Gilbert Speaks on “The Young Pope” A Crisis of Faith

8 Feb


There are only two episodes left for “The Young Pope” and I’m sending up a Hail Mary that there is a season two because this series pulls back the curtains to reveal the dirty politics of the Vatican. What happens to God fearing people when the Pope has a crisis of faith? Find out after the jump

Episode 7

Everyone seems to be plotting behind Lenny’s back, and even God has seemingly been silent as Lenny deals with the suicide of the young man turned away from the seminary. The Roman Catholic Church has screeched to a standstill because of Lenny’s refusal to be seen and because of his strict edicts. Even Sister Mary is at a loss as how to handle the boy she considers a son. But, the resourceful nun comes up with a plan to ease Lenny’s obsession with his missing parents.


Lenny receives a gift in the mail. It’s the stem for the pipe. Arrangements are made and Lenny is both overjoyed and nervous his hippy, dippy parents. What he is introduced to instead are two respectable looking people that lack any trace of their bohemian lifestyle from Lenny’s childhood. Lenny looks a bit disappointed as are the viewers. These can’t be the people who gave birth to such a charismatic personality.

Holy Wow! I am a strong believer in the theory that family members have the same genetic scent. This genetic scent helps family members to recognize each other. It works with birds and animals. Lenny shocks Cardinal Voiello, Sister Mary and the impostors when he sniffs the woman pretending to be his mother. She doesn’t smell right. She doesn’t smell like his memory of mom. “Expel these impostors from my home immediately,” Lenny commands.


Poor orphaned Lenny! His only comfort is baby Pius which he pushes around in a stroller throughout the Vatican grounds. Esther and Peter have no say over the Pope’s constant intrusion into their lives and into their baby’s life. Lenny even takes pleasure in changing baby Pius’s shitty diaper. Give the pope a break, people. If it wasn’t for Lenny’s prayers, baby Pius would still be a twinkle in Peter or Valente’s eye.


I really love how Silvio Orlando portrays the conniving Cardinal Voiello. It’s a true measure of this actor’s talent that he is capable of making we fans of the series both respect and hate Voiello at the same time. I’m also enjoying the give and take between Voiello and Lenny whenever they discuss church politics. Both men want what is right for the church, but Lenny is more centered on what GOD wants for the church and this is a hurdle that has Voiello stumped.


With the church in trouble, Voiello wants to use the photos of Lenny touching Esther’s boob. Did you really think Voiello only had one copy of the blackmail photos? Silly rabbit! Voiello probably has a safe full of incriminating flash drives. Surprisingly, it is Caltanissetta who tells Voiello to hold off a bit. Maybe they can Lenny to resign, especially with everyone placing the blame of the suicide on Lenny’s shoulders. Did anyone else get a shiver down their spine when Voiello and Caltanissetta kissed Spencer’s ring. Religion, like politics, is nothing but dirty business and seldom involves GOD.


Cardinal Dussolier (Scott Shepard), Lenny’s childhood friend feels guilty about the suicide of the young man who was turned away from the priesthood because of his sexual identity. Dussolier is no innocent babe in this series. We know of his affair with the wife of a Honduras drug lord and we know of his own bisexual tendencies. But, after Dussolier’s drunken swim in a Socialite’s pool and her limo driver’s attempted rape of the priest; Lenny’s best friend goes home to Honduras.


I can’t say it enough, but Jude Law has found his niche in the portrayal of Pope Pius X111 the same way that Robert Downey Jr. found his in the character of Iron Man. Jude Law beautifully and convincingly portrays Pope Pius as an innocent who is surrounded by wily and cunning wolves waiting to take him down.


Is Lenny a saint, or is he knowingly leading the church to disaster? I’m saying he is a saint, but you need to remember most of the saints were looked upon as crazy and paranoid representatives of God. Why is Sister Mary crying?


The Young Pope, Episode 8

Lenny is taking the death of Dussolier very hard. But it wasn’t Lenny who made Dussolier breaks his vow of celibacy and if Dussolier could not control his urges…then maybe he should have slept with someone other than the wife of a powerful drug lord. Did Lenny’s prayers while submerged at the bottom of the pool give him new insight bringing unity to the church?


What does a pope do all day? I mean besides praying for the world, signing important documents, or warning the new American president to stay the hell off Twitter…what does a Pope actually do? While Sister Mary grieves over Dussolier’s death, the pope hits tennis balls. It takes his mind over the controversy of his strict abortion ban. We listen to a visiting Cardinal tell Lenny about Saint Juana Fernandez. There are many miracles attributed to this woman who is up for canonization, but Lenny is having a crisis of faith, and finds it hard to believe in miracles…unless it comes from GOD. There are a few bright spots in Lenny’s life. He meets his favorite author.


I love how Sofia (Cecile de France) is able to encourage Lenny to step out of his isolation. “Let’s go to Africa,” she suggests. It is the 30th anniversary of Sister Anonia’s Village of Goodness. This trip is important for so many reasons, but the most important is that Lenny is lost ever since Esther and Peter took off with baby Pius. To add to the heartache, we see that the kangaroo is dead.


Cardinal Spencer is sick and not in any shape to take over if Lenny does resign. But Lenny is not ready to give up on GOD. Spencer accuses him of not believing in GOD and Lenny realizes that his confessor has been blabbing. Spencer gives Lenny one good piece of advice. He tells Lenny to bury two empty coffins and put his abandonment woes to rest. Smart move!


Doing good deeds doesn’t guarantee you a spot in heaven. Sometimes those good deeds are for show, or in Sister Antonia’s case; power. After a frustrating flight in which the reporters on the plane still aren’t able to see or talk to Lenny, the plane lands and Lenny steps off and ignores the welcoming dignitaries who are there to greet him. The beautiful music and dancing doesn’t hide the fact that the people are poor and the soldiers uncaring. Lenny is upset to see how casually people are killed by the soldiers and then left on the street as a warning.


Sister Antonia (Milvia Marigliano) is a tyrant and she demands a picture with the pope. Voiello tells her no. Lenny is quiet but observant and he watches how Sister Antonia treats the poor, but it isn’t until he goes to confession that he learns just how nasty Sister Antonia is. The priest gives Lenny a note. Sister Antonia hoards the water and makes the villagers grovel at her feet for just a sip of water. Lenny also catches Sister Antonia making sexual advances towards a novice.

Sister Antonia wants Lenny to make a speech while seated next to the country’s leader. The leader is a despot who mistreats his countrymen. Lenny proves his heart is truly with God when he gives a speech over a loudspeaker. It is a beautiful speech about love and peace. Everyone who hears it is touched and humbled. Lenny has a vision of his parents and the first thing that comes to my mind is Adam and Eve.


On the flight back, one journalist is lucky enough to see the pope. The pope returns to the cockpit and the pilot tells him not to touch any of the instruments. If we need proof that Pope Pius is a saint, then we only need to watch this one episode. While Lenny and his caravan head back to Rome, Lenny gets out of the limo and falls to his knees. Traffic is at a standstill, but Lenny doesn’t care. He has business with God. “We need to talk about Sister Antonia,” he says to the big boss. Yep, Lenny does have GOD’s ear and thousands of miles away…nasty Sister Antonia drops dead. But, Lenny is going to need more than prayers to stay above the rumor that he is being blackmailed on the Kirkwell child abuse case.

Thank you, Jude Law for being the best Pope, ever! And thank you Paolo Sorrentino for creating this series. Bless you both.


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