The last, sad, remaining Amish Mafia story

For three years, I had fun reviewing the godawful trashy reality show Amish Mafia, the program that purported to reveal the secret society within a secret society – the crew of enforcers and thugs and gangsters among the Plain Folk of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

I had a lot of fun reviewing and snarking on those shows – the crappy acting, the convoluted storylines, the straight-out offensiveness of the whole program.  It was silly and it was fun.

What was NOT fun about the show was the ongoing real-life storyline between Esther Freeman Schmucker, one of the stars of Amish Mafia, and her off-camera boyfriend, rapper I’Mir Williams.  At one point in time, Williams beat Schmucker nearly to a pulp, fracturing her cheekbones and her teeth.

I remember that horrible story.  And I wrote about it in 2014.

And I wrote about how the producers of Amish Mafia callously and horridly wrote the assault into the program storyline.  This show just didn’t hit rock bottom… it borrowed jackhammers and kept on plunging lower.

That was three years ago.

This morning, I learned that Lancaster County, Pa. police are on a manhunt for I’Mir Williams.  WGAL in Lancaster, Pa. reports that Williams assaulted an unnamed woman and put two children in danger.  According to a police spokesperson, “There was a choking incident, a slamming into a door and punching and kicking…two children were being held or close to the female victim…they were in some risk of harm as well.”

Although the woman is not initially identified in the news report, the last two lines of the news story are chilling.  “This isn’t the first time Williams has been charged with assaulting this woman. He was charged with assaulting her in Strasburg in 2013 while she was on the show ‘Amish Mafia.'”

Dammit.  Not again.  Not again.

Some people will say, “well, if you’re being beaten, get away.”  But it’s not that easy.  It never is.  Some people can’t leave their abusers, whether it’s because of emotional damage, the fear of destitution, or a thousand other reasons that make no sense to you or to me, but make perfect sense to them.  It’s sad and it’s horrifying and it’s traumatic.

And I certainly hope that there are people who can help Esther Freeman Schmucker through this painful and traumatic ordeal the best way possible – get her the hell away from I’Mir Williams, and make sure that Williams spends the rest of his natural life in a prison cell.  Assaulting a family member is horrid enough … but now you bring children into the battle?  Scum.

Trust me.  This is more important than a silly little TV show from years ago.

I know there’s an old mantra about how “the more things change, the more they stay the same.”

This was one of those things I hoped would change for Esther Freeman Schmucker.

I’m sorry to see that it hasn’t changed.

Very sorry.

I hope police find I’Mir Williams – and if there is any sort of karma in this world, I hope he gets every punch back at him that he threw at another person.

Every single punch.

Punk.

Advertisements

I need Lebanon Levi as a language tutor…

Last Saturday, as I dropped off my artworks and entries at the New York State Fair in Syracuse, I planned for a “driving break” at some point on my way home.  I didn’t feel like stopping at Turning Stone Casino (Exit 33) or Hamilton College (Exits 32 or 31), but by Exit 29 I was feeling kinda wiped.

And sure enough … three miles before I arrived at Exit 29, I saw what appeared to be, in the distance, a huge antique / salvage store.  I need to visit this.  A few miles later, I picked up Exit 29, then drove back to that location – in the little hamlet of Fort Plain.

And after going through the antique / salvage store – there were plenty of items there, maybe a second trip someday will be beneficial – I saw a little country store / delicatessen across the street from the salvage building.  Well, I’m in the area, may as well pick up some food for the trip home.

And as I arrived inside … I noticed that the country store would only remain open until 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, and would be closed on Sunday.  I had at least a half hour for shopping.

Baking goods, noodles, pies, scrapple … yes, scrapple.  Because, as I immediately discovered, this was an Amish foods store.  And there was a woman at the cash register – yep, she had the bonnet and the blue frock.

Okay, Chuck, buy your groceries… and try to remember.  How do you say “hello” in Pennsylvania Dutch?

See, I have this thing about me.  If I eat at a Chinese restaurant, I will at least greet the cashier with “Ni Hao,” which is about the only Chinese I can recall.  And if I believe that the shop owner is of the Islamic faith, I will greet them with “As-Salam-u-Alaikum,” which is essentially, “May peace be upon you.”  Again, it’s about the only words I can clearly say in that language.  It’s not to be a big shot or a show-off; it’s to show respect for the culture and legacy.  At least learn a few words.

But I know that at one point in time, I did learn how to say hello in Pennsylvania Dutch.  And so help me, it was because the lesson came because I watched a certain fake “reality TV” show…

Yeah.  You know… that one.

So I’m standing in the checkout aisle with some scrapple, some noodles, a couple of cans of diet cola…

And I can’t remember how to say hello in Pennsylvania Dutch.

Dang it.  I think it’s “Wee bistch glu” or something…

I’m at the register.  And I timidly blurt out to the cashier … “Wee bist gloo.”

And … yep … she laughed.

Was it a laugh of joy?  No.  It was a laugh of “Miller, you mangled an opening greeting to another culture, to the point where you probably said to her, ‘Hello, I have donkey brains.'”

Man, it’s like trying to order food at a Tim Hortons in St-Liboire, Quebec all over again.

“I got it wrong?”  I sheepishly asked.  “I didn’t say something dirty by accident, did I?”

“You were close,” she smiled, as she itemized my purchases.  “Say this with me.  Wie bischt du?”

Wie bischt glu?

Wie bischt du.  It means, ‘How are things going?'”

Wie bischt du.  Okay, I can do this.  Thanks.”

And after we completed the new purchasing tradition of putting the chip-enabled credit card in the chip-reader – and her telling me that the chip-reader doesn’t work yet, so I needed to swipe my credit card through – I had made my purchases and was on my way.

Okay.  Next time I go to this store.  It’s Wie bischt du.  Memorize those words, Miller.  Show that you have respect for the language of another culture.

Trying is not good enough.

Succeeding is the true path to enlightenment.

And whatever you do… do NOT tell them that you were involved, in any way, shape or form, with this old TV show.  EVER.

Donald Trump, meet Lebanon Levi

Please tell me this isn’t true.

Oh wait… maybe it is true.  And if it is, it’s even funnier.

Apparently, in an attempt to influence party votes in certain swing states, a new political action committee has been established – its goal is to get Amish and Mennonites to the polling places, and hopefully to elect Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton and/or Bernie Sanders.

Yep… there is now an Amish PAC.

According to a report by the Religion News Service, an organization is betting nearly $41,000 to help get the Amish vote in swing states like Pennsylvania and Ohio – and to get the Plain Folk to support Donald Trump.

According to this article in LancasterOnline, the people behind this effort are Ben Walters, who worked on the Ben Carson political campaign; and Taylor Swindle, a former top aide to Newt Gingrich.  Their plan is to advertise with print media – newspapers and billboards – to convince Amish voters to pledge allegiance to the Grand Old Party.

Donald Kraybill, an expert on Amish culture and history, has his own valid opinions about the Amish PAC and Donald Trump’s involvement with it.

But see, here’s the thing.  You don’t need to spend $41,000 to buy billboards and newspaper ads.

You want to influence Amish thinking?

You want to reach out to Amish neighborhoods?

Forget the Amish PAC.

Call these guys.

That’s right, kids… we’re talking Lebanon Levi, Jolin, Alvin and John… oh yeah, and don’t forget Caleb…

And, of course, Esther Freeman Schmucker, the most bad-ass Amish woman ever.

So do we really need Donald Trump getting involved with the Amish?  Does Donald Trump support the beliefs and positions of the Plain Folk from Lancaster County?  Will he support the efforts of Merlin Miller and Mary Troyer as they form their new Amish settlement in Holmes County, Ohio or wherever they’re planning to locate?

And most importantly… could Donald Trump finally get the Esther Freeman Schmucker spinoff pilot, The Rise and Return, off the ground and on the air?

Yeah, I’m still not sure this is the way to go.  Then again, between Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, I’m still reserving my vote.

Because I’m not a fan of pandering for electoral votes.

Even if it somehow means Lebanon Levi returns to my television screens.

 

“The Rise and Return” – an Amish Mafia sequel?

Background.

A few years ago, I had fun doing a snark-filled episode review of the Discovery Channel fake-reality TV series Amish Mafia.  The show purported to pull back the curtain on the secret culture of Amish and Mennonites in South Central Pennsylvania.  For four seasons, we watched the wacky adventures of Lebanon Levi King Stoltzfus and his band of enforcers – Jolin Zimmerman the moody Mennonite, Alvin Lentz the soft-spoken explosives expert; Caleb Isaac Meyer the burly Brethren, and their battles against other Amish groups and against the English and against the cops.

Yeah, it was fun.  It was fun watching the show’s absurdity and wackiness, while all the time trying to figure out whether the show was some sort of weird satire or if the producers actually believed this kind of stuff was going on.

When the show ended in 2015, I kinda missed reviewing it.  It was just that wacky.  There was some talk about a new season for the show, but I knew the program was dead.  Dead like the flies that gorged themselves on three-month-old shoo-fly pie.

That was in 2015.

This is now 2016.

And someone sent me this link.

Holy crap, I know that face.  I know that voice.  That’s Esther Freeman Schmucker, one of the stars of the first three seasons of Amish Mafia!

And what am I seeing – is this Esther getting out of a white Cadillac, Esther wearing English clothing, Esther changing into Plain Folk finery, Esther speaking Pennsylvania Dutch one more time?

And then … this image from Esther’s Facebook page.  Yeah, she’s Amish and she has a Facebook page.  No, I don’t know if she accesses the Internet from a dial-up modem or not.

And here’s another image, showing that dichotomy that Esther walked through the first three seasons of the show.

Hokey smokes and artichokes.

So the show is coming back.  Under a new name, and supposedly under a new production company.

This could be very interesting.  And yeah, I’d be curious to see when and where the new program will air.  Because the minute I find out there’s an airdate and a start time and an episode guide…

I’m going to be on this show like crazy violins on an Amish Mafia soundtrack.

“Amish Mafia” book review: Amish Confidential

See, unlike the Discovery Channel, who essentially unpersoned Amish Mafia as if it never ever existed… I’m still finding a way to do reviews of the show.  Well, at least one more review, barring any sort of “Merlin and Mary Take a Road Trip” spinoff, or if Paul and the horde of unwashed Kentucky Amish ever make their way to Lancaster County…

No, I’m talking about Amish Mafia star Lebanon Levi’s new book, “Amish Confidential” (with Ellis Henican, Gallery Books, 2015).  This book is designed to pull back the curtain on what goes on in Amish communities – the different rules the Amish participate in to operate their lives; their relationships with “English” outsiders, crimes perpetrated on (and sometimes by) the Amish, etc.  And through it all, we get the observations of Lebanon Levi about growing up in the Amish community, the life he led in that community, and his brush with actress Kelly McGillis when she lived with the Amish during the filming of the movie Witness.

What we have here are two different books – the first half of the book talks about Levi’s life and upbringing; the second half of the book recaps various Amish-related news stories – the Sam Mullet hate crime in Bergholz, Ohio, where Mullet and his followers shearing the beards of several Amish married men; the crime still seems like an odd choice for a “hate crime” designation, but to read the story you would eventually understand that shearing a married Amish man’s beard is anathema to the Amish faith.

And we get some other recaps of Amish crimes and issues; there are chapters in the book that talk about Amish incest and beastiality; references to puppy mills and a drug connection with a Hell’s Angels motorcycle gang; and the horrifying stories of Amish children getting kidnapped – or, in the tragic story of Nickel Mines – getting murdered in a schoolhouse.  The stories are rehashed and reviewed, but during these chapters it’s almost as if Lebanon Levi has stepped away from the manuscript and Ellis Henican has stepped in to finish the chapters.

The book talks about several things that were never mentioned in the Amish Mafia show, including the fact that Amish do pay taxes (with the exception of Social Security taxes), and that Amish try to balance their personal lives with the Amish appearance that brings in the tourism dollar.

But there’s one truly glaring omission from this book.  One omission that I thought would cover half of the book’s 270+ pages.

And no, I’m not talking about some sloppy editing (for example, the book lists the Nickel Mines shooting as taking place in both 2006 and 2007).

I’m talking about the few scant pages devoted to the Amish Mafia television series itself!

Outside of some references to the reaction from Amish leaders about the show, and the whole “Governor Tom Corbett wants to shut our show down, so we need to vote him out of office” screed at the end of the book (funny thing, though – Governor Tom Corbett carried Lancaster County, Pa. in the vote – but he lost the election – but the Amish Mafia show got cancelled anyway), there is very little that talks about the controversial show.

Heck, Esther doesn’t even get mentioned until the final pages, and even that is a reference to someone asking about why Levi didn’t stay with Esther during Season 3 of the series.  No mention of her getting physically beaten and assaulted by her live-in boyfriend I’Mir Williams.  No mention of all the explosions and gang violence between the Amish and Mennonites.  No mention of Caleb using explosive cow farts to destroy an illegal still in Indiana.  And yes, I just wrote “explosive cow farts” in a blog post.  And trust me, it wasn’t the first time I’ve done this.

Did I enjoy reading the book?  Yes I did.  But do I think the book still needs a few additional chapters?  Of course I do.  This book – like the four-year run of the series – is both confusing and unfinished.  The book is promoted as Lebanon Levi writing a tell-all book, but it’s a tell-all book about everything EXCEPT the stuff we want to know.

Oh well… maybe I’ll just wait for the “Amish Mafia” board game to come out.  I can see it now.  You can play as one of several different tokens – an Amish horse and buggy, Lebanon Levi’s Cadillac, Duivel Doug’s black-bumper Buick, or Caleb’s horse-tour wagon.  You travel along the game board, and if you land on a certain square, you can draw cards with messages like:

  • Jolin discovers your pigeon-courier-drug farm.  Lose a turn.
  • You go to Florida with Susanna the Charity Church Girl.  Roll the dice.  If you roll a 6, you advance six spaces.  If you roll any other number, you lose your turn because you discover that she has a tattoo.
  • Go directly to the silo, wait two turns and roll again.  If you roll a six, you can escape the silo.  Any other number, stay in the silo and STOP TALKING BACK!

Sorry, couldn’t resist.

So if this is the last thing we see from the Amish Mafia television show, it’s like the entire series, in retrospect.  We’re promised so much, we’re teased with what we might discover, and in the end …

… we’re left feeling cheated.

Amish Mafia episode review: “Amish Confidential” (Levi writes a book)

Wait, I thought I was done.

Well, maybe I’m not.  Because after I reviewed what aI THOUGHT was the final episode, there’s a final “final” recap episode.  Man, this show won’t die, will it?

The announcers reveal that Lebanon Levi King Stoltzfus has been living a doppel leben – a double life, with a child out of wedlock.  He has nothing left to give.  He has nothing left to protect.  Levi has been shunned – excommunicated – and kicked out of the Amish community.

But on January 30, 2015, Levi announces that he’s working with a book agent and a publisher, and he calls in the old producers to chronicle all of this.

Levi wants to do a tell-all book about the Amish, and what goes on behind the sceneds.  Puppy mills.  Drugs.  Bestiality.  In other words, Levi’s going to sing like a canary.

We get some overviews by the producer about shunning, and we receive an interview with Susan Fisher, an Amish woman who was shunned by the community.  The Mennonites rejected shunning, while the Amish still practice it.  And several members of the Amish Mafia show received shunning – including Mary Troyer, and Alan Beiler’s mother (who as an Amish woman married a Mennonite man, which got her shunned by the Amish).

Meanwhile, we get an interview with Levi’s mistress / baby mama.  And of course we now know that Levi’s into blurred-faced women.  We get the implication that Amish Aid may have paid for Levi’s mistress’s designer bags.  And she boasts that Levi is a stallion in bed.  But Levi’s mistress has a secret of her own.  When Levi’s mistress found out she was pregnant, she told him – and she saw his heart sink.  And that she didn’t want to be his dirty little secret.  If Lebanon Levi is a star, then Levi’s mistress wants her day in the sun.  And as we go to commercial, hey look there’s a commercial for an erectile dysfunction drug.  I wonder if there’s something in the ordnung about the use of Viagra?  Beats me…

Now we get a recap between Levi and the castmembers of Season 3, to the point where we thought the show had ended.  And now we get the “Governor Tom Corbett wants the show cancelled” plotline, which meant that Levi decided to come back.  And the Lancaster Board of Tourism and respectamish.org, they also wanted the show to end as well.  But Levi found a way to get the show back on the air, even if it meant continuing the show without Alvin, Jolin and the Schmuckers.  We get the storyline that Alvin Lentz found a girl and moved to Florida, and that Jolin Zimmerman moved to Texas and stayed off the air.  And John Schmucker goes back to jail.

Oh wait, there’s some footage of Esther Freeman Schmucker, both in her Amish garb and in English clothing.  Talk about leading a doppel leben of her own.  We get private investigator footage of Esther in English garb and flirting with English guys.  Big surprise, eh?  And of course, how about some footage of Esther Schmucker getting her face pulverized with MirKat?  Yeah, that’s classy, producers.  Nothing like trotting out Esther’s broken face one more time.  Urgh.

And who’s running Lancaster’s Amish Aid?  Alan Beiler, of course.  He said that two bishops – one Mennonite, one Amish – visited him to try to broker the peace between the religions.  And who better than the Schwarz Amish to take care of this?  Only took them four years and two stints for Alan in the Perry County Jail to figure all this out.

Oh crap, now we’re going to get another recap about Sam Mullet and his hate crimes against several Amish families in Bergholz, Ohio.  And after Sam Mullet returns to prison, Merlin gets another vision from God, in that he should marry Mary Troyer as part of the Merlin Miller Amish sect, and that he should write his own ordnung – the bodenkunde, if you will…

Now it’s a recap of what happens to Amish children after their eighth-grade education.  Levi’s book promises to tell about incest and child abuse in Amish communities.  We get some recaps of some of the child abuse that occurred to some of the Amish Mafia cast, including Alan Beiler talking about getting abused as a child.  And now we get an interview with Riki Karolyi, who works with abused Amish women and we get her story about what types of services are available to these battered women.  And they came up with a cookbook – a recipe for a ham casserole on one side of the book, and on the other side – recipes for escaping the type of battering that doesn’t involve eggs and an oven.  Merlin also promises that sexual abuse will not be tolerated in his Merlin Miller Amish sect.  Hmm… does that mean nobody’s going to get coated in honey and oats and have a goat lick their bare skin?  Oh, well maybe that’s just for garnering information from non-talkative Mennonites…

Oh look, we get some candid comments about how Levi feels about Constable Paul Castline.  And Levi’s pretty candid, keeps calling him shady, to the point where he tried to get Alvin drunk and then arrest him for drunkenness.  Right.  These are candid moments.  Same old overacting Levi King Stoltzfus.

And now it’s time for the relationship between humans and animals – including exploding cow farts and drug-carrying pigeons.  Ugh.  Now we’re talking about Amish bestiality.  Would you excuse me for a second?  I’m going to go throw up right now.

.

.

.

Sorry about that.  Okay, I’m back.  Now we get stories about horse dealers that sell less-than-quality horses.  And Duivel Doug recalls someone at a horse auction actually punching a horse in the face and knocking the horse to the ground with the punch.  Oh wait… wasn’t that Alex Karras in Blazing Saddles that did that?

And the final Amish Mafia factoid – Constable Paul Castline had a pending lawsuit made public.  And because of this, Constable Paul Castline hassles one of the show’s producers and takes him down to the police station.  The producer was released, and according to the intertitle, is now contemplating a lawsuit of his own.  At this rate, Constable Paul Castline is probably looking at writing traffic tickets or being a replacement school crossing guard by the time this show airs.  Just sayin’ is all…

And in the final six minutes of the series ticks away, we get a montage of explosions and farmland.  Alan Beiler is once again shown as the leader of Amish Aid, and with the possibility of getting Amish and Mennonites to work together.  And Merlin Miller has seven years to create his own Amish sect, as Wilmot, Ohio will be the home of the Merlin Miller Amish.  And as for Lebanon Levi?  He’s got a book out.

The final seconds are narrated by, of all things, Esther Freeman Schmucker, who repeats the same narration from the show’s premiere episode.  And we get photos and still shots of all the Amish Mafia characters and actors.  All the fire.  Burning of green corn.  Hut parties. Buggy rides.  Buggies getting flipped over and destroyed.  Hatches through windshields.  Manure thrown on Merlin.  Esther and Levi fighting.  Buggies getting blown up.  Raw milk getting busted.  paul throwing a hatchet.  “Stop talking Back!”  The Amish exorcism.  Caleb getting in a fight.  Mud parties.  Esther slapping Levi.  More explosions.  A cannon takes out a silo.  Gunshots.  Explosions.  Levi throws a knife.  More explosions.  More property damage.  Boom.  Boom.  Boom.  And Esther saying, “Yes, there really is an Amish Mafia.”  And … scene.

So essentially the final episode of Amish Mafia – for all that it stands for – is essentially an infomercial for Lebanon Levi’s tell-all (wink wink) book.  Oh man, let me run to Amazon.com and order a copy!  And it’s also an infomercial for joining the Merlin Miller Amish sect.  It will become the most successful Amish sect out there.

And maybe, just maybe, it might be ripe for a brand new television series on the Discovery Channel some day.

And if it does… I’ll be there to review it.

Thanks Discovery Channel, for four seasons of Amish Mafia wackiness.  It was real, it was fun, not sure if it was real fun…

but I guess that’s the way the shoo-fly pie crumbles.

 

Amish Mafia episode review: “The End Is Near”

And just like that… after four seasons, a Christmas episode, a two-hour exorcism special, and a lot of snark… the show is over.  Last night’s episode – and a one-hour “Amish Confidential” post-series review – are the final offerings of Amish Mafia, the show that found a way to offend nearly everybody in South Central Pennsylvania.

But before I review this final episode of Amish Mafia, I want to talk about some things.  Like, for example, why I’m reviewing these episodes in the first place.

And we have to go back at least a decade on this one.

To a show called American Dreams.  This was a three-season NBC drama about a 1960’s Philadelphia family whose daughter received an opportunity to dance on the show American Bandstand.  The show played seriously fast and loose with history and pop cultural references, and every time I tried to watch the show and enjoy the show, I got frustrated.  Episodes would throw in a reference that didn’t make sense to the purported timeline, and it would completely pop me out of that “suspension of disbelief” that I’m watching a drama about a 1960’s Philadelphia family… and instead I was watching a television show with actors that were portraying what the 1960’s looked like as written by writers who had no idea what the 1960’s were actually like.

I reviewed the episodes back on a platform called USENET Newsgroups.  Some of the reviews were picked up by a Yahoo! group devoted to the show, and their members pretty much hated my guts – to the point where they actually started blaming my reviews for the ratings downturn.  Puh-leeze.  The show died after three seasons, and although the producers filmed an 8-minute series epilogue, that epilogue hasn’t aired outside of fan festivals.  And far as I was concerned, the hyper-sensitive fans of American Dreams who blamed my online observations on the cancellation of the show seriously needed to get outside and enjoy some fresh air.

So that was the last time I put together any real concerted effort to snark-review a TV show.

Until now.

Until I discovered a Discovery Channel “reality” “documentary” series about a bunch of Plain Folk enforcers in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.  And I got hooked.  And after a few episodes, I went back to something I thought I would never do again – I unpacked my snark-filter and started reviewing episodes of Amish Mafia.

And while the Times Union held their noses upon reading my reviews, they could not deny that the reviews were popular.  I received tones of readers – mostly on word of mouth, along the lines of, “Hey this guy in New York’s reviewing episodes of Amish Mafia and it’s pretty damn funny what he’s doing, here I’ll send you the link and you can read them…”

So with that, I say thank you to all those who have visited my blog for the specific purpose of reading my Amish Mafia reviews.  I hope you enjoyed them, and I hope you stuck around to read some of my other blog topics.

Now as for the final episode…

Man, what’s going to happen after this show ends?  Where will all the Amish Mafia characters end up?  Well, I’m not a fan of putting 75 cast members out of work, ha ha ha … so let’s find them all homes on the Discovery Channel family of networks, shall we?  I think that since Amish Mafia has generated some seriously powerful ratings numbers, why not see if those wacky plain folk can find new fans on the following shows:

  • DEADLIEST CATCH – Yeah, I want to see if Captain Wild Bill Wichrowski will ever dare shout down greenhorn Jolin Zimmerman.  Heck, by the end of the season, Jolin might become the new captain.
  • FAST N’ LOUD – They can have Duivel Doug.  Give him a black-bumper Buick and let him do burnouts in the Gas Monkey Garage parking lot.
  • NAKED AND AFRAID – Two words… Mary Troyer.
  • GOLD RUSH – They can have the entire Schmucker family.  Put them to work with the Hoffman crew.  Except for Freeman – I think he’d work out really well at Tony Beets’ dredge.  Tony can do all the talking and Freeman can just look creepy.
  • BERING SEA GOLD – This would be a perfect place for Constable Paul Castline.  He can hunt for gold at the same pace as he hunts for Lebanon Levi’s nefarious doings.  And he’ll probably get chased off the Christine Rose… then the Au Grabber… then the Wild Ranger… then the Eroica… and he might hang on with the Reaper only because the Kelly clan are so hard-pressed for warm bodies.
  • ALASKA: THE LAST FRONTIER – Hey Merlin, I think the Kilcher family could definitely benefit from your preaching of the ordnung.  Or they might just ignore you.  Either way, it’ll make for entertaining television.
  • MYTHBUSTERS – Yeah, let’s have Adam and Jamie try to disprove whether you can blow up an illegal distillery by igniting cow farts.

Okay, that was fun.

Now I have a show to review.  And as always, the Amish Church disavows any existence of the Amish Mafia.  Just like in two weeks, the Discovery Channel will disavow any existence of the Amish Mafia TV show.  Hey, why wait two weeks?  They’re not even going to replay the episode, going straight to a Naked and Afraid marathon. And no, I told you that they’re not showing Mary Troyer on that show…

And… here we go.

We get a recap of Sam Mullet.  Caleb may have a golden ticket to cut down Lebanon Levi.  And why is there a basinet in Lebanon Levi’s house?  And more things go BOOM!

Cue those crazy violins and slow-motion Amish scenes!

We get a recap of Duivel Doug’s house blowing up.  And the fireworks?  Most likely came from Alan Beiler, who holds grudges like the Ayatollah Khomenei.  Piss off Alan, and he’ll make sure you’re not in the picture.

And two months later… in a hazy fog over Lancaster County… Levi recaps that nobody’s seen Doug in a while.  Hopefully he’s got a camera crew following him so we can find out his whereabouts.  Levi’s happy about how things have gone – and id looks like he has a brand new black Cadillac for all his trouble.

Meanwhile, Constable Paul Castline is still driving through the snow-capped farmlands, still looking for Lebanon Levi going into the English neighborhood.  Damn, at this rate the real killers in the O.J. Simpson trial will show up before Constable Paul Castline finds his man.

Meanwhile, Zach hasn’t found Doug, but he has found flaming arrows and has shot them into old oil barrels to make them explode.  Flaming arrows?  What are you, Robin Hood or something?

And Caleb is now looking for work.  At the moment, Caleb is looking for a bull that can produce high-quality bull semen; and he may have acquired a couple of stud beefers.  And we get a full explanation of animal breeding and husbandry.  Caleb bought a few bulls, and hopefully he didn’t get stuck with a bum steer or two.  Okay, that joke was udderly ridiculous.  Don’t have a cow, man…

Oh wait, a few minutes later, Caleb calls the producers over, and he’s angry.  Angry angry angry.  Because he DOESN’T have a cow, man.  Let me explain.  His bulls are missing, and he thinks that the producers might know what’s going on about the missing livestock.   He thinks that the producers might have possibly snitched out that Caleb had prized bulls and that the herd was stolen.  Caleb, listen very carefully to me.  If you have livestock, you should brand them with a branding iron.  Instead of branding an Amish man’s hand with a “T” to denote him as a thief, why don’t you brand the bulls with a “C” so that everybody knows they’re your farm animals?  Did they not teach you this in Brethren 101?

And look who’s returned to Holmes County, Ohio – it’s Merlin and Mary, along with Dena the Amish makeup saleslady.  Merlin’s main concern now is Sam Mullet, the rogue Amish bishop who scares most of his own flock and who went to jail based on hate crimes against the Amish (cutting an Amish man’s beard is considered a violation of his religious rights, in that Amish grow beards after they wed).  And if Sam Mullet gets out of jail, he might be able to snitch on some of Merlin’s activities, which would cause Merlin to go back to jail.  And the Lord has told Merlin to go to Bergholz, Ohio to expose all of Sam’s secrets – by talking to Sam’s followers and families.  So what is this, the Amish version of the Branch Davidians?  Or maybe the Jonestown Guyana cult?   Or maybe it’s the second coming of Rajneeshpurim?  Mary and Dena are scared to visit the compound, but Merlin is still listening to God and the Amish Mafia producers.  He’s going in with the camera crew.  I mean, hell, it’s the last episode of Amish Mafia, he’s got nothing to lose by being his own de facto director and doing this … right?

Merlin and the ladies go from house to house, looking for someone who will talk about Sam Mullet on camera.  Jeez, couldn’t Mary use her sex appeal to get someone to talk?

And we get one of Sam’s daughters, Linda Schrock, to talk about the atrocities that Sam Mullet has imposed upon his followers.  She’s reluctant, but is willing to talk.  As long as they only spoke to Amish – no English involved.  And after Merlin practices with the clapboards, the Bergholz Amish begin to talk.  Johnny Most, Sam Mullet’s grandson, says that Sam Mullet had sex with several of his followers.  Linda Schrock talks about a man who had a rope tied around him and horse-dragged down the road as punishment.  And now Merlin asks if the Amish in Bergholz, Ohio is run like a Mafia.  Wow, that would be a great title for a TV show, wouldn’t it?  We get plenty of talk about what Sam Mullet is still doing, even behind bars.   And Sam Mullet received ten more years behind bars, which gives Merlin peace of mind – at least for ten more years, his illicit secrets are safe.

Meanwhile, back in Blue Ball, Pa., Alan Beiler gets approached by an Amish man to find a way to stop a crime.  Apparently a man is going into Amish neighborhoods and fondling young Amish girls.  Eww.  Alan Beiler springs into action. So what does Alan Beiler do?  He wires up an old junker car with explosives and, with the click of a car alarm system, blew up the totally un-road-worthy junk car to smithereens.  Okay, I get it.  Cars on this show have a short life span.  Windshields have been shot out.  Hatchets have gone through the auto glass.   Manure has been dropped on them.  Caleb AND Big Steve have taken baseball bats to them.  Wayne’s truck landed in the middle of a lake.  And that’s not even counting buggy damage.  And this is the third car this season to go completely BOOM on us.  But if you’re going to blow up a car, would you at least make a conscious effort to actually make the car look like it’s roadworthy and not a junker car whose only life expectancy might be as one of those “crusher cars” that Grave Digger drives over at the county fair?  Seriously?

Oh look, someone’s cooking steaks.  And it’s Lebanon Levi.  And I’m pretty sure he didn’t go down to the local grocery store to get that side of beef… hmm… could that meat have a little brand of “C” on it?  Maybe?

Throughout the whole series, only two people have remained with the show from premiere to cancellation – Lebanon Levi and Attorney Steven Breit.  Merlin and Alan Beiler came in in the second episode, but remained throughout the series run.  Everybody else either started and went away, or joined the show in mid-series and continued to the end.  Just thought I’d put that out.

Zach gets a phone call… it’s from Duivel Doug.  Apparently Doug has a plan, and he tells Zach to continue to fight.  Keep on, Grasshopper.

Caleb investigates what might be a lame horse, and Caleb has to – you heard me – reach in and find out what’s blocking the horse’s ability to produce manure.  And he pulls out – as God is my witness – a bag full of white powder.  So this horse became a mule?  Or did the horse sit on one of those drug-carrying pigeons from last season?  And we get a recap over the relationship between the Amish and the Pagans drug gang from back in the 1980’s.  Caleb shows off the turd-covered drug bag, and says that this will be his golden ticket to take down Lebanon Levi.

Someone’s driving a big-ass 18-wheeler through Johnson County, Iowa – holy crap, it’s Duivel Doug, and he wants to tell his story to the producers.  He says he’s going to take down Lebanon Levi one way or another.  Maybe in the fifth season of Amish Mafia thta will happen.

Mary has something very important that she must tell Merlin – and she discusses the fact that she’s overweight and morbidly obese.  She’s going to see a doctor in Akron – an English doctor – for the possibility of gastric bypass surgery.  Merlin thinks about this… and realizing that medical doctors do need to step in and help people.  And since Mary’s father died young – because he was obese – Merlin is sympathetic to Mary’s plight.  He will support Mary’s choice.  And he believes it so much… that .. that … oh man don’t cut away to something else, this is getting dramatic –

Oh crap, it’s Constable Paul Castline again.  And he’s meeting up with Caleb, who still wants to take Levi down.  Caleb says that Levi has been smuggling drugs into the rectums of horses.  But without the evidence – hey, would you keep a turd-stained bag of cocaine – there’s nothing that Constable Paul Castline can do.  And apparently Constable Paul Castline drops info that Levi might have an English baby with a woman at a house on the corner of Linden and Richland.   So are we saying that Lebanon Levi might have a little sausage that recently came out of the oven?  Sorry, I couldn’t resist that one.

Today’s Amish factoid – Zach finds one of Levi’s construction sites and he burns it to the ground.  According to Zach, the Amish are bearded-breeded-goat-bleepers and that the Mennonites will once again rule Lancaster County.  Hey Zach, pay attention here.  There’s only eight minutes left in this week’s episode.  So unless this show gets renewed for another season (which it won’t), or you get your own spinoff show (which you ain’t), go have a dandelion wine and a smile.  ‘Kay?

It’s now chilly winter in Lancaster County, Pa., and Alan Beiler is now brokering a peace between the Amish and the Mennonites, as he now enforces the Ordnung and apparently also takes care of the Amish Aid.  Meanwhile, it’s summer in Holmes County, Ohio – and Merlin has a bit of a five o’clock shadow.  He’s got some chin spinach – and it’s because he just got married to Mary Troyer (now Mary Troyer Miller) (no relation).  Congrats.  All the best.  Much blessings.

And with four minutes left in the series, Caleb may have the way to take down Lebanon Levi once and for all.  And the bishop and Caleb show up at Levi’s house to discuss the issue regarding Lebanon Levi’s little Stoltzfus.  First off, the bishop doesn’t like Lebanon Levi’s red house.  They knock on the door.  And Levi opens the door.  The bishop and Caleb enter.  The bishop notices that Levi has a television and electricity and a whole lot of Amish verboten things.  He asks about a baby.  Levi denies it.  And Caleb finds a baby’s bedroom and a basinet.  Levi admits to having a baby, but not a wife.  And the bishop accuses Levi of living a doppel leben.  And with that… Levi gets shunned and removed from Amish Aid.

And just like that… the show ends.

Or does it?