Sunday, February 5, 2017

The Small Screen: The Young Pope "Episode 6"

Okay, I watched the sixth episode of The Young Pope just before the Super Bowl kicked off, and then the Super Bowl was great so I am still trying to reassemble my thoughts from before the game. Here's what I got.

- Sixth episode introduces a new angle for the show, a new conflict for the Pope, this being a political one. The scene in which he meets with the progressive Prime Minister of Italy and literally hands him a list of rather regressive directions he wants the country to go in, like total ban of abortion under any circumstances, total ban of marriage equality rights and so on, is quite good. As not only a non-catholic but a non-church goer of any kind, I am fascinated by the threat made to force Catholics to not vote. I can't imagine ignoring the responsibility of voting because a guy named Lenny told me not to but hey, I'm not an Italian Catholic who looks upon the Pope with reverence.

- Despite some rather breathtaking scenes, like the early moments cutting between the ceremony making Gutierrez a Cardinal, the threesome sex scene involving Dussolier, a woman and another man, and Esther having a baby, the episode overall is really good...but not great. I can easily remember the best moments but overall this felt like a second pilot episode of sorts, having to set a new table to go down new paths.

- The performances in The Young Pope are universally great. I could sit here all day praising Jude Law in the lead role (and I really could) but I don't want to seem like he steals the show because it's impossible to steal something that everyone on camera always owns. From start to finish every single episode, this is a beautifully composed and performed series.

- The Pope literally drops a baby in the episode, and it made me literally gasp aloud. Sort of overshadowed the great moment in which he truly breathes in the scent of a newborn child and says "It's a pity we can't remember what we smelled like when we were babies.". One of many moments throughout The Young Pope that don't sound all that amazing unless you are watching and you realize it is excellently scripted and just how important that is to making a story work on all levels.

Episode Grade: B+

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