The Young Pope's fourth episode begins, like all fairy tales do, with a man on a white horse in head-to-toe acid-wash denim. This questionably dressed man is riding alongside Tonino, a rural shepherd who believes his sheep is the Virgin Mary and his stigmata-hands can cure illness. Same.
But back to the Yung Pope. He is attempting to "counsel" a young nun on the imminent death of her sister, but actually he's just doing his fave thing, which is being a dick for no reason. He appears to be speaking to this nun through some kind of Bluetooth headphone system. His advice to her: never stop praying. She's like, "Yeah, I already do that, I'm a nun." The nun tells him she won't go home to Sri Lanka to see her sister because it's too sad there and it makes her doubt the existence of God. The Yung Pope says, "We all have our doubts." The nun is like
Voiello is sitting mournfully in his bed next to his light-up Jesus. Esther arrives. She does not want a cane-sugar espresso. Voiello explains why he's called her here: He knows she's had an affair with the pope's assistant. Side note: Everyone in this room is Italian and they are all speaking English to each other. In five years, when America has been downgraded from "flawed democracy" to "hooo fuck," nobody will speak English on foreign television shows anymore. They will be speaking Chinese, the official language of the Chinese Republic of Everything.
So, yes, Voiello is blackmailing Esther. He doesn't explicitly say what he wants from her in this scene, but it's clear that he wants her to fuck the Yung Pope so he can be ousted before he destroys the entire church. Any other pope would be blind to the charms of this good li'l Catholic gal. A normal pope might not even have the faculties to fuck, much less the ability to discern a seduction. A normal pope would be horrified at the thought of exploiting the loyalty of one of his most devoted supplicants. Too bad this show isn't called The Normal Pope!!! This show is called
The Yung Pope is lecturing Esther about how she should rejoice in her beauty. Voiello and ... Federico? who is this mofo? ... are lip-reading the conversation from afar. Oh, his name is Amatucci. OK. This advice seems off-brand for the Yung Pope, he who adores suffering and pain, but he is fuckin' hot, so perhaps he's speaking from personal experience. He asks Esther what her "problem" is. Esther's like, "First of all, the fuckin' hot pope is hitting on me in broad daylight. Second of all, your hat. Third of all, my husband and I are both sterile." I feel for Esther, I do, but also her life seems to consist of wandering around the lush Vatican gardens, roller-skating with cute kids whom she does not have to then raise, and having dull sex with her husband and occasional great sex with the pope's assistant. And, OK, yeah, being blackmailed into destroying the pope by powerful representatives of the Catholic Church.
The nun, whose name is revealed to be Suri, wants to visit her dead sister in Sri Lanka. The Yung Pope is like, "... Nah." The Yung Pope, if this is not already clear, is savage.
Now the Yung Pope is baptizing a bunch of babies and looking like he wants to die. The Yung Pope does not like babies, which is weird, because they're young like him. He goes to his pope bathroom, where he runs into Sofia, the marketing director of the Vatican. She's doing her lipstick in the pope bathroom, which the Yung Pope seems to find both amusing and deeply enraging. The two "flirt" in the sense that the Yung Pope is not relentlessly cruel and hateful toward her. He asks her why the cardinals are gathering around the fuckin' ol gay assistant of the prime minister of Greenland, rather than the also fuckin' hot (female) prime minister, whom he's about to meet with. Sofia is like, "Bitch, mind your own business!!!!" Clearly Sofia did not get the savage memo.
The Yung Pope is meeting with the prime minister of Greenland, who looks like an Ingmar Bergman protagonist. She kindly gifts him with a mixtape. In return, he hands her a massive cross. Kinda rude. What is she supposed to do with a massive cross? The Yung Pope is salty about the size of the prime minister's flock (I don't know anyone else with a megalomaniacal obsession with crowd sizes, do you?). He proceeds to mansplain her own country and personality to her. "Did you know you have a female bishop? Did you know that you agree a lot? Do you know that the Catholic Church was the first in Greenland? Did you know that Greenland never thaws? Did you know that ice is made by freezing water? Did you know that freezing water closes your pores? You should really wash your face with hot water, then end with cold water. I read this on Into the Gloss."
Esther is praying sexily in a kiddie pool. As one does.
The Yung Pope appears to have airlifted Suri's sister's body from Sri Lanka. This appears at face value to be a kind gesture, but obviously it is one of vengeful evil. He and Esther take a nice stroll behind the corpse, as one does. Esther asks him for prayer instructions, one of the very first strategies in the "How 2 Fuck the Pope" handbook. "Prayer shouldn't be a list of requests," explains the Yung Pope, who literally demanded a tiara last week. Esther is like, "What IF … I wanted to donate my beauty … to somebody else … do you know what I mean … wink wink …?" The Yung Pope is not having it. "Your life will suck, aggressively," he says.
The Yung Pope is mad at Suri for crying over her sister's death. "Believers don't cry!!!!!" he screams. You see? You may have thought that the Yung Pope's willingness to fly Suri's sister's body all the way from Sri Lanka was a sweet gesture befitting of a benevolent religious leader. You may have thought, I love the Yung Pope now. He is fuckin' hot and nice. But what you forgot to account for was the fact that this mofo is
The Yung Pope and Voiello are having an extremely dull conversation that sharply turns horrifying. The Yung Pope shares that he would like to "root out all the homosexuals and expel them."
He then compares pedophilia to homosexuality. Voiello is like, "OK, so basically, we are North Korea." The Yung Pope is like, "No, because Kim Jong-un is not fuckin' hot." Somehow, the topic of conversation turns casually away from profound and dangerous homophobia, and Voiello is explaining his calling. "I just always wanted to be a li'l Italian man boppin' around the church, making shit happen," he says.
Back to Esther's non-kiddie-pool portion of her home. Voiello is sitting calmly in her kitchen. "Why aren't you fucking the pope right now?" he asks. "It's impossible!" she says. "He is the pope." "He is the YOUNG POPE," says Voiello. "Do you NOT GET THIS YET? IT IS LITERALLY THE TITLE." Esther is like, "He only cares about my soul." Voiello is like, "Bitch, please." Esther claims she has no idea how to seduce somebody, but IDK, that whole praying-in-the-kiddle-pool thing was pretty inspired. "I could try to talk to him! He respects me!" she weeps. Voiello giggles into his hands. "That's why you're so seductive, Esther," he says. "Because you don't know a thing."
Meanwhile, across town, the Stigmata Shepherd is doing a TV appearance. Here are some facts about our holey-palmed friend: He began having "visions" the first time he got stigmata. The first vision was of the Madonna herself. He has the power to heal people and is also the Madonna's relative. He lives in Montecuccoli. Thousands of people have come from around the world just to touch him. He is particularly adept at fixing heart disease and meniscus problems. He has magically healed several football stars. He only sees 100 people at a time. Oh, and he doesn't ask for money — who needs money? — but he would like the Yung Pope to recognize him as legit, or he's going to start his own church. "No big deal. Just, like, if the Yung Pope could be like, 'This bloody-handed shepherd is a miracle-worker,' that would be cool, but, like, if not, I'll just start my own thing."
The Yung Pope is stalking through the courtyard in his pope Juicy suit. He encounters the kangaroo. He demands that it jump. It doesn't. A watched kangaroo never jumps, Yung Pope.
Tommaso and his little painful hairs are confiding in the Yung Pope. "During confession, people keep telling me about all the times they boned ladies. IDK why!!! Hahaha!!!" The Yung Pope calmly explains that he is out to "punish the homosexuals." It's fine. Everything is fine. Simultaneously, Voiello is talking to Girolamo, his disabled ... son? Friend? He tells him that nobody wants to sin but everybody does, up until the very last day that we are able to think, which is honestly very soothing. Girolamo is the only person incapable of sin because — at least in Voiello's mind — he is incapable of thought. Again, kinda rude.
Still in his pope Juicy suit, the Yung Pope bids Tommaso goodnight. Down the pope street, Esther and her husband decide to have sex up against the window. Does Esther's husband know about the seduction plan? Or is he just turned on by window sex? No judgment, my man. The Yung Pope sees the two window-fuckin' and is extremely moved by it. OK! He falls to his knees and begins to pray extremely aggressively. "Right now those two young people in their home, fuckin' against the window, have only one wish. You must grant it to them. You must. You must. You must. You must. You must. Etc." Yelling at Mary to watch a young couple window-fuck? Impelling her to impregnate a woman while simultaneously fantasizing about … er, holding that woman's shoulder? This can only be the behavior of
The Yung Pope is with Gutierrez, watching the nuns nap. "The fat one is snoring," he observes. "Anyhoo. You need to go to New York to investigate this whole pedophilia thing." Gutierrez is like, "Please, no. I have never left the Vatican. I don't know how to cross the street. I have a giant bucket of booze under my bed. I only have this one outfit. It does not hold up in a strong breeze." The Yung Pope is like, "I do not give a single fuck. You will go to New York and fix pedophilia, and that is my gift to you." I am truly concerned that Gutierrez is going to go the way of Brooks in Shawshank Redemption. Either that or he is going to Rumspringa himself right out of the church.
Gutierrez is calming himself down by talking to himself/Mary/a hot ghost. The Yung Pope is calming himself down by staring at the nuns while they go about their goddamn private business. One nun spreads out photos of her family on the floor and weeps. The Yung Pope is like, "... And?" He returns to his pope chambers, where he turns on the Greenland prime minister's mixtape. He reminisces about a beautiful blonde woman, then begins to fantasize (?) about the Greenland prime minister dancing adorably to the mixtape. This moment is overlaid with fun facts about Greenland.
And that, uh, that's the end of the episode! Because this is not your standard prestige drama about a man experiencing conflicted emotions toward women, a man unable to let go of his past, unable to rid himself of his rage, unable to move forward. Do not expect propulsive plot or cohesive narrative development. Do expect facts about Greenlanders and hot ghosts. Because this is not Yung Mad Men, or Yung Six Feet Under, or Yung The Good Wife. This is