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Warrior Nun Season 2 Review

Updated: Jan 11, 2023


Warrior Nun's official Season 2 poster in horizontal format. Ava is seen on the right with her back facing us, the halo blaring brightly through her battle suit. Adriel stands opposite her, looking off into the distance menacingly as comets fall from the heavens towards buildings an art of religious significance. The entire image is swept up in a gradient smoke that begins blue at the bottom left, transitions to a ring of pink and purple in the middle, and then becomes a yellow red fade in the top right.
Source: Netflix

Warrior Nun Season 2 dropped on Netflix on November 10th, 2022 after two very long years of patience from the series’ most dedicated fans. Despite remarkably non-existent Netflix promotion, hard core fans spread the season 2 trailer far and wide, which pushed the show firmly onto Netflix’s Global Top 10 English TV list for three weeks after its release. The first season even made an appearance on the list!

Unsurprisingly, the second season was released to thunderous applause from old fans and new fans alike, and, by all accounts, seems to be universally liked with a 100% Critics Score on Rotten Tomatoes and an incredible 99% Audience Score from over 8,000 reviewers. And, as an old fan amongst the crowd that eagerly awaited any word of season 2’s release, I can honestly say that I am in complete agreement with the consensus. The second season of this show was incredible from start to finish.


Unfortunately, I have to add that Netflix cancelled the series a month after the season 2 release, which has sparked a hopeful and expansive campaign by fans and much of the cast and crew, including series creator Simon Barry, to get the series renewed or picked up by another network. As of the time of writing, about three weeks after Simon’s Barry’s cancellation announcement on twitter, the fan-made petition to save Warrior Nun has over 105,000 signatures and the hashtag #SaveWarriorNun has been tweeted over 5.8 million times!


(Note: there were many typos during these tweet storms, so the number of related tweets is significantly higher than 5.8 million, but alas, autocorrect has failed us again.)


So, after all of that background, I am excited to finally dive into my Warrior Nun Season 2 review! (Spoilers ahead!)


Season 2 Overview: Warrior Nun is a triumph for the fantasy/action genre


Alba Baptista and Kristina Tonteri-Young as Ava and Beatrice in Netflix's Warrior Nun. They sit together on a rock near a lake. Ava looks into the distance, tense, serious, with hair damp from the lake. Beatrice looks down, towards Ava, deep in thought. Behind them, rich green trees bathed in sunlight reflect off of the calm water.
Source: Warrior Nun on Netflix

Season 2 of Warrior Nun, to the initial upset of many, did not pick up directly after the massive season 1 cliffhanger. Instead, the season starts us off two months later with the members of the OCS scattered across Europe and in hiding. Ava and Beatrice are in Switzerland, living out a major roommate AU as Ava trains and prepares to face Adriel, Camila and Mother Superion are in Spain, hiding out in a secret OCS post in a convent, Lilith is hunting down Father Vincent in Portugal as she falls more and more into her new demon ways (minus the white season 1 finale wig, thank Bisexual Jesus), and Mary is missing.


Meanwhile, Jillian Salvius is a (beautifully) disheveled mess as she desperately searches for ways to bring her son back from wherever the Arc leads, Christian Shaffer is running ArqTech in her absence, funneling funds into a large construction project for Adriel and his cult, Pope Duretti is feeling his dubiously-earned power as Pope slipping from his grasp while Adriel’s power grows in his campaign to convince the world that he is an Angel sent to save them from a series of deadly plagues.


And finally, we’re introduced to two new characters! First is Miguel, a mysterious stranger in the Alps who attempts to recruit Ava (and Beatrice, since they’re attached at the hip) into his group of underground rebels as they fight Adriel’s followers and expose his secrets. The second character is Yasmine Amunet, a ray of sunshine Coptic Nun who is on a mission to locate the Warrior Nun to aid her in her fight against Adriel.


Alba Baptista and Tristán Ulloa as Ava and Father Vincent in Warrior Nun Season 2. They're looking ahead at a mural on a wall that reads "Falling Angel, Last Hope" with a painting of Ava facing down Adriel from above.
Source: Warrior Nun on Netflix

All of this tees us up for an epic season that features some of the best fight sequences I’ve seen in a while, remarkable cinematography that feels like it belongs on the big screen in a top-tier film festival, incredible performances from a refreshingly international cast, and a story that has viewers on the edge of their seats from start to finish.


This series has taken what could have been an overly campy series about a bunch of nuns fighting demons and turned it into a powerful drama, a kickass action series, and an exciting sci fi/fantasy adventure that contains echoes of an evolved take on the Buffy genre of storytelling.


Where this show really triumphs is in how well it seems to know itself. Unlike shows of the past with 20+ episode runs, these seasons are short - just 10 episodes for the first season and 8 episodes for the second - and leave very little room for filler. Every scene is important for character development, plot development, or world building, and it's very much felt as the action amps up from episode to episode.


Let’s break it down a little more, because I have plenty to say and someone has to impose boundaries in this review or I will never stop.


Questions Answered

This season, a lot of the big questions were answered. Here a few of the highlights:

What happened to Mary?

Unfortunately, Vincent reveals to Lilith that Mary did not survive her defeat in the season 1 finale. This was a devastating blow to a lot of fans, as Mary was by far a fan favourite character, and, though this season was phenomenal, Toya Turner’s absence was felt in every episode.


Simon Barry revealed in an interview with ScreenRant that Toya Turner was unable to make filming for the second season due to personal reasons, which has given fans a touch of hope that, if the show is picked up for a third season, she might be able to make a miraculous return. But who is to say?

What's up with Adriel?

What happened to Michael?

What's up with Father Vincent?

Questions unanswered and new questions


Alba Baptista as Ava Silva in Warrior Nun's second season. She is reaching through the glass of a display case using the power of the halo. It glows brightly behind her as she grasps a crown from a statue held within the case.
Source: Warrior Nun on Netflix

Unsurprisingly, this season left us with more questions than it answered. Here are some of the ones I had hoped to see answered, and some of the new ones that popped up along the way:

What's up with the halo?

The halo’s origins remain impressively unclear in season 2. We know that Adriel stole it from Reya and hid it on Earth, and we now know that the tarasks were sent by Reya to retrieve it. What we don’t know is how it works and whether it was made by Reya or simply in her possession. We also don’t know what would really happen to Ava if the halo was removed.

Is Reya good or bad?

What's going on with Lilith?

What's up with demons?

So... is Ava bisexual Jesus?

The part where I praise everyone involved in this show


I just needed to add a section to express how well made this production is. Despite its small budget, this show pulls out some of the most striking visuals and performances available on Netflix today. The shots, filmed on a Sony Venice with Cooke lenses (according to Simon Barry) by cinematographers Chris LaVasseur and Imanol Nabel, are stunning, from the quiet dramatic scenes to the epic battles against evil. Everyone on the production deserves accolades for the look and feel of this show. (Note: Check out my presently ongoing thread on twitter of some of these amazing shots.) The VFX team, The Embassy Visual Effects, also did phenomenal work on a show that often leans heavily on VFX to bring the magic of this world to life. From the glowing sword to the composite scenic backgrounds and the gory healing effects throughout the series, this team has pulled off miracles in every episode. My personal favourite this season was the crown of thorns!


Finally, the writers, the crew, the stunt team, and the cast. The first season was excellent, but this season felt like it was made to beat season 1 in every single way. The stunts were bigger, the actors were more involved, and the blood absolutely rained. It was awesome! And this only served to further accentuate the quiet, more dramatic scenes, highlighting the incredible performances from every member of this cast, which was lead remarkably by Alba Baptista, whose captivating performances just get better and better every time she appears on screen in a new project.


Just all around an incredible season of television, and a gorgeous series. So… let’s #SaveWarriorNun, already.


The Few Things I’m Unsure About


Okay, before we go on, I think I should probably mention the very few things in this season that didn’t make the “I love this” list.

Mary's fate

Already talked about this, but it made me sad. That said, the mourning scenes were masterful and Tangelene Bolton’s wonderful score really softened this blow overall.

Lilith & Adriel

Ava's character interactions

Finally, Avatrice, Avatrice, Avatrice


Alba Baptista and Kristina Tonteri-Young as Ava and Beatrice in Netflix's Warrior Nun. Ava smiles lovingly, but sadly as Beatrice strokes her fest gently. This is their one moment in each other's arms before Ava sets off to fight the final battle alone, where she plans to sacrifice herself to win the day.
Source: Warrior Nun on Netflix

If you’re reading this on this site, you’re probably mainly here because you’re an Avatrice shipper like every other warm blooded gay, ace, and ally who has seen this show. As you should be, this ship has everything! I’ll admit, going into season 2, I wasn't hopeful for any sort of conclusive Avatrice romance. I figured we’d get a few gay panic moments, some big Beatrice feelings reveal at the end of the season that would have taken Ava completely by surprise, and a few “I’ll protect you!” moments for fun. Crumbs, if you will. But what we got? A whole feast. Ava and Beatrice’s slow burn from season 1 to season 2 was masterfully done and something that every writer of romance should take note of. Every interaction between them, every single scene, is layered with subtle (then not so subtle) hints at their growing bond in a way that feels both deliberate and completely natural. In season 2, they’re often seen sharing glances, reaching for each other, holding hands, and comforting each other with small smiles and gentle touches, all of which works to build this beautiful foundation of trust between these two women. They spend the first two episodes in what is essentially a roommates AU in Switzerland and then jump right into angst-heavy, “please don’t leave me” dramatic scenes as Beatrice clings to Ava’s bloody body. Honestly, most of this season felt like it was right out of fanfiction in the best possible way, even up to the big kiss and the dying love confession in the finale.


Alba Baptista and Kristina Tonteri-Young have incredible on screen chemistry and it comes across with every little glance their characters share, making this gentle love story just feel... right. They didn’t have the oft-used oversexualized lesbian trope, or the poor communication trope, or the “we can’t be together” trope... they just were. They fell in love, and they saved the world, and they gave up everything to show each other the depths of that love, and that is what makes this ship so incredibly poignant to its fans. It was treated like the type of epic soft romance that is usually only reserved for well written straight ships. And that? That’s something new for many in the Sapphic community. And the best part? Neither of them died!


Conclusion


Okay, time to wrap this novel up. The show as a whole is incredible, but the second season is surely where it shines the most. This is a season of television that no one should miss. If you’ve made it this far in the review, you’ve probably already seen and loved the show, but, if you’re not already a fan, then please consider streaming seasons 1 and 2 on Netflix, sharing the show with your friends (who have their own accounts, because analytics), signing the petition, and tweeting about the show using the hashtag #SaveWarriorNun (check your spelling before you tweet!).


It would be a dream come true to see these incredible characters on our screens again. Not just for the groundbreaking Sapphic romance, but for the art, the story, this incredible cast, and the epic fight scenes. This is a cast and crew that deserves to see this story reach a proper conclusion.


1 Comment


Guest
Jan 11, 2023

thank you for that thoughtful article and the kind words :)

we still fighting #SaveWarriorNun

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