Amish Mafia Episode Review: “A Church Divided”

With only eight episodes left until the Amish Mafia series finale, let’s see what’s going on in wacky Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

Jeez, at this point in time, I almost expect to see Lebanon Levi and his Amish going to war with Doug Duevil and his Mennonites, to the point where they could cast Richard Beymer and Russ Tamblyn in the Hollywood remake, with Rita Moreno as Susannah the Charity Church Girl.  I can hear the songs now… “The Mennonites will have their day tonight… The Amish folks will grumble ‘fair fight’ / but if they wanna rumble, we’ll rumble them right…”

I’d better stop or I’m going to end up in a 3,000 word tangent on how to remake Amish Mafia into Blue Ball Side Story.

Oh yeah, that reminds me.  In last week’s review, I made reference to some of the oddball and snicker-inducing town and village names in Lancaster County.  I don’t know who came up with these names, I don’t want to know.  I understand that some of the tourist attraction to these town names is that the names themselves encourage some blue thoughts.  Heck, I betcha there’s a ton of souvenir shoppes in the area that sell T-shirts announcing that you’ve visited “Intercourse, Pa.”  Ha.

But yeah, in Lancaster County you can spend time in such cities and towns and villages as:

  • Intercourse
  • Blue Ball
  • Mount Joy
  • Paradise
  • Climax
  • Bird-in-Hand
  • Virginville
  • Lititz
  • Hosensack
  • Balls Mills
  • Lickingville
  • Pleasureville

No kidding.  Yep.  And then you realize that the urban legend about Schenectady is that it was named after the three best places to kiss a woman.  Take a moment.  You’ll figure it out.  And you’ll thank me later.  Hee.

Okay, it’s time for this week’s recap.  As always, the Amish Church disavows the existence of the Amish Mafia.  They also disavow the fact that the show still has eight episodes left to air.

Crank up those violins and slow-motion farming shots.  And we start out with Constable Paul Castline recapping the latest violence in Lancaster County.  Castline’s out doing some training drills, and he notes that every time Lebanon Levi leaves the area, that a rise in anti-Amish violence rises.  And someone doesn’t want the Amish around.  Which would explain why Constable Paul Castline is practicing with assault rifles and military-grade weaponry.

Meanwhile, we’re back to the Mennonite mud party – has this party been going on for a week now?  And after we get a quick recap of the differences between Amish and Mennonites, and that the Mennonites run all the Amish buggy rides… and that Amish businesses are in the names of Mennonites so that the businesses can have electricity… I think I have this, but I’m not sure.

Meanwhile, Caleb recaps us on the history of Duivel Doug – “Devil Doug,” the leader of the black-bumper Mennonites.  He’s got bad blood with Lebanon Levi – apparently Levi may have shut down Doug’s father’s lawnmower shop.  So we get scenes of Doug shooting guns, Doug knocking down Amish signs, Doug just being downright ornery.  In other words, he’s Merlin from three seasons ago.  Duivel Doug talks to Caleb about joining his Mennonite organization.

And now Alan Beiler wants revenge against Levi (again), and he asks Duivel Doug to help get the Beiler family name cleared.  And Duivel Doug needs Alan as much as Alan needs Duivel Doug.  It’s a marriage of convenience.

Meanwhile, back in Virginville (snicker), Lebanon Levi is hanging out at the island of misfit Amish, where he’s still smitten with the girl from the Charity Church.  Well, we’re getting these updates – he’s getting some buzzes on his cell phone.  Apparently the calls were from the local bishop, who called nearly a dozen times to talk to Levi.  Levi never picked up.  Hmm… Levi not answering the phone for the bishop?  Haven’t we seen this in at least three previous seasons of Amish Mafia?

Meanwhile, the black-bumper Mennonites notice an Amish buggy parked in a handicapped spot.  And that pisses off Zach – who rides a black-bumper wheelchair.  And he’s not afraid to use a pump-action shotgun.  And apparently he’s a ladies man, or as Alan Beiler says, “Zach gets more ass than a toilet seat.”  It’s moments like that when I wonder if Alan Beiler has diarrhea of the mouth.  As for that Amish buggy that was parked in the handicapped spot, well it just got taken out by a black-bumper Mennonite late-model A-frame car.

And it already looks like Duivel Doug is on a rampage.  And he starts with an Amish volleyball game.  Merlin explains that hitting a volleyball is like Psalm 104:8.  Yeah, Merlin can find anything in the Bible.  So Duivel Doug drives his carright onto the volleyball court and knocks down the posts that hold up the net.  Then he gets out, grabs his rifle, and shoots the volleyball to pieces.  Holy Misty May-Treanor, Douvil Doug just messed up the volleyball game!  Dang, I hope he doesn’t find out about that Amish bowling game with Woody Harrelson in it…

Meanwhile, Merlin’s listening to God, and God’s telling Merlin to go to Lancaster County and create an ordnung.  And suddenly Merlin is now the Amish version of Joseph Smith, who writes down the word of God (in perfectly-printed Olde English).  And he now goes from farm to farm, prosletyzing the word of the ordnung.  Nice to see that Merlin still has that same drive that he had all the way back in Season 1.

It seems like Caleb is looking for new work.  And he considers a meeting with Duivel Doug, and he asks Doug whether there’s room in his organization for an ass-kicking Brethren who hasn’t been happy being Levi’s underling for three seasons now.  Doug challenges Caleb to do something to prove loyalty.  “Come up with something that will blow me away,” he says.

Hey, look, Constable Paul Castline got a report of gunshots being fired at an Amish gathering.  And he finally gets around to visiting the Amish volleyball field.  He sees the tire tracks in the field.  And he finds a shotgun shell casing.  Constable Castline automatically discerns that this must have been a Mennonite involvement, in that there were shotgun shells all around… and it’s time to do some serious police investigating.  Jeez, is it just me or does anybody else get the feeling that Constable Paul Castline is the most incompetent law enforcement official outside of Chief O’Hara from the Batman show?  Saints preserve us…

Meanwhile, the bishop finally reaches Levi’s cell phone.  And he fills Levi in on all the crazy stuff.  Including the gunfire at the volleyball game.  Looks like it’s time for Levi to leave Cutie Susanna and the Island of Misfit Amish, and it’s time to return home.  But not before Susanna comments on how she wishes he would return.

Alan and Doug tries to shut down all the Mennonite taxi services for Amish people.  See, I thought it was okay for the Amish to have English taxi drivers, but apparently now it’s the Mennonite taxi drivers that do all the courier work.  Man, I’m having trouble keeping tabs of all the different rewrites for this show.   Eventually the Mennonite taxi drivers dump their Amish passengers in the middle of an evening field, where Doug and his crew tell them that they can’t use Mennonite taxi drivers any more, that they’re in Mennonite country now and that their days as an Amish community are numbered.

Meanwhile, the violins are going Charlie Daniels-crazy and Merlin is going just plain crazy as he preaches his ordnung to the assembled multitude of blurred-face Amish.  He still believes in his Wadich Glauba, his words of God, and if he can control the people, then he can rule the Amish community as their leader.  Four seasons of this and he’s still trying to rule Lancaster County.  Hey, I just remembered.  Aren’t the unwashed Kentucky Amish supposed to arrive in Lancaster any time soon?  I hope they didn’t make a wrong turn and end up in Mississippi or something…

On Lebanon Levi’s way back, he sees a sign that has been spraypainted with graffiti.  “Welcome to Lancaster County,” the sign says, “Home of the Mennonites,” the sign spraypainted says.  He calls Caleb.  And Caleb’s not picking up his phone.  “A narrow mind and a wide mouth usually go together,” as Levi remembers the old proverb.

And suddenly Levi discerns the problem.  He talks with the Amish who were dumped from a Mennonite taxi.  Levi’s going to get to the bottom of this, just as soon as the crazy violins start playing again and everything goes in hyper-fast slow motion.

Meanwhile, Caleb plans on proving himself to Duivel Doug, and he comes up with an idea.  He goes into a barn – and he steals a small cannon.   And as we learn about what the Amish can do with corn and corn farming… Caleb pulls up to an old farm silo in the middle of the night.  And he loads that old cannon, and for the first time since it was last used in some Gettysburg Civil War re-enactment, he shoots a farm silo – and out spills pounds and pounds of corn, just as if someone opened up the side of a silo and pounds of grain pour from a quickly-opened hole.  Come on.  He hits the silo with a cannonball and there’s no collateral structural damage?  Just a cannonball-sized hole that takes a few seconds for anything to spill from it?  Man, these guys need to work on the post-production special effects on this show…

And what’s Merlin doing while all this is going on?  He’s going after Governor Tom Corbett to stop hassling the TV show and the tourism business.  So Merlin tries to speak with Govenror Tom Corbett as Corbett visits Lancaster County.  Meanwhile, a reporter talks to Merlin about what he wants to say to the Governor.  He says that the “Amish Mafia” show brings out the truth about the Amish community that the people don’t know, while at the same time bringing in billions of dollars from tourism.  Oh I get it… Merlin is playing Michael Moore, and Governor Tom Corbett is Roger Smith.  So now does this mean that Constable Paul Castline is the same as Sherriff’s Deputy Fred Ross, and someone else is supposed to be the woman who sells rabbits for pets or meat?

And in today’s Amish quickie factoid, Merlin says that he had a powerful dream that Jesus spoke to him in his slumbers… and Merlin drew a picture of the face of Jesus from his dreams.  And according to Merlin… Jesus is Amish.  Oh kay now.  So in the course of four seasons, Merlin has already identified both Jesus and Abraham Lincoln as being Amish.  Yeah.  Call me when he discovers that Harrison Ford was also Amish at one point in time.

And Merlin’s still preaching and prosletizing the True Belief.  His ordnung must save the Amish communit.  And he tells people they must buy the ordnung.  Dang, he’s not selling the ordnung – he’s operating a pyramid scheme where people go door-to-door to sell his ordnung.  Dang, Merlin’s turning into the ordnung equivalent of the Fuller Brush Man!

Meanwhile, Caleb changes his shirt from peach to white, and now he’s wearing the colors of the Mennonites.  It’s the Anabaptist version of crips and bloods, y’all.  And Doug, in a fit of trust, shows Caleb his secret shed.  And inside – is an arsenal of AK-47’s and AR-15’s and shotguns and handguns and crossbows and dynamite.  There’s enough ammunition and explosives to make Alvin Lentz drool.  And it intriges Caleb.

And back in Levi’s barn, Levi keeps trying to call Caleb. No answer.  And Levi throws a knife into the ground.  I guess that symbolizes war.  Especially when Doug starts shooting at targets – including one with a faceless effigy of Lebanon Levi.  Oh yeah, and one more surprise… Doug shoots at the effigy of Levi and it goes boom.

Next time on Amish Mafia, Duivel Doug matches wits with Merlin.  Merlin walks through fire.  Something else goes boom.  And Doug says “This is war” for the fifteenth time.

And now, with only seven episodes left… we close another episode of Amish Mafia.

See you next week.