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Recap / Red Dwarf Season I Waiting For God

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Cloister the Stupid makes his glorious return!
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Whilst Rimmer excitedly waits for the quarantine to lift on what seems to be a salvaged alien pod, Lister undergoes a private crisis of faith after learning about the religion of the Cat People — a religion he unwittingly helped to found.

This episode includes examples of:

  • All for Nothing: Lister discovers that during the 3 million years he was in stasis, the race of beings that evolved from his cat founded a religion worshipping him as "Cloister the Stupid". They then proceeded to have a holy war over whether the sacred cardboard hats at his hot dog stand were supposed to be red or blue. What makes it this trope is that according to Lister, the hats were supposed to be green.
  • Auto Cannibalism: Cat's father apparently ate his own feet because he was a moron.
    Cat: My father was a jelly-brain?!
    Cat Priest: Yes! That's why he ate his own feet!
    Cat: I did wonder.
  • Characterization Marches On:
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    • In this episode, Talkie Toaster is far more rational, and far less obsessed with toast. He even confesses at one point that he's trying to kick the "pushing for toast" thing because he feels it's turning him into someone he doesn't like.
    • Rimmer seems deeply disdainful of even the idea of religion ("God? Certainly not! What a preposterous thought!") In later episodes he is still personally non-religious but is much more sensitive about and tolerant of faith such as Kryten's belief in Silicon Heaven or his parents religion.
  • Credits Gag: The episode ends on Rimmer's look of realisation about the Quagaars, followed by the credits pausing twice as he speaks his thoughts.
    Rimmer: It's a garbage pod... it's a smegging garbage pod!
  • Delayed Reaction: Rimmer, once he notices the Quagaars look an awful lot like roast chickens.
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  • For the Lulz: Why Holly doesn't just tell Rimmer he's obsessing over a garbage pod.
    It's a laff, innit?
  • Let Them Die Happy: Lister assures the Cat Priest that he has been a good, decent man throughout his life, and that his faith will be rewarded on Fushaal.
  • Loophole Abuse: How Rimmer gets access to the confidential files. They're intended for the captain's eyes only, but he's suffering a prolonged case of dead, which puts Rimmer in charge.
  • Mood Whiplash: The stark and sombre death of the Cat Priest is immediately undercut by Cat cheerfully trying to tell Lister the story of his "investigating feet".
  • Multi Boobage: When talking about alien life, Rimmer comments on the possibility of the pod revealing a beautiful alien woman with six breasts.
  • Opinion Flip Flop: After hearing Hollister's comments on Lister, Rimmer exclaims he always liked the man, and his death was a tragedy. Then he hears what Hollister said about him.
  • Take That!: When Lister laments that the cats just used religion as an excuse to be extremely crappy to each other, Talkie Toaster simply responds with a "what else is new?"
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Rimmer asks Holly to give him the Captain's personal commentary on Lister's file in order to gloat over the deserved downtalking Hollister does about Lister. He then asks for his own file's commentary and is less than pleased to find out he didn't rank any better in the captain's eyes:
    Captain Hollister: David Lister: Technician, 3rd Class. Captain's remarks: Has requested sick leave due to diarrhoea on no less than 500 occasions. Left his previous job as a supermarket trolley attendant after ten years because he didn't want to get tied down to a career. Promotion prospects: zero.
    Captain Hollister: Arnold Rimmer: Technician 2nd Class. Captain's remarks: There's a saying amongst the officers: if a job's worth doing, it's worth doing well. If it's not worth doing, give it to Rimmer. He aches for responsibility, but constantly fails the engineering exam. Astoundingly zealous. Possibly mad. Probably has more teeth than brain cells. Promotion prospects: comical.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Rimmer yells at Lister to get out of the pod, saying that he might get something stuck to his face, a nod to Alien.
    • The scene where Lister figures out the pod's origins by reconstructing the damaged nameplate is a spoof of the scene in Star Trek: The Motion Picture where Kirk figures out V'Ger's origins by reconstructing the damaged nameplate.
  • Wanton Cruelty to the Common Comma: Rimmer's dictation of observations about the "Quagaar pod" includes this atrocity against grammatical rules:
    Rimmer: After intensive investigation, comma, of the markings on the alien pod, comma, it has become clear, comma, to me, comma, that we are dealing, comma, with a species of awesome intellect, colon.
    Holly: Good. Perhaps they might be able to give you a hand with your punctuation.
  • What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?: Invoked by Lister, who asserts that there are no beautiful alien women out there waiting for human men to teach them about the art of kissing.
  • World Building: Establishes much lore about the cat people.
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