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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Jul 20, 2020


alba baptista as AVA and her co-stars in WARRIOR NUN

‘WARRIOR NUN’ is an action-fantasy series on Netflix with ten episodes based on a comic book by Ben Dunn.

But when the show starts, the lead character, Ava (Alba Baptista), is neither a warrior or a nun. Instead, she is a dead paraplegic in a morgue. She is also the show’s narrator.

As a 9-year old child, she and her mom figured in a tragic car crash. She lost her mom and she became paralyzed from the neck down.

She lived for the next 9 years as a bedridden patient in an orphanage in Spain and when she turned 18, a nun administered mercy killing on her as she’s about to be turned away into the streets where no one would take care of her.

At about the same time, some female knights belonging to a secret and ancient order of warrior nuns, the Order of the Cruciform Sword, are trying to save their colleague, Sister Shannon (Melina Matthews), who was severely injured in an explosion.

She is said to be the real warrior nun with an angel's halo embedded in her back giving her superpowers.

A demon called Tarask appears to get the halo and, to protect it, a num gets it inside of Shannon and implants inside the back of the dead Ava in the morgue. Ava then springs back to life as the new halo bearer, surprised that she is not only alive but can now also walk and move her body freely.

She goes out, wanders around the streets happy with her new found health and freedom. At one point, a truck hits her and she is thrown off, smashes through a concrete wall and crashes into a clothing shop where she manages to choose a new wardrobe.

The halo in her back is said to come from an angel called Adriel and it gives her the powe to see the spirit of demons floating undetected to possess humans.

But Ava is not interested in being a superhero. She’d rather explore the world, go dancing, flirt with boys and experience what it is to be a carefree teenager.

Meantime, the other warrior nuns are looking for her to bring her back to the convent and fulfill her mission as the chosen replacement of Shannon.

This includes Sister Shotgun Mary (Toya Turner) who proves to be truly devoted to Ava as the chosen one and becomes her protector, Sister Lilith (Lorena Andrea) who’s slated to be the next halo bearer so she resents Ava so much for inheriting the halo when she came from nowhere, Sister Beatrice (Kristine Young) who’s Asian and is the prettiest and most level headed among all the sisters.

Their adviser is Father Vincent (Tristan Ulloa) who is always locking horns with their seemingly scheming boss, Cardinal Duretti (Joaquim de Almeida), who aspires to be the next Pope.

Ava is given a hunky love interest, JC (Emilio Sakraya), who succeeds to get her cherry then quickly runs away when they have an encounter with a fiery demon.

Also after the halo and a sacred metal called Divinium is a scientist, Jillian Salvius (Thekla Reuten), who wants to open a portal that will help heal her little son who’s suffering from a terminal illness.

She is assisted by her right hand man, Kristian (Peter de Jersey), who used to work for the church but left it to be in the service of science.

After trying her best to evade her destiny and responsibilities as the chosen warrior nun, Ava is eventually persuaded to come to terms with it and to cooperate with the other nuns to get the bones of the angel Adriel buried deep inside the catacombs of the Vatican.

They believe that the bones will wreak havoc on the world if they would fall into the wrong hands.

The show is very Catholic. Each episode is titled with a verse quoted from the Bible, like the pilot episode is called “Psalms 46:5”. There’s no doubt it treats the Catholic religion as a source of goodness but Ava herself is a doubter who says “The Catholics get a little twitchy about who gets to be resurrected.”

The final episode is set totally in the Vatican, showing the election of a new Pope with all its pomp and glory.

The pacing is rather slow and the whole narrative could have been more compact and faster paced if they compressed it all to about four or five episodes instead of stretching it into ten.

But the action scenes are spectacularly choreographed and the locations filmed totally in Spain like Malaga, Andalucia, Marbella and Sevilla, are all superb and lovely.

Alba Baptista is a Portuguese actress and this is her English language debut. No doubt she has charisma and can be very cute and amusing even if she’s doing silly things. The ensemble cast supporting her is uniformly fine.

Obviously, they’re aiming for a second season as this first season ends with a cliff hanger where we don’t know what happened to Ava and her nun friends after they were confronted by a very formidable opponent that they didn’t at all foresee. Let's see if Netflix would give them the greenlight to do season 2.