Review: The Young Pope Season 1 Episode 2 “Episode 2”

This episode will really set the tone for the rest of the series, as the dark, shocking ending raises the stakes and pushes the titular character from being simply unpleasant and difficult into an area of the unknown. He could be classed as an anti-hero, but little could be suggested in favour of his actions. This build up is well written, and the pace is helped by an entrancing score that quickly turns haunting, thunderous and angry to possibly represent a transition for the Vatican and its rule. Some of the characterisation however is odd, even if that is the point. The Pope doesn’t stick to one type of policy or ideal. His views float around without much of a statement. This may be hard to follow for some and it does make it hard to connect with the character, or at least understand his perspective. Furthermore, the larger thematic premise of this series is often in conflict with itself, as its discussion of youth and contemporarism in a traditional setting (something emphasised in the premiere) is undermined by the Pope’s homophobia and anti-publicity. This could be a comment on not assuming liberalism in the youth, but much of what the Pope did in the first episode reflected modern, at times millennial ideals (that Cherry Coke). Though the story certainly has focus, I’m less sure about what the show is trying to say. 8/10

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