The Virgin Esther

FINALLY! We have a savior! Ahem, a savior of an episode. More on how I was wrong about this entire show later in the week, but this, by far, has been The Young Pope‘s strongest episode, all due to our dear Esther. As predicted last week (yes, again) Amatucci (Voiello’s assistant) was aware of Esther’s sinning ways. And as we also predicted, Amatucci would scuttle off to Voiello who would use this newfound knowledge to begin Operation Pope has Fallen. Not real earth-shattering news, but this really showed Voiello’s cards. I’m still not sure he’s in it just for the benefit of the Church, but either way, he fuckin despises Pope Lenny and is hellbent on bringing him down.

So, in true non-misogynistic fashion, Voiello has Esther attempt to woo his Pope-liness. A little bush league there Voiello, this is the fucking Pope we’re talking about. He’s not just gonna foresake his vows because he thinks Esther is a smoke. It didn’t happen with the Prime Minister of Greenland, it didn’t happen with the Vatican’s Marketing Chick, and it sure as shit isn’t gonna happen with Esther. Step it the fuck up, you’re dealing with a professional now.

Although I still think Lenny is an asswipe, I don’t think he’s a complete asshat. Translation; he is somewhat of a good guy.  I don’t know if this really could be spin-zoned into something beneficial for Pope-man here, but praying for a sterile woman to become pregnant is a genuine thing for him to do. I guess he could announce that he was pulling a Peeping Tom, watched Esther and her husband with the good suit get it on, and put the Virgin Mary into a Camel Clutch until she got her pregnant, but I don’t think that’d really go over with the Cardinals. This is a pivotal scene though; if Esther does become pregnant, there is some sort of holy power bestowed unto Lenny. He tried to will the kangaroo to jump and dreamt he could make the Sun appear, but they either failed or weren’t real. If this happens, it erases any plans Voiello could have to get rid of Lenny.

Aside from Esther here, we did get a better look at Voiello. Not that he is a slippery eel, that we are well aware of. His faith, like Lenny, Esther, and Spencer’s wavers quite a bit. Voiello’s scene with his handicapped son(?) shed a huge light on his lack of faith in humanity. As he believes that we are all sinners and can never stop sinning until we die, it opened us up into how morbid his stance on the outside world really is. A nice bit of character development there.

Little sidenote: I’m 99% positive Amatucci is gay. Lenny approaches Voiello in an important scene asking about whether Voiello is a homosexual, and Voiello vehemently denies it. I believe him, but I 1000% think that Voiello is gonna get so close to pulling the rug out from under Lenny, just for Popey Pope to find out his assistant his gay. And by the way this show is going, that’s not good for either of those snakes.

The Homophobic Pope

It would appear in the mind of Pope Pius XIII, that homosexuals and pedophiles are essentially cut from the same cloth. I don’t quite see the move here, aside from showing us how conservative Lenny actually can be, but ousting 2/3 of the population of the Church is a bold-ass move. This could be Lenny trying to eliminate any potential distractions, but I have a feeling it’s rooted deeper in his childhood. Or possibly, in Lenny himself. They say most homophobics are homosexuals themselves, so…

This Sri-Lankan nun, is an interesting case here. I get Lenny’s play here; remove all aspects of your past life, whether good or bad and accept God as he will help deal with your pain and all the shit. A noble move. On the other hand, berating a grieving nun for crying over her dead sister may be pretty heavy. Again, this may be Lenny trying to establish himself as removing all outside distractions as he’s doing with the homosexual population of the Church. In that case, you gotta play both sides equally. Especially when you take it to the next level, making all the nuns in the Vatican reminisce on their past. Based on his reaction to the Sri-Lankan nun, I don’t see those photos lasting all that long.

A Shepherd and his Flock

What to do with this Tonino fella? What to do indeed…My stance on this really depends on Esther being pregnant. If she becomes pregnant, it means Lenny has some sort of powers. And if Lenny has powers, who’s to deny that Tonino has powers? If she doesn’t become pregnant, this guy is a huge fraud, as it seems very apparent from the beginning. Weird gathering in a weird field with a weird sheep who he claims is the Virgin Mary? Check. Interviewed on some shitty Italian news show in a shady hut? Check. Hand wounds meant to look like the stigmata that was definitely inflicted by sketchy glasses guy? Check. Again, watch for Esther, as this guy’s relevance depends on it.

The bigger question, regardless of whether superpowers actually exist is, does Lenny see this guy as a threat? Sure, if Tonino claims he can perform these miracles, it really throws Lenny’s new Popedom by the way side. The spotlight goes directly on Tonino and everything Lenny’s worked for and is continuing to work for is put on halt. On the other hand, Lenny could embrace Tonino, use him as a puppet/sidekick, and bring the masses back to the Church’s side together. The smart move is definitely the latter. The immediate move is the former. Lenny, as we have seen, tends to fall somewhere in the middle.

Some tidbits for the road

Behold! The white gelardo and all its infinite wisdom! I’ll never get used to that fucking hat and I’ll tell ya what, I’m not at all upset. Why people don’t wear hats like that more often is beyond me. A matter of God itself, truly. I mean, if everyone starts walking around with Kung Lao hats on, it may wear its welcome (tehe) but let’s be honest, it won’t.

Poor, poor Gutierrez. He just can’t catch a break can he? We were so wrong on him. Don’t try and kid yourself, this guy seemed like a sneaky bastard from the jump. Knowing all types of shit that goes on in the Vatican, of course he should be used by the Pope to find dirt on everyone. Lo and behold, he’s just a sad boozehound who doesn’t know Civilization 101. He’s been sheltered so much in his life that he can’t even go grocery shopping without breaking down. And now, Pope Big Hoss decides to send him to NYC to deal with the pedophiles. This could be argued that Lenny knows Gutierrez has flipped on him and is sending him to NYC to keep him out of his gloriously parted hair. On the other hand, Lenny isn’t aware of how fragile Gutierrez truly is. He has no idea he’s sending him straight into the Lion’s Den. I gotta think Voiello is gonna catch a whiff of this and either change Lenny’s mind about sending Gutierrez or dispatch of him in NYC, realizing he’s outrun his usefulness.

I could spend a whole blog on this (and I actually will) but I may have possibly jumped the gun on this show. There were a whole helluva lot of things I was expecting from The Young Pope and was severely disappointed.  I think this show is something entirely in and of itself. It’s one of those rare shows that you really need to pay attention and look at everything, not just picking at the surface to look what’s underneath, but everything as a whole.  Really, all you need to know is this show is all about faith, moreso the doubt of faith. Again, I’ll be covering this more heavily during the week but just sit with that and let it soak, I know I had to in order to fully appreciate this show.

TDR’s 5 Vegas Picks

Lenny and Sister Mary boned:80/20

Esther becomes pregnant:60/40

Lenny and Tonino team up:50/50

Amatucci is secretly gay:70/30

Tonino boned his sheep:80/20




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