The New Pope Season 1 Episode 3 Review: Love Matters

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The name of the game is love.

The New Pope Season 1 Episode 3 delves into the psyche of Sir John Brannox and his views on love.

It's a sad story, which is why he may be the best option for Pope the Vatican has.

Contemplation - The New Pope Season 1 Episode 3

Sir John is a scarred man.

His entire life, he's been overshadowed by his brother. Even though his brother is dead, Sir John doesn't rate is his parents' book.

Through flashbacks, we learned that both John and Adam were in the seminary, and their parents had dreams of Adam taking the big chair one day.

And so after living my life in the service of my father, my mother, my brother and receiving nothing but contempt, I shall now live my life in the service of the Church and its people, hoping to receive for the first time, an ounce of affection.


It was a dream John's parents only held for Adam, but now that John is in contention, it doesn't matter to his parents because it was an honor that only Adam deserved. 

John being Pope is almost blasphemous in their eyes.

The thing about it is that considering the way he was treated all his life, he could have thrown his parents into a nursing home and abandoned them completely -- the way they abandoned him all his life.

Untouchable Love - The New Pope Season 1 Episode 3

But he didn't.

Instead, he brought them into his home and gave them the best care possible, which is why the situation is so heartbreaking.

John pines for love -- from his parents and even from God.

Because of the way they treated him, he doesn't even think he's worthy to be Pope, and he certainly doesn't believe he's worthy of God's love.

God doesn't like you.

Brannox's father

In fact, he doesn't think God loves him at all.

It was poignant when Lenny made an appearance at his side telling him that he understands how John feels and that there is hope on the horizon. 

God's love needs to be earned, and if he would just "grow up," he could receive God's magnificent gift.

But like John, Lenny had a messed up psyche, too.

Sharing His Love - The New Pope Season 1 Episode 3

It was a bit muddled as to how Sir John became John Pope III.

When he told his parents he was taking the job, it seemed he had made the final decision. But later, he told Voiello and the others he was declining the offer.

Yet, back at the Vatican he was voted in and readily accepted the job.

A Proud Voiello - The New Pope Season 1 Episode 3

So it appears that in his mind, he believes the near unanimous vote to make him Pope was a sign from God that he should be the one to guide Catholics the world over.

Voiello wasn't kidding when he said he had incredible powers of persuasion. And even though he usually uses those powers in devious ways, this time, he did something good -- for himself, his brethren, and the Church in general.

I can be a father to you, but you must know that fathers are to be obeyed, even when they make mistakes.

John Paul III

But it might also be a nightmare in disguise.

Pope John III, like his butler said on The New Pope Season 1 Episode 2, is a fragile being.

His psyche is as delicate as porcelain. 

Guiterrez Has a Crush - The New Pope Season 1 Episode 3

He became the pontiff because he believes he can change the world through love, but he's also using the position to soak up the love he never received in his life.

Earning God's love may be his priority, but he also needs -- and wants -- the people to love him, as well. He wants to be adored, fawned over, respected, and obeyed.

So, when those things don't happen, he's going to crack -- and not in a good way.

He may be the new celebrity in town, but the people still love Lenny. And if Lenny comes out of his coma, even if he doesn't take back the papacy, John Paul III is going to feel threatened.

Whether he would take drastic steps to get rid of Lenny is yet to be determined, but we have to remember that one of the Cardinals is holding on to a big secret that only he and John Paul III know.

John Paul III doesn't know that Cardinal knows the secret, but I'm going to guess that Sir John had something to do with his brother's death, and that his brother died in the seminary.

It could be that the Cardinal was attending the seminary at the same time.

Butler: It's Meghan Markle, sir. She doesn't know what to wear.
Sir John: What a nuisance.

That's just speculation, of course, but if he was willing to kill his brother to get him out of the limelight, whose to say he wouldn't do the same if Lenny got in the way?

It doesn't matter that getting rid of his brother didn't put John in the top spot in his parents' minds; he won't see it like that.

The Final Decision - The New Pope Season 1 Episode 3

What he'll see is a reincarnation of his brother through Lenny which is what will fuel his rage and cause him to do another unthinkable act -- if that's what he did at all.

And if it might seem like there's no possiblity that a guy as laid back as Sir John would have it in him to the get to the point of a murderous rage, those are the kind of people that might be the most dangerous. They keep it all stored away until something sets it free.

Then again, maybe he'll remain as docile as ever, changing the ways of the Vatican and his people by treating them the way he always wished to be treated.

It's one of the reasons he won't travel down a side road with Sofia. He likes her, a lot, but he's not willing to break his oath to pursue a woman who will probably only give him physical love.

Hoping for Help - The New Pope Season 1 Episode 3

That's not the kind of love he's looking for.

Over in Esther's world (her story seems so disconnected from everything happening in the Vatican), she's in desperate need of money and praying for a miracle isn't helping her.

She could have given that recluse some physical love in exchange for a lot of money, but she still views herself as pious, which is why she ran away.

If she would have gone all the way, she would have broken her "oath" to God, and in a sense, Lenny. 

Sofia: What's she like? The Queen?
Brannox: Enchanting because she's pale. Like you.

At some point, things will turn around for her, she just has to be patient.

And what's with that tattooed nun? There's always something weird happening on this show. Was it an act of rebellion because she didn't get support from the Church to visit her dying mother?

Maybe all the nuns will let their wild side hang out soon -- just like in the opening sequence.

Over to you!

What did you think of Sir John's ascension to Pope? Will he remain docile or will he unleash the rage?

What is his big secret?

How will the other Cardinal use it to his advantage?

Will Sister Lisette get to see her dying mother?

What will Esther do for money?

Hit the comments and share your thoughts!

If you need to catch up, you can watch The New Pope online right here via TV Fanatic.

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The New Pope Season 1 Episode 3 Quotes

Sofia: What's she like? The Queen?
Brannox: Enchanting because she's pale. Like you.

Butler: It's Meghan Markle, sir. She doesn't know what to wear.
Sir John: What a nuisance.