The New Pope Season 1 Episode 5 Review: Basic Instinct

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Can the Bible be upgraded?

On The New Pope Season 1 Episode 5, Pope John desperately looked for ways to elevate himself in the eyes of the public and the Church and continued to take advice from the "people to meet" section of his bucket list.

This time it was Sharon Stone.

Crossing Her Legs - The New Pope Season 1 Episode 5

While Marilyn Manson was a treat on The New Pope Season 1 Episode 4, Sharon Stone's papal visit was a heck of a lot more fun.

And, yes, I'm talking about the Pope's request for her not to cross her legs. 

Of course, when she had to because her leg was falling asleep, Pope John and the other clergy in the room made the ultimate sacrifice by turning away while she did it.

There are two important things that came out of this episode.

The first is Pope John's "basic instinct," so to speak, to try to run his church according to the dictates of everyone around him rather than by the dictates of God and the Bible. 

Starting a Chant - The New Pope Season 1 Episode 5

What is boils down to is his need for survival and relevance, which we've talked about before.

Secondly, he feels conceding to recommendations that he doesn't really believe in constitutes a sacrifice for him. 

He may claim recognizing gay marriage for Catholics and allowing priests to marry is a way to save the Church from the neverending sexual abuse scandals, but that isn't the underlying reason he has decided to make this major change in the Church.

Sharon Stone: Your Holiness.
Pope John: Miss Stone, please. I would be eternally grateful that during the course of our conversation that you avoided the crossing and recrossing of your legs.
Sharon Stone: Sure.

He's desperate to be popular and is willing to do whatever is necessary to keep his star in the spotlight.

But once again, despite his attempts to give in to popular demand via a celebrity mouthpiece, the spotlight continues to shine on Lenny.

Every time he thinks he takes a giant leap forward, Lenny comes along and kicks him back in the shadows.

The kicker is that Pope John's very own pet leech (unless it's a centipede -- but a leech makes more sense) can't even remain loyal to a man who can't be true to himself.

And that's the difference between Lenny and Sir John Brannox.

Lenny would never turn his back on God and the Bible to change a "rule" to appease a group of people. Lenny doesn't need to turn his back on decades-old beliefs to remain popular.

Sharon Stone: Cant the Bible be upgraded?
Pope John: The Bible isn't an iPhone.

He's true to himself and his beliefs.

And if someone like Sharon Stone came to visit him, he probably would have either thrown her out or laughed in her face, or maybe he wouldn't have seen her at all. 

Pope John's Meet and Greet - The New Pope Season 1 Episode 5

He wouldn't have been influenced by her beauty, brains, or the crossing of her legs (and all that entailed).

The only thing Lenny believes in is running the Church according to the dictates of God through the Bible.

It's that lesson that Lenny was trying to teach Sir John before he decided to accept the papacy (even if it was in "spirit" form).

How many breaths now before he gives a sign?

Pope John

Pope John will never feel loved by God because he refuses to hear what God is saying because his God isn't telling him to make the changes he's about to make.

Pope John's God, right now anyway, are his celebrity friends and Sofia.

The Bible is the Bible, and if it's the "Word of God," then it needs to be followed by the very people who present themselves as representatives of God -- aka priests -- called by Him specifically to do His work on earth.

As Pope John told Sharon Stone, there is no upgrade for the Bible. It's centuries old, and it is what it is.

I have been a part of the minority my entire life. In fact, I belong to such a small minority that I am the only member.


Granted, you could go down a whole path of discussion about how the Bible was put together by a committee of men who decided which of God's "words" to include and not include -- and how many books there are that aren't in the "official" Bible of the Catholic Church.

And that would lead to discussions about how the Bible could very well be upgraded because laypeople have no idea how many of God's words are being kept from the masses.

And to take it a step further (and this is going to offend a whole lot of people), maybe the whole thing about "God's word" is all made up, kind of like childhood fables, which have some basis in fact (as lessons anyway), just so the Catholic Church can manipulate and bend people to their rule.

A Confused Sofia - The New Pope Season 1 Episode 5

Because there is an awful lot of "sinning" going on in the world, even by those "holier than thou" folks who take every word of the Bible as truth and fact -- and yet, we're all still here breathing the same air while the less fortunate remain the less fortunate and the most fortunate remain the most fortunate.

So, maybe Pope John knows the secrets of the Church and knows that it all might indeed be one big farce. Or maybe he's just willing to change things to suit his needs.

But it all boils down to beliefs. And Pope John only believes in himself and what will make him "great" in everyone's eyes.

His greatest fear and biggest threat is about to make a comeback. Now he has to decide how to handle the threat -- and it's not going to be pretty.

She Resists - The New Pope Season 1 Episode 5

Over to you.

What did you think of this installment of The New Pope?

Will Lenny come out of his coma?

Is the leech (or centipede) making a choice via God?

Will Pope John give in to his yearnings for Sofia?

Will the pregnant nun be banished, especially for the fact that the father is a Muslim?

Hit the comments, and share your thoughts!

If you need to catch up, you can watch The New Pope online right here via TV Fanatic!

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Lisa Babick is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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The New Pope Season 1 Episode 5 Quotes

Sharon Stone: Cant the Bible be upgraded?
Pope John: The Bible isn't an iPhone.

Sharon Stone: Your Holiness.
Pope John: Miss Stone, please. I would be eternally grateful that during the course of our conversation that you avoided the crossing and recrossing of your legs.
Sharon Stone: Sure.