Warrior Nun [Review]

WARRIOR NUN (L to R) ALBA BAPTISTA as AVA in EPISODE 8 of WARRIOR NUN. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix/NETFLIX © 2020

You know that feeling when you watch a show and you just can’t stop watching. Going into something completely blind, with no idea of what this is going to happen, that surprise feeling as the episodes pass and things get crazier and crazier. Sometimes it’s a nice surprise, others it isn’t. Going blind into Warrior Nun was the best thing I did. The only thing I knew about this show was because of the trailer that Netflix released. It was a nice surprise, a surprise that after I finished I wished I had taken more of my time watching because while the show is far from perfect, Warrior Nun reminds me a lot of another great little supernatural show that deserves a lot more attention, Wynonna Earp.

Based on a comic series named Warrior Nun Areala, the show decides to keep mostly the idea of the lore of the comic and some characters from it instead of doing a straight-up adaptation. I have not read the comics nor had I heard about them before but I did look some of them up and read on it to compare the two. And I think going with the idea of adapting the comics but also not venturing too much in them is the best thing that the creators and producers of this series could have done. Lucifer did a very similar thing by simply taking some of the characters of the comics and by doing the same Warrior Nun is able to tell their story in a modern setting and not being stuck in adapting a story that fans of the comics knew but also they would have to follow to the tea. Instead, the show shines by doing things their way. While the pacing is an issue, with the show taking way to long to set up and the action not really starting until well after the mid-season, the backend of the first season shows the enormous potential that Warrior Nun has and how future seasons could look like.

The strongest point of the show is the characters and the relationships between all of them. The best episode in my opinion is the sixth episode and it is mostly just two characters together getting to know each other. It could have been boring but their dynamic and the way things are revealed is so good. It is also a turning point in the show where things finally start picking up. While I liked all the characters, like any shows, there were a few stand out. Alba Baptista, in her first English speaking role, does shine a lot but the standout for me in this show is Toya Turner as Sister Mary. Every scene she was in she stole and her character was, in my opinion, the one that I wish we got to spend more time with. Whether it was when she was speaking or just her facial expression, I found myself drawn the most to her character. The show really knows how to pair the characters and create the maximum story with them, it’s just a shame that for much of the show, they are sent on their own quest by themselves instead of using the cast to it’s fullest.

I did touch upon a little bit on the pacing but really it is the main problem of this show. While it does start quickly, it hits a slow part and for a good four episodes, nothing really happens. It is still entertaining and I kept watching but they were hard episodes to watch because the plot didn’t really advance. Yes, it gave me character moments that would help form my opinion of them but why do we have to slow the story down for doing that. The season final felt more like the beginning. This whole first season felt like a premise of to the story. I can think of two episodes that could have been combined and it would have worked. Slowing the story down doesn’t mean that it isn’t good. No the sixth episode of the season is my favourite and it is slow but it advances the plot in an interesting and intelligent way. But the fact remains that the show has these great moments but also these moments that have me scratching my head wondering why we are stopping the story once again to go back to a love story that frankly didn’t work.

Warrior Nun isn’t perfect but it has the foundation to be. It can be great and the potential is there. By the end of the first season, we find ourselves with a show that can continue for a long time and that has tremendous potential. It’s a show that I could simply not stop because I was invested in the characters, a show that I can see where it wants to go and even with the flaws, I loved. It’s not perfect but it doesn’t need to be. I was invested and by the end of the season I found myself trying to get to the next episode even if I knew it was over. A great cast and an interesting premise helps with the pacing issues and creates a series that I can see in the future becoming bigger and better.