“Proverbs 31:25” pits science against faith as Ava’s latest excursion with her newfound friends brings her dangerous attention.
This recap of Warrior Nun season 1, episode 2, “Proverbs 31:25”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
We’ve all been there, in some stranger’s bed after a night of heavy drinking and pill-popping. We haven’t all been in a plush beachside Spanish manor with an angel’s halo in our backs after having risen from the dead, I suppose, but let’s not fret over the details. In her flirtations with JC at the top of Warrior Nun episode 2, Ava begins to realize that perhaps the scars he’s referring to aren’t the ones from the car accident that left her a quadriplegic. Her newfound mobility and superpowers are evidently coming at a cost.
Everyone’s looking for that halo, and it’s causing friction among the warrior nuns. Lilith is fuming that her rightful inheritance has been denied to her, and she’s directing her snooty attitude at Shotgun Mary and her “special treatment”. Mary is convinced that what happened at the docks was an ambush, and she has armor-piercing evidence to support her claim, but recovery of the halo has to take priority, especially once the Sisters and Father Vincent stand over the mangled corpse of Shannon and theorize that the culprit must have been a Tarask, a higher-order demon that can take corporeal form and do physical damage. This demon has been drawn either by the halo’s exposure or by sensing the weakness of its new Bearer; it wants to claim the Halo for Hell. Now it has the scent it won’t stop hunting and killing, so the Sisters need to find Ava before the Tarask does.
Beatrice swots up on the Tarask, which apparently can only appear physically for short periods but always finds the Halo-Bearer nevertheless. Only the combination of Halo-Bearer and Divinium sword can destroy it. She and Father Vincent are interrupted by Cardinal Duretti, who reminds us of the stakes. If the demon gets the Halo, Hell will rise and Heaven will fall; if Sister Lilith, whose family have supported the Order since the First Crusade, doesn’t get the Halo by morning, Cardinal Duretti might not be able to keep the powers that be from taking the matter out of Father Vincent’s hands. “Proverbs 31:25” provides our ticking-clock device.
As the Tarask skewers the attendant in the shop where Ava picked up her football shirt, Ava herself enjoys an outdoor meal with her newfound friends, but her anxieties about her own supposed freakishness begin creeping in. Mary, meanwhile, takes the bullet she recovered from the docks to a local high-quality weaponsmith who reveals that the client is a local not prone to flattery — a “pretty please” will be needed, which she interprets as several blows around the head with the hilt of a big knife that she threatens to open his brachial artery with. She wants answers, clearly.
On the beach in Warrior Nun episode 3, JC opens up about losing his mother to pancreatic cancer; his “bumming around Europe” was part of his grieving process, clearly still is, so far from the career outlaw he might have come across as. Nevertheless, they have another party to attend at Arq-Tech, a biotech company that “creates superpowers on the daily”. Cardinal Duretti happens to be in attendance, as does Kristian, who we met earlier during his discovery of a shield that had been lost to the Church since the Third Crusade. They discuss why a man of the cloth would be invited to a press event for a tech company, and Kristian explains that Dr. Jillian Salvius’s work is helping to bridge the gap between faith and science, proving that both are two sides of the same coin. Kristian is a former Vatican archivist who stole the Church’s secrets, so their conversation is a bit snidey; Duretti doesn’t like that Kristian abandoned his faith, and Kristian doesn’t like that Duretti used faith as a stepping stone to personal power. Apparently, tonight’s “miracle” will humble him.
While Ava inhales the buffet, JC employs some slick moves to lift a keycard from one of the guards, granting the rest of the crew access just as Mary arrives on a motorbike with an urgent message from the Vatican and Jillian announces to the attendees that she can stabilize the Higgs Field for a full minute — not the kind of claim you can make without evidence, of course, so she demonstrates by plunging her arm into the world’s first quantum portal. These breakthroughs have been made possible by her discovery of Divinium artifacts, which is of interest to Duretti since it ties Arq-Tech to the ambush of the Order.
These two clash after the speech; Duretti thinks Jillian is twisting and defiling the Church’s sacred relics for personal gain, and she thinks the Church is shutting them away from those who would hold them up to the light for the world’s gain. Duretti deploys the classic faith-based argument, that she’s meddling in matters she doesn’t understand, and that her meddling will ultimately destroy us all. Ava and JC, meanwhile, explore the various Arq-Tech labs and marvel at the technology, which reacts to Ava’s presence as Duretti’s Divinium ring did when she entered the building.
With the Sisters having tracked Ava down, Father Vincent and Beatrice debate what the next course of action should be since Vincent believes Ava has been chosen and should be given a certain degree of autonomy in how she wants to proceed. This, obviously, doesn’t mesh with the politics.
Ava and JC’s snooping is discovered by Jillian, who puts the building on high alert and demands they be found. Through one of the windows, Ava sees a kid locked in a room, and assuming that this place has something to do with what happened to her, she refuses to leave with JC, instead going back to talk to the kid, who has now disappeared. When she tries the door handle it sets an alarm off, and security guards give chase. So, too, does the Tarask. Father Vincent and the Sisters arrive right on time, though it’s Ava herself who manages to scare the demon away by swinging one of the Divinium artifacts at it. The nuns sedate her and take her away, bringing Warrior Nun season 1, episode 2 to its cliffhanger ending.
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