Amish Mafia episode review: “Merlin’s Judas”

So before we start today’s action-packed review of Amish Mafia, let’s do a quick analysis of the title of this episode.  “Merlin’s Judas.”  Are we saying that:

  • Someone who Merlin Miller (no relation) has in his inner circle will turn traitor on him and side with Levi or, perish the thought, the black-bumper Mennonites?
  • Merlin bought a goat, and after determining that the goat’s balle will make an excellent addition to his collection of horse balle, he decided to name the goat “Judas.”
  • Someone finally got around to paying me 30 pieces of silver for all these Amish Mafia reviews.

Anyways, let’s get to our review, shall we?  As always, the Amish Church disavows any existence of the Amish Mafia.  But if you’re looking for a good lawyer to take care of Amish clients, by all means contact the law firm of Iscariot and Iscariot, LLP.  Their motto is, “Hire us… or pray that your opponents don’t.”

Here we are in Lancaster County again.  Attorney Steven Breit are recounting a rise in crimes against the Amish.  And then he brings up the organization that wants Amish Mafia to stop.  And he also mentions that Governor Tom Corbett also wants the show to stop.  But Attorney Breit is sipping on the Kool-Aid and saying that Lebanon Levi is the true voice of the Amish.  What was that Dire Straits song with the lyric about “two men say they’re Jesus // one of them must be wrong…”

Meanwhile, Levi needs to talk to the bishops on the best way to shut down the rogue Mennonites.  Levi needs to find a way to counterbalance the hold the Mennonites have over the Amish.  And Levi proposes to change the ordnung, the way of life as directed by the bishops.  And by changing the ordnung, Levi proposes a modification that allows the Amish to have electricity on their properties, so long as they use it for their businesses.  The bishops remind Levi that he hasn’t found the Book of Menno yet.  Believe me, at this point Waldo and Carmen Sandiego are easier to find.

Constable Paul Castline has been casing out this English house, trying to figure out why Levi has been visiting the place.  Oh look, there’s Levi’s Cadillac pulling up to the house.  Constable Paul Castline uses his binoculars… and sees an English woman getting out of a second car.  The woman goes in the house.  And Constable Paul Castline, with his stellar police work … the last time I saw this kind of exemplary police work, Jackie Gleason was chasing a black Trans Am.

And we get a recap of Bren”T” the Thief, who proves to Levi that he can be loyal because he dumped a box of bees into a Mennonite compound.  So Levi asks Bren”T” to find the Book of Menno.  The Book is buried on a farm, so Levi wants Bren”T” to go to the jail to find the only other person who knows the exact burial location of the Book of Menno.  Hey, I know where it’s buried!  The farm’s in Santa Rosita, and it’s buried, along with $350,000, under a big W.  That’s right, a W as in “Why am I still watching this show…” ha ha ha ha ha

And we now cut to Merlin and Croquet-Mallet Mary, as Merlin kvetches about how he feels inequal to Levi.  And God chose Merlin Miller (no relation) to lead the Amish people.  Yeah, we’ve heard that for the 25th time this season.  You might want to move the needle on that record, Merlin…

So Merlin’s got a secret weapon – an Amish spy named Dena that can sell makeup.  Because Amish women are nothing if they don’t have an Avon representative.  What, you don’t think that Mennonites have Mary Kay representatives too?  Again, the Amish women are forbidden to wear makeup… but apparently Dena does a brisk business in eyeliner and lipstick…

And the fact that Merlin and Dena met in something called Demon Camp… a place where Amish kids are sent by their parents to exorcise demons from their bodies.  I can just imagine how they met there… with Dena saying, “This one time, in Demon Camp, I stuck a flute in my shoo-fly pie…”

And back in Paradise, Pa., at the white barn of the bishops, the Lancaster bishops meet to discuss and modify the ordnung – and lo and behold, they get it changed.  Now the Amish can have electricity, without having to put the bill in Mennonite names.  And the minute Duivel Doug finds out… that now the Mennonites don’t have control over the Amish electricity… Doug’s flipping out.  He jumps into his 1989 black-bumper Buick Century and bitches about how he hates the Amish – and takes out a road sign in his frustration!  Jeez, Doug, have you never seen Death Race 2000?  Road signs aren’t worth any points!

And it’s dark in Blue Ball, Pa., and Doug drives up to an abandoned field and meets with Alan Beiler.  Alan drops a dime that there’s a shady deacon that’s collecting Amish Aid.  Wait, the deacon is collecting Amish Aid?  I thought that was Lebanon Levi’s job?  How many people are collecting Amish Aid in Lancaster County?  Meanwhile, Duivel Doug drives that 1989 Buick Century to another house.  Lights out.  But Alan Beiler points out that a nearby house has a light in the window after 11:00 p.m.  Yep.  Alan Beiler points out an Amish locale of venster horen – “window whores.”

Window whores?  Jeez, Alan Beiler, didn’t you know that the Amish invented striptease?  It’s true!  Have you never seen The Night They Raided Minsky’s?  It’s all about an Amish woman who took off her clothes at Minsky’s Burlesque… sorry, just went off on yet another tangent.

So Alan points out that a deacon is using Amish Aid for venster horen – wasn’t there something about a deacon that was caught visiting prostitutes in motels in the first episode?   Am I watching old reruns of this show?

Meanwhile, Levi meets up with Bren”t” to go to the jail and interview the one other person who knows where the Book of Menno is buried.  I’m just going to say this outright.  If the guy in jail tells Bren”t” that the Book of Menno is buried alongside the grave of Catherine of Aragon, next to a solid gold rabbit… oh come on, didn’t you have a copy of Masquerade and spent months in the pre-Internet universe trying to figure out the clues in THAT book?

Levi starts griping about Merlin to Bren”t”, so he also wants Bren”t” to follow Merlin and find out what’s going on.  Find one of Merlin’s weakest subjects… and get him to squeal.  Anybody got some honey and oats and an old billy goat?

It’s suddenly nighttime (Lancaster County must be operating on 6-hour days), and Constable Paul Castline is still doing awesome detective work.  Constable, four kids and a Great Dane could find out more info and quicker, too.  He pulls up to a house.  Knocks on the door.  And who should answer the door but – IT’S JOHN SCHMUCKER!   He’s back, the Schmucker family have returned to reclaim the Amish Aid which was their birthright and … um … no.  Wait, wait, IT’S JOLIN ZIMMERMAN!  That’s right, who else to take out the Mennonites than the moody Mennonite himself!  Yeah, thta’s who it … no… no, not him either.  And sure enough, the door opens and it’s Merlin Miller (no relation).  Hey, maybe the title of the episode should be “Merlin’s a Judas.”  Yes?  No?

It’s funny, Constable Paul Castline says that the Amish won’t talk to the police – and so he goes to Merlin, who has no problem talking to everybody in the whole wide world.  He is asked about Levi and the English girl, and he claims ignorance.  Apparently the Amish only date within the Amish community.  Yeah, that never stopped Wayne from dating Karrie last season.  He says nothing, and Constable Castline drives away.

It’s time for Levi to do some interrogation to one of Merlin’s blurry-faced associates.  Levi goes to the car and gets a baseball bat.  Levi and Bren”t” find out that Merlin’s operating a business – having Dena sell makeup.  And that money should go to Amish Aid.  Good Lord.

Meanwhile, Mary gets into a sewing circle and starts convincing women in the circle to vote for Governor Tom Corbett’s opponent.  Hey wait a second, I don’t care if Amish are able to vote or not, wouldn’t Mary be registered as a voter in Holmes County, Ohio?

Ding dong, Dena calling, with more makeup to sell.  Wait a second, isn’t that the house where the farmer is supposed ot have the Book of Menno buried?  Wait, is that a black Cadillac in the driveway?  You don’t suppose… around the corner… – oh Lord, Dena just ran into Lebanon Levi!  And Levi takes Dena’s money and commandeers it for Amish Aid!  I can hear General Amish Akbar shouting “It’s a trap!!”

And now Levi claims that Merlin is stealing from the Amish people.  Pot, meet kettle.

And now we go to the Lancaster County Prison, where Bren”t” is interrogating the person who knows the whereabouts of the Book of Menno.  And on the way out, he pushes the camera aside.  With his “T” hand, yet.

Dean reports to Merlin and Mary that Levi took all her money.  And now Merlin is looking for the rat, the snitch, the traitor – the Judas.  And Merlin’s going Grape Ape about his money getting taken.  At this point, I don’t even know who’s fighting who.  Trust me, the battles on Game of Thrones are less complicated than this.

And Levi gets news that one of his lieutenants got robbed of his Amish Aid… Can nobody hold onto Amish Aid these days?

Well, Merlin figures out that there’s a snitch in his flock.  So he decides the only way to uncover the Judas is to have a Last Supper – complete with a pig roast (and yes, the pig has an apple in its mouth).  And as he eats with his flock – he’s looking around for anybody who might have knocked over a shaker of salt.  Yep, he found his Judas.  So he takes the blurred-out Amish snitch and gives him a good old-fashioned Amish branding.  Yep, a cattle brand right in the hand.  And he keeps quoting some twisted version of Scripture.  Dude, are you Amish or old-school Plimouth Plantation Puritan?  Thank God I’m not related to this whack-job.

And now today’s Amish factoid – Dena shows off several generations of Amish panties.  And the older panties look almost like bloomers, and her generation looks like modern panties (albeit flesh-colored).  By that progression, the Amish women of the next generation will be wearing thongs, and the generation after that will probably have panties made of dental floss.  By the way, Dena says that she will hand down these panties to her kids as treasures.  Yeah, because nothing says “heirloom” like 15o-year-old Amish underwear.  What does she think she is, Molly Ringwald in 16 Candles?

Wrap-up time.  Merlin meets up with Constable Paul Castline.  Maybe if Merlin comes up with the dirt on Levi and the English girl, he can maybe keep Constable Castline in his back pocket.  Because Merlin has been hoping for Levi to get shunned.  For four seasons now.

Levi drives up a rainy dirt road.  Bren”t” pulls up in a buggy.  Time for a little tete-a-tete.  And Bren”t” hands Levi a dirt-covered book.  It’s either the Book of Menno or Esther Freeman Schmucker’s hand-copied edition of Fifty Shades of Grey.

And back in Blue Ball, Pa., Doug gets ready for an episode interview.  He talks to the producers – and BOOM!!!

Oh my God the Buick’s on fire!  Not the Buick!!  Not the 1989 Buick Century!!!! That’s a classic car!! That’s got at least a $50 value on the Kelley Blue Book!!!!!!  And Doug’s pissed.  You take out his munitions armory, that’s one thing.  You mess with his Mennonite monopoly on electricity, that’s another.  But you never – NEVER – NEVER mess with anyone who owns a 1989 Buick Century!  Oh it’s on like Donkey Kong playing Ping Pong in Hong Kong!!

Next week on Amish Mafia, Merlin and Mary head to New York City, someone tries to file an injunction against Constable Paul Castline, we get more mentions of the movement, the Mennonites try to tear the farm apart looking for the Book of Menno, Levi and Doug have a confrontation, and something goes boom.

Of course something goes boom.  There’s more fireworks on this show than in a Transformers movie.

Anyways… see you next week for another snark-filled review of Amish Mafia!