Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Warrior Nun Keeps Lilith Down the Disaster Path, And I Love Her

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I think it is safe to say that Warrior Nun has few characters, if any, as conflicting as Lilith. She spends half of season one as the most direct human threat to Ava, and would have killed her a couple of times over if not for Mary’s interference. She is entitled, stubborn, violent, and seemingly holds herself above her fellow sisters in the Order of the Cruciform Sword. Where others have obvious, immediate character traits that make you like them, Lilith takes a while to come around.

Well, namely, it takes what seems to be a resurrection from a death at the hands of a tarask. By the end of Warrior Nun’s first season, following this return, Lilith has seemingly come around to Ava. If nothing else, she is firmly aligned against Adriel and ready to help her sisters stop this supernatural being from threatening the world. She’s a hero now, surely?

So of course season 2 plants her right back in Ava’s path and practically transforms her into the anti-Warrior Nun.

Lilith confronts Ava in Warrior Nun

At first glance, you cannot help but scream while Lilith decides to isolate herself from everyone who cares for her, and roll your eyes at her when she decides to seek Adriel out for reasons beyond chopping his head off. Really, though, it makes such perfect sense. This is exactly the choice someone like Lilith makes because that is just who she is. It is the same reasoning and susceptibility to manipulation that had her ready to carve the Halo out of Ava in season one.

Lilith’s continued bodily transformations occurring in season two gave her a reason to seek out some new path to explain why said transformations occurred. Surely there’s a reason why she “survived” the tarask attack and came back with all these new powers, right? And yes, there was, because someone saw an opportunity to send her back to stop Adriel, but Adriel then gave her a dose of life being random and Lilith decides her destiny in life is at his side opposing the destiny she once believed to be hers.

Her transformations and new powers practically give her many of the abilities that the Halo would have. She has similar teleportation, the same physical resistance, and the same increased strength. Thanks to Adriel, she can see demons as the Halo bearer can. For all intents and purposes, she has what she always wanted.

And since that final empowerment came from Adriel, and the powers seemingly came from the evil the OCS trained her to fight, naturally, she decides to adopt her new chosen path at his side, in full opposition to the Halo she spent her life training for and used to assume was her destiny. Because if she can’t be the Halo bearer, then clearly she should be responsible for destroying the Halo bearer.

It is just so, so frustrating, but frustration seems to be the natural state of someone like Lilith.

We’ve previously compared Lilith to Zuko from Avatar: The Last Airbender around here (and why she is the way she is), and season 2 was basically Lilith’s version of Zuko deciding to aid Azula in capturing Aang. This was the moment where she turned once more to darkness in her confusion over the direction her life should take. Where Zuko doubled down on his original perception of his destiny, though, Lilith decided to swing wildly in the opposite direction.

In many ways this made me hate Lilith even more than I did when she was at her worst in Warrior Nun’s first season. There is an inherent disappointment to these characters who take these long journeys to escape the people they are when the story begins. The path is littered with roadblocks and potholes that trip them up, and they are always tempted by the paths splitting off from that main path towards the person we wanted them to be. Don’t even get me started on those times when they decide the road’s too long and randomly decide to turn around and go back where they came from.

Everyone wanted Lilith to take her place as a cool, superpowered ally who helped her sisters take Adriel down. Lilith had other plans, and hoo boy did those plans fit her to a tee. She is such a little trash panda rooting through the garbage in search of bad decisions, and I love that Warrior Nun embraced that direction for her.

The major downside of Lilith’s arc is, of course, the possibility that Warrior Nun will never get the chance to complete it. Season three is far from a certainty (though we’re putting in all the work we can to re-watch it over and over), and we may never see Lilith’s “hey, Zuko here” moment where she aligns again with Ava and crew. This may be the last we see of her, as an annoying little dark angel brat who dramatically unfurled her new wings to teleport, just because it looked cool.

Whatever happens from here, I’m glad Warrior Nun committed to letting Lilith live her best worst life. She wouldn’t be the same Lilith any other way. Lilith just is not the kind of person to accept the easier, clearer road that the fans wanted her to take. Whatever she is meant to do from here, much like in the aftermath of season one, it will be her own choice down her own path and probably involve a series of really bad choices.

I wouldn’t have her any other way. Of course, I also wouldn’t mind Carl giving her a good smack upside her head.

Go stream the second season, now available on Netflix!

Images Courtesy of Netflix

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