When I read the plot summary of “Lemons” as the Dwarfers becoming stranded in 23AD and having to track down lemons in order to build a battery to return home, I was not expecting the story to turn into a blasphemous satire of Christianity. But that is exactly what we got. I laughed quite a few times in spite of myself even though these are the same old skeptic criticisms used as frequent laugh lines.
Kryten finds a Swedish Rejuvenation Shower, which must be assembled like IKEA furniture, that can restore anyone to his natural prime. Naturally, the Dwarfers put it together incorrectly, so that when the use it, they are transported back to 23 AD Albion. The handheld control device has no battery, but rimmer says he can build one with lemons and copper. The easiest place to get lemons in this time period is India, so they start hoofing it.
After acquiring lemons, the Dwarfers inadvertently run into Jesus. This is during his lost period when some speculate he traveled throughout the world perfecting his traching or stealing concepts from Eastern philosophy, depending on how harsh you want to be. Rimmer wants to meet jesus because his mother was part of a church that believed Judas switched places with jesus and was crucified so Jesus could ‘resurrect’ three days later. The other dwarfers do not want to affect the future, but they wind up not only hooking up with jesus to escape some Roman soliers, but take him back to Red Dwarf in the future.
Kryten winds up performs kidney stone surgery on Jesus with every penis joke you can imagine flying fast an furiously. during his recuperation, Lister gives jesus the history book he was reading as entertainment. Jesus reads it, becomes upset by the things done in his name throughout history, and returns to the past in order to destroy his own reputation. The Dwarfers catch up with him, though not before a long analysis on the alleged contradictions of the Ten Commandments, and convince jesus he will do good things even if some of his followers et it wrong. It turns out this is not Jesus o Nazereth, but another. The Dwarfers have to retrain rimmer when the real jesus shows up in order to avoid any more mess.
The blasphemy was a surprise as far as my understanding of what lemons was to be about. I cringed at some of the humor. Other jokes I recall atheists actually presenting as argument back in my apologetics days. Hearing those had their oewn personal amusing factors. The easily offended Christian should avoid ‘Lemons’ like the plague, but since they are already avoiding Red Dwarf, it likely matters naught. The jokes are exactly what you would expect, but not stale regardless. Interesting. Anyway. “Lemons” certainly will not be my favorite episode of the tenth series, but I like it well enough.
Rating: *** (out of 5)