The debut season of Netflix’s adaptation of Warrior Nun didn’t quite seem to understand the importance of actually getting to the point of the story quickly enough to keep a viewer’s interest. Just as the series’ titular nun brawler Ava finally makes up her mind to fight the forces of evil, Warrior Nun comes to an abrupt end that made the first season feel... incomplete.
In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, Warrior Nun’s showrunner Simon Barry explained that, earlier into the show’s production, the plan was actually to have the first season end with quite a bit more resolution. The decision to cut things off so suddenly, Barry said, was borne out of a desire to raise the finale’s stakes and make Ava’s decision to fight against demons feel more personal.
“We don’t want to play it safe because then the show won’t ever feel like it’s changing and evolving, it’ll just be repeating itself, which we don’t want to do,” Barry said. “If we get a season two, we need to build on what we did in season one and not reproduce it.”
Barry also touched on the show’s character Sister Beatrice, whom many fans of the series have interpreted as being queer, and went into why the show didn’t explicitly delve into that part of Beatrice’s identity. Much in the same way that Barry wanted the bulk of Warrior Nun’s first season to focus on introducing the audience to Ava (to the show’s detriment, arguably), he also wanted viewers to meet Beatrice out of the context of her potentially developing a romantic dynamic with her.
“With Beatrice, we’re not trying to hide the fact that she’s probably gay, but the idea that her sexuality only exists in relation to Ava is simply not doing Beatrice a service,” Barry said. “Beatrice can absolutely bond with Ava and have feelings for her, but we want their story to be about them both. We want to have them be independent and fully formed and have this beautiful connection that we can experience.”
Watching Warrior Nun, it’s difficult to argue that Barry’s storytelling method did much to keep the show’s plot interesting, nor did it do its characters any favors. Compared to Ava, who suffers from the sort of emotional flatness that characters within narratives about chosen ones often do, Beatrice is far more dynamic and compelling, and suggesting that acknowledging her queerness would somehow take away from her presence is a rather perplexing stance to take. Similarly, there’s a major difference between a show intentionally building toward a suspenseful and thrilling cliffhanger and simply cutting to black, as seemed to be the case with Warrior Nun.
Perhaps Barry and the rest of Warrior Nun’s creative team are sitting on a hidden trove of brilliant ideas they’re just waiting to work into a potential second season. We won’t know, though, until Netflix casts its judgment and decides what the future holds for the show.
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