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502 - Snoopin' Around and the Wonder Twins of Atheism

Aired Thursday, October 14, 2021
Snoopin' Around and the Wonder Twins of Atheism

Missy starts to question whether she believes in God. Meemaw suspects something is going on between George Sr. and Brenda Sparks. Meanwhile, Pastor Jeff decides to hire a youth pastor.

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Episode Notes

  • Title Reference: "Snoopin' Around" refers to George's description of Meemaw's behavior and the "Wonder Twins of Atheism" refers to Sheldon's idea of how he and Missy could tackle the new pastor's beliefs.
  • Opening Credits Sequence: Sheldon is dressed in his normal clothes as a black cow with horns approaches the family.

Quotes

Adult Sheldon: Sundays were not my favorite day. In fact, the only light at the end of the tunnel was the wry musings of Andy Rooney at the end of 60 Minutes.
Andy Rooney: [on TV] Noise is sound you don't want to hear. And of course, one person's sound is another person's noise.
Sheldon: So wry.
Adult Sheldon: The rest of the day was filled with football, church and the only school I didn't enjoy attending, Sunday school.

George Sr.: [on the phone] What did you tell her?
Brenda Sparks: Nothing.
George Sr.: Well, whatever you said's got her sniffing around me like a hound dog after a polecat.
Brenda Sparks: A hound dog after a polecat?
George Sr.: When I get nervous, I get extra country.
Brenda Sparks: Did you get country in front of her?
George Sr.: No.
Brenda Sparks: So you played it cool.
George Sr.: No.

Missy: I don't know. It seems a little scary to just stop believing.
Sheldon: Well, is it more comforting to believe in a God who could flood the world and kill everyone because he had a bad day?
Missy: That's a good point. But doesn't it upset people when you say you don't believe?
Sheldon: [chuckles] Oh, yeah.
Missy: And that doesn't bother you?
Sheldon: Does it bother you when you upset people?
Missy: I couldn't care less.
Sheldon: Welcome to atheism. Now, if you were an orc, would you like this flag?

Missy: Do you believe in God?
George Jr.: Yeah.
Missy: But in the Bible, he does all kinds of mean stuff. If he's good, why would he do that?
George Jr.: Maybe he just wants to show he's in charge. Hulk Hogan's nice, but in the ring, he will mess you up.
Missy: That's either really smart or really stupid.
George Jr.: That's what I do.
Missy: Do you ever wonder if it's all made-up?
George Jr.: Look, this is Texas. We like football. We like God. And beef. Beef's up there, too.
Missy: But how do you know there's a God?
George Jr.: See that girl dancing in them shorts? There's a God.

Missy: What's it like to not believe in God?
Sheldon: It's great. Big fan.
Missy: Are you ever afraid you're wrong?
Sheldon: About religion? Never. About other things? Also never.

View more quotes from this episode

Featured Music

  • Bust a Move
    Young MC

    Bust a Move Plays on the TV after Georgie turns the TV over to Yo! MTV Raps.

Episode Trivia

  • Which author did Missy say her mother won't let her read?
    • Beverly Cleary
    • Francine Pascal
    • Judy Blume
    • Lois Lowry
  • Which animal was the sock puppet Mary once used to teach Sunday school?
    • Snake
    • Frog
    • Dog
    • Rat

Episode Recap

Adult Sheldon explains that Sundays weren’t his favorite day. The only light at the end of the tunnel was Andy Rooney on 60 Minutes. The rest of the day was filled with football, church and the only kind of school he didn’t like: Sunday school. At the church, Pastor Jeff is telling the kids about Moses’ mother putting him in a basket and sending him down the river. After Missy asks why, Pastor Jeff, evidently struggling with parenthood himself, can relate. Sheldon explains it was because the Pharaoh ordered all the male babies killed. Missy can’t believe that’s in the Bible and yet her mother won’t let her read Judy Blume. When Pastor Jeff returns to the story of Moses, Missy asks what the plan was for the babies who didn’t get rescued. Sheldon explains there was a decree to throw them in the river as well. Although Pastor Jeff makes clear that was Pharaoh's plan, not God’s, Sheldon reminds him that he claims everything is part of God’s plan. How does he sleep at night, Sheldon wonders.

Later, in Pastor Jeff’s office, he tells Mary and Peg that it’s time to reconsider getting him some help for Sunday school. Mary is ready and willing, but Pastor Jeff says no, he wants someone who can really connect with the kids. Mary says connecting with kids is what she does, but Peg reminds her of the lackluster reception to her previous attempt at teaching with a sock puppet snake. Jeff says he’s already made up his mind to hire a youth pastor.

When Meemaw runs into Brenda Sparks at the grocery store, Meemaw says it sounds like she and George had a crazy night. A defensive Brenda says they did not, but Meemaw reminds her George almost had a heart attack and she drove him to the hospital. That wasn’t crazy? Brenda says no. After Meemaw expresses thanks that Brenda was there with him, she insists she wasn’t “with him”. Brenda says she was there, George was there, and other people were there. Finding the conversation hard work, Meemaw simply says okay. After Brenda says she’s happy that George’s doing better, Meemaw nods and gives a small chuckle before telling Brenda it was good seeing her. Brenda says you too and then quickly rolls her shopping cart down an aisle, before turning back to see Meemaw watching her go.

As Mary drives Sheldon and Missy home from the church, she asks them if they liked the time she taught Sunday school. Missy groans at the memory of Mary and the snake sock puppet. Sheldon didn’t like it either, but then he’s critical of most things. Mary explains that Pastor Jeff is hiring a youth pastor to get the kids more connected with God. “The same God who drowns babies in rivers?”, Missy wonders. After Sheldon explains they learned about Moses today, Mary says that was Old Testament God, he gets more fun later. When Mary says Jeff is hoping to bring in someone from the outside, Missy thinks her mom is jealous ‘cause she thinks she could do a better job. Sheldon says you know it’s bad when even he can see it.

When George answers the front door, Meemaw asks if they’ve got any little batteries for smoke detectors as hers is beeping again. George thinks so and invites her in. When Meemaw jokes she was three beeps away from getting out her shotgun, George says he doesn’t even put batteries in their smoke alarms anymore. Do not tell Sheldon. After Meemaw mentions she saw Brenda at the grocery store today, George asks how she was doing. Meemaw doesn’t know, saying Brenda got kind of weird when she asked about what happened the other night. When George asks what Brenda said, Meemaw explains it wasn’t what she said, just a vibe she got. George suggests Meemaw might have made her feel uncomfortable. She does have that effect on people. Meemaw insists she was just being neighborly. Hoping to free himself from this conversation, George quickly finds the battery and says see you to Meemaw. Meemaw gives a quick smile, nods and says see you to George.

That afternoon, when Brenda answers the phone, George wants to know what she said to Meemaw. Brenda insists she said nothing, but George tells her that Connie is sniffing around him like a hound dog after a polecat. A hound dog after a polecat? George explains he gets extra country when he’s nervous. Brenda asks if he got extra country around Meemaw. No. So he played it cool? No. As Brenda and George agree to get their stories straight, she wonders what George told Meemaw. George says he was a little rude and rushed Connie out of the house. “Don’t you do that all the time?”, Brenda asks. “Oh, yeah. Oh, I guess we're okay.”, George confirms.

At the church, as Mary looks over the questions Pastor Jeff has prepared for the applicants, she says they’re all softballs. Pastor Jeff thinks “Who is your favorite apostle and why” is a toughie, but Mary argues there’s 11 good answers and just one bad one. Later, Mary and Peg join Pastor Jeff as he interviews applicants for the youth pastor role.

In their office at the school, George asks Coach Wilkins a question: does he have any women friends? Wayne wonders if Mary finally kicked him to the curb, but George says he’s serious. Coach Wilkins says he’s got plenty of woman friends and, in fact, his best friend is a woman: his wife. George regrets asking when Coach Wilkins tells him about how she joined him in the shower this morning. As George tries to bring the conversation to an end, Wayne wonders if George is upset he didn’t say he was his best friend. Coach Wilkins says George is in the top three, and definitely his best white friend.

Back at the church, Pastor Jeff asks Pastor Rob the apostle question. Rob stuns them with his answer: Judas. After Mary asks how he could say thaty, Rob explains that Jesus had to die to save mankind and if Judas had not betrayed him, mankind wouldn’t have been saved. Pastor Jeff has never thought about it like that, but Mary doesn’t think they should be giving the impression Judas was cool. Rob says he just likes to look at people the way Jesus would. Rob thinks his job is to get the kids excited about church, and be the warm-up man before Pastor Jeff hits the stage. When Jeff says it looks like they found their new youth pastor, Mary asks if they can discuss it. Of course, Pastor Jeff says, before turning to Rob and asking when he can start.

In the living room, when Georgie asks Missy why she’s watching The Ten Commandments. Missy says she’s been thinking about God. Georgie asks if she can think about God while he watches MTV. After Missy lets him change the channel, Georgie sits down and Missy asks him if he believes in God. Georgie says yeah. Missy points out He does a lot of mean stuff in the Bible. If He’s good, why would He do that? Georgie says maybe He wants to show He’s in charge, comparing Him to Hulk Hogan, who’s nice but will mess you up in the ring. After Missy says that’s either really smart or really stupid, Georgie says that’s what he does. Missy wonders if he ever questions whether it’s all made-up. Georgie says this is Texas. They like football. They like God. And they like beef. Georgie points to a girl dancing on the screen in shorts as proof there is a God.

As Pastor Rob is about to get into his car, Mary rushes over to talk to him. Mary says she’s sorry if she came on strong back there. Rob says it’s cool, she’s just trying to do what’s best for the kids and he respects that. When Mary says she’s very well-connected with the parents so if he needs any help, Rob says he prefers not to get too close to the parents, wanting the kids to think he’s on their side. He suggests they could do a “good cop, bad cop” sort of thing instead, but Mary doesn’t see why she should be the bad cop. As he climbs into his car, Rob jokingly says he doesn’t have all the answers, so maybe she should ask God.

As Sheldon plays on his computer, Missy comes into their room and asks if he’s got a minute. Sheldon explains he’s busy creating a system of heraldry for his two warring tribes of Orcs in D&D. After a disappointed Missy says she was hoping to talk about atheism, Sheldon says much like an Orc, he’s all ears. After Missy asks what it’s like to not believe in God, Sheldon says great. Missy asks if he’s ever afraid he might be wrong. About religion? No. About other things? Also no. Missy says it seems scary to just stop believing, but Sheldon wonders if it’s more comforting to believe in a God who’d kill people and flood the world because he had a bad day. After Missy asks Sheldon if it upsets people that he doesn’t believe, Sheldon chuckles as he confirms it does. And that doesn't bother him? Sheldon wonders if MIssy is bothered when she upsets people. Hell no, she declares. Sheldon says welcome to atheism and returns to his computer.

When Meemaw goes into the local bar, the bartender Nick asks if she wants her usual. Meemaw says yes and mentions that she spends a lot of money there, right? Nick agrees. So if her son-in-law was in there doing something stupid, she has a right to know about it? Nick guesses so. Meemaw asks him if George was doing something stupid before he went to the hospital. Nick says no, George was just hanging out, and wonders why she’s asking. Meemaw  jokes that she’s been watching too many soap operas, before asking Nick to keep this between them.

As George sits in the den, he answers a phone call from bartender Nick. Later, George goes across the street to ask Meemaw why she’s asking questions about him at the bar. Connie says she doesn't know what he’s talking about. After George says Nick told him everything, Meemaw admits that clearly she was lying.

As George joins Meemaw in her kitchen, he tells Connie if she wants to accuse him of something, she should say it to his face. Meemaw says fine, and notes that George had a fight with his wife, ended up at a bar with Brenda Sparks, and now they’re both being weird about it. George insists there’s no story, they’re just two people who went to the same bar, that’s it. After Meemaw says that better be it, George tells Connie he understands she’s protecting her daughter, but she needs to hear him when he says nothing happened. Okay, Meemaw says. After George says he doesn’t appreciate her snooping behind his back, Connie apologizes, although she’s a little ticked at Nick for taddling on her. When George asks if they’re good, Meemaw says yes. After George walks out, Meemaw scoffs and says ‘“We’re good” my ass.’

Back home, Mary goes to the kids’ room to tell them to get ready for bed as they have church in the morning. When Missy says she doesn’t want to go as she doesn’t believe in God, Mary wonders what Sheldon did to her. Sheldon points out Missy came to him for help, although he took the ball and ran with it. Missy is pleased at her brother for using a sports analogy. Sheldon says they’re both evolving; evolution being something else he’ll teach her. Mary doesn’t care what Missy believes, they’re going to church tomorrow. Sheldon argues it might be fun. The new youth pastor’s starting and they could attack his beliefs together as the “Wonder Twins of atheism”. When Mary points out that even Sheldon’s excited, Missy thinks her mom just wants the new guy to have a bad first day. Mary insists she can want two things.

At the church, Pastor Rob walks into the Sunday school class room holding a Bible. When he asks the kids what it is, Missy correctly answers the bible. What else is it? Billy Sparks raises his hand and says the word of God. Excellent, Pastor Rob says, before dropping the Bible on the floor to the kids’ surprise. Pastor Rob says it’s just a book. Sheldon whispers to Missy that he likes this guy. Pastor Rob adds that it’s a good book with great stories and instructions on how to live your life, but God is more than a book. God is real. God is everywhere. And God loves you. Sheldon tells Missy that Pastor Rob is losing him.

Brenda Sparks leads George into her chicken coop, saying it ain’t pretty but it’s private. George tells her not to freak out as he explains Meemaw was asking questions down at the bar. George assures her he took care of it and there’s nothing to worry about. Still, he thinks it’s best if they don’t go to the bar for a while. Brenda says okay, he can stay home and she’ll go out. When George asks why he has to be the one to avoid the bar, Brenda points out she’s single. Who is she going to meet at home? George jokingly suggests a mailman or a plumber, before mentioning a movie he saw where a pizza delivery boy did pretty well for himself. They both chuckle.

Back at the church, Missy raises her hand to ask Pastor Rob a question. Missy is surprised Pastor Rob already knows her name, but he says he does his homework. Sheldon says Rob’s winning him back. After Missy asks Rob if it’s okay she is wondering whether God is real, Sheldon decides to take this one and say yes. Rob says Sheldon’s right. You can’t just believe something because other people say it’s true. You have to question it. Like the scientific method. Rob says he did his homework on Sheldon, too. After Missy asks what would happen if she decides God’s not real, Pastor Rob tells the kids he doesn’t want them to believe what he believes, he just wants them to think about what they believe. And it sounds like Missy is doing that.

As Mary drives the kids home from church, Missy tells Mary that Pastor Rob said it doesn’t matter if she believes in God because God believes in her. Mary says she told her the same thing. Not like he did, Missy claims. After Sheldon mentions that he told Pastor Rob that religion isn’t objective and there’s no proof for it, Mary thinks Rob won’t have liked that. On the contrary, Sheldon says he quoted Kierkegaard and said if you can prove it, there’d be no room for faith. Sheldon mentions Rob also likes homework.

Back in the Sparks’ chicken coop, George asks Brenda if she would have said Herschel was her best friend when they were married. Brenda scoffs and wonders what kind of married person would say that. George explains it’s his buddy Wayne. After Brenda asks if this buddy of his has kids, George says no. Brenda wonders what the hell he knows then. When George checks his watch and says he should be going, Brenda offers him a chicken to take. After Billy walks out into the backyard and calls for his mother, Brenda says she’s just feeding the chickens and will be out in a minute. When Billy enters to ask if his mom needs help, it appears that Brenda is alone. Brenda says she’s almost done, so Billy leaves. As Billy closes the door after himself, George is hiding there.

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