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Grounded
Season 3, Episode 2
#31
Picture1-28
Air date

April 1, 2008

Written by
Directed by
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Innocence


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After a near death experience, Orel becomes obsessed with dying in order to get closer to God.

PlotEdit

Four weeks before the hunting trip...Edit

Orel is grounded for holding a bloodletting party with the neighborhood kids in the bathroom (mainly because the mess they caused). After the incident, instead of administering his usual teaching methods, Clay grounds Orel from church for a month as punishment.

On the first Sunday, the family prepares to go to church without Orel. When Orel attempts to pray at home, Clay tells Orel that going to church gives people "soul insurance", which protects them from going to Hell.

After only a few days, Orel becomes twitchy and neurotic from not going to church. He manically draws a church on his bedroom wall and prays to it in an attempt to get closer to God. Locked in his room, Orel builds a cardboard model church, which Clay takes away from him. On his family's next trip to church, a deranged Orel leaves the house, finds his church by the garbage, and wears it like a Halloween costume.

Running down the street, crazed and calling himself a church, he slams into Doughy. They search for a cross for the top of his steeple. They find a metal cross in the form of a plus sign on the roof of the "Morbidly Plus-Sized" clothing store. Immediately after placing it atop Orel's steeple, Orel is struck by lightning.

Orel finds himself floating in an endless nothingness. He expects to meet God, but he is merely alone and lost in the void. He sees a tiny light he believes to be God, but he then wakes up after being revived in the emergency room.

After returning home, Orel becomes obsessed with dying again to get closer to God, still unable to go to church. He engages in suicide twice more—once by electrocuting himself in a light-bulb socket, and once by having Doughy apply electrified defibrillator paddles to him. After his third near-death experience, a bizarre nightmare of familiar and prophetic visions with the song "Airetaina" by the High Priestess playing—including seeing himself say "I am a church" backwards. Orel wakes up and tells the six people around his bed that he saw Heaven, and it looked nothing like it was always described to him. Clay attempts to silence Orel to preserve the religious conformity, and when they get home he hits him with his belt until the enlightening experience has been beaten out of him.

The episode ends where the episode "Nature (Part One)" begins, with Orel saying that he'll "never do THAT (suicide) with THOSE (defibrillator paddles) in THERE (hospital) for that LONG ever again!" After Orel's punishment, Clay asks him if he'd like to go on a father-son outing.

CharactersEdit

Minor AppearancesEdit

NotesEdit

  • This is the only episode besides The Lord's Prayer where Clay gives Orel "the usual belting" on-screen.

Episode tie-insEdit

  • Love - Bartholomew is heard during Orel's second near-death experience
  • Nature Part 1 - This happens at the end of this episode, with some overlapping dialogue.
  • Innocence - This happens before the events of this episode, with some overlapping dialogue.