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Series / Warrior Nun

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"My whole life, I’ve dreamt about being dead. I leave my body and I see myself from the above. A normal girl... Until I wake up."
Ava Silva

Warrior Nun is an Action Fantasy Drama series created by Simon Barry (of Van Helsing fame). The show is based on the comic book series Warrior Nun Areala and streams on Netflix.

During a terrible battle in a morgue between the Sister Warriors and possessed mercenaries, a dead nineteen-year-old quadriplegic girl Ava (Alba Baptista) is implanted with a mystical halo. She quickly finds herself Back from the Dead and fighting for her life, before escaping into the Spanish streets.

Confused by what's happening to her, Ava has to decide whether to grasp the opportunity to be a normal teen or become the Warrior Nun, a leader of the forces for good in the ancient battle between Heaven Versus Hell.

The series also stars Kristina Tonteri-Young (Outside the Wire) as Sister Beatrice, Toya Turner (New Amsterdam (2018)) as Shotgun Mary, Lorena Andrea (Papillon) as Sister Lilith, Olivia Delcán as Sister Camila, Joaquim De Almeida as Cardinal Duretti, and Tristán Ulloa (Terminator: Dark Fate) as Father Vincent. In Season 2, William Miller is upgraded to starring cast in his role as Adriel, and Sylvia De Fanti is upgraded to starring cast as Mother Superion. Toya Turner departs the series as Shotgun Mary due to personal issues preventing her return.

The show debuted in July, 2020. A month later, in August, it was renewed for a second season. In June 2022, it was announced that it would premiere in the winter of 2022, with a specific release date of November 10 later announced. Although Barry had previously stated that 5-7 seasons total would be "ideal" for the story, the series was cancelled after two seasons in December of 2022. However, following an extensive fan campaign, it was announced in late June 2023 that the show would receive three feature length films to continue the universe.

Previews: Season 1 Red Band Trailer, Season 2 Teaser, Season 2 Trailer, Season 1 Recap

This series contains examples of:

  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Mother Superion's Cane Sword slices through mook after mook without losing its effectiveness.
  • Acting Unnatural: After wearing the Crown of Thorns to talk to Reya in Season 2, Beatrice notices that Ava is different than usual, almost disturbingly so. Turns out it's because she's secretly planning to sacrifice herself to kill Adriel.
  • Action Prologue: The show opens with a battle between Sister Warriors and possessed mercenaries before following a nun who takes the Halo from Sister Shannon's corpse and plants it into a young girl's corpse. This girl is Ava, who becomes the main character of the show from that point on.
  • Action Girl: Plenty of examples such as Mary, Beatrice, Camila, Lilith, and every other Sister Warrior in the OCS. Ava eventually grows into this role by the end of the first season.
  • Act of True Love:
    • At the end of Season 2, Ava eventually accepts the fact that she needs to sacrifice herself to kill Adriel to protect her newfound friends and Beatrice, whom she has feelings for.
    • While it's a selfish act from a certain point of view, Beatrice trying to subdue Ava with the Crown of Thorns shows how in love she is, willing to give up the mission and the fate of the world for the safety of her love.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Technically happens in translation as the Julian Salvius of the comic books was a much darker figure than the show's version, Jillian, who is a morally grey CEO. Julian was an immortal pagan Roman Emperor hell-bent on revenge against the Catholic Church while Jillian just wants to open a portal to Heaven so her sick son can live in peace; she is actually pretty chill (well, most of the time) towards Ava and the nuns once they find common ground.
  • Adaptational Modesty: Compared to the original comic where the nuns were more Naughty Nuns, the OCS members here all wear more traditional attire that is far more modest and allows them to walk around in public without getting too much attention from others.
  • Alone with the Psycho: In the Season 1 finale, Ava ends up alone in a dark cave with Adriel, who turns out to be very, very bad news.
  • Almost Kiss: A subtle example. At several points in the series, it seems like Ava is seriously considering kissing Beatrice, such as when they're in each other's arms after Ava successfully phases through twenty feet of stone, when they're dancing together in the Season 2 premiere, and when Ava is resurrected after falling from a great height. Averted as they finally kiss in the Season 2 finale.
  • A Million Is a Statistic: In Season 2 almost the entire OCS is wiped out as every chapter world wide is hit in a coordinated attack by Adriel's forces. Mother Superion and Camilla react to finding their dead nameless sisters by giving a quick prayer and moving on. They both however break down crying when they find out Shotgun Mary was killed.
  • Annoying Arrows: In many of Areala's memories of medieval combat, she'll pull arrows out of her body without even slowing down. Adriel goes one better and pulls an arrow out of his head when he fights the nuns due to the fact that he's basically a demon/extraterrestrial/inter-dimensional being/whatever.
  • Arc Words: "In this life or the next." Both seasons end with a variation on the line, with Mary defiantly stating, "In this life!" as she faces down a demon army in the first while Ava tearfully says, "In the next" to Beatrice after the two kiss before she goes off to kill Adriel with a Heroic Sacrifice.
    • In a similar fashion, "things change, when you realize not everything is about you."
  • Asshole Victim: Sister Frances is a malicious and remorseless murderer who killed Ava at the start of the series, which makes for a satisfying encounter later on when Ava finds and kills her, though accidentally.
  • Awful Truth: Father Vincent, the cordial, welcoming, and skilled member of the OCS is revealed to be a servant of the villainous Adriel, and was the one to indirectly kill Shannon in the first place.
  • Back from the Dead: Ava is implanted with the Halo after having died and is brought back to life. Lilith also returns after being gut-stabbed and dragged to Hell by a Tarask. This finally gives the pair some common ground after their previous strife.
  • Badass Fingersnap: Adriel snaps his fingers in a casual and cool way to activate the Arc.
  • Badass Preacher: Father Vincent looks pretty bookish, but does very well for himself whenever he needs to fight. Being a former cartel enforcer will do that.
  • Batman Gambit: How Adriel outsmarts the OCS and makes himself look even better to the public eye. The Nuns infiltrate his cathedral, intending to expose him by hacking into the technology he uses to create his plagues and expose him as a fraud. However, Kristian and Adriel see this coming as they know Jillian is aiding the nuns, and block the hack. This also has the effect of making Pope Duretti look like an idiot in front of a wide audience, and the following lightning strike that kills him only makes Adriel look more like a divine figure. To sum it up, the OCS play into his hands by enacting a perfect plan that only makes Adriel look better.
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: The Sisters of the OCS on several occasions use the fact that they actually are nuns to their advantage to infiltrate high security areas, approaching security in full religious garb and either distracting them by asking for help to get them to leave a room or just getting them to drop their guard and knocking them unconscious because who wouldn't trust a nun? Especially in deeply Catholic countries like Italy and Spain where the show is set.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Most of the time averted. Various Sister Warriors and Ava get the shit kicked out of them at several points and get fairly bloody. However, it's played straight in Season 2 where Michael gets his heart torn out through his back, and his chest is somehow intact, while Ava gets caught in the vicinity of a Divinium explosion, and still looks gorgeous afterwards.
  • Big Bad: The nuns spend the series working hard to bring down Cardinal Duretti's before he can achieve his goal. While they can't stop his career plans, they're determined to stop his more secret ones. They're therefore completely blindsided when they discover that the Big Bad is actually Adriel, the being who gifted the Halo to Areala and whom the resulting Warrior Nuns believed was a hero and an angel. He's a thief with his own agenda and the events of the first season, including the framing of Duretti, is engineered by his servant, Father Vincent, for the purpose of freeing him.
  • Big "NO!":
    • Adriel spits out several of these as he's brutally killed.
    • Beatrice also has a few, notably when Pope Duretti is incinerated and when Ava activates the Divinium bomb to kill Adriel while near it, and is caught in the detonation.
    • Ava herself gives one as Lilith steps in front of a Tarask for her.
  • Binge Montage: Ava and Beatrice spend a whole night out partying at the beginning of Season 2, conveyed through a montage showing them dancing and laughing.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Season 2 ends like this, though possibly more on a sweeter tone. Adriel is defeated and the OCS recovers, but many have been lost in the process, including Mary, Michael and Ava. Lilith is still not on speaking terms with her former sisters and seems to be preparing for a new holy war, her loyalties still in question. Beatrice leaves the order to live the life Ava wanted for her, and if the glowing Cruciform sword is anything to go off of, Ava might not be so dead after all.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Season 2 amps up the brutality by a significant degree. While the first season is nothing to scoff at, Season 2 gets more intense with Lilith tearing her way through a group of FBC soldiers, Cardinal Rossi getting horrifically tortured, Pope Duretti getting killed by a lightning bolt that turns him into a crisp, and Adriel getting mutilated by a Divinium bomb, which makes for some nasty Facial Horror.
  • Body Horror: A lot. In the first episode alone, we watch the Halo burn its way into the corpse of Ava. Later examples include Lilith's demonic transformation (which only worsens in the second season where she grows scales and a pair of wings) and Adriel reforming himself after getting blown up, with a lovely angle showing him pulling a piece of shrapnel out of his jaw.
  • Bolivian Army Cliffhanger: The first season ends with a standoff between the heroes and the villains. The nuns confront a crowd of people in the Vatican that are controlled by Adriel's wraith demons. The final shot is of Mary being overwhelmed. It turns out in the second season that Mary died after getting overwhelmed while the others were forced to teleport away.
  • Bolt of Divine Retribution: Intentionally involved by Adriel to execute Pope Duretti after the latter publicly defied him. This seems to of been his plan all along.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: In Season 2, the OCS is morally correct in wanting to beat Adriel as he uses parlor tricks and trickery to manipulate people into joining his cult. However, Adriel's motives are understandable, as he wants to rehabilitate the church and create a better world free of its oppression, which is a fairly noble goal. His way of going about it, however, is obviously destructive enough to warrant the OCS gearing up.
  • Break the Cutie: In Season 2, poor Camila is tormented not only by the deaths of the OCS and Mary, but also by Adriel, who tries to mentally goad and manipulate her into joining his side by stealing her prayers. Averted, as Camila easily outwits him and uses his manipulation against him.
  • Brick Joke:
    • Early in Season 2, Camila quotes what seems to be a Bible verse only to specify it's a Dolly Parton lyric. Just before the OCS go to make their final affront, Mother Superion does the same, except it's a Talking Heads lyric.
    • An example in the same episode. In the Season 2 finale, Ava jokes that Michael and her are relying on semantics to kill Adriel, as they're not entirely sure the Divinium bomb will do the trick. Later on, after the plan does fail, Ava gets her Halo powers back after Camila blows up a cross blocking its power. She uses her powers to summon a horde of Tarasks, calling the trick "semantics."
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: A particularly destructive example. Vincent tries to ask Adriel if he remembered what he said to him after he escaped from his tomb, only for Adriel to forget and brush it off as unimportant. This, combined with his murder of Pope Duretti and blaming God on it result in Vincent betraying him and returning to the OCS.
  • Call-Back: Quite a couple of tragic ones in the Season 2 finale:
    • Ava and Beatrice's goodbye is painfully close to Mary and Shannon's goodbye, including both dying Warrior Nuns telling those by their side to take the Halo and their loved ones insisting they can try to make it.
    • Ava realises that "not everything's about her" as she prepares to sacrifice herself, which is exactly what Beatrice told her when they first met, and Ava was still aloof and indifferent to the plight of the OCS.
  • Central Theme:
    • Responsibility in Season 1. Ava's responsibility to the OCS is frequently brought up, even though technically she has no loyalty to them. As the season progresses, she learns more and more about her predecessors, how crucial she is to the mission, and how her abilities and status as the Warrior Nun contribute to the OCS.
    • Sacrifice, Selfishness, and Love in Season 2. Ava and Michael both display hints of selfishness, Ava particularly as she outright offers to run away with Beatrice and hide the Halo together, only to be turned down and repeatedly shoots down the idea under the mantra that there is always another way, which also ties in with her love for her newfound friends and Beatrice. Michael is more accepting, despite also being torn up and briefly accepting of a different possibility. Ultimately, both characters decide to go along with it, though Ava takes a brief "selfish" moment to kiss and embrace Beatrice, making it clear that her sacrifice is due to her love for Beatrice.
  • Character Development:
    • Ava undergoes this big time. She goes from running from the OCS and her responsibilities as the Warrior Nun to accepting her position, fighting alongside other Sister Warriors, and eventually learning that not everything is about her. She chooses to sacrifice herself at the end of Season 2 to ensure her friends are safe, a stark contrast to her characterisation from the beginning of the series.
    • Beatrice starts out as a dutiful member of the OCS before she meets Ava, who, as her actress Kristina Tonteri-Young has stated, represents who Beatrice wishes she could be (a free-loving and relaxed person). After the two become Best Friend's, Beatrice's loyalty shifts to fighting for and alongside Ava, whom she quickly becomes devoted to and also has feelings for. Her character growth culminates in her choosing to fight for Ava's safety rather than the church, even at the risk of the mission and the world. At Ava's request, she leaves the OCS to live a free life, something Season 1 Beatrice wouldn't even think of doing.
  • Christianity is Catholic: The Order of the Cruciform Sword is a Catholic order. Everything revolves around the Catholic Church, it's history and the Vatican's internal politics. No other form of Christianity is mentioned, even though other non-Christian religions are very briefly acknowledged.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Duretti puts a Cardinal through this in Season 2, using ancient torture devices in the Vatican to find out what he knows about Adriel and the FBC.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death:
    • Lilith actually ends up inflicting this in the second season, tearing an army of guards to literal pieces with their claws.
    • Pope Duretti dies after getting struck with a concentrated electric blast, which turns him into a charred corpse in seconds.
    • Adriel dies after getting impaled by a Tarask, which swiftly turns him into Ludicrous Gibs.
  • Crush Filter: Ava sees Beatrice through this filter in Season 2 while they're at a bar, complete with soft lighting and slow motion.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Beatrice delivers this once in Season 1 and then again in Season 2 to a hallway of guards, with both scenes showing her getting out pretty much unscathed. Lilith also uses her demonic abilities to destroy a group of FBC guards in the Season 2 premiere.
  • Darker and Edgier: Season 2 is this to Season 1, with higher stakes, more tearjerking moments and more intense violence and gore. Highlights include Lilith undergoing a Face–Heel Turn, Adriel nearly beating the OCS and wiping out nearly all of their soldiers, and Ava pulling a seemingly Heroic Sacrifice (though her fate is left ambiguous) after confessing her love for Beatrice. Tellingly, showrunner Simon Barry compared it to The Empire Strikes Back.
  • Deadly Doctor: Nurse Francis, who took care of Ava at the orphanage, was a pretty awful bitch who wasn't sorry when Ava died on her watch. She's a serial killer who murdered a large number of orphans in her care (including Ava) as they aged out of the orphanage. She claimed it as an act of mercy, that those orphans would have had no chance to survive outside her care.
  • Defiant to the End: Mary goes down fighting a horde of the possessed.
  • Demonic Possession: Wraith demons have the ability to possess humans and force them to do whatever they want. Outside the body, they exist as red smoke that can form demonic shapes. Only the Halo-Bearer can see them; it's her job to direct the rest the of the nuns in battle by acting as their eyes.
  • Double Agent: The only thing the nuns are sure of is that Sister Shannon was assassinated and that it had to be an inside job. The first season consists of them struggling to figure out who the agent is and what Cardinal Duretti stands to gain from her murder. The double-agent, and Shannon's murderer, turns out to be Father Vincent, who is working for Adriel, a being that is very far removed from the angel the Order believes him to be.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: The OCS dress up as the FBC cultists as they infiltrate Adriel's cathedral.
  • Everyone Can See It: Camila easily notices that Ava and Beatrice are developing feelings for each other, confronting the latter about it while brushing off their attempted excuses.
  • Evil All Along: After being warned by the dying Shannon to trust no-one, Mary spends the first season hunting for the insider who is responsible for her death. It turns out to be Father Vincent, who murdered Shannon because she discovered what was hidden beneath the Vatican Church and what it meant for the origin of the Order.
  • Evil Is Not Well-Lit: Adriel is introduced in extremely dark lighting, which also serves as Five-Second Foreshadowing.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: In the second season, Ava changes her hair from long and wavy to short and tied into a bob, representing her full dedication to the fight against Adriel. Beatrice also dyes her hair with a blonde streak and lets it down occasionally, representing her growing relaxed personality and growth into a person not defined by the OCS.
  • Fantastic Catholicism: There is a secret order of fighting nuns who protect the Halo of an angel, which gives the wielder the power to see and fight the demons of Hell. Holy Relics have real power, and the Catholic Church is sitting on thousands of years of knowledge regarding the supernatural battles with Hell for humanity.
  • Five Woman Band: In season two Ava is The Hero, Beatrice is The Lancer, Lilith is The Big Guy, Mother Superion is The Smart Guy, Camila is The Heart and Yasmine is the Sixth Ranger.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: As the OCS set out to launch a surprise attack on Adriel's cathedral, Ava and Beatrice hugging Mother Superion can be seen behind Camila and Yasmine as they fawn over Todd.
  • Gender Flip: Originally male in the comics, Julian Salvius becomes a female CEO called Jillian in the show; one of her issues with the Catholic Church is the dominance of men holding back science and feminism.
  • Good All Along: Jillian Salvius is a potential enemy of the nuns because she is collecting Divinium to create a portal and desperately wants Ava for her ability to activate the metal. She's actually trying to save the live of her terminally son; once she and the nuns find common ground, she becomes extremely helpful.
  • Good Is Not Nice: The nuns are fully willing to beat the crap out of Ava to teach her a lesson. Or shoot a dude in the face and throw him off a cliff once they have all the info they need from him.
    • Reya might be the God of an advanced dimension, but nothing stops her from gunning after Adriel with a vengeance. She's also not above using people as tools in order to accomplish her goals, as shown with Miguel and later Ava.
  • Gratuitous Greek: Arq Tech. The 'T' is a 'T' overlaid with a Greek psi. Meaning it's Arq Ps-Tech.
  • Headbutt of Love: Ava and Beatrice have one after their kiss.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Mary ends up unintentionally pulling this by fending off a horde of possessed humans that kill her while the rest of the group escapes.
    • Michael and Ava attempt to pull this to kill Adriel in Season 2, using a Divinium bomb with the hope that the ensuing explosion will kill them all and keep everyone else safe. It doesn't work, since Adriel can't be killed by anything from Earth, which includes Michael and the bomb within him. Almost played with in that both of them are very clearly hesitant with the idea, but truly believe there is no other option.
  • Hope Spot: In the sixth episode of Season 2, there's a brief moment of hope when Camila distracts Adriel and Ava starts levitating down to trap him with the Crown of Thorns, which would mean a victory even with Duretti's death. However, it's quickly snuffed out by Lilith attacking Ava, which leads to Adriel winning and several Sister Warriors getting imprisoned.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Each episode is named after a Bible verse, which relates to a subject relevant to that episode.
  • Involuntary Shapeshifting: One human who undergoes a life-altering experience finds themselves beginning to transform without even wanting to. It terrifies them even more than it does the nuns. Sister Lilith is impaled and dragged away from Earth by a Tarask. When she returns, her hands begin manifesting claws without her consent, and her hair rapidly begins changing colour.
  • In with the In Crowd: JC's group are fun-loving party-goers who live in the fast lane and go to all the coolest joints in town. Ava is thrilled when she hooks up with them, finally experiencing the life she was previously denied while trapped in the orphanage.
  • I Surrender, Suckers: In the premiere of the second season, "Galatians 6:4-5," Lilith is trapped by Vincent and confronted by four of Adriel's followers. She takes them all out, only to be confronted by around a dozen more. She raises her hands, then teleports behind one of them, slaughters them, then takes out the rest.
  • It's All About Me: Ava subtly expresses this type of behaviour early in the series, though for understandable reasons. She keeps running from the OCS to try and live with JC's group, but only after going to the OCS and experiencing their harsh training and lifestyle. A former quadriplegic, she vies for a more fun life rather than an existence getting restricted. She eventually returns to the OCS and fully commits to their mission, fully turning around by the end of the first season.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Adriel's motivation is actually pretty understandable. He wishes to eradicate the powerful institutions that oppress people and replace them with a religion of his own, directly facing Pope Duretti at times who manipulated the Vatican to gain power. However, he makes use of Wraith Demons and insidious tactics, showing that he's still a villain, despite his motives.
  • Kick the Dog: Lilith mocks Ava's struggles and insecurities after the Halo glitches and leaves her temporarily paralyzed. There's no real benefit other than to make Ava feel miserable.
  • Killed Offscreen: Mary dies offscreen, with stock footage being used during a recap of the aforementioned death.
  • Kill the Ones You Love: An inverse example. Rather than needing to kill her, Beatrice has to send Ava into the Arc Realm, which would send her away from the Earth for who knows how long, in order to heal her from fatal wounds. It's clearly a difficult choice as Ava has to tell Beatrice to let her go and Beatrice visibly begins to crack after Ava is teleported away.
  • Legacy Character: The Halo is passed from one Warrior Nun to the next. At some point, the current Warrior Nun will always meet the previous one in a vision.
  • Love Confession: While Ava and Beatrice kiss beforehand, they properly confess their love to each other just as Ava is sent through the Arc. However, Beatrice says it after Ava is already gone.
  • Love Theme: Ava's Fall on the soundtrack, AKA Ava and Beatrice's Theme.
  • Meaningful Name: Lilith is named after a demon in Jewish folklore who was originally made from the same material as Adam and left the Garden of Eden due to her pride. She is constantly chastised by the nuns for being driven by pride, which makes it almost impossible for her and Ava to get along. She eventually acknowledges that pride is a real problem for her.
    • And just like the Biblical Lilith, she seems to have consorted with demons, or at least been healed and sent back by them.
  • Mind Rape: What Adriel tries to do to Camila, though she's able to brush him off. His fog plague later causes this for Beatrice, who's confronted by a twisted version of Ava.
  • Moody Trailer Cover Song: A rare example that's featured in the series itself. An epic remix of Ave Maria plays during Beatrice's hallway fight with the FBC.
  • Mundane Utility: Mary has a dagger made out of Divinium. It can kill demons. She uses it to hold a bird she cooked over a campfire while she pulls the meat off it.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Adriel forces himself into Camila's head to screw with her, apparently not realizing that the connection is two-way and Camila can mess with him right back, including at a pivotal moment that has the ripple effect of giving Ava a chance to recover and kill Adriel.
  • Not Quite Dead: Lilith returns after seemingly getting dragged to Hell. In the second season, this is implied to be the case with the final shot being Ava's Cruciform Sword glowing, which was only established to do so when in her presence.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Adriel remarks this to both Ava and Lilith in the second season.
  • Official Kiss: Ava and Beatrice's kiss confirms the two's Relationship Upgrade.
  • Oh, Crap!: Adriel's reaction after he's cornered by a horde of Tarasks, notably the first time his affable demeanour cracks.
  • Ominous Fog: The fog of fear in "Mark 10:45" surrounds the characters and also creates twisted hallucinations.
  • One Dialogue, Two Conversations: In the first season finale, Mother Superion confronts Duretti on everything he's done from killing Shannon to the Vatican secret he's trying to steal for himself. Duretti is completely baffled; he's only been consolidating his political power to win the papal election. It's only when he asks Superion who is behind her accusations that the Awful Truth dawns on her — the real villain is Father Vincent, who directed the nuns to mistrust Duretti so that he could succeed in his plans.
  • One True Love: Ava and Beatrice are this to each other. While their time together is short, it's clear from the scenes they share and their subtle interactions that they value and care for each other greatly, quickly becoming the most important part of each other's lives. Ava turns to Beatrice as she's the only person who aids her during her difficult time in the Cat's Cradle, bonding with the Sister Warrior over a short period of time and even reassuring her that "she's beautiful" after Beatrice tearfully vents about her Dark and Troubled Past. Meanwhile, Beatrice becomes attached to Ava as she sees a version of herself in her, not tied down by the church or duty. They grow so close after the Time Skip to Season 2 that they both, at different points, try to get the other to abandon the fight and leave to just live their lives.
  • The Order: The series revolves around the Order of the Cruciform Sword, a secret Catholic sect of nuns trained to fight demons, led by a lineage of those chosen to wield an angelic Halo.
  • Our Demons Are Different: The Tarasks and wraith-demons. The Tarasks are capable of taking physical form and have a more traditional demonic, minotaur-esque form. Wraiths are insubstantial and invisible to normal people, able to act only through the humans they possess. Both can be defeated by the Warrior Nun with a Divinium weapon.
  • Out-Gambitted: "Isaiah 40:31" revolves around the team cracking the systems that allowed Adriel to create his fake plagues just as Duretti reveals them. Ava succeeds in cracking the system as Duretti calls on the locusts to prove Adriel a fraud...and nothing happens. Too late, the team realizes Adriel allowed them to access this system when it did nothing to create the plagues and this was all for Adriel to make Duretti look like the liar himself and build up his worship.
  • Pet the Dog: While Miguel cracks a joke about Ava's late arrival (she was in the process of saying a very difficult goodbye to Beatrice and confessing her feelings with a kiss), he does ask her if she's okay when he notices she's genuinely torn up.
  • Physical, Mystical, Technological: The three main factions of the series all have these elements. The OCS, despite their faith and the Warrior Nun, are an organisation of highly trained nun warriors who use modern weaponry and technology. They're the physical. The Arc Realm and the various Holy Relics with supernatural powers, as well as, Reya, Adriel, the Wraith Demons, and the Tarasks represent the Mystical. The Arq-Tech Corporation and the artificial plagues are meant to represent the technological. However, all sides blend with each other as the series progresses, but the core characteristics remain.
  • Pietà Plagiarism: When Ava is dying from the Divinium shrapnel that hit her during the final fight with Adriel in Season 2, Beatrice cradles her in her arms in a way that's reminiscent of this pose.
  • Playing the Heart Strings: "One Way to Heal Her" in the Season 2 finale is a fittingly tragic and bittersweet instrumental that plays as plays as Beatrice is forced to send the wounded Ava into the Arc Realm, unsure if the two will ever see each other again.
  • Plot-Triggering Death: The entire plot kicks off with the death of Sister Shannon, whose Halo is hidden inside the corpse of Ava, who awakens and causes complications for the OCS. Meanwhile, Shotgun Mary breaks off to investigate the cause behind Shannon's death, discovering a conspiracy in the process.
  • Power Glows: Whenever the Halo is activated, it glows with a heavenly light. Divinium also glows bright blue whenever in the presence of the Halo.
  • Power Trio: Ava, Beatrice, and Miguel have shades of this as they fight in a church against a horde of the possessed.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Beatrice makes a grand statement as she confronts a hallway of FBC foot soldiers:
    Beatrice: You all stand between me and Ava. I offer mercy to those who walk away now. Stay, and you'll never walk again.
  • Profound by Pop Song:
    • "Colossians 3:9-10" has this exchange:
      Sister Camila: "God is in everything I do, and all my work glorifies Him."
      Mother Superion: Ecclesiastes?
      Camila: Dolly Parton.
    • ...which gets a Call-Back in "Jeremiah 29:13":
      Mother Superion: (in French) "Fulfilling my hope, headlong, I go towards glory."
      Sister Beatrice: Ecclesiastes?
      Mother Superion: Talking Heads.
  • Pun: Sneaking into the Vatican as a priest and a group of nuns leads to Ava making increasingly terrible puns about their infiltration. By the time they're into the catacombs, she's graduated to making so many dead jokes that Beatrice starts joining in — much to Ava's delight.
    Beatrice: Don't fidget. Nuns don't fidget.
    Ava: Sorry. Bad habit. [grin]
    Mary: I should shoot you for that.
  • Race Lift: In the original comic, Shotgun Mary is white; in the show, she's played by a black actress.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: During his takeover of the order, Duretti has the most loyal members transferred. Sister Beatrice is ordered to Malaysia (where the OCS has no presence), and Father Vincent to Florida.
  • Red Herring: The nuns find themselves dealing with several people who don't turn out be quite the people they initially thought they were. The most significant is Cardinal Duretti, who is politically ambitious, knows about the secret Order and actively sabotages it by reassigning its most competent, but independent, members while bring in rejected candidates who are loyal to him. The nuns send the season working out what he's up to and how to stop him achieving his dastardly goal... until it turns out that he was only interested in the political situation and was being set-up by the real villain, Father Vincent.
  • Red Is Violent: The Wraith Demons are surrounded by a crimson mist and are malevolent entities who brutally possess their hosts.
  • Red Shirt Army: The FBC become this is Season 2, struck down and killed by the Sister Warriors like dropping flies.
  • The Reveal: The Season 1 finale reveals that Adriel is alive, is the real Big Bad of the series, and Father Vincent was The Mole.
  • Saintly Church: How virtuous the Catholic Church appears varies over time, based on what various characters know or feel. They're initially introduced as monster-killers who have some deadly serious internal politics. The nuns end up uncovering a vast supernatural conspiracy at the heart of the Vatican centred on hiding the resting place of the angel Adriel's bones, which keeps demons attacking earth and therefore ensures the Church stays relevant in the eyes of the fearful. And then the season one finale reveals the real reason why the Church has been keeping Adriel buried beneath all that stone...
  • Sarcastic Confession:
    Miguel: You both kick ass. You're weirdly informed about the theological state of the world. And apparently this one speaks Latin.
    So, really, no bullshit. Who are you two?
    Ava: You wanna know the truth? We're undercover tactical nuns.
    Miguel: Fine. Don't tell me.
  • Scenery Porn: The series is filmed in Spain, with various sprawling shots showcasing the country's bustling cities, majestic architecture, and vast countrysides. It's utterly breathtaking to look at, and almost puts the viewer in the perspective of Ava, who is equally enthralled by it all.
  • Science Fantasy: The show features fantastical elements such as demons and holy relics while also focusing on things like gateways to other dimensions. In Season 2, it's actually implied that God is just how humanity sees these entities from the alternate dimension.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: One method for dealing with evil involves sealing it away forever so that it can't do any damage. The reason Adriel has been entombed underneath the Vatican is because he is not dead, and he is not the angel the Order's texts portray him to be. He's evil, he controls demons, and the entire first season is the unfolding of his plan to escape his prison.
  • Senseless Sacrifice: Ava's role in her and Michael's sacrifice, basically amounting to collateral damage since she could easily do it from a distance. It turns out their entire plan is an example of this, since it barely leaves a dent in Adriel, and he's back on his feet in no time.
  • Sequel Escalation: The second season has far greater stakes involving the OCS against the manipulative and cunning Adriel and a wider scope, with new locations across the globe, such as Switzerland. There's further lore building as well, greatly expanding the threads introduced in the first season.
  • Sequel Hook: Lilith warns Beatrice of a coming holy war at the end of Season 2, a blatant hook for an expansion of the story. Ava's Divinium sword glowing (previously established to only glow when in the presence of the Halo) also sets up Ava returning sooner than previously thought.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: How Ava and Beatrice finally kiss. Beatrice tries to fight Ava to stop herself from pulling a Heroic Sacrifice, only for Ava to comfort her with a tender embrace and a kiss.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Ava's room at the orphanage has a cool poster of George Orwell on the wall above her bed.
    • In "Jeremiah 29:13", Mother Superion quotes the lines "Realisant mon espoir; Je me lance, vers la gloire" from Talking Heads' song "Psycho Killer".
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: Ava has a sarcastic quip to make about absolutely anyone and anything. She meets her match in Mary.
    Father Vincent: Ah, Ava, good, come on in. Let me introduce you to Sister —
    Mary: Shotgun Mary.
    Ava: Cool name. Why do they call you that?
    Camera: [lingering shot of Mary, clearly showing a shotgun on either hip.]
    Mary: I drink a lot.
  • The Stinger: Season 2 has one, depicting Beatrice leaving the OCS to live her life while Ava's sword glows, hinting that she may return.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • Ava's Refusal of the Call. She's a resurrected teenager who was robbed of her life thanks to a horrible accident and an abusive caretaker. Is it really a surprise she doesn't entertain the idea of joining the OCS at first?
    • Michael's death might be anti-climactic, but it makes sense. Why would Adriel let a two vs. two face-off happen, especially when Michael has previously had a connection with him? Killing him from a strategic standpoint also makes sense, given Ava is quickly overpowered.
    • Ava successfully gets a hit on Lilith by memorising her teleport patterns. If an attacker keeps making the same moves, it gets progressively easier to predict their movements and where they'll end up next.
  • Table Space: In "Colossians 3:9-10," Lilith and her mother sit together at opposite ends of a long table as they have a fraught discussion regarding Lilith's appearance and her being "passed over" for the Halo.
  • Taking You with Me: Michael and Ava's plan to defeat Adriel involves detonating a Divinium bomb inside of the former and kill all three of them. It doesn't work.
  • Team Power Walk: In "Corinthians 12:4", the heroes have a slow-motion walk to dramatic music as they rip off their demure clerical garb to reveal their fighting outfits underneath. This includes Father Vincent discarding his collar and unbuttoning the top two buttons of her shirt.
  • Technobabble: When Ava decides to get the Halo's power scientifically assessed, Jillian declares, "This is a quantum expression of Newtonian force", which means... fuck all.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: For Lilith in the first season. She starts off as arrogant and abrasive towards her fellow Sister Warriors and especially to Ava, but after getting sent to Hell and returning, she loosens up and opens up to the group more.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: A retroactively shocking example. The trailer for the second season includes a voiceover discussing how Areala defeated Adriel while including clips of him covered in fire and screaming in pain. Come the release of Season 2, it turns out it wasn't a flashback, but the actual way Adriel is killed in the show.
  • Training from Hell: Ava's very first training session involves getting beaten with a baton to try and get her to activate her Halo powers.
  • Wham Episode: Season 2, Episode 6 ends with the OCS failing to kill Adriel miserably, Yasmine and Camila captured, the Arc stolen by the FBC, and Mother Superion near the brink of death.
  • Wham Line: How "Miguel" is able to get Jillian to help the remnants of the OCS in the second season:
    Miguel: Tell Jillian her son is here.Explanation 
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Ava has this against Michael and, by extension Reya in Season 2, chastising the idea that people have to die in order to guarantee victory. However, she comes to accept it when all other option seems lost.
  • Worst Aid: Discussed in the first episode. Mary wants the Divinium shrapnel taken out of Shannon's body before it kills her, as its presence in her body prevents the Halo from healing her. However, it's pointed out that the location of it is also the only thing keeping Shannon from bleeding to death. If they remove it, she dies. If they leave it in, she dies.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Ava is told variants of this frequently as she tries to run from the OCS in the first season.
  • You're Insane!: Adriel basically says as much to Ava after she summons a horde of Tarasks.

"In this life or the next."