In ‘The Righteous Gemstones’ season 2 episode 5, titled ‘Interlude II,’ the narrative once more goes back to the past — this time to 1993. Christmas is around the corner, and Eli (John Goodman) wants a bigger space to preach. His past comes to visit him when Glendon Marsh Sr. (Wayne Duvall) shows up with an offer that Eli can’t refuse. “Baby” Billy (Walton Goggins) lies to Aimee-Leigh (Jennifer Nettles) about how his marriage abruptly ended, but the latter eventually finds out the truth. Meanwhile, Eli meets a man who will become indispensable to his church in the coming years. Here is everything you need to know about the ending of ‘The Righteous Gemstones’ season 2 episode 5. SPOILERS AHEAD.
The Righteous Gemstones Season 2 Episode 5 Recap
It is becoming increasingly apparent that the Gemstone family has always been dysfunctional. Aimee-Leigh might have served as the proverbial anchor for all members of the family, but there was never a time when her children haven’t been bizarre. Episode 5 of the second season begins as the Gemstone family gathers along with their staff for a photo in front of the Christmas tree at the Gemstone Family Studios. The tree is garish, extravagant, and massive like everything else with this family. The three Gemstone children soon start bickering among themselves, almost lazily throwing around swear words and making their parents exasperated.
Eli has learned that the city is building a new colosseum and intends to buy the old one as he feels that the studio is too small for his rapidly growing congregation. When his accountant tries to warn Eli about over-spending, Eli doesn’t listen and fires the man. “Baby” Billy once more visits his sister, claiming that it was Gloria, and not him, that ran away. Eli probably doesn’t believe a word that “Baby” Billy says. But it’s Christmas, so Eli lets “Baby” Billy stay with his family. Suddenly, Eli’s father Roy (M. Emmet Walsh) shows up in his skivvies with a loaded shotgun in his hand, asking Eli whether they are going hunting. It is revealed that the older man is now an Alzheimer’s patient.
Eli’s relationship with his father has always been complex. Roy was also a preacher and ardently believed that the only things that a priest needs are four walls and a flock. He never approved of What Eli had accomplished with the Gemstone Ministries. Even with Alzheimer’s, he hasn’t lost his ability to get under Eli’s skin.
The Righteous Gemstones Season 2 Episode 5 Ending: What Happened to Glendon Marsh Sr.?
As Christmas fast approaches, Eli’s plans of acquiring the old colosseum for the church seem like a distant dream. This is when Glendon Marsh Sr. comes back to Eli’s life. In the 1960s, Eli worked as a talent at Marsh’s pro-wrestling promotion. He was also one of the hired muscles the other man used to extort money from people. Eli never received the validation he wanted from his father. So, when Marsh Sr. shows up and praises Eli for everything he has achieved, it works like a charm.
Marsh Sr. has been a father figure in Eli’s life — the man who taught him the ways of the world. He offers Eli money in exchange for a piece of the Gemstone pie. And Eli happily accepts it, at least initially. This episode has a couple of fascinating scenes with Marsh Sr. and Eli that are teeming with symbolism. In one of them, they shoot clay pigeons as Marsh Sr. lays out what he wants from Eli. He will give $3 million to Eli, who only has to return two-thirds of the money. He asks Eli not to involve banks and lawyers. Eli recognizes what this really will be — money laundering. Marsh Sr. doesn’t miss a single shot, while Eli fails to hit even one.
Although Eli is highly tempted to accept Marsh’s offer, Aimee-Leigh has her reservations. She speaks to Roy about Glendon. Despite the Alzheimer, Roy seems to remember him and tells Aimee-Leigh to keep Eli away from him. Ultimately, Eli decides to decline Marsh’s offer with the help of his new accountant, Martin Imari, even though he still wants to get the old colosseum for his church.
On Christmas evening, Marsh Sr. enters Eli’s compound by holding Martin at gunpoint and threatens Aimee-Leigh and the children. Roy shows up out of nowhere once more and shoots Marsh Sr., killing him. Eli lies to his family about what happened, and with Martin’s help, takes Marsh’s body to where the amusement park is still under construction. They then proceed to bury Marsh Sr. inside a cement block. In the following months, the park will be finished. In 2021, Eli is still haunted by this incident and rides the roller coaster by himself when he remembers the darker components of his past.