coping with Maude's loss and that's why it was such a hot button to him.
    Yes, I had this very thought as well while watching. The episode seems to hint that Ned's fundamentalism (at least as portrayed in this episode specifically) is a coping mechanism and that, aside from his kids, it's just about the only thing he has of any real meaning. But it's only the vaguest hint which isn't enough to compensate for his lack of empathy.

  16. #13
    don't quite cover all CousinMerl's Avatar
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    A pretty decent episode. The plot of Todd having dreaming of his Maude and missing her so much to the point of losing his faith in God & Ned being distraught over it and trying to cope with it while Todd is sent to stay with the Simpsons until he regains his faith I was interested in since it was first announced weeks ago (not only do I find new Ned episodes interesting but Todd has been a really overlooked and kinda flat character and him getting time to shine made it even more interesting). Having watched it now, I think it was an alright one. I liked the Flanders' focus, accented by the special Ned & family-styled opening (which was pretty entertaining) and the choral elements that narrated part of the story (a choice I can completely get behind) and it made the episode feel different. I can understand why some aren't impressed by it as it wasn't perfect for sure (and heavily religious themes do indeed turn some away) but I enjoyed it for what it was.

    I thought the story flowed pretty well, starting with Ned, Rod & Todd in their home, with the dreams they had and later reminiscing about Maude which leads to the church scene where Todd renounces his faith and goes atheist. The conflict between Ned and Todd was interesting and while they maybe overdid how upset and actually pretty angry Ned was to the point of wanting Todd at the Simpsons to scare him back to being a Christian again I could honestly understand him (and this isn't the first time he's been portrayed as extreme so it wasn't a surprise) & Todd's internal crisis was the best part; you really wanted him to find himself and his way back again. Todd at the Simpson house and interacting with the family members had it's moments; such as Bart taking him to see Jimbo, Kearney, Dolph & Nelson and them talking about his belief issue, Homer trying to cheer him up, Todd overhearing everything I liked too and Homer (and Marge never being able to snuggle) & even Lisa trying to get him to take up Buddhism (as I feared she was being a pushy, but it was still amusing and I liked how she was told off by Todd and didn't succeed). The part with Marge as Todd's supporter could've been better (and calling him a "twerp" was crappy) but was still decent.

    Homer hanging with Todd and end up reflecting and remembering his lost mom Mona (complete with a dramatic flashback to young Homer overhearing his dad and mom having a fight) was an surprising inclusion, but it was a great and natural addition & it was good how it got a payoff in the end. Ned feeling down and taking up drinking with Homer was a bit I liked (Flanders' being more humand and vulnerable is an element I enjoy) and them getting hit by a car and ending up in a coma (and spending some time in heaven, meeting God and some of the other inhabitants like Lincoln) was an interesting turn; while it upended the down-to-earth tone it was well implemented and led to a neat climax with a big vigil being held for Ned. I really liked Bart silently praying for his dad (whom he quietly admits he loves) & how Todd, with some help from Marge, finds a way back to faith by giving praying a chance for his comatose dad. It was a good end with Ned seeing it and waking up, followed by Homer after he meets his mom and them bidding each other a proper farwell (better late than never), the families being reunited was sweet as was the ghost of Maude kissing her boys goodnight & the follow-up epilogue with Lisa's failure at converting Todd to Buddhism was an okay joke ending.

    As a whole, the episode was pretty funny. It wasn't full of big jokes but with the various little bits here and there and even some great amusing dialogue (which was the strong point of the episode aside from Todd's dilemma and the emotional moments) it ended up very amusing and made me chuckle more than a few times; really surprised me how much I liked the humor. For instance, I would agree that Homer was so good in this one and got some of the best moments; I think my favorite joke was him and the Jesus toasts to cheer up Todd with & Bart's pizza analogy about Homer (and Lisa's reply) was good. The animation was pretty solid and really had it's moments (one scene that had very good and expressive animation was Homer and Ned being drunk at Moe's) & the characterizations were pretty decent overall (I do agree that some of the characters like Ned, Lisa and even Marge came off as kinda mean unsympathetic but I don't think it got that bad and with how they have acted shoddily like this before it didn't feel too out out character, though Mona being averse to hugging her son took me aback).

    Overall, it was a decently fine episode. It had an interesting plot without too much cartoonish elements centered around Todd and Nedd, had a lot of solid humor that made me smile or laugh (a lot of dialogue-based stuff), well paced while still taking it's time, nice and surprising emotional moments (mainly Todd's whole conflict stemming from him missing his mother and that ending but also Homer and how his mother never got to give him a proper goodbye) & some interesting turns and various scenes (including Bart's big moment of praying for his father's safety and acknowledging that he cares for him). While there was some moments and elements that were less than impressive and I didn't care for there wasn't really anything that I really objected so it definitely worked pretty well for the most part (and for a Tim Long episode it came as a surprise, but I'm guessing that Miranda Thompson can be credited for the most part regarding the better moments).

    I'm gonna give this a generous 4/5, rounded up from a 3.5/5. It wasn't anything special and I definitely see the divisiveness of the episode as it does problems (such as some admittedly pretty shoddy portrayals) but I minded rather few of those and found it entertaining as a whole. Maybe it's more of a really strong 3/5 but I thought that was a little too low.
    Last edited by CousinMerl; 12-08-2019 at 02:46 PM.

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  18. #14
    Hercules Rockefeller Homer Samson's Avatar
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    A little mean spirited, but I still thought it was pretty good. I still think that they should've had Todd choose to leave instead of being banished from his house, but I'd definitely say it is a 3.5/5. It had lots of good humor, so I'm rounding up to a 4/5.
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    1: Krusty Gets Busted/Homer's Night Out 2: One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish/Bart's Dog Gets an 'F' 3: Bart the Murderer/Saturdays of Thunder 4: Homer the Heretic/So Its Come To This: A Simpsons Clip Show 5: Cape Feare/Lady Bouvier's Lover 6: Homie the Clown/Another Simpsons Clip Show 7: Raging Abe Simpson and his Grumbling Grandson in " The Curse of the Flying Hellfish"/Scenes From the Class Struggle in Springfield 8: The Springfield Files/The Old Man and the Lisa 9: The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson/Miracle on Evergreen Terrace 10: Mayored to the Mob/Homer Simpson in: Kidney Trouble 11: Grift of the Magi/Eight Misbehavin' 12: Trilogy of Error/I'm Goin' to Praiseland 13: The Blunder Years/The Lastest Gun in the West 14: Moe Baby Blues/The Strong Arms of the Ma 15: My Mother the Carjacker/Co-Dependent's Day 16: The Heartbroke Kid/Homer and Ned's Hail Mary Pass 17: The Seemingly Never-Ending Story/The Bonfire of the Manatees 18: The Mook, The Chef, The Wife, and Her Homer/The Boys of Bummer 19: Eternal Moonshine of the Simpson Mind/Husbands and Knives 20: Gone Maggie Gone/Lisa the Drama Queen 21: The Squirt and the Whale/The Greatest Story Ever D'ohed 22: Homer Scissorhands/The Fight Before Christmas 23: The Book Job/Lisa Goes Gaga 24: The Saga of Carl/Love is a Many-Splintered Thing 25: Brick Like Me/What to Expect When Bart's Expecting 26: Sky Police/The Musk Who Fell to Earth 27: Barthood/Every Man's Dream 28: 22 for 30/The Caper Chase 29: Flanders' Ladder/Singin' in the Lane 30: Woo-hoo Dunnit?/I Want You (She's So Heavy)

  19. #15
    Trying not to cry BloodySimpsonChibi's Avatar
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    What is with all these religious episodes in the past few years? It's really annoying. 2/10 and only giving it a two because Lisa giving Todd a thumbs up in the church was funny.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kaine View Post
    I'd imagine patting Lisa on the head would sting, damn kids with their spiky heads.


  20. #16
    :< tyler's Avatar
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    the worst episode since days of future future and at least that one is amusing as a catastrophic pisstake, this one cobbles together deeply insincere and lazy characterizations that forget the actual gravity of the conceit to do another hamfisted religion satire w such blunt force jokes you'll sustain dain bramage, with some of the most insultingly shoehorned simp family centric "comic" "relief" ever, and absolutely baffling reframing of mona simpson in a scene that should shoooould be one of comfort and nostalgia but this show is terrified of sincerity now and can't tell a story to save its decrepit soul. 0/5, fuckkkkk this ep


  21. #17
    :< tyler's Avatar
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    nobody but marge shows todd sympathy even once and her hollow point is literally instantly contradicted and then that fucking ending UGH god cancel this show

  22. #18
    Breathtaking Nitsy's Avatar
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    I was dreading this episode from the time I read the description because The Simpsons doesn't always handle religion so well; the preachiness of "The Monkey Suit" was in my mind going into this, even though it's not tackling the same kind of issue. Unfortunately I can't say much in favor of this episode. I enjoyed the Flanders-themed opening scene and an episode centered around Todd losing his faith is a decent concept. But a lot of the episode just didn't work. I agree with @tyler on the jokes: most of them just felt so heavy handed and hammy, like Flanders' fourth-wall breaking and the mediocre religious jokes. It seemed like they were really forcing it and so many fell flat, like something out of modern Family Guy. This episode also felt like it lacked structure: more a collection of loosely-connected scenes than a genuine journey that Todd was experiencing. I couldn't get over the fact that Todd's voice sounds so much deeper in this ep, more like a modified Ralph than the shrill Todd of the classic and Scully era. That's the problem with suddenly giving a minor character a larger role: Lisa losing her faith worked better because it's Lisa; we knew a lot about her by Season 13 and had seen her struggle with the differences between herself and the rest of the family, but Todd is ancillary at best and we don't know him as a character. I felt bad for him, but I had some trouble caring about his arc. Flanders and Homer in heaven was alright, but a lot of it felt familiar and I wasn't sure why Homer needed to be a part of this? Ned didn't even learn anything by the end; he sees his son praying and everything's back to normal. Ned never showed much understanding of what Todd was going through; he gets drunk with Homer, has a pleasant near-death experience and that's it. And what was the point of Todd staying with the Simpsons again and Homer and Marge trying to kick him out so they could "snuggle"? That didn't go anywhere either. This felt so lazily written.

    Points that didn't fit well in the paragraph above:

    -The "Greek chorus" became irritating relatively quickly and I had trouble understanding what they were singing in some of the scenes. The only thing I liked was hearing familiar hymn-tunes that reminded me of my Catholic upbringing.
    -Lisa's line about Homer not judging pizza was probably my favorite line in the episode.
    -I liked Homer's moment with his mom.

    2/5
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  25. #20
    SuperFriend Kaine's Avatar
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    I'm not sure what to think of this episode. I generally don't like episodes who go to deep into religion, and it felt like they didn't handle it well here. It was hard to say what the episode was even really going for as most scenes felt sloppily pasted together. It started off well with Maude returning as a ghost, and Todd starting to miss her mother a lot. Yet I don't buy why he would blame his religion rather than just accepting that it was just an accident. We already had a similiar episode with Ned going trough the same thing. There may have been a more interesting dynamic from Todd's side for being so young and hardly remembering his mother, but they didn't do much with this and he just kept renouncing his religion instead. And the Simpson family didn't play any good role in this at all. Marge was the only one who seemed to care, and they could've had Homer more involved with Todd as he also shares missing his mother from his childhood. The worst part is how clingy Lisa was with her Buddhism. There is also a surprisingly lack of Edna who technically was their mother aswell for a short period of time.

    The Flanders themed couch gag was good and I liked most of the first act. Todd seemed legit sad and there were some hearthwarming moments with Maude when they were looking back at old video tapes. Not sure what to think of Homer ruining one of his videos. The church scene was really good with a sad Todd renouncing his religion in front of the churchgoers. I liked the ballet scene with Lovejoy and Bart locking Homer outside the house. Todd moves in with the Simpsons which started alright as how they animated the messy Simpsons yard. But the Simpson family acts rather annoying with Lisa trying to renounce Todd to Buddhism, Homer and Marge wanting to snuggle yet Todd has super hearing abilities, Homer painting Jesus on toast is rather funny though, and Bart introducing Todd to the bullies went nowhere. Some good chemistry with Homer and Todd was made where Homer got sad aswell, but this relationship doesn't continue although we do see Mona waving Homer goodbye in Heaven. Homer and Ned becoming drinking buddies was a good scene, ending with a good Moleman joke. The final act was rather sweet with Todd praying for his dad to wake up and some funny jokes with Homer and Ned in Heaven. The ending left me with 3 different feelings. The Buddhism joke was actually pretty funny, then we get a bittersweet scene with ghost Maude tugging in Todd, then out of nowhere ghost Edna laughs at Ned which was just confusing.

    I'd say this is an alright episode. Very 50/50 where I think some things were done well (mostly with Todd dealing with his sadness of missing his mom) and some things didn't go well (the way the cast handled Todd). Its not really a funny episode either, but it makes up for being more emotional like we've seen in older episodes like Lisa's Substitute. I can't give much credit to characterisation for this episode. The premise is alright but could've been executed better. I do like how they tried to center the Flanders family for this episode where they even had their own couch gag. Not much else to say so I'd probably rate this around a 2.5/5, rounded for the poll a:

    3/5
    Episodes rated best and worst from each season:
    1: Krusty Gets Busted/Homer's Night Out 2: The Way We Was/Bart's Dog Gets an F 3: Colonel Homer/Dog of Death 4: Marge vs. The Monorail/So It's Come to This: A Simpsons Clip Show 5: Cape Feare/Bart Gets An Elephant 6: Treehouse of Horror V/Another Simpsons Clip Show 7: Mother Simpson/Homerpalooza 8: You Only Move Twice/The Canine Mutiny 9: Lisa's Sax/The Two Mrs. Nahasapeemapetilons 10: Lisa Gets an A/Sunday Cruddy Sunday 11: Behind The Laughter/Beyond Blunderdome 12: Trilogy of Error/The Computer Wore Menace Shoes 13: I Am Furious Yellow/Homer the Moe 14: The Dad Who Knew Too Little/Large Marge 15: The Way We Weren't/Diatribe of a Mad Housewife 16: Thank God Its Doomsday/Mommie Beerest 17: Marge's Son Poisoning/Bonfire of the Manatees 18: Marge Gamer/Revenge is Best Served Three Times 19: Treehouse of Horror XVIII/That 90's Show 20: Gone Maggie Gone/Coming To Homerica 21: O Brother, Where Bart thou?/The Devil Wears Nada 22: Homer Scissorhands/The Fool Monty 23: Holidays of Future Passed/Moe Goes From Rags To Riches 24: Adventures In Baby-Getting/Whiskey Business 25: Brick Like Me/White Christmas Blues 26: Bart's New Friend/The Musk Who Fell to Earth 27: Halloween of Horror/Every Man's Dream 28: There Will Be Buds/Moho House 29: Gone Boy/Throw Grampa from the Dane

  26. Thumbs Up To This Post by: Szyslak100

  27. #21
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    Disappointing week without Bless the Harts and Family Guy.

    The Simpsons: Alright episode. Good to see Homer and Ned bond, and the Lisa Buddhist clip was funny at the end. Not much to say here. Couch gag was awesome though! C+ 3/5

    Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas: It was okay, wasnmt that funny or I’m just not into kids stuff anymore. The movies are so much better. C

    Bob’s Burgers: Some things were funny (Louise saying Gene on the floor counts as her mopping, Tina poking Bob in the butt, Teddy calling Belchers, Burgers, and Gene’s one-liners) but the story is forgettable and I didn’t like the storyline much. It’s slow and doesn’t get anywhere by the end. C+

    Hopefully the Christmas specials on December 15 make up for this dissapointing night, and Fox please don’t rerun Ice Age again even though it’s scheduled again for December 22 (why not show a Duncanville sneak peek or something). No Animation Domination December 8 in lieu of Miss Universe. Summaries for 12/15 episodes down below, subject to change once aired.

    The Simpsons (Bobby, it’s cold outside): Sideshow Bob is contracted to be Santa at Springfield Mall. Elsewhere, Someone has been stealing packages and presents from people’s front porch.

    Bless the Harts (Miracle on Culpepper Slims Boulevard): Louise invites Jenny to celebrate at her place to get a Christmas bonus, but Jenny must consider whether to get the bonus or her family tradition of celebrating Christmas at her own house. Betty looks for gifts for the family on a budget.

    Bob’s Burgers (Have Yourself a Mally Linda Christmas): Linda works at a post office to make extra money for the holidays, but has to break protocol when a package goes missing. Gene and Louise look for a gift for Tina whilst stuck with Linda’s fussy family at home.

    Family Guy (Christmas is Coming): When Meg takes Stewie to visit Santa at Quahog Mall, he becomes scared, so Brian helps Stewie conquer his fear of Santa.

  28. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Financial Panther View Post
    Well damn, this could have turned out a lot better. As it turned out, almost everyone except Todd turned out to be a big jerk in the episode. Todd questioning his faith was definitely new ground, and I’m glad the writers decided to try it. But I wasn’t a fan of Ned’s anger toward Todd, although I can understand it. There needed to be a conflict among the family and reason to kick him out. But what really bugged me was Homer, Marge, and Lisa. Lisa was intent on converting Todd to Buddhism and was a real jerk about it, and Homer and Marge didn’t want him there because they were uncomfortable having sex with him the house. What the hell? That reminded me of Catch ‘Em if You Can when Homer and Marge tried to escape the kids so they could fulfill their selfish desires.
    My only problem with this is it not selfish for wanting to have sex with your spouse. Also, "Catch ‘Em if You Can" was definitely not a selfish act between Homer and Marge since it's not wrong for them wanting alone time together. If anyone was selfish it was Bart and Lisa.

    I agree with everything else you posted.
    HOMER, YOU'RE DUMB AS A MULE AND TWICE AS UGLY. IF A STRANGE MAN OFFERS YOU A RIDE I SAY TAKE IT!

  29. #23
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    Um, this is a difficult episode to grade.

    The major problem I found with the episode other than the excessive singing was Ned. To ask God to punish Todd for turning on his faith is kind of unforgivable. Marge even didn't do that in "She of Little Faith". His idea of him going to Hell with Rod because of Todd's lack of faith makes no sense when Ned would have known that. Also, to kick a child out of the house for turning on his faith is totaly wrong and if I'm not wrong, illegal.
    Homer talking to Todd was probably the best part. Homer running into Moe's, not so. Homer and Marge trying to have sex but afraid that Todd would hear was both creepy and funny. Makes me wonder if Marge is a moaner?
    Lisa getting yelled at by Buddha for not closing the deal was actually funny though I swear his voice went from Anger Watkins to Otto. I love Ralphisms.
    I also don't care for the idea of the endings where they find a quick solution. He prays for his dad to be saved and he's back with the flock. Todd had a conflict of faith. I had it when my grandfather died in high school. Ned should have understood with the loss of two wives, one of them Rod's mother, that he has the right to be mad.

    2/5

    By the way did you see Ned do a cross when Homer almost hit his car in the opening?

  30. Thumbs Up To This Post by: bboynexus

  31. #24
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    Religion is always a polarizing thematic in this show. Writers always have had a definite posture about it: their religion is unquestionable. But I was expecting this one is different. I had hope about an impartial exploration of atheism for the first time in this show but they didn't approach the opportunity. It was a huge disappointment for me. I am not sure why I was expecting something different from a cyclical show or something enjoyable from a mediocre writer.

    Don't do it, boy! Don't kneel! DON'T KNEEL!

    I will have to keep waiting for an episode where they really put in doubt the existence of God, the credibility of religions, the seriousness of atheism or at least of agnosticism. Seriously, I don't know why this show was so lukewarm with this thematic over the years. God exists. Heaven exists. Pray actually gives results. Miracles are possible. YOU MUST BE A BELIEVER. YOU MUST HAVE A RELIGION. That's what I feel every time they treat this subject. Even in the earliest episodes like Homer the Heretic. There isn't a single example where they question the veracity of the teachings of the religions beyond a simple joke or comment. And in a show highlighted for the great criticism they do about everything is surprising and near to absurd. Yeah, we have had many jokes about how obsessive devouts can be unbearable with their beliefs through Ned Flanders as always. I liked most of these, like when he enters a panic because Todd opened a doorway to hell or when he faints in Church after Todd said what he thought. They also made typical comments about the lack of compromise of Lovejoy with his vocation twice. But that was the superficial satires they always have done and didn't deep in the satire that I expected. Also, the winks to Presbylutheranism were particularly dumb here. The visit to Heaven from Homer and Ned diverted the focus from it should be -Todd and Homer's losses-, the resolution thanks to Todd prayers was lazy and rushed, and the use of the choirs was exaggeratedly overused, becoming it in an intolerable gag. Seriously, how many times they used it? More than ten for sure. Oh, and we have the first appearance of Jesus that I didn't laugh with. What a shame.

    What a terrible way to ruin what could be a good episode.

    Fortunately, this episode was more than a weak and flat comment about religion. It's really amazing how this show can show the consequences of an episode released 20 years ago. The idea of a total Flanders focused story was quite interesting. It was really catching at the start with that adapted opening sequence around Ned and his children, and then we have a fluid first act around Todd and his problems to remember his mother in a truly relatable moment for the character. And everything after that related to Todd was actually enjoyable. His nightmare had a good atmosphere and the fact he couldn't remember his mother's face was well-handled. It may be one of the worst feelings someone can have. That rebellion against religion fronting his father and having the courage to say what he thought was quite a little impressive for him. And then he rejects Lisa's propose and he told the truth to bullies without fear of possible consequences. Once again it's a shame they have forgotten fast everything they had built about Todd just to backing to status quo and to giving a politically correct comment about religions. This show lost many opportunities trying to back everything to normality and the evolution of the kid could be better the dynamic of the Flanders family, something that was necessary since Alone-Again, Natura-diddly. But no, it's better to have him as a simple kid that shares the beliefs of his father instead give him his own personality, right? Todd was outstanding here being other than always, why just don't keep that facet in the character? This show and the back to the status quo make me sick when they ruin a good idea.

    Damn it. He knelt. Well, anyway he was the best thing in this episode. It was nice while it dured, Toddy.

    Ned Flanders was a bit unlikable for the most part. I always enjoy his gags of an overprotective dad and his delirious when one of his children commit something he considers a sin. But this time was unbeatable to explore thoroughly his role of father, his relationship with Rodd and Todd and how hard it is dealing with two kids whose mother died inexplicably. But, you know, the mad follower of God is funnier and easier to write. And we get him asking God to punish his son, he throws away him just because they don't have the same beliefs. The best person in the city ignores his own son. It doesn't even have sense. What a wasted opportunity. Lisa followed the same path as Ned, but obviously with Buddhism. I loved when she makes a gesture to supporting Todd's act of rebellion in Church. But then she takes a stupid function trying to convince him to join her religion. Why in the world someone should have a religion? Why Lisa tried too desperately to recluse him? It's just a mystery. Bart's just limited his participation introducing Todd with the bullies in a scene that goes nowhere. But at least they executed some of the best jokes of the episode, like Dolph being thankful for superficial things or Kearney affirmation that only he exists and the rest is just a simulation and instantly Jimbo pushed him on. Surprisingly, Marge doesn't try to convince him until the last scenes. Because she was occupied trying to have sex with Homer without the boy listening. After that check of the character's behavior, I'm glad the great treat they give Todd because he was the only worthy here.

    Definitely, Ned Flanders is the perfect father, neighbor and person, right?

    And what about Homer? Well, he was in charge of some of the funniest jokes of the episode, like he ruining both Maude's videos, having the blank of a funny Bart's prank or reaching Heaven just to be a sloth. He joined in the group of those who manipulated Todd too after drawing on a lot of bread with Jesus's face. And we have a sincere moment of him reminded his mother in what could be a fantastic third act but what actually was a waste. At least we saw him hugging Mona's for last time. I laughed with -and felt bad to-the vigil Duffman, Carl and Moe did for him. If they would explore his dynamic with Todd and how he connected with Flanders and both get over their own losses, it could be a lot better. But, even after all those fails, Mona Simpsons had a touching moment as always. Tim Lovejoy and Hibbert were good supporters of some scenes too. I really liked Maude's appearances. It's nice they finally take seriously her dead, which was unnecessary there in season 11 and which never affected a kid until this episode. Her acts as Mother from the beyond in the epilogue were a bit touching. Taking into account the writers didn't have problems to include unrealistic scenes -I mean, a big part of the story elapses in Heaven- I think she should have more influence in the episode as a ghost of anyhow. It would be nice if Rodd also would play a role too, but that was not the case. I'm not sure if I'd like to see more of Edna since she wasn't an established member of the family, though. Her cameos were forced to me.

    There was too much potential there.

    I don't know how to rate it. I don't even sure if it was just forgettable or if I truly disliked it. It just depends if I can see the glass half-full or if I see it half-empty. I was looking forward to a third good episode in a row and that's not the case. It was a huge disappointment and I'd say the weaknesses were more notorious than the strengths. In Tim Long / Miranda Thompson's standards.

    2/5
    Fan of the Outstanding Animated Show of 2019.

    SEASON 31 - RATINGS
    The Winter of Our Monetized Content: 3/5 / Go Big or Go Homer: 3/5 / The Fat Blue Line 4/5
    Treehouse of Horror XXX: 4/5 / Gorillas on the Mast: 3/5 / Marge the Lumberjill: 2/5
    Livin' La Pura Vida: 5/5 / Thanksgiving of Horror: 5/5 / Todd, Todd, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me: 2/5
    Bobby, It's Cold Outside: TBA / Hail of the Teeth: TBA



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