Netflix’s newest series is decidedly a hit, with Warrior Nun reportedly returning for at least a second and third season. The show follows the journey of Ava Silva, played by Alba Baptista, a quadriplegic teen who dies and is resurrected by a powerful artifact called a Halo. With it comes a host of powers like the ability to phase through walls and hyper-healing (à la Wolverine), among other things, and the onus of leading a squad of battle-hardened nuns with the sole purpose of keeping the world safe from demons – a responsibility Ava proceeds to run away from for most of the first season.
Although Ava’s destiny as the Halo-bearer is to lead the Order of the Cruciform Sword, she wasn’t meant to receive the Halo in the first place. Early on in the season during an attack, the Halo is placed in her corpse to hide it from the enemy. This leads to the unintended consequence of bringing her back to life and giving her full use of her legs again, along with her new abilities.
Before this incident, members of the order expected Sister Lilith to inherit the Halo and lead the team when their previous leader died under somewhat suspicious circumstances. This is another point of tension within the group, as resident OCS badass Shotgun Mary believes that Lilith might be a great fighter, but is not fit to be a leader. And then there’s also the matter of passing the Halo’s test, which can – and has – rejected people in the past.
While Ava’s mission evolves over the course of the season, going from reluctant leader to charting her own path to ending the cycle and becoming the last Warrior Nun, a new theory suggests that she might only be a transitory Halo-bearer. After all, Sister Beatrice shows all the qualities inherent in a good Warrior Nun candidate, including being calm under pressure, pure of heart, a tactical strategist, and resolute in her loyalty to God, which is an important qualifier.
It’s possible, then, that Ava’s role could be to eventually give up the Halo and pass it on to the more capable Beatrice. Ava might be able to live out her second chance at life or could have to give it up entirely, while Beatrice goes on to become the leader of the OCS. This would also provide an interesting dynamic of sacrifice and duty to their relationship going forward.
As ScreenRant explains:
Warrior Nun seems to follow the Buffy paradigm, at least on the surface, but a closer look reveals that the series seems to have a different hero’s journey in mind for Ava besides becoming the true Warrior Nun. (After all, Ava isn’t even Catholic.) It could be that Ava is, in fact, a transitional Halo-Bearer who is meant to ultimately pass the magical ring to someone truly worthy to lead the OCS – and it just so happens that Sister Beatrice is the closest friend Ava has in the Order. Ava was already willing to give up the Halo to save lives at the end of Warrior Nun season 1, and this may still be her ultimate trajectory. Meanwhile, Sister Beatrice is the leader the OCS needs and it’s a role she’s capable of.
As “a miracle of the highest order”, Ava’s ultimate role in Warrior Nun season 2 might be to help end the corruption within the OCS and set up a new direction for her Sister Warriors so that her final reward is to get to keep living the second life she was granted. But that means Ava would give up the Halo and, of everyone in the OCS, she would be happiest to pass it on to Sister Beatrice, who has already proven herself the most worthy of all to be the Warrior Nun.
While season 1 was focused on setting up the lore and characters of Warrior Nun, season 2 will need to work twice as hard to subvert the Buffy-like plot tropes while pushing the narrative arc away from the reluctant hero storyline. The first batch of episodes was certainly a promising start to a fun and original fantasy adventure though, so here’s hoping for an even stronger second season.