Warrior Nun season 1, episode 5 recap – “Matthew 7:13”

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: July 2, 2020 (Last updated: February 7, 2024)
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Warrior Nun season 1, episode 5 recap - "Matthew 7:13"


“Matthew 7:13” muddies the battle lines even further, with a surprising betrayal and a shocking death making for a standout episode.

This recap of Warrior Nun season 1, episode 5, “Matthew 7:13”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.

Check out our spoiler-free season review.

Check out the episode archive.

Warrior Nun episode 5 opens with a bonding session, of a kind, as Lilith and Ava square off outside the orphanage. The former’s Divinium sword glows blue in the presence of the Halo as Lilith hacks into the Bearer’s arm. Skipping training isn’t looking too cool now. But just as Lilith is about to deliver the killing blow, she’s stopped by Shotgun Mary. The two of them fight to a stalemate as Ava escapes, back to the airport with JC, who waited for her. Both Lilith and Mary arrive just in time to see her leave on a ferry.

In “Matthew 7:13”, Jillian lays out her plans for the press: A portal to another realm, another universe. Of course, she frames it in especially grandiose terms, a new era of Enlightenment, and folds the notion of faith into her reasoning; this bridge she’s constructing is to heaven, which is a more concrete idea of life after death than a “vague notion of ascendency”. She also tells the press outright that the Church has moved against her, playing footage of Beatrice taking out her security team. This is a declaration of open war against the Vatican.

In response, Cardinal Duretti wants to send the Shield of Faith to the Vatican for sake-keeping. He continues to clash with Father Vincent, who he tells to get in line lest he be removed from his position. Duretti is increasingly in control of the Order of the Cruciform Sword, and the Order itself is becoming increasingly divided, even between the Sisters.

Meanwhile in Warrior Nun episode 5, Ava opens up to JC about her past — partially, anyway. She explains that she took something that didn’t belong to her, which is technically true, and that she spent almost her entire life in an orphanage, which is also true, but she misses out the Halo, her resurrection, and her superpowers, perhaps wisely.

The aforementioned division among the Order is mentioned explicitly by Father Vincent, who confides in Beatrice about Cardinal Duretti’s influence: “My ego can handle Duretti. It’s my conscience that might get the better of me, Sister.” Duretti himself also whispers in Beatrice’s ear, to butter her up in the same way he did with Lilith. But this Sister is less susceptible to his silver tongue.

At this point, halfway through the season, we’re beginning to get a much better sense of the heroes and villains in this particular tale. In sidelining Ava, at least temporarily, “Matthew 7:13” is using the time to reposition the members of the Order like chess pieces; each can only move in certain directions, but they should all be integral to the show’s overall strategy. And pairing Ava off with JC away from the supernatural shenanigans helps her humanity develop; as she and JC idly discuss their travel plans, we get a sense of her desires, most of them quite humble — just to live a normal life, for a while.

But there’s a better, more antagonistic pairing in Warrior Nun episode 5: Lilith and Mary. They fight again as they attempt to head off Ava, and the latter dumps the former into the water. Both are outsiders within the Order; Mary is a maverick but loyal, at least to Father Vincent, where Lilith is obsessed with her perceived birthright above and beyond her devotion to the Church. They’re very different but united in their singular focuses.

Father Vincent goes to see Jillian to propose a trade: He’ll give her the Shield of Faith in exchange for her backing off Ava. Vincent tries to be coy about the Church’s war with Hell, but Jillian has figured most of it out on her own, except for Ava’s role in it all. She’s sceptical of the notion of Hell, too. “The church sells dreams. It’s time for someone to sell reality.”

On the ferry where Ava and JC are tenderly hugging after the consummation of their relationship, Mary fights Lilith again, in a fun bathroom brawl that Lilith once again comes out on the wrong side of. Mary leaves her handcuffed to the wall as Jillian receives a video of the Shield of Faith being lifted on its way to the Vatican. “It seems,” Kristian says, “that you now have a man inside the Church.” Shortly after, Warrior Nun season 1, episode 5 reveals Jillian’s motivation for her work — the young boy Ava saw in the labs is her son. He’s hooked up to some futuristic technology, evidently blighted by a serious illness.

Mary confronts Ava on the ferry in “Matthew 7:13” and gives her a choice of how to proceed; she even argues with Lilith, who has now freed herself, that she’ll make the right decision. But she doesn’t. She flees with JC, and the nuns are forced to give chase. Lilith is able to catch them first, and after knocking out JC, she attempts to carve out the Halo with a Divinium dagger. She’s interrupted by Mary, but the altercation caused enough of a fuss to attract the Tarask, who blunders from a portal and slaps Mary through a car windshield. As Mary tries to fight off the demon, Lilith tries to take the opportunity to kill Ava, but the Tarask brutally skewers her. As she dies, she tells Ava to pick up the sword, and it, wielded by the Halo-Bearer, is enough to banish the Tarask back to Hell — along with Lilith.

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