Here’s the shocking revelation of the latest episode of The New Pope: the Pope is not a good person. Even though the previous season of The Young Pope made that pretty clear, the HBO series still had to hammer home that unpleasant fact. Now we’re contending with an “Antichrist” young Pope along with an “irresponsible,” “conceited,” drug addicted new Pope. The only winners here are those who don't watch the show.
The February 24 “Seventh Episode” included the surprising return of Pope Pius XIII (Jude Law) who had been in a coma. However, with this polarized and political Vatican, his return was kept a secret as he plans what his next move to retain his power will be.
Nevertheless, he still had his dedicated followers, ones who considered him a “saint” or even the “Messiah” for coming back to life. One woman, Ewa, even begged him to save the life of her sickly son. However, the young Pope smoked heavily and even remarked that he’s more likely an “Antichrist” than a savior, hearkening back to some of the awful qualities he displayed last season.
Pius XIII: You believe in God, but you're not very versed in theology. You're delirious. I am not Christ, nor am I the Messiah. It's more likely that I am Antichrist. In truth, I have only woken up from a coma, and medical science doesn't know how to explain it yet. That's all. You want to save your son, then continue to pray.
Ewa: I have run out of prayers. I don't believe in God anymore. God can fuck off! I only believe in you, and you have a moral obligation to save my son!
Some of his more passionate followers strip naked and walked right into the ocean upon suspecting his “death.” Seeing about two dozen people naked on-screen for thirty seconds may be an average sight for a show like Euphoria, but this series is supposed to focus on the Pope and the Vatican. We should hope for those things to be above gratuitous nudity.
Meanwhile, Pope John Paul III (John Malkovich) was kept in the dark about Pius XIII’s return as he suffers depression from the latest terrorist attack. In his stupor, he tookd part in confession to lift his spirits, and we’re reminded that even the new Pope can be just as bad as the old one. While John Paul III isn’t an open heretic like Pius XIII, he still admitted plenty of sins that wouldn’t put him on the path to leading one of the biggest religions on the planet. And that didn't even include his budding relationship with his married agent:
John Paul III: Facing you is a man who is worthless. A man without merits. I'm indolent. I'm pompous. I'm irresponsible. I'm conceited. I'm a disappointment. I am an undistinguished thespian. I'm a weak man. And I am a drug addict.
Cardinal Gutiérrez: Holy Father--
John Paul III: Please, let me finish.
Really, the entire series could have been limited to this one message: the Pope is bad. It would have spared us six hours of torture and still kept to the obvious theme they want to impose on us. Instead, we still have two more episodes to handle and an imminent Pope conflict to rock the Church. Then again, that depends if there is still a Church left after this.