July 16, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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The New Pope “Seventh Episode”

Episode Seven

Well, they weren’t going to let Jude Law lie around for this entire series.  He’s gotta get up at some point.  To hammer that home, for this episode the series recreates the opening credits from The Young Pope which showed Pope Lenny in his ecclesiastical robes walking past a line of Renaissance paintings that changed in his wake as a meteor flashed through the top of each one, Jimmy Hendrix playing in the background.

So, for the episode where he wakes up, we get the music and the walk, but this time, he’s in a skimpy white bathing suit walking along a beach past various women in bikinis.  Lots of young women adore the Pope apparently.

To be fair, even I thought Jude Law looked good in that bathing suit.

Much of The New Pope has focused on how the Church can move on past a Pope who was maybe a saint, one whose very presence eclipses the very organization he led.  The devout here prayed to Lenny, not to God or the Church, and whatever impression Lenny left is far too big for anyone to come out of the shadow of.  We’ve seen Brannox struggle just to get people to remember he exists, more or less, and he’s not a dummy.  We’ve seen his wisdom in some ways, even if he isn’t the kind who engages in flashy gestures.

He’s also been a bit too interested in meeting celebrities.

And he’s a depressed drug addict.

Essentially, for all Brannox has some good qualities, he isn’t really cut out for the Papacy.  He may even know it too.

As such, the one thing that could make life worse for any new pope is the sudden return of the old one, and Lenny’s awakening is not only going to complicate life in the Vatican, it makes many of the Lennities outside believe the Church killed him when the sounds of his breathing stopped.

Instead, Lenny moves in with his cardiologist in Venice, and there’s drama there as the man’s wife doesn’t care to see Lenny right away.  Both were devout Catholics, but when they had a son, the boy came out with severe brain damage and mostly lies in bed not moving all day.  Lenny’s awakening by itself is a miracle, and maybe he can do another one for their son.

It looks like the answer there is “no,” but oddly enough, Lenny’s loud prayers at the boy’s bedside seems to rekindle the romance between the parents.

Granted, things aren’t going smoothly at the Vatican.  Voiello’s departure means the Muslim refugee in the tool shed gets evicted, and later there’s a terrorist attack on St. Peter’s that damages some artwork and kills Brannox’s dog.  That makes Brannox even more depressed, and while Voiello and Sofia can confer over what to do, the real shock may come from Brannox in confession.

His great work that everyone adores?  His brother wrote it, but said brother died before it could be published, so Brannox plagiarized it.  So, you know, he’s even more inadequate than we might have thought.

Granted, this series, both versions, delights in damaged popes.

Naturally, that means Lenny knows he has to go to the one place he apparently considers home:  Rome.