The Father, the Son and the Holy Guest Star
| "The Father, the Son and the Holy Guest Star"
| Episode Information
"The Father, the Son and the Holy Guest Star" is the twenty-first and final episode of season 16 of The Simpsons and the three-hundred and fifty-sixth episode overall. It originally aired on May 15, 2005. The episode was written by Matt Warburton and directed by Michael Polcino. It guest stars Liam Neeson as Father Sean.
- "Bart is expelled from Springfield Elementary, and Bart is therefore enrolled in St. Jerome's Catholic School."
Springfield Elementary School is holding its medieval festival. All the students are given roles: Lisa is queen, Martin is king, and Bart is the cooper (a role he bitterly hates). Groundskeeper Willie, against his will, is cast as the village idiot. Bart is mad about his role and is treated terribly by everyone, especially Lisa. Bart hates his role, but not as mad as Willie. For revenge, Willie unleashes a pie with hundreds of rats inside. Bart is blamed for this prank and is expelled from school much to the Bart's classmates dismay'. Unaware to Principal Skinner as he expelled Bart it was Willie who was the culprit. After looking through other schools, Marge decides to enroll Bart in St. Jerome's Catholic School. There, Bart's hip, rebel attitude is frowned upon.
While holding out two dictionaries, Bart meets Father Sean, who came to become Catholic after he was beaten by his father and St. Peter told him to repent. He is sympathetic to Bart and gives him a comic book about the saints and he is drawn into it. At home, Marge becomes concerned over Bart's interest in the Roman Catholic Church. Homer goes to the school to confront Father Sean, but reconsiders after having pancake dinner and playing Bingo. After expansively confessing, Homer learns he must convert to Catholicism to be absolved of his sins. With Bart and Homer both considering joining the Church, Marge (worried she might be alone in Protestant Heaven while Bart and Homer are in Catholic Heaven, the latter of which is shown being far more fun) seeks help from Reverend Lovejoy and Ned Flanders, who agree to stop them. While they are learning about First Communion, Marge, Lovejoy, and Ned capture Bart.
On the road, Marge and Lovejoy try to bring Bart back to the "one true faith": The Western Branch of American Reform Presbylutheranism. Back at the house, Lisa agrees with Homer and Bart's desire to join a new faith. Even after getting laughed at for being Buddhist by Fr. Sean, she says that Marge is taking Bart to a Protestant Youth Festival. Homer and Father Sean then leave in immediate pursuit. At the Festival, Marge fails to bribe Bart with the banal Christian rock of Quiet Riot (Pious Riot after their conversion). However, he agrees after he plays some paintball, making her happy that "one of those dumb things would work". Homer and Father Sean arrive on a motorcycle, shoot Marge's hair with some paintball bullets and engage in a Mexican standoff with Ned and Lovejoy.
Bart says it is stupid that all the different forms of Christianity are feuding. The two groups agree to both fight monogamous gays and stem cell research and to take Bart's idea to heart. The episode then jumps 1,000 years into the future, when Bart becomes the last Prophet of God. In this age, mankind is waging war over whether Bart's teachings were about love and tolerance, or understanding and peace (and whether he was betrayed by his minion Milhouse and ripped apart by snowmobiles until he died). One side cries Bart's catchphrase "Eat my shorts", the other cries "Cowabunga" and both sides engage in a bloody battle.
The episode is the 350th episode produce (in production order) of The Simpsons. Originally slated to air April 10, 2005, it was postponed with no episode playing that night (it was finally aired May 15, 2005) due to the death earlier that week of Pope John Paul II, as the episode revolved around the Roman Catholic Church.