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October 13, 2015

Moral Orel: Holy Visage

by Adam Finley, posted Jan 22nd 2007 10:15AM

moral orel(S02E09) The Adult Swim schedule grid has this episode listed as "Holy Image," but the opening credits had it as "Holy Visage," so that's what I'm calling it. At the start of this season I received an e-mail from creator Dino Stamatopoulos that said the title of the episode may change from "Holy Image" to something else. I assume it was changed so viewers wouldn't confuse it with "God's Image," an earlier episode. [Note: Dino e-mailed me and confirmed this after I posted this review].

While watching this episode I found myself thinking of The Simpsons, another series that often deals with the conflict between faith and reason. Neither show denies the existence of a god, but The Simpsons makes God's presence much more blatant than Moral Orel does. The only Simpsonsesque appearance of God is in the opening credits when He actually tears the roof from the church and Orel waves to Him. Otherwise, God doesn't interfere much in the day to day lives of the citizens of Moralton. The point seems to be that God is dealing with the bigger picture, and doesn't sweat the small stuff.

Unfortunately, that means the always flawed and often deluded people who populate Orel's world are left to decide for themselves what is God's will and what isn't. When Orel accidentally wounds a Jewish doctor --named "Doctor Chosenberg," naturally-- with his Jesus "Wiggle Neck" doll, it leaves a wound resembling Jesus' face. Obviously, it's just an imprint from the doll, but the Christian doctor refuses to treat the wound because it's holy. Meanwhile, patients line up to pray to the wound while also infecting Dr. Chosenberg with their diseases.

This episode is best summed up when Dr. Chosenberg asks Orel to roll the medicine tray to him and Orel responds, "I can't, that'll mean I've lost my faith." Orel doesn't realize that having faith doesn't mean throwing reason out the window completely.

Oh yeah, and did everyone notice that Shapey is still gone? I wonder how that particular story is going to play out.

Favorite moments:

  • The tour of Ripperley's "Believe It Or Else!" that includes these holy artifacts: the Holy Grail, a porthole from Noah's ark, and the skeleton of the Baby Jesus
  • Orel praying to God about baseball, rather than praying for God to heal Dr. Chosenberg

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Yeah. I remember it was the more triangular-shaped head of the other fam's Shapey.

January 25 2007 at 10:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Adam Finley

I'm pretty sure that was the neighbors' kid from the previous episode, the one who resembles Shapey.

January 22 2007 at 12:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I thought I saw Shapey standing with his Mom asking for a drink of milk from her breast while standing in line to see the Jesus wound. I guess I'll have to watch it again to check.

January 22 2007 at 10:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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