One first look Netflix’s Warrior Nun looked like a superficial supernatural series, with high ideals but poor execution. The show is in fact very different and offers a refreshing new take on the old angels and demons’ tropes. I originally believed the show was one of Netflix’s foreign European imports and fully expected a Spanish language cast and subtitles it was only as I watched the credits that I realised this is an US/Canadian produced by Simon Berry, the man who brought us Continuum another series that looked at faith in some detail, all be it faith in a cause.
The heart of Warrior Nun is the strong female cast that dominate the ten episodes. We have the usual chosen one with great powers cliché, but they handle this well refreshingly, having the lead take several episodes to come to terms with her change in circumstances and eventually accept her place.
The choice of a clerical setting, primarily the Catholic church was refreshingly new and was an aspect in the old good versus evil battle that is rarely touched on by other series. Supernatural deals with angels and demons but has very little church involvement. The story did not necessarily go where you think it is going at the start, yes demons are at play but there is much more of an exploration of the inner demons of human nature. There are major plot twists within the series that add to its intrigue. The main cast a very likeable and watchable. The lead, Alba Baptista as Ava, acted well and was believable in the role. Nearly all the cast are new to the genre, I only recognised the Cardinal, Joaquim de Almeida and Peter de Jersey.
The action sequences are great, who does not love Nuns jumping around wielding shotgun and throwing knives? The fight scenes were dramatic and engaging and at times quite brutal. They were overused in some episodes especially between Mary and Lillith but impressive. Other impressive effects did struggle, the smoke like demons were great but the CGI Tarasks were a hot mess. The CGI was poor by modern standards luckily, they were sparsely used.
There is heart in this series whether looking at Ava trying to make friends or to Jillian Salvius with her son. The show is slow to start of and some of the introduced characters such as JC were underdeveloped and disappeared towards the end of the season.
The 10 episodes are a lot of fun and the plot is engaging leading to an epic final episode that leaves you wanting a second season, something that Netflix has yet to confirm.