God Friended Me Season 2 Episode 16 Review: The Atheist Papers

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There's no doubt about it now --  the God Account wants to turn Miles into a believer again. 

On God Friended Me Season 2 Episode 16, Miles's friend suggestion was an author and respected atheist named Daryl Watkins, who Miles explained laid the foundation for all of his beliefs when he began questioning his faith following his mom's death.

Miles' meeting with Daryl was, as Rakesh put it, the exact reason why meeting your idols is a huge disappointment.

Miles Is Criticized  - God Friended Me

Daryl was a grade-A jerk who told him that his podcast was a joke and that the "God Account" was a gimmick to get noticed. 

When people put you down like that, it's usually a reflection of what they're going through internally, and that was exactly the case with Daryl. 

Sure enough, Daryl became Miles's Friend Suggestion almost immediately after that awkward confrontation. 

It was a difficult ask of Miles because he would have rather been anywhere else than helping the guy that just called his life's work an embarrassment, but that's the thing about the God Account -- it requires Miles to help everyone.

Phoebe  - God Friended Me Season 2 Episode 16

It's not always easy, but usually, it's worth it and something good comes from it, even if the silver lining is hard to see at first.

Daryl was adamant that he couldn't be helped, but Miles's persistence prevailed. Miles has full confidence in the God Account so regardless of anything Daryl said to belittle him, Miles wasn't affected because he saw the bigger picture.

Ali: I am not going to let cancer dictate my life or slow me down.
Arthur: Just know, it is going to get harder. And when that happens, promise that you will be careful and not overdo it.

The fact that Daryl's writer's block was a byproduct of questioning his beliefs wasn't as surprising as learning that his existential crisis was brought on by a romantic relationship with a reverend. 

That's not something you see every day, but it does reflect a fluidity in our beliefs that are influenced by different experiences in our everyday lives. We often see that kind of fluidity with Miles as he veers from a traditional sense of being an atheist and creates a system of beliefs upon the atheism framework. 

Ali's New Girl  - God Friended Me Season 2 Episode 16

One of my favorite things about this series is seeing faith, religion, and beliefs through a variety of different lenses. 

I'd love it if they explored Rakesh's Hindu religion and Cara's Jewish background. We know she doesn't actively practice, but these characters have the ability to bring different perspectives that could be so helpful. 

Miles: Look, maybe I do sound a little ridiculous.
Daryl: Mhhm.
Miles: But after helping every single person that the God Account has sent me. Seeing people’s lives changed for the better, I’ve stopped worrying about how it sounds and started focusing on helping them. Even when they’re someone I’ve admired for most of my life that a part of me wishes I’d never met.

Which is why -- and I'll likely alienate a huge chunk of the religious fan base with my opinion here -- I don't think that Miles becoming a full believer again is in the show's best interest because it seems inauthentic and predictable. I tend to not want to bring religion into it, but the series is making that impossible. 

With Miles returning to his faith, it feels like the show's goal has always been to help a lost soul and bring him back to the "right" path. 

Doing the Lord's Work  - God Friended Me Season 2 Episode 16

It paints atheism as a passing phase when it should be acknowledged as a legitimate belief system that's just as valid as any other, religious or otherwise. 

Daryl can be the person that opens the dialogue and allows Miles to dig deeper into his beliefs and values while honoring his truth, but I can't see Miles becoming as faithful as Arthur or Ali. 

Television has never had a good amount of religious or spiritual representation and that includes representation for atheism.

Most programs shy away from the topic, but God Friended Me has the unique ability to present beliefs in various forms, which is refreshing and unifying. 

Family Supports Each Other - God Friended Me Season 2 Episode 16

Another great thing about the series is that despite Miles being an atheist (which often comes with a negative connotation), he's never a bad person. 

Throughout his journey, he learns to believe in himself, his friends, his family, and regardless of his religious beliefs, he wants to become a better person who continues to help people. 

That's what the show is about in my mind -- the human connection and how we can all learn to be a little more compassionate and accepting of one another's differences. 

The show has always been advanced in the way it presents the idea of religion, and I would hate for it to shy away from that.

I'll Be There For You  - God Friended Me Season 2 Episode 16

We need the representation to be well-rounded so that it offers the audience the full experience.

Now, the show has a very important decision to make about where it wants to go from here because it's found itself at a bit of a crossroads.

It has become a contradiction with some people like Daryl, Arthur, and Ali telling Miles that the God Account might be God, or at the very least, God's work, while others like Cara, Rakesh, and Zach dig into the truth and learn that the God Account might be part of a massive government experiment. 

Politics and religion usually don't go together, and I feel like they have to stop trying to play to both angles. 

Staying Optimistic  - God Friended Me Season 2 Episode 16

Either we keep following the idea that this is some higher power that's calling upon Miles, which allows it to be an inspiring and spiritual journey, or we take the approach that there's a logical and realistic explanation like a government agency that's running experiments to see how they can connect people and offer assistance using predictive analytics. 

I just can't see them catering to both for much longer. 

Which one are you hoping for?

Daryl is the second Friend Suggestion who didn't get his happy ending because, unfortunately, Reverend Valerie Lopez left for a two-year mission to South America before he could tell her how he felt. 

Daryl Watkins - God Friended Me Season 2 Episode 16

It's not as bad as the outcome that Cara's step-father faced, but it's not ideal.

Though, I think it'll allow Daryl to find his authentic self once again. I'd love for him to become a bigger part of the series and possibly serve as Miles' mentor. 

There's also the untapped link between Corey Smith and Alphonse Jefferies.

When we met Alphonse, he didn't seem like the deadbeat father that Marsha claimed him to be, and we shouldn't take her word for it since she lied about Corey and the fact that he's living outside of the country.

Finding the Answers - God Friended Me Season 2 Episode 16

Her defenses were up, which isn't exactly surprising since she doesn't know Cara and doesn't owe her any explanation.

But Rakesh and Zach need to get to digging because if Corey is connected to the God Account, we need to know why and how. And, of course, answer the question: why Miles?

Cara struggled to navigate her new reality of being friends with an ex and learned it wasn't as easy as she thought it would be.

It was slightly annoying that we didn't get to see her first date with Adam. They built up to this moment with Adam helping out with the God Account, and then we just get the aftermath of their date, which makes us disconnected from the relationship before it even begins. 

A Brave New Dating World  - God Friended Me Season 2 Episode 16

We'll take Cara at her word that it was great, but without seeing the chemistry play out, it almost feels like the writers don't want us to root for anyone but Miles.

That's understandable. I've been scribbling Miles + Cara in my notebook since day one, but if the characters are being forced onto separate paths, we should be able to see their independent relationships flourish. 

For now, it's best if Cara keeps her dating life on the down-low. The advice she got about not telling Miles was perfect --  there's no reason to tell your ex about every date, even if you are still close friends. 

Chatting With an Idol - God Friended Me Season 2 Episode 16

Ali learned the hard way that chemotherapy is not going to be a walk in the park.

She wanted to pretend like everything was normal, but she has to accept this new phase in her life for what it is. It's going to be a challenge,+ and no one is going to think less of her because she's struggling or feeling weak. 

Keeping her spirits high and remaining positive is one of the things we love about her, but she needs to take Arthur's advice and slow it down. 

I'm glad her episode wasn't anything more than exhaustion. 

Who is Corey Smith? - God Friended Me Season 2 Episode 16

While Emily was a good distraction, Ali realized she needed to prioritize herself, her health, and her path to recovery, which meant letting Emily go for now. 

If that's what Ali thinks is best, I'm all for it, but I wish she would've explained things to Emily instead of avoiding her. She likely doesn't want to keep her from living her life but that's a choice Emily needs to make. She's been nothing but supportive from the get-go. 

What did you think of the episode?

Be sure to watch God Friended Me online and let us know your thoughts in the comments! 

The Atheist Papers Review

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Lizzy Buczak is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and read her personal blog at CraveYouTV.

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God Friended Me Season 2 Episode 16 Quotes

Ali: I am not going to let cancer dictate my life or slow me down.
Arthur: Just know, it is going to get harder. And when that happens, promise that you will be careful and not overdo it.

Miles: Look, maybe I do sound a little ridiculous.
Daryl: Mhhm.
Miles: But after helping every single person that the God Account has sent me. Seeing people’s lives changed for the better, I’ve stopped worrying about how it sounds and started focusing on helping them. Even when they’re someone I’ve admired for most of my life that a part of me wishes I’d never met.