'Warrior Nun' Season 1 Ending Explained: Darker events unravel as the war against evil stops at a cliffhanger
We unpack surprising revelations from the season finale and consider the future of the Order of the Cruciform Sword in Season 2
Spoilers for 'Warrior Nun' Season 1
After ten episode's of build up, it all comes down to one final showdown in Vatican City. Ava Silver (Alba Baptista) has learned a lot about the Warrior Nun legacy and has had very little time to process any of it – and their biggest fight is yet to come. Season 1 left things as unresolved as they can be, but the season finale contained a lot of major revelations that need to be unpacked as we begin the long wait for Season 2. We take a look at the finale's revelations and speculate as to what they can mean if the series returns.
Adriel is alive and well, evil
When Ava and the Order of the Cruciform Sword seek out the tomb of the angel Adriel (William Miller), they simply believe that it's the resting place for his bones and that if those bones were destroyed, demons would stop being able to invade the Earth. However, to Ava's surprise, she finds that Adriel himself is alive and well, and has been trapped beneath the Earth for centuries. What's more, a vision Ava shares with the first Warrior Nun, Areala (Guiomar Alonso), shows her that Adriel is not what he seems. He's no angel, but a devil who somehow stole a halo and escaped from hell with it.
What his motivations remain unclear. It is not known why he chose to save Areala, whether or not he's responsible for demons invading the Earth, but one thing is for certain - he has a lot of evil on his side. He's able to control wraiths in the area and posess people with demons. In addition, and more importantly, he has been working with Father Vincent (Tristan Ulloa), the entire time.
Adriel's allies, and plans
It is unknown how many allies Adriel has on Earth, but there are at least three. Adriel spoke of being connected to his essence – to his armor, and through divinium, which would explain how he was able to give orders to Father Vincent, Kristian Schafer (Peter de Jersey) and the son of Jillian Salvius (Thekla Reuten). Father Vincent would have had plenty of access to Adriel's artifacts, and we now know that he was in part responsible for the death of Sister Shannon (Melina Matthews). Obviously, Sister Shannon was getting too close to the truth, but Father Vincent managed to not only have her killed but to shift blame onto Cardinal Duretti (Joaquim de Almeida).
What's more, Father Vincent is able to orchestrate a team to rescue Adriel from his tomb - though he does mention to his master that now is not the time to be reunited with the halo. Ava still has some part to play - and that likely ties into the Arc. Jillian's son spoke of seeing visions of things to come - obviously, Adriel was able to speak with the boy through the Divinium particles in the child's body. The final episode reveals that Kristian was involved as well, as his first sight of the boy's prophetic drawings leads him to a state of near rapture, just before the boy goes through the portal in the Arc.
To Hell and back again
Where that portal leads is a matter of some debate, but it's safe to assume that it's Hell. The Cardinal Duretti implied as much and given that it's powered by Divinium (which we now know comes from the bones of demons), that it's a part of Adriel's plan should cement it. Also an important note - the energy signature it gives off when it is activated match those of Sister Lilith (Lorena Andrea) when she teleports.
As for Sister Lilith, she's got some major Hell-related issues of her own. Stabbed by a tarrask and pulled into Hell, her memory of her time below is blank, but she appears to have gained some abilities from her time there. Whatever influence she's under, it's gaining an increasing hold over her body, able to heal, lengthen her nails, have her teleport great distances, and is also slowly turning her hair white. It's still unclear as to who is pulling her strings, however, given that she was compelled to stop Ava from discovering Adriel - but for the moment, Lilith appears able to fight off that influence.
Is the Church still the bad guy?
Probably, though not in the way we were set up to believe. While the Catholic Church still has a number of problems within its bureaucracy, is still archaically patriarchal, and has shown a willingness to prefer to manipulate the masses into Christian faith, these are systemic problems as opposed to more outright evil. It turns out that Adriel was imprisoned not to keep demons in the world, or to hide proof that Heaven exists, but because he's a devil that the Church did not know how to kill. Duretti himself is bewildered at the accusations that are thrown his way, and while he may be lying, it's probably safe to say that Adriel was the one truly behind the darker events of the series. Duretti's only crime was political ambition.
The series ends on a cliffhanger, just before a charged-up Ava can truly take the fight to Adriel. Can she take him on head-to-head? Can she find out what his plans are before he implements them? Is there even a future for the Order of the Cruciform Sword after this season's events? We're going to have to wait for a Season 2 announcement before we can find out for sure.
All episodes of 'Warrior Nun' Season 1 are now available to stream on Netflix.