Warrior Nun season 2, episode 5 recap – who is Reya?

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: November 10, 2022 (Last updated: November 12, 2022)
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Warrior Nun season 2, episode 5 recap - who is Reya?


A slick showcase for Mother Superion doubles as a major turning point for a couple of key characters.

This recap of Warrior Nun season 2, episode 5, “Mark 10:45”, contains spoilers.

What do we really know about Adriel? We’ve heard the backstory, of course. We get a little more of it at the start of “Mark 10:45”, a kind of crash-course CliffsNotes version of his relationship with Areala, his upside-down temple, and his aspirations of power and leadership. But we don’t know much beyond that, really. We know he needs the endorsement of the Pope in order to trick the masses into believing he’s the messiah, but to what end? Is it just the consolidation of absolute power? Or is there another, hidden purpose?

Warrior Nun season 2, episode 5 recap

The flashback stuff at the start of this episode also works the Crown of Thorns into the backstory. We see how Areala was given it as a divine gift, an answer to her lamentations that Adriel was losing himself in his ambitions. She died to put it on his head and trap him in his tomb. With all the prophetic talk about Ava and how unlikely she is to survive her own climactic encounter with Adriel, it’s looking likely that she might suffer a similar fate.

Things aren’t going especially well for Ava, in all honesty. Her Halo is on the fritz, every move the OCS makes against Adriel fails, and she seems romantically stuck between Beatrice and Miguel, who this episode reveals is – dun, dun, dun! – Jillian’s missing son Michael. By “his world”, Miguel was making a joke, since he takes the gang to hook up with his mother. In a healthy dollop of exposition, we learn that after Michael went through the Ark as a child he staggered alone and terrified through a desert until he was found and raised by Reya, the all-powerful being of the realm who trained him to destroy Adriel and sent him back here with that explicit goal in mind. It was Reya’s visage Jillian saw in the footage captured by Lilith when she ventured through the arc, and Michael seeing the face here causes him to recoil.

Whoever Reya is, she’s obviously exceptionally powerful, and if this season fails to come to a satisfactory conclusion – which, given it’s a semi-popular Netflix series is a guaranteed certainty – I can imagine some kind of inter-realm conflict forming the basis of the next batch of episodes. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

“Mark 10:45” is very much a showcase episode for Mother Superion. After Duretti calls her to attend a conclave to discuss Adriel with other Cardinals and senior Catholic figureheads, she and Yasmine turn up, sternly make a case, and then are left to deal with the fallout when it’s revealed that Duretti’s right-hand-man William has also been swayed by Adriel. He leads the possessed Cardinals in the slaying of the non-believers, but Superion absolutely owns them all. It’s another great, slick action sequence, and Sylvia De Fanti sells this role so convincingly I’d be totally open to a spin-off that was entirely about her.

But Mother Superion alone isn’t enough to get Duretti and Yasmine to safety, so she calls on Camila for backup. Camila, it turns out, is experiencing some serious problems of her own, since it turns out that Adriel sneakily had a Divinium cross installed in her spine at the OCS convent – during the TikTok scene in the premiere – and has been communicating with her ever since. He’s the source of her visions and headaches.

However, Camila seems to be of strong enough faith to reject his advances. The other nuns are able to rescue Superion and Yasmine, though Duretti surrenders himself to Adriel as part of a long game that we’ll see play out in subsequent episodes. So, let’s talk about prayer.

Don’t worry, I’m bringing this up for a reason. But prayer is integral to faith and faith is integral to Warrior Nun. As it turns out, prayer is also integral to Adriel’s plans, since, with the help of Arq-Tech infrastructure, he’s using the energy generated by prayer to power the plagues and mind-control his followers. Their belief in him only gives him more control over them; as they continue to pray, they lose more and more of themselves to the focus of their worship.

Hey, nobody said this wasn’t going to be on the nose, did they?

But it’s a nice twist and a fitting scheme for a religious despot. I’m not sure this is what’s allowing Adriel to so completely seduce Lilith, though – I think that’s more a matter of allowing someone who is power-hungry to have as much power as they like. But power for Lilith manifests in a very specific way; as the ability to see the world and its demons for what they really are, as scaly skin, and as a pair of leathery black wings that sprout from her back and wrap Adriel in an embrace as they kiss.

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