Netflix, Hasbro, and Rooster Teeth, have released the final main trailer for Chapter One of the highly anticipated Transformers: War for Cybertron Trilogy, premiering on Netflix July 30, 2020. The Series raises the stakes of the Autobot and Decepticon war with Chapter One having six, twenty-two minute episodes, complete with a new animation look and style that presents the Transformers bots like you’ve never seen them before. The Transformers: War for Cybertron Trilogy plunges us deep into events that live at the heart of this legendary franchise, with SIEGE shining a spotlight on a critical timeframe in Transformers history on Cybertron.
Transformers: War for Cybertron Trilogy: Siege begins in the final hours of the devastating civil war between the Autobots and Decepticons. The war that has torn apart their home planet of Cybertron is at a tipping point. Two leaders, Optimus Prime and Megatron, both want to save their world and unify their people, but only on their own terms. In an attempt to end the conflict, Megatron is forced to consider using the Allspark, the source of all life and power on Cybertron, to “reformat” the Autobots, thus “unifying” Cybertron. Outnumbered, outgunned, and under SIEGE, the battle-weary Autobots orchestrate a desperate series of counterstrikes on a mission that, if everything somehow goes right, will end with an unthinkable choice: kill their planet in order to save it.
Rooster Teeth (RWBY, gen:LOCK) is producing the original series for Netflix, and Polygon Pictures (Godzilla, Knights of Sidonia) is serving as the animation studio. Transformers veteran F.J. DeSanto (Transformers: Titans Return, Transformers: Power of the Primes) is serving as showrunner on the series with several contributing writers, including George Krstic (Megas XLR), Gavin Hignight (Transformers: Cyberverse), and Brandon Easton (Agent Carter, Transformers: Rescue Bots).
The Series voice talent cast includes Jake Foushee (Optimus Prime), Jason Marnocha (Megatron), Linsay Rousseau (Elita-1), Joe Zieja (Bumblebee), Frank Todaro (Starscream), Rafael Goldstein (Ratchet), Keith Silverstein (Jetfire), Todd Haberkorn (Shockwave, Red Alert), Edward Bosco (Ultra Magnus, Soundwave), Bill Rogers (Wheeljack), Sophia Isabella (Arcee), Brook Chalmers (Impactor), Shawn Hawkins (Mirage), Kaiser Johnson (Ironhide), Miles Luna (Teletraan I, Cliffjumper) and Mark Whitten (Sideswipe, Skywarp).
The past nine episodes of my new favorite show Warrior Nun have been filled with action, intrigue, double-crosses, resurrections, love, and more awesomeness than I expected going into it. The writers packed even more magic into the season finale and while there’s a lot going on it never feels dense or drawn out. In signature Warrior Nun style, every shot, word, and scene had a purpose and led us to the finish line. There are three sides to every story and in this episode, we see Areala’s and Adriel’s and it’s a wild ride figuring out the truth.
SPOILER WARNING: I wanted to stick to a straight review but, there’s so much going on that I wanted to cover and I can’t do that without a few spoilers. If you just want to read the review and want none of the recap scroll past the two pictures guarding the spoilers like the gates of heaven and hell and go straight to ” Final Thoughts” where I give a spoiler-free overview of this amazing season finale.
In the Beginning: Revelations picks up with Ava in the tomb with a very alive Adriel having a talk with the current Warrior Nun. Since Ava has been low key conditioned to believe that he is what everyone says he is she trusts him, blindly, at first but, she has some misgivings, and being pretty street smart she has a few questions. Her questions get more precision and clarity every time her touches her and she sees a glimpse of his past until she is thrown back in time, inside Areala’s body and relives the history which gives her definitive proof that the “angel” isn’t who he says he is and he stole the halo and HID it in Areala!
Carry On Wayward Son: Throughout the season we’ve been getting flashes of what may prophesy from Dr. Silvius’ son Michael. We can’t tell if he gets these visions from heaven or hell and it gets more worrisome when he told his mom a couple of episodes back that she was going to open the hole in the floor. One of the final scenes in this episode is Michael telling his mom that it’s time to go and she should come with him, the portal door that opens up without anything to power the machine, because Ava is still fighting the devil, is BLUE, not red, and the Doc hesitates and ends up not crossing over to wherever her son is. He seemed on a mission to get away from the pit and the ghosts so, I’m assuming he’s going somewhere good.
Cardinal Sins: The Cardinal is now the Pope and while he is still a sexist, power-hungry, selfish man he might not be the bad guy and may have only been acting out in the way he has been to protect his good name. One of the biggest hints to who the big bad guy actually is was shown to us in the first 20 minutes when Adriel adopted the face of Father Vincent. It was a well-placed call back that flashes back in your mind in the end scene when the battle begins! We also clocked Adriel in a not so angelic pose in a painting on the wall of the Pope’s office, flawless art design and visual placement, in true Warrior Nun fashion, not a frame or word wasted.
Ladies Night: In one of the most flawlessly choreographed, real-life possible fight scenes that I have seen since Kill Bill 1 & 2 or the last season on Wynonna Earp; Sister Mary, Lilith, Beatrice and Camila attack Adriel with everything that they have got and take him down with one goal, to buy time… the seven minutes that Ava would need to recharge so they could take him and his wraith army down and I was all the way here for it. That was until Sister Mary got taken by a swarm of wraiths wearing people suits and the credits decided to roll. I’m still here for it but, I’m gonna need a season two because that ending was FIRE!
Final Thoughts: Warrior Nun was an amazing series and the season finale was no less effective than the other episodes. The season finale plays out with beautiful shots, near misses and a world about to be plunged into darkness that will evoke serious Buffy chosen one vibes but, in Ava’s case, her Scooby gang is more like the squad that Sam and Dean gathered to fight against the angels and demons in Supernatural. While loads of comparisons can be made to other great shows, Warrior Nun is something totally new entirely and it’s super refreshing in a world of remakes or half-done rehashings of familiar stories. I’m not familiar with the source material comic book but, if it’s even half as good as the show I feel like I should check it out to help me keep my cool while I wait hopefully for a season two to answer some of the questions that the finale left me with. The writing is realistic and never feels clunky or unnatural coming from the mouths of the actors. The way the actors deliver these beautiful lines make it so that their actions, expressions, and demeanor tell the story just as well as the words. The direction, cinematography, and editing all come together in such a way that the whole episode feels like a cohesive world built flawlessly with one intention, to serve us the story of the Warrior Nuns. Throughout the series the writers have been all about us thinking for ourselves, not trusting what we are told and questioning everything but, they also created a world where we thought we understood. It was a nice touch that was so brilliantly crafted that the hard left things took at the end gave us whiplash. We wanted closure and not only were we denied, but we were also left reeling and worried. The writers and actors did such a good job that we were fully invested and as a brilliant magician we were shocked when they made everything we hoped to disappear. It was clever and even though we didn’t get the ending we wanted, we didn’t feel cheated or robbed, we felt like we were in this together and we still want to see our nuns fight! I hope that Netflix brings them back for season two, not just because I need to know what happened after the time in the square but because I am invested in the nuns and their stories. We’ve been waiting so long for true female badasses, and not just the ones who fight (I’m looking at you Dr. Salvius), shows with real diversity and a world where women have agency and can be different but, together and this is it.
The last episode ended with Ava accepting her fate and the job of Warrior Nun with the sole mission of getting into that tomb, destroying the bones, and becoming the last Warrior Nun. Episode 9 starts with her and the rest of the gang rocking the habit and getting ready to break into the Vatican and get rid of all the demons. Sister Beatrice jams the Vatican’s security cameras because, all of the members of the OCS seem to have some kind of criminal, badass past and I am living for the slow-motion habit removal as they walk down the hallway to riot grrrl level rock!
While the nuns go on their mission, which they only have 25 minutes to complete, the too cocky cardinal holds court during mass. Ava goes off script and ends up using some of the halo’s power when she gets injured and we’re all a bit concerned that she might be just a jolt short of power to do everything she has to do.
Meanwhile, Back at the Lab: The Doc and her second in command discover something is amiss with Lilith and when she discovers flecks of her skin and their regenerative, demonic, properties we should all be worried because, she’s desperate to save and/or stay connected to her son and if she needs demons to do that, she might take that chance. There’s also the added problem of Lilith roaming the halls sporting new demon talons and stumbling across her son Michael we get to see that not only can he see things but, Lilith can phase with fire and we still don’t know where she stands and who’s in charge.
Mission Impossible: The team takes off to loot Adrial’s hidden tomb and are almost stopped by the Cardinal’s loyal squad but, since everyone on team Warrior Nun Ava is a badass under their habit or collar and there is no stopping them. There’s also Lilith showing up at the entrance to the tomb to stop her for good or evil. We also find out there is a Tarask skeleton in the 20-foot wall to the tomb, which might spell trouble for team Warrior Nun in the long run and the tomb is not what they think it is.
Episode MVP: MOTHER SUPERIOR FOR ALL THE WINS! She comes through in the clutch and she kicks ass in a way that makes it look like she’s been doing this and I’m here for it. We also find out a secret about her past that shines light on the history of the halo and why she switched sides and defended Ava when push came to shove. I also, really need to know WTF Mother Superior was into because the way that she was holding that gun , shoulder to shoulder next to Vincent like she has been about that life gave me CHILLS! Can she get it a prequel too?
“I wanna be as bad ass as you.” – Ava “Never gonna happen”-Sister Mary
“If trading terrible puns is wrong, I don’t want to be right.” – Sister Beatrice
“I see you.” – Sister Mary to Lilith (and if you didn’t cry , you have no soul!)
Overall: The heist scenes are expertly intercut with the scenes of the Doc in discovery mode back at the lab which amps up the tension. Knowing so much of all the characters backstories as you watch all of these scenes you can see all the ways that things can go wrong and it adds to the mood, leaving you uneasy and anxious but, in the best kind of way. You want to be connected when watching a show, especially this close to the end of the season, so the fact that you care so hard by this episode is a win. This is another stellar episode and I can’t wait for the finale because, so far the entire team, cast, and crew, have been on point and reliable.
I don’t know how y’all are feeling after the end of episode seven but, holy smokes Lilith is back and has a red, fiery, hellfire glow! So, now I’m here watching episode 8 trying to figure out what’s going to happen next since no one in this show wants to stay dead and we still don’t know all the secrets that Sister Shannon uncovered that were so powerful that she was killed for it!
The Gangs All Here: Having made it out of the Cradle and on the run from the Cardinal, Sister Camila, Beatrice and Mary along with Ava and Father Vincent are on a mission, from God (sorry, I couldn’t resist) to save the world from demons and the Cardinal.
History Lesson: Adrial’s tomb holds his remains which is what the Cardinal is after so he can make himself the Lord of Demonkind and seize the full power of the church for himself.
We also learned about the badass lesbian Warrior Nun from 1942 who was sent to the camps by the Nazis for being a lesbian and tears through a bunch of them when they attack her for being who is and after tapping into her rage she slaughters them all. It seems like a nice story that fits into the badass warrior women mythos the show creates but, it’s so much more than that. It is also the key to Ava getting the power up she needs to phase through a 20-foot wall, even in this moment and scene, not a line is wasted and every word pushes the story forward.
The Enemy of My Enemy: Ava and her gang of Rogue nuns and soon to be defrocked priest spark a deal with Arq-Tech in exchange for training space and help to locate the tomb under Vatican City, in exchange for the bones to power the Doc’s machine and help her son.
Guess Who’s Back: Lilith is back from the dead and roaming the halls of the Cradle where she comes across her memorial and overhears the new nuns talking about burning “the traitors”. It’s kind of refreshing when she shows up at Arq-Tech looking for Ava and it looks like she’s on their side but, she’s got that glowy thing in her wound and we have no idea how this is going to affect the final battle.
We also get to see a face to face Warrior Nun chat between Ava and Shannon where they talk about the burden of the halo and loneliness that comes from wielding the power alone.
Father Bad Ass: WTF, you could tell in his eyes that Father Vincent had seen and possibly done some things but, when he revisits an old friend from his pre-collar days and breaks a tank-like bodyguards hand in one move, you know it and you’re here for it. After hearing about his life before he found the OCS, I kind of want a prequel series about just Vincent!
Called It: Sister Beatrice is “atoning” for being a lesbian. I didn’t see it coming but, I also saw a bit of a spark when Ava and her locked eyes in the last episode, and I wanted it to be so. It looks like we’re going to get a bit of bisexual representation, Ava, to go with the lesbian representation, Shannon and Mary, without the stigma and I’m here for it!
Overall: For a show based in religious mythology, history, and the duplicity and sexist nature of the Catholic church this show manages to tell a believable and easy to follow story with a clever and easy to follow plot. The writers tell a compelling story with a lot of moving parts that somehow don’t become disorientating, get bogged down with extraneous info, or get muddled. The mostly female cast is superb and super talented so, most of the time you forget that it’s a tv show because you feel connected to them. In a show that calls out the church and male supremacy, it’s refreshing that they don’t take a “not all men” approach to soften the blow and rely more on facts and history. We’re so close to the season finale and none of the episodes have been duds so, I’m not looking forward to this season being over because I know that I’m going to need more.
At the end of episode seven, we watch our two fave nuns, Sister Beatrice and Sister Mary drive off leaving Ava to look over the souls of the small town in their rearview. Episode seven picks up at Sister Lilith’s funeral where some of the nuns are concerned for her soul because she was taken by the Tarask. Sister Mary isn’t giving up hope that Ava will return to the Cat’s Cradle even though Beatrice has some doubts. A slew of regents and possible replacement nuns, show up at the funeral, up to no good and Ava walks herself into Arq-Tech demanding to speak to Dr. Salvius. So basically, the first five minutes of this episode is pure fire and the rest isn’t half bad either.
Working With the Enemy: Ava, somewhat short-sightedly, decides to use Arq-Tech’s resources to find out why/how she can do what she can do. She foolishly tells Dr. Salvius during one of her evaluations that she can heal herself but, not others which I fear might come back to bite Ava in the ass because, healing someone else is the Docs only end game. She also allows her to scan her body which shows her the Halo and I can’t imagine that Arq-Tech will let her keep it, knowing what it can do, especially with time running out for the Doc’s kid. At first I didn’t get why Ava was willing to submit herself to such horrendous torturous tests or why she would have trusted Arq-Tech but, I was also shocked that the Doc let her go without a fight but, in retrospect, it made sense that she would choose the company over the church since the church sent out assassins to get her from the beginning.
Episode MVP: Sister Beatrice, obvi. Every scene that she is in is enhanced by her presence. The fight scene between her and one of the rejected OCS candidates shows her resilience, poise, and integrity. I love watching her campaign the Mother Superior to go against the Cardinal and let her stay in her home. Something about her acting makes even the simplest scenes feel real and casts a line that pulls you in and connects you to her. I know that the writing and direction play a part but, without Kristina Tonteri-Young’s amazing, next-level talent, I don’t think the scenes would garner such an emotional connection. My heart hurt when she is returning her weapons and getting kicked out of the OCS and I love how she kept up her grace in the time of sadness. I also love watching Beatrice, Mary and Vincent try and come up with a plan to take out or down the Cardinal before he gains more power or kills Ava when/if she does come back. In the end, Beatrice comes up with a plan to help Mary but, doesn’t go along in case Mary is wrong about the Cardinal’s end game BUT, it aligns with her character so the writers kept it real. Plus Beatrice is a whole John Wick level BADASS in a fight and I ship her and Ava hard!
The Devil Is In the Details: The Cardinal is staging a full-on coup and tossing every nun in the Cat’s Cradle that would stand against him and not give him the loyalty the feels that he deserves. I love that Sister Mary’s goodbye speech with the Mother calls out the Cardinal’s patriarchal bullshit in a way that could carry over to any conversation in any situation about most men, with sexist leanings, who get a taste of power and don’t want to give it up. The writers manage to make him loathsome in a way where every woman or person of color gets that skin-crawling feeling, every time he speaks.
Overall: There were a lot of storylines to follow in the episode but, they all meshed well together and made sense. I liked the playful banter between Ava and Mary when she stops her from walking into the Cardinal controlled Cradle and his band of loyal, unstable, ultraviolent new nun recruits. I also was really into how Ava trusted Mary enough to phase through a wall for her to uncover Shannon’s final secret and Father Vincent telling Mary about his possible inadvertent hand in her death. We got a Wanted style battle royal between the old nuns and the new nuns and a new recruit to the now exiled and possibly excommunicated warrior nuns from the Cradle and the Cardinals hit squad. There is so much to love about this episode between the intrigues and the fight scenes and the writing and acting and the final convo between the Doc and her dying son, there are only three episodes to go I can’t wait to see how this all wraps up!
Episode six of Warrior Nun, “Isaiah 30:20-21,” opens with an injured and limping Sister Mary searching for Ava who phased away to part unknown after the battle with the demon who took Sister Lilith’s life, leaving JC behind. She finds Ava and tries to talk her into doing the right thing but, it isn’t until she walks away that Ava follows her and they have a heart to heat that might be the key to getting Ava back on board or maybe giving up altogether, especially when Sister Mary causes Ava to take a fall.
Backstory Bonanza: We find out a lot more about the enigmatic and awesome Sister Mary. Like how her mom is in jail for killing her abusive dad and how because her mom was black she didn’t get off on self-defense. We also learn that not all of the sisters are nuns or devout and Sister Mary’s vows only include the 5th and 8th commandments and Father Vincent gave her something to fight for. I love how Sister Mary gives the best version of tough love and real talk to the woe is me Ava and I’m so here for it and learning everything I can about this “nun” with a shotgun.
The More You Know: While Mary and Ava try and sort their situation out, the sister leads Ava to a safe place that the OCS, lead by Mary and Shannon, saved after an evil eruption. We also learn that Mary and the OCS have eyes, ears and people everywhere but, so do evil forces and Ava’s lack of faith in others might still spell salvation because of her faith in herself. Sister Mary is still anti-Cardinal and doesn’t trust him or his motives and, Ava is tired of only getting the half of the story, especially since the Mary thinks he had a hand in Shannon’s death because he would want a Warrior Nun loyal to him because, (GASP) the Pope is dying! And if that isn’t enough… Dr. Salvius is still on the hunt for Ava with a full team and endless resources. All of this means it’s a good thing that Sister Mary is on hand to show Ava how to remove a demon from a person without killing them because it’s something she should know.
All You Need Is Love: Sister Mary’s driving force is still finding out how Shannon died and doing her best to avenge her and bring whoever is responsible to justice. This drive is what keeps her on task and allows her to keep trying to protect and teach Ava just how much she’s needed in this fight. She also tells her how to do the job on her terms, as she does and that there is more than one path to being the Warrior Nun so, she should choose hers, or none at all if that’s what she desires. While others would try and make Ava come to heel with power, force, and intimidation, Mary uses empathy, compassion, and love which is why she’s the one who can get through to her.
Best Scene: Watching Ava go toe to toe with her first real demon to save someone using the same cognitive reconditioning that Black Widow used on Hawkeye in the first Avengers movie but, with a big ass slab o’ meat, while Sister Mary shouts spiritual mumbo jumbo for the benefit of the very religious townspeople that are watching.
Overall: This episode is a hero’s journey with Ava and Sister Mary (as her guide & equal instead of the usual stereotypical magical negro) as they both come to terms with their place in this whole battle. I like that the writers put as much emphasis on each of them and the path they are going to take going forward. The magical religious imagery is beautiful, the directing is amazing, the cinematography is thoughtful and leads the viewer’s eyes to where they need to go to follow the story. The thing that I love about this episode is that it is a filler episode in the middle of the season’s story arc, any other show would have rested on the goodwill gained by the previous episodes and done something useless or fun but, Warrior Nun and its team chose to add another layer of depth to the characters and their stories. Every episode so far has had a purpose and fulfilled it before the end credits rolled and this one was no exception by the end of it, I felt even closer to Sister Mary than I did at the beginning of the series and I like that no layers are left unpeeled in this show and this is the Buddy Cop Road Trip story that does the series justice.
We are finally at the halfway point of Warrior Nun and I’m just as impressed as I was from the beginning. There’s so much I want to say but I’m going to try and be as spoiler-free as possible so I’ll just give you the highlights. We finally get a sneak peek into why Dr. Salvius is so hellbent (sometimes I’m super punny) on opening a portal and fighting the church. Ava comes face to face with what the OCS is up against and Lilith makes a hard choice.
Fantastic Voyage: Ava and JC head off to do a fake-out by taking a ferry to Morocco with the intention of staying on the ferry and faking out every one chasing them by returning to another port in Portugal and continuing onward from there. Their budding romance is one of the most realistic, summer-loving/meet cute, nontoxic things that I have seen on screen. I love that her inner monologue is usually a reversal of the male objectification that we normally see, it shows that women also have thoughts about people they are interested in, and (GASP) sometimes it’s purely physical and sexual. I also like that JC seems to be OK with Ava’s innocence and doesn’t try to take advantage of her and respects her physical space unless given permission and her autonomy and I loved he initiating their first kiss (and a little bit more), even if it was to get out of answering his questions because she’s been wanting that kiss since the first episode. 9and more)
Smash the (Church) Patriarchy: Sister Beatrice is not here for being told what to do, she’s here for doing the right thing. I love the way her and Sister Mary are all about questioning the male-centric hierarchy of the church and are willing to defy orders and rebel when it seems that the male (Cardinal) giving the orders is not making good calls. I love how the writers make Beatrice and Mary two sides of the same coin, while Mary takes a more “Screw you, I do what I want” approach, Sister Beatrice is all about smashing the hierarchy from the inside with quick quips and tea spilling, she gets a full picture and asks all the questions.
Science Facts/Religion Fiction: We finally get an explanation of what Divinium is and Dr. Salvius shows security footage of the OCS attacking her lab security staff to show that the Vatican has declared war on her because she found a way to make a bridge to heaven. The Cardinal is still on his patriarchal bullshizz and even after the Doc says she wants to go to heaven, he insists that she is wrong, he knows best and her bridge goes to hell. He also thinks that she is unjustified in attacking or declaring war on the Vatican, even though they attacked her first because his attack was justified. I also love Sister Beatrice and Father Vincent questioning the Cardinal’s motives and orders and leaning on their consciences and not the church hierarchy.
“As the chain of command rises to God, I am sure He knows he has my full support.” followed by , ” You may always count on me to remain faithful. To God.” – Sister Beatrice to the Cardinal when he tries to get her to side with him. It was the clean, verbal “miss me with that bullsh**” that we all needed and the Cardinal wasn’t expecting , especially from a woman but, deserved.
“The church sells dreams, it’s time for someone to sell reality.” – Dr. Salvius to Father Vincent on why she is trying to open the portal no matter the cost.
Episode MVP: Sister Mary. Everything about her is bad ass and everything the patriarchy hates. She’s a free thinker, she does what she wants, she’s smart and she’s a fighter. Watching her go to battle on multiple occasions with Sister Lilith in some of the most realistic fight scenes in a tv show was fun and her logic and quips made it easy to root for her and her logic and emotions make it easy to be team Mary all the way.
Overall: If this episode was the season finale of the show, I would be checking Twitter every day to find out when the show was coming back because GAWD DAMN! was that ending FIRE! Luckily ( I really hope it doesn’t go downhill from here) there are five more episodes and if they are even half as good as the ones leading up to them, there’s more fire on the horizon. This midway point episode tied up everything we’ve learned about the Halo, Ava, the OCS and Dr. Salvius as tight as a newborn baby whose parents have perfected their swaddling method. It answered all the lingering questions and paved the way for the next chapter of this amazing story. There are NO plot holes, which is rare in a supernatural, religion-based show and nary a question about mythology because everything makes sense and the story is pretty easy to follow. Storywise it is a perfect mash-up of Buffy and Supernatural but, it requires very little suspension of belief and logic in order to just go with the story and plot. I also like how this episode puts the nail in the coffin of any thoughts the viewer might have had about how “F*** the Patriarchy” this show was and I’m here for it. This episode was directed by a woman and it shows, especially in the brief almost sex scene, the way it doesn’t ogle Ava or seem salacious, everything from the facial framing to the action and body shots is done perfectly and if you’ve ever wanted to know what the female gaze looks like, it is here in every scene.
After Ava’s escape from the convent, in her attempt to live her life, she heads out to find JC and her new “friends” unaware that Arq-Tech is after her and they might just turn her in. The squatters are heading to a new, new home and while the others are happy she’s safe and back, Zori and Randall are not okay with her tagging along causing a fight between Zori and JC that ends with them finding out one possible reason why Dr. Salvius is looking for Ava and since there is no honor among thieves, this leaves Randall with an opening and fully on board with turning Ava in without the rest of the group’s knowledge.
I Need A Hero: In the early moments of the episode Ava attempts to save a drunken young woman she thinks is about to be assaulted by a man in an alley but, it turns out that she was leading him into a trap and Ava ends up stabbed and collateral damage which sours her, on the whole, being a hero thing. But, it comes full circle when she decides to run off to anywhere with JC but, can’t bring herself to do it when she remembers that if she didn’t kill herself what else could the nun be up to? So, she sets off to save her only friend, young Diego who she fears will meet a similar fate to her original ending if she doesn’t step in and save him.
Called It: In flashbacks, we see how Ava became a sassy badass that she is today and it wasn’t all a bed of roses, more like a crown of nails bestowed upon her by the cruel and sadistic nurse nun who claimed she committed suicide. It’s heartbreaking to watch but, character building and filled to the brim with clever writing and acting. The confrontation leads to admissions that are far more sinister than we might have originally thought and as the nurse attempts to kill Ava again she ends up accidentally dead at Ava’s hands and she embraces Diego who truly believes now that Ava is an angel sent to save him and others.
All You Need is Love: JC risks it all and decides to go on the run with Ava because she has it bad for her and it’s kind of nice and organic. Normally these scenarios lean heavily on damsels in distress and white knights but, their budding romance is more about adventure, attraction, and getting to know each other. Whether they make it through the season or not, I really like how real they keep it and how much agency they give Ava who now has control over her body AND her life.
He Moves In Mysterious Ways: Sister Mary realizes that Sister Shannon may have feared for her life more than she let on and might have something hidden behind the wall in her room, meaning she had to phase to get there, so it must have been something pretty important. The power-hungry Sister Lilith is made a side deal with the double-dealing cardinal who wants her to kill Ava for the halo and the other sisters begin to question the Cardinal’s motives and way of doing things when he sends them on a Dividium heist at Arq-tech.
Overall: This was an amazingly choreographed episode where all the pieces feed into each other and set up things to come perfectly. There were action-filled moments, tender moments that could bring you to tears, romantic moments that seemed authentic and filled with hope, funny moments that bring you joy, and none of these moments, packed into this 45-minute episode, felt out of place. I believed Dr. Salvius’ declaration of war on the church and was concerned by the “Only I know what to do with this power” level of cis white male privilege that the Cardinal exuded in every scene. When Lilith came to call on Ava and tried to take the halo by force at his command in the final seconds of the episode, I couldn’t wait to hit play and get to the next episode!
When we last left our heroine, she had been left at a party in a lab by her new housemates and kidnapped by the catholic churches league of demon assassins, Ephesians 6:11 is all about Ava learning about the power her new body mod holds and what is expected of the bearer of the halo.
In The Beginning: Ava wakes up, unable to move and overhears Lilith and Beatrice talking, with Lilith plotting to take the halo out of her even if it means killing her. The halo makes Ava float above, then phase through the bed she was sleeping on alarming the sisters. As Father Vincent takes Ava on a walk through the churches archive he gives her a history of the halo bearers and their sacred mission, from God, with the help of the angel Adrial’s halo.
The Order of The Cruciform Swords (OCS): So, up until now the badass nun posse has been going by simply “The Order”, in this episode we finally get their full name. Father Vincent shares his theory that the angel Adrial has chosen Ava to wear his halo and the Cardinal agrees to give him one chance to prove it. Ava begins training and Sister Lilith, being super petty, is her sparring partner since abilities are unique to the bearer weapons phase through her and the ones that land she can’t feel which infuriates Lilith and makes me wonder if the person the OG bearer was warning Sister Mary not to trust was Lilith.
History 101: Throughout the episode, Father Vincent teaches Ava about the history of the Order, the Sisters, the halo, and the battle which gives the viewer a very firm dose of the mythology that the series is built on. Considering this a show rooted loosely in Catholic mysticism I liked the push back from Ava, like when she questions why there is no statue of Areala but, there is one of the first priests who had Vincent’s job. I also liked her questioning if she is like Areala, as Vincent keeps saying, then maybe she never wanted any of this either, and maybe having someone else’s will thrust upon her and a foreign object thrust inside her without consent. It is quite possible that, as Ava suggests, that she too was OK with dying, was done fighting, was ready for it and, didn’t like being pulled back to the world of the living.
Didn’t See That Coming: I wasn’t expecting the Arq-Tech CEO to show up at the squatters next summer home and ask them to rat out Ava if she contacted them. The pop up was unexpected and there was something simultaneously charming AND sinister about her sitting at the dining table eating while waiting for them to essentially break in.
Meet Cute and Deadly: As Ava heads to Father Vincent’s office to learn more about Areala and the Tarask (the demon form that killed the first Halo Bearer) she meets Sister “Shotgun” Mary and immediately likes her, her badass name and her kick-ass vibe. I see a partnership looming and I am here for the two warriors with the dirtiest mouths and the least amount of f***s , kicking ass, and taking names in the near future. Even
Overall: This isn’t a straight action show, there’s a real story here with good, thought out characters and three episodes in I’m pretty drawn to the show. The writers give us a slow burn that’s worth the fire and while the show isn’t the typical binge-able Netflix fare, from what I’ve seen so far, it is well worth the watch. The religious overtones and explorations of faith and duty are all over the episode but, they’re not heavy-handed nor overreaching. I really like the way they handle the religious aspects of the show by giving both sides and allowing viewers to examine for themselves what they believe. The acting is subtle and at times you forget you’re watching a show because of how well written and expertly acted everything is. There are no weak links or one-note performances in the whole show, no one is a place holder or a stereotype, everyone is nuanced and every performance can hold it’s own against the others making it a technical masterpiece.
Ava is settling in nicely with her new squatter friends and trying to enjoy her new chance at a mobile life. She’s trying to navigate all of these new feelings and experiences and There’s a demon cutting, literally with his fiery talons, his way through town in search of Ava and the halo. Sister Mary is on a quest for vengeance that opens her up to possible fall out.
I Can See Your Halo: Ava wakes up in bed and is pleased to discover that she’s still alive and can still walk, she spends another day enjoying all the things couldn’t before, like the feeling of sand between her toes and fingers. After an incident with a too cold shower and flirting with J.C., the cute boy who rescued her from the pool, she learns that she has a scarification-like body mod on her back. We also learn that Cardinal Duretti’s ring glows bright blue when in proximity with the halo so, when JC, Ava, and the squatter brigade sneak into an Arq-Tech party there’s a hint of intrigue.
Meanwhile, Back at the Convent: Mary is more concerned with finding out what happened to her mentor and friend than she is with tracking down Ava and retrieving the halo, which causes tension between her and Sister Lilith, the next in line to bear the halo. The top priests of the secret order, are trying to figure out how to contain the fact that they lost the halo and it is now residing in the body of someone untested and not ready. The priest handling the day to missions is starting to rethink retrieving the halo and wonders if the artifact is where/with who it should be.
New Players on the Field: This episode introduced Arq-Tech and it’s benevolent CEO who Ava knows because she “creates superpowers”. At the event where Ava and her new friends are party crashing, the female CEO, Dr. Salvius, announces that she can now “Higgs Field for a full minute” and create a quantum portal (because what could go wrong with that) unbeknownst to her guests, except for the cardinal, she infuses her tech with found, possibly angelic/demonic artifacts (again, what could possibly go wrong) .
It’s Going Down: Ava sees a child in a locked room in one of the Arq-Tech labs she was exploring and believes that it is a key to discovering what happened to her. while JC urges her to run, she goes back and tries to free him. While attempting the rescue, an alarm goes off, and while attempting to run from the guards she finds herself face to face with the demon and her back all aglow. Luckily the badass army of sisters shows up to save her with the father in tow, she attempts to escape but, is drugged.
Overall: Inbetween Mary going medieval on people, Ava enjoying and trying everything and a corporeal demon hunting the halo, this episode manages to slip in a lot of talks about ethical dilemmas and ownership of history, artifacts, and relics. The Cardinal debates if Arq-Tech should have the artifacts in the first place and whether or not they would use them properly, while Dr. Salvius questions who owns the artifacts and believes they should be an open market. The priest debates with another nun if Sister Lilith should get the halo when this is all said and done, simply because she feels entitled to it and has waited for it, or if Ava should keep it and maybe her getting the halo was in itself an act of divine choosing. So far the showrunners and writers seem to be masters of leaving on a perfect cliffhanger that feeds seamlessly into the next episode and the writing makes it so each episode peels back another level that seems crucial to the season’s endgame.