Warrior Nun season 2 is a shining beacon of excellent romance, world-building, and commentary on our world that doesn’t lag in its sophomore season. If anything, it shines brighter, using season 1 as a platform to expand on everyone’s story while introducing new characters. And at the core of it stands Ava and Beatrice, the epitome of what a good slow-burn looks like between two partners. So buckle up and let’s break down everything in our Warrior Nun season 2 review.
The Avatrice Slow-burn
As a fellow queer person, I know when I’ve been fed garbage when it comes to LGBTQ+ stuff. Across all sorts of media, I’ve been queerbaited, lied to, and told that the connection I’m seeing isn’t real. It’s just my imagination. Or someone goes, “Not everything has to be gay.” And it really has dampened my spirits and changed the way that I look at possible queer content. So, keeping that all in mind, at the end of season 1 of Warrior Nun I saw the connection between Ava and Beatrice. But because I’ve been fed so much garbage throughout my life, I didn’t think there would actually be an Avatrice slow-burn when season 2 came around. Because of that, I was ready and willing for fanfic writers to do what they do best aka rewrite the season and make it explicitly queer.
I didn’t have to just settle for lovely fanfiction during or after watching Warrior Nun season 2 because I was given the slow-burn of my dreams in the form of Avatrice. And now that I think about it, they kind of hit some of the fanfic tags I love like: Fluff, Angst, Hurt/Comfort, First Kiss, Friends to Lovers, Jealousy, Yearning, and Domestic Fluff. Which, I’d like to focus on two of those tags: Friends to Lovers and Jealousy as they are components that make this slow-burn better. Both Ava and Beatrice were given the time to grow as individuals and as a team, solidifying that Warrior Nun season 2 understands that we want the normalization of LGBTQ+ relationships in the content we consume. That led to a great friends to lovers that was built on patience, trust, empathy, and love. And that speaks to the Warrior Nun writer’s room and their trust in their own writing and in the audience that is going on this journey with them.
As for the jealousy aka when Michael came in, there was no time for garbage tropes where one is jealous, blah, blah, blah. Ava and Michael might share a supernatural connection to defeat the evil out there, but Ava and Beatrice are the endgame of this show. Period. And Warrior Nun walked a delicate balance in season 2 where Michael as a character wasn’t lumped into “possible love interest territory.” He had his own mission, just like Ava and Beatrice did. And personally, I love this because I’m done with characters only coming in to make it difficult for the main couple to get together. Michael was there to help Ava and Beatrice. Ava wasn’t romantically interested in Michael and didn’t just jump into bed with him like other shows would’ve done when Beatrice turned down running away with her. And Beatrice did feel a little jealousy, but the normal amount while keeping a good head on her shoulders.
Altogether, Avatrice was given the time to blossom into something worth fighting for on Warrior Nun season 2 and something that other showrunners and writers should take note of. This is the kind of LGBTQ+ writing we are asking for, yearning for, and that makes us feel seen at the same time. It’s also proof that well-written stories like this are possible. So no more excuses or queerbaiting. Learn from Warrior Nun and take the time to see us and understand that we are not a fad or a phase. We are queer people who want to see ourselves and the love we share with others represented on screen. And we see that in every slow-burn moment between Ava and Beatrice in season 2.
The Mythology of Season 2 & How It Lifted Up These Women
Any show, movie, or book always encounters problems when they’re trying to expand on the worldbuilding they have already established in its first season, movie, or book. As a creator, you want to plant seeds to guide the characters in the direction you want. But you also want them to discover it at their own pace while guiding the viewer or reader on a journey. And too often these shows, movies, or books go for too much plot or too much time on the characters. Not often do they find the sweet spot where they find balance. But Warrior Nun managed to find that in season 2.
For example, season 2 brought in Adriel’s acolytes, Michael, and Adriel’s whole ploy to position himself as a celestial being out to save people. Any other show would’ve been overwhelmed with these three elements alone, in turn seeing Ava, Beatrice, and the rest of the gang suffering when it comes to their character development. That didn’t happen here. The introduction of Adriel’s acolytes was an opportunity to explore how capable Ava feels due to Beatrice’s training. Michael’s introduction opened Ava’s heart to care for more people in a friendship kind of way and for Jillian to reflect on her actions in season 1. And Adriel’s ploy to take over the church made Beatrice question her faith and the road that has brought her to this place.
Everything went hand in hand. And in reflecting on season 2, I feel like I might’ve been too harsh in season 1. I didn’t get what Warrior Nun was doing back then and I was way too harsh on Ava and the pace of her development. Looking back now I can see how everything had to happen at this steady pace to allow season 2 to blossom in an organic way that felt earned and grounded for Ava and everyone in this cast. In addition, it had to happen in a way for the mythology and general development of season 2 to be expanded in a manner that didn’t feel heavy-handed or like they were just shoving facts or new characters down your throat. Every moment mattered, from Mother Superion working through her demons to Yasmine becoming a member of the OCS and Camila no longer being a rookie. And every bit of this world-building lifted up these women to new capable heights where they could take on the darkness in this world as a united force.
So, if Warrior Nun can do this in 2 seasons, imagine what they can do with multiple seasons. Just saying.
Things That Didn’t Work
While there are plenty of things that I loved from this season of Warrior Nun, the biggest letdown was the whole Reya and Adriel battle for power. Season 1 painted Adriel as a baddie who was luring everyone to get him out of his prison. Season 2 had him building an army so he could tackle the one being that made him run and that holds the power that he desires. (Which, I enjoyed the mockery he made of the Church as he rose to power and I’m not afraid to admit the commentary was delicious in a wicked way.) And when this powerful being pops up that he’s been gunning for…she does nothing. She stands there looking like the Childlike Empress in The Neverending Story while Ava takes care of business and then just gives Ava a nod like, “Good job. Exactly as we planned.”
As a result, I found myself not caring for Reya. If anything, I want to know about the kingdom that she rules over, how they survive over there, and what Adriel wanted from her so desperately that he was willing to enslave a whole planet to do so. I also care less about how Reya fits into season one, what she said to Ava, or how she got Michael to sacrifice his life for her. I know Warrior Nun has plans for her, and that maybe my expectations were too high. But this season set the bar higher and higher with each episode when it came to its beloved and well-written characters, leading me on a journey where I expected greatness from all corners and didn’t get it when Reya stepped into the light.
The other major letdown was the conclusion of Lilith’s journey in season 2. I’ve always craved a journey like Lilith’s: strong-willed, highly trained, loves fiercely, covets what she doesn’t have, and then encounters a power, unlike anything she’s ever seen and gives into the darkness. Warrior Nun season 2 gave me that. And even though I was really hesitant about her going dark side with Adriel, I embraced that she was exploring the darker bits of herself as a character. Women are rarely afforded an opportunity to touch on these areas but there are plenty of men who do and are fawned over. So this was a chance for something more and that I hadn’t seen before. But it’s the conclusion that felt unearned and anticlimactic when season 2 wrapped up. Ages later, I have absolutely no clue why Lilith stopped fighting Ava and helped Beatrice. And in a show so meticulously planned, I expected better for Lilith’s journey.
Where We Go From Here
Netflix-willing we’ll get a season 3 of Warrior Nun. And if so, I’ve got a quick list of things that I’d like to see:
- Lilith finding a home. Because now that she doesn’t have Adriel to supply her premium leather goods for her outfits and a place to sleep or train thanks to the OCS, how is she going to survive? I know no one thinks of that but I do. She’s going to have to align herself with someone, especially because she simply can’t go into Starbucks and get a job. And what is she going to put on her application when she applies for an apartment? Previous combat nun experience? Ughhh, and you know her mother isn’t going to be any help.l
- An answer as to what Michael meant about a part of him still being out there. Did he mean just like in Jillian’s heart? Spiritually? Or does the other side do something to you?
- Rebuilding of the OCS.
- More focus on Camila and Yasmine’s relationship. They were the cutest together and I’m always down for more relationships between women that are grounded in friendship.
- More Yasmine in general. She was part of some secret order the OCS didn’t even know about. Makes you wonder, what other organizations are out there to fight other celestial or supernatural forces?
- What Beatrice decides to do with her life and the sides she wants to explore. Because yes, she’s a baddie. But what else does she want to experience in this world? Maybe she’ll take on some hobbies, travel the world, explore her sexuality, experience life, and then eventually get pulled back into the OCS and all its madness. Then she might even encounter Ava again. And maybe then she’ll be ready to tell her “I love you” and see Ava’s eyes fill with joy at the confession.
- What Ava is up to. Yes, Ava went to the other side. But if the show hopes to keep the same actress, she’s not going to spend a long time over there because time moves differently in comparison to Earth. So here’s hoping Ava heals, gets the lowdown from Reya, and then comes back for her sword, her family, and her bae.