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Warrior Nun Season 1's Biggest Unanswered Questions


Shortly after its season one premiere, the Netflix original series Warrior Nun earned a spot on the streaming service's top ten list of most-viewed programs. Based on the manga-style Warrior Nun Areala comics by Ben Dunn, Warrior Nun is a fantasy drama following the adventures of a secret sect of sister warriors — the Order of the Cruciform Sword (OCS)The OCS secretly fights demons, led by the Warrior Nun — an OCS warrior who takes on the burden and power of a literal angel's halo embedded in her back. Through a complex set of circumstances, Ava (Alba Baptista) is made the new halo bearer in the first episode, but she wants nothing to do with the OCS or their war against the forces of darkness. 

Warrior Nun's first season not only ends with a lot of questions marks, but on a huge cliffhanger. In the closing moments of the season finale, the OCS fights the powerful Adriel (William Miller) in Vatican City, we learn that the sister warriors' friend and mentor Father Vincent (Tristán Ulloa) has been working for Adriel the whole time, and a mob of demon-possessed civilians swarm Shotgun Mary (Toya Turner).

Ending a season in the middle of a boss fight is bound to leave viewers with lots of questions, but the outcome of that tussle isn't the end of the first season's mysteries. Here's a look at the biggest unanswered questions we have about the first season of Warrior Nun.

Will we see JC again?

The first friend Ava makes after her awakening is JC (Emilio Sakraya), a charming thief squatting in a wealthy vacation home with his compatriots. Ava is attracted to JC right away; predictably, a romance develops, and JC eventually splits from his fellow thieves to help Ava run from the OCS even though there's clearly so much that Ava hasn't told him. At the end of Episode 5, JC is there when a monstrous Tarask materializes and seemingly murders Sister Lilith (Lorena Andrea). He's understandably very freaked out, and in the following episode Mary tells Ava he ran away after she did.

So is that it for JC? Will we see him again? While neither he nor Ava exchange the L-word, they seem to care quite a bit for each other. Of course, watching a demon impale a nun is probably enough to spoil just about any romance. Not to mention at this point neither JC nor Ava have any clue where the other is.

It may be that the craziness of Ava's life is too much for JC, but who knows? The unfinished battle of the season finale seems pretty public. It takes place in Vatican City the day that a new Pope is named. It could be that JC might see Ava fighting demons on TV or the web and decide to throw caution to the wind. 

What happened to Lilith?

You hear a lot of echoes of shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Supernatural in Warrior Nun, and one pretty big trope from those earlier series we see repeated is the hero seemingly killed and pulled into Hell, only to return with new purpose and power. While Sister Lilith seems to have sacrificed herself at the end of Episode 5, she shows up covered in cuts and dry blood at the end of Episode 7. She displays abilities similar to those of the Tarasks, and the scar where she was impaled radiates with what appears to be demonic energy. While she doesn't seem to remember what happened to her, she knows things the other heroes don't — most importantly, she knows it's a mistake to allow Ava to enter Adriel's Tomb. 

So what happened to Sister Lilith? What's keeping her alive and what, or who, sent her back? If we assume — as her fellow sisters believe — that Sister Lilith was dragged into hell, then the obvious answer is that it's the forces of hell who sent her back and who have given her these new abilities and knowledge. But while that may be the easiest answer, it leads to more questions. She seems to be working with the OCS and the Warrior Nun, and why would the armies of Satan make an ally of a secret Catholic warrior sect? 

What's Mother Superion's story?

One of the welcome aspects of Warrior Nun is that its characters often turn out to be more than they first appear, and Mother Superion (Sylvia De Fanti) is a perfect example. Tasked with training the sister warriors and the Warrior Nun, Mother Superion initially expresses nothing but disdain for Ava. She's hard-nosed, unforgiving, and even cruel. Throughout the first season we hear a number of characters referring to Superion's past without getting into details, and eventually we learn she was very briefly one of the halo bearers before the artifact rejected her.

But there's still plenty we don't know about Mother Superion, and the most obvious question involves her prominent facial scar. Could the scar have something to do with the halo's rejection? In particular it's difficult to hear Mother Superion's story and not think of the journal entry Sister Beatrice (Kristina Tonteri-Young) reads about the World War II era Warrior Nun who escaped from the concentration camps. Could it be that — like the earlier Warrior Nun — Mother Superion lashed out with the halo's power in hatred, and that's why the artifact rejected her? 

What exactly are the Tarasks?

At first, the Tarasks seem pretty straightforward. Early in the season Father Vincent says the Tarasks are demons who can enter the physical world for short periods of time and are attracted to the power of the halo. What we see in the first half of the season bears this out and gives us no reason to question the priest, even though he later turns out to be a turncoat. We see the demons not only ruthlessly pursue Ava and tear through members of the OCS, but brutally murder innocent civilians. The final two episodes of Warrior Nun's first season, however, include revelations that have us questioning our assumptions.

First, while for most of the season we're told the angel Adriel's armor is the only source of the miracle metal Divinium, in Episode 9 we learn that the Tarasks are the true source of the substance. Ava notices this when she encounters a Tarask skeleton in the wall of Adriel's tomb, and in the flashback to the Crusades, Adriel fashions his shield and armor from a Tarask's corpse. Second, while for most of the season we're led to believe Adriel is an angel, in the season finale it's revealed he's something else — Ava actually calls him "a devil." 

So if Adriel is a demon or devil, then why are other demons pursuing him in the Crusades flashback? Could it be they're not demons, but something else? 

Was that really Sister Shannon in Ava's dream?

You might think that since Warrior Nun is based on a comic book, we could figure out the answer to all these questions by checking out the source material. But Warrior Nun is fairly different from the comics in a number of ways, including the identity of its protagonist. Ava was created specifically for the Netflix series — in most of the comics, the hero is Sister Shannon, which happens to be the name of the Warrior Nun who dies in Episode 1, played by Melina Matthews. 

Sister Shannon returns in Episode 8 as part of Ava's dream. Shannon surprises Ava by speaking with nothing but regret for what she and the previous Warrior Nuns fought and died for, believing it's all been futile, and Ava seems to believe this isn't merely a dream but an actual communication with the departed Sister Shannon. It's this dream that inspires Ava to tell her allies their mission has changed and that she plans to destroy the bones of Adriel.

But considering what happens in the following two episodes, we have to ask if it was truly the spirit of Sister Shannon to whom Ava spoke. Going to Adriel's Tomb with the intent of destroying his bones is what ends up freeing Adriel, suggesting it could possibly be Adriel who psychically communicated with Ava and disguised himself as Shannon.  

Are Duretti's days as Pope numbered?

For most of Warrior Nun's first season, we're led to believe Cardinal Duretti (Joaquim de Almeida) is the bad guy. He shakes things up at the OCS, trying to transfer Sister Beatrice and Father Vincent while bringing in nuns previously rejected from the order — including the sadistic Sister Crimson (Sinead MacInnes). In fact, until the very end of the season, Shotgun Mary is convinced it was Duretti who had Sister Shannon murdered. By the time Father Vincent shows his true colors, Duretti has been selected as the new Pope. 

But in spite of the revelation that his motivations were not as impure as many thought, it doesn't seem like the new Pope's position is a lock. Obviously, we don't yet know how the battle between the sister warriors and Adriel is going to conclude, but just think about what happens right after Duretti is made Pope: The first time the new Pope addresses the faithful waiting in Vatican City, explosions rock the city. Shortly afterward, a sect of nuns gets into a dust-up with a seemingly unkillable foe and a bunch of demon-possessed civilians. To anyone who puts any weight in signs from beyond, none of these events are going to go in the plus column for the newly-elected Holy Father. By season two, he might have to settle for being a Cardinal again.

Where did Michael go?

At the same time Adriel tries to take the halo from Ava, big things are happening at Jillian Salvius' (Thekla Reuten) lab. Jillian's ailing son Michael (Lope Haydn Evans) insists that his mother bring him to the Ark, ensuring her "the door" is about to open. As he predicts, the Ark spontaneously comes to life and Michael runs through the quantum portal, beckoning for his mother to follow. Jillian runs to the portal, but it closes before she reaches it.

Where could Michael be? Well, the answer to that is obviously tied to the question of where the quantum portal leads. Jillian seems to think Heaven is on the other side of the portal, or something very much like what we think of as Heaven. Cardinal Duretti expresses the fear that it actually leads to Hell. We have no way of knowing if either are right, or even close. 

One thing that does not bode well for Michael is that he constantly refers to "the angel" who has been communicating with him. If it's Adriel who's been in contact with Michael, then that's not good. Now that we know that Adriel is no angel, there's no reason to think he wouldn't happily put Michael at risk for his own ends. 

Who and what is Adriel?

In the beginning, we're told Adriel is an angel. In the season finale, Ava calls him a devil. But by the end of season one, we don't really have a clear idea of who or what Adriel is. What do we know? Well, we know when he appears on Earth during the Crusades, Adriel is being pursued by the Tarasks. He forges an alliance with Areala — the first Warrior Nun — and builds armor from the Divinium in the Tarasks' corpses. We know that he has an unnaturally long life, can heal from just about any wound, and appears to have some sort of control over the wraith demons.

One possibility comes straight from Adriel's mouth. When Ava asks if he's an angel, he says that's the closest approximation she could understand. This could suggest that neither Adriel nor any of the so-called demons are creatures of Hell, but rather extra-dimensional aliens who have been misinterpreted through the lens of religion. If, on the other hand, we are meant to see the supernatural beings from the show as creatures from either Heaven or Hell, then that makes things more complicated because we're left with the question of why one demonic being — Adriel — is in conflict with other demons. 

Whatever he is, we're likely to learn more once Warrior Nun gives us a second season.

When and how was Father Vincent turned?

Nothing in Warrior Nun's first season makes you want to go back and rewatch it more than when Father Vincent walks up to Adriel and calls him "master." At that moment we know it's Vincent — not Duretti — who's been the traitor inside the OCS, and most tragically who has Sister Shannon murdered in the first episode. It makes it tempting to go right back to the beginning and rewatch the series, paying special attention to Father Vincent's actions. 

It's tough to not wonder exactly when Adriel turned Vincent and, more importantly, how he won the priest's loyalty. We don't have an answer, though there is an interesting clue toward the end of the season one finale. After Beatrice uses her explosives to free Ava from Adriel's tomb, Father Vincent picks up Ava and carries her to safety. Vincent's sleeve is ripped open and as he carries Ava, you can see his tattoos are glowing bright blue. Because of this, it's safe to assume there's Divinium in Vincent's tattoos, which goes a long way toward explaining why he's so apprehensive about revealing his bare arms to Shotgun Mary earlier in the season. It seems likely the tattoos have something to do with Vincent's servitude to Adriel, though we don't know exactly what the purpose is. Could it be some kind of mystic binding that forces Vincent to do Adriel's will, or could it be that — like the young Michael — Vincent needs the Divinium to survive? If Vincent is as sick as Michael, that could explain why he chooses to serve Adriel.

Can the OCS survive this kind of exposure?

According to the backstory of the OCS, the order has operated completely in the shadows over the centuries. The events of Warrior Nun's first season raise the question of whether it will be possible for the OCS to keep itself a secret anymore. And if they can't stay a secret, will they be allowed to exist at all? 

The first time we see the OCS get much more of the spotlight than they're used to is when Jillian Salvius releases video to the press of Sister Beatrice making short work of her lab's security force. However, Beatrice isn't identified and Jillian doesn't mention the OCS by name, though she does say the perpetrator is an operative of the Catholic Church. We have to assume the battle in the season finale will likewise get plenty of attention, and it may be tougher for the sister warriors involved to hide their identities. The battle is in Vatican City right after a new Pope is named, and there's no way there won't be dozens of smartphones recording the melee as it happens. 

How can the OCS operate after that? How would things go in the real world if video was released of nuns shooting a prone man in the back of the neck with a crossbow? Doesn't seem like those nuns would stay out of prison for very long.    

Have we already seen the end of Shotgun Mary?

Things really don't look good for Shotgun Mary at the end of season one. Facing down the crowd of possessed civilians, her friends repeat the OCS mantra, "In this life or the next." Profanely defiant, Mary stands between her friends and the mob, both shotguns drawn. She fights off a few of the possessed, but the mob soon overpowers over her. The season finale ends with Mary disappearing in a crowd of the possessed, crying out in pain.

We're guessing and hoping that Mary will survive to return in season two. Things may not look good for her right now, but she's one of the toughest members of the OCS and one of the only characters we've seen take a hit from a Tarask and survive to tell the tale. 

Still, you can never be sure. As tough as she is, Mary gets easily knocked off her feet by just a single possessed villager in Episode 6. Now she's being swallowed by an entire mob of the things, some of whom are possessing the elite Vatican Swiss guard — who are formidable even without demonic passengers. And let's not forget even if Mary and her friends find a way to escape the possessed without killing them, they still have Adriel to deal with.