Synopsis: After awaking at a morgue, an orphaned teenager discovers she now possesses superpowers as the chosen Halo Bearer for a secret sect of demon-hunting nuns.
Review: Loosely based on the comic book series from writer Ben Dunn, which was released in the 1990s by Antarctic Press Warrior Nun is all about girl power, but is as much about finding ones self while battling the forces of evil. The TV series, which premiered on Netflix on 2 July was developed by Simon Barry, who most people will know for his work on the hit science fiction series ‘Continuum’.
When a quadriplegic young teen named Ava is brought to the Morgue of a Catholic Church from the orphanage. She inadvertently finds herself being reanimated when she is given the Halo when the Church is attacked. As she awakens. Ava is both panicked and disorientated and runs away. Pretty soon Ava learns that the Halo, which is embedded into her back gives her powers, which include fast reactions and the abilities to phase through walls.
Back at the Church. The Warrior Nuns are tasked by Father Vincent and the Mother Superion to find Ava and bring her back to the Church to be trained in how to use her newfound powers, but Sister Lillith, who was supposed to be the next Halo Bearer is not happy about things and feels that she has an entitlement to the Halo given that she is already trained and has been preparing for it her whole life.
Meanwhile, Ava has hooked up with a group of con artists and is falling for their leader, but is slowly beginning to figure out that she’ll never be able to have the normal life that she so craves.
Warrior Nun is full of fun and charismatic characters and the ones that stand out aside from Eva are Shotgun Mary, Lillith, and Sister Beatrice. All have their parts to play in this series and all are played with a great deal of nuance and creativity. Alba Baptista who plays Ava does a brilliant job of giving us a sympathetic teenage girl who is on this fantastical journey to become the Warrior Nun that the Church may not necessarily want but actually needs. The character arc and the journey that Ava goes on throughout the series is amazingly done. I particularly enjoyed episode six in which Ava begins to see that her role as the Warrior Nun is far more important than her own selfish wants. The scenes she gets to play alongside Toya Turner’s Shotgun Mary are brilliant to watch as Mary pulls no punches in teaching Ava a few very important life lessons in order to help her have her come to Jesus’ moment.
Kristina Tonteri-Young is also wonderful as the geeky and highly skilled fighter Sister Beatrice, who becomes a really good friend to Ava as the series develops.
‘Warrior Nun’ is packed full of action and craziness and has a preposterous plot, which makes clever use of Catholic mythology as well as a certain hidden secret, which lurks under the Vatican. The characters are fun to watch and relatable. I loved how the show didn’t fall into the trap of overcooking the teen angst or having a love triangle. All the performances are played straight and all the characters have a great deal of charisma.
My only criticism of the show is that it may have spent a little to much time nursing the romance plot with Ava, which was written and acted pretty well, but it may have been better had they cut it by an episode so we could have Mary and Ava meet up a little sooner.
The series has a number of great twists and turns and ends on a shocking cliffhanger, which we’ll hopefully see get resolved in a second season, which has already been announced, but we could be in for a long wait. Overall a brilliantly fun series, which I will definitely want to see more of.
- CGI & Stunts9.6
- Incidental Music8.0