Warrior Nun is what you get when you mix Buffy the Vampire Slayer with Catholic religion and give it to Netflix. It’s… something else. Let’s have a look.
The body of a girl is brought into a church by a nun. The girl was evil, according to the nun bringing her in, and it is better she’s dead. Aside from her vileness, she was a quadriplegic, and had little in the way of a good life. The nun leaves.
A little later, a group of armed women comes into the church, also nuns, wounded after a fight. They carry one of their own, dying. From her body, they pull a red-glowing circle. Their attackers find them, and one nun flees with the glowing circle. They decide to hide it inside the body of the dead quadriplegic.
Was it God working in mysterious ways? A freak coincidence? Either way, the girl comes back to life and flees, to her surprise, able to walk.
The girl, Ava, goes into hiding, but neither the church, nor other parties are done with her. It turns out she carries an angel’s halo inside her, granting her superhealing and the ability to phase through objects. Ava has her own plans, though.
The season follows both Ava and several other members of the order of warrior nuns. Unfortunately, it takes a long while for Ava to actually join up with them, and the plot sags at several points. There’s an entire episode focusing on Ava and Sister Mary hanging out in a remote village, which is completely superfluous.
In short, the plot is okay, the pacing is terrible.
Alba Baptista plays Ava, the girl chosen as the next Halo Bearer, mightiest of the warrior nuns. She plays a girl who spent her life in a bed in a monastery. I don’t know if that was a good choice, or just something used to pave over certain writing flaws. Ava does some really stupid stuff, but since she spent her life in bed, she doesn’t know better…
Sister Mary is not technically a nun. She hangs out with the nuns and walks around with a shotgun doing bad-ass stuff. I think the streetwise outsider is a bit of a tired trope, but she plays it well.
Sister Lilith is best described as the arrogant-hubris-will-be-her-downfall trope. Her family has brought forth multiple halo bearers, and she feels she deserves to be next in line. Then Ava comes along, who is clearly unfit.
Sister Beatrice is maybe the most interesting of the nuns. Quiet and kind, but a very competent martial artist. The picture above this post is her preparing to take on a group of mercenary guards. And, you know, chainmail veil!
The bunch is led by Father Vincent, a man who has a checkered past, but he has tried to do better. It is a bit of a shame that in 2020 the mostly female cast still has to have a man at the helm. But, then again, it’s the catholic church. Still, it gives off a Charlie’s Angels vibe, which is debatebly not a compliment.
Warrior Nun is a flawed show, to be sure. But Season 1 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer also had its ups and downs — anyone remember the introduction of the vampire Darla. Buffy grew into something pretty awesome — then went down the tubes in the later seasons, but hey. That said, the pacing of Warrior Nun is often wrong, the characters veer into trope territory, and the story as a whole didn’t really grab me.
In short, it’s not a bad show, but not a good one either. It’s interesting enough, but as I’m nearing the end of season 1, I’m not sold on it. Shows like Orphan Black started slow but really caught their stride later in the season. Warrior Nun doesn’t. Then again, it’s not godawful either, like Cursed.
So yeah, you’re a Buffy fan? You might like this. On my list, it’s a big step below Orphan Black and a little below Wynnona Earp, but above the ‘this-is-crap’ line.