After making a splash with its premiere, CBS debuted episode 2 of its bold comedy about religion, “Living Biblically.” This week, Chip tackled the concept of false idols when he recognized an upsetting attachment to his own cell phone.
The episode opens with Chip on his phone watching funny videos of goats getting scared. His wife, Leslie, walks in and laments that she missed the window to get tickets to see Beyonce. In a conversation that many couples have likely had, he mentions that he doesn’t understand the appeal of Beyonce. This sends Leslie into a sarcastic frenzy.
“She’s a goddess and I worship her,” she says, prompting Chip to note that she may be falling victim to false idol worship.
The next day, Chip finds himself at the bar talking to his “God Squad,” Father Gene and Rabbi Gil. They suggest that, before he high roads Leslie over her affection for the singer, he should look at his own life and determine if he worships any false idols himself. It quickly becomes apparent that Chip has an unnatural attachment to his phone, something he notices everyone else at the bar is stricken with too.
“Would you give up your phone if God asked you to?” Gil questions.
“God would never ask me to do that,” a shocked Chip replies.
“God asked Abraham to kill his son.”
“Yeah, but he didn’t ask him to give up his phone!”
Eventually, he gets the point and, like Moses in the desert, smashes his false idol to pieces. That night, he’s excited to start the next day as a man without a phone. In order to help with the downgrade, he packs a small fanny-pack with some pre-cell phone accessories including a watch, a map, a calculator, portable CD player and, of course, his bible.
The next day at work, his coworkers are disturbed to see that he’s late. What’s more, he’s not responding to calls, texts or funny videos posted for him on social media. They jump to the very reasonable conclusion that he’s died, but it’s revealed that he’s simply overslept without a cell phone alarm clock to get him up for work.
Instead, he awakes to the sound of his doorbell ringing with a delivery of some cheeses courtesy of Leslie. It turns out, this is the anniversary of the day they first said “I love you.” Without his cell phone there to remind him, he forgot and finds himself without a gift for her. He quickly goes to Father Gene, kicking another man out of the confessional booth.
The priest, who remarks that this is hardly a problem that a priest can solve, suggests he go to the box office in the hopes of miraculously securing Beyonce tickets. However, Chip finds it incredibly difficult to even navigate his way to the arena without his phone to guide him. Meanwhile, no one on the street will help the derelict gabbing about a “loveiversary” and preaching the bible to people.
Eventually, he makes his way to the box office as they’re closing. He pleads his case and the woman behind the counter decides to give him some help once he reveals he’s trying to live without a phone. For $100 a pop, she sells him the last two tickets remaining. Victorious, he heads home.
Once he arrives, Chip sees his coworkers about to knock on his door to tell Leslie that she’s a pregnant widow. They cannot fathom a reason that Chip would be unresponsive on his phone except for death. When it’s revealed that he was simply playing hookie from work, he invites them in to share in his new basket of cheese. Fortunately, it’s another win for Chip and his new bible-adhering lifestyle as Leslie is so overjoyed to have the tickets that she tells him she loves him more than the day she first said it.
The episode ends with the reveal that Leslie is planning to bring a fellow Beyonce fan to the concert at Chip’s behest. On the night of the concert, Rabbi Gil shows up as a proud member of the “Bey Hive.”
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