The last two episodes of The Young Pope are finally upon us, like so much holy water on our sinful heads. The ninth begins with James Cromwell lecturing the Yung Pope about how he is unnecessarily rigid and wrong about abortion. The Yung Pope is like, “Well, actually, the Bible says you have to murder all women who abort babies, soooooo….” James Cromwell makes a really nice argument for female orgasms, and also points out that “nobody gives a damn” about actual life, so, like, why are we freaking the fuck out about abortion? Thank you, James Cromwell. The Yung Pope, naturally, extrapolates this all into a self-pitying remark about his boat-hippie mother.
Poor cute li'l Gutierrez is drunk in New York. It would appear he is overwhelmed by the simple task of leaving the Vatican for the first time in his entire life to solve a massive pedophiliac conspiracy. Weird. The actual pedophile appears to be doing fine, though, eating an egg out of a cup and meeting with Tea Party reps. He tells his companion a long and self-indulgent story about how, when he was a kid, his landlord once said he was going to significantly raise his family's rent, but then he didn't, but his family left anyway, and the landlord was like, “Always sit at the back of the train, because it's safer.”
Gutierrez is doing his due diligence trying to get Kurtwell's victims to press charges, and also occasionally getting blackout drunk. Understandable. He attempts to enlist his local liquor salesman, Freddy, in entrapping Kurtwell, but Freddy the liquor salesman is just tryna fuck Gutierrez. These are the days of our lives!
Like all classic old-white-dude pedos, Kurtwell is stalking Gutierrez in an alley from his sleek black limo. In fact, it would appear that Kurtwell isn't even trying to hide the fact that he is a Classic Old White Dude Pedo. He literally stops by the liquor store to caress Freddy's face and whisper, “Tell me what you want, young man, you'll have it!!!!!!” Freddy is like, “I want to be Serena Williams.” Kurtwell is like, “Yes, OK, I will do that.” Freddy tells him to fuck off.
Gutierrez, our saintly little cartoon-faced cutie, is visiting his friend/the owner of the hotel he's staying in, who's about to be taken out of her window via crane and transported to the hospital for surgery. Again, stress-drinking understandable. He writes the Yung Pope a letter. The Yung Pope does not read it because he is savage.
Oh, shit. James Cromwell is dyin'. I did not see this coming! James! The Yung Pope is so moved by this that he summons his staff to his dinner table via a little bell and tells them that he loves them. The Yung Pope Is Changing. Please keep up.
The Yung Pope is still dismayed about the departure of Esther, Peter, and Pius, the baby he was definitely going to kidnap at some point. “Life isn't fun for young people in the Vatican,” says Tommaso. That's not true, Tommaso. You are forgetting about the most fun young person of all.
The Yung Pope and Gutierrez are FaceTiming. Gutierrez shows the Yung Pope his extremely sad little hotel room. Honestly, Gutierrez is killing me. My heart is folding in on itself and dying. Thanks, HBO. “When you want to, you can come home,” says the Yung Pope. Yung Pope! I barely knew ye!
Gutierrez is sharpening a pair of ice skates as he watches an interview with Classic Old White Dude Pedo. Kurtwell is suddenly taking an interest in youth tennis in an attempt to seduce local liquor purveyor Serena Williams. Gutierrez spots a man in a Fifth Element wig staring at him from the street. If anyone fucks with Gutierrez I will lose. It.
Gutierrez is ice skating. Oh, my heart. But the man in the Leeloo wig is there, too. I swear to the Yung Pope, Paolo Sorrentino, if you kill Gutierrez, I am going to come to Italy and pelt pasta e fagioli at your doorstep. The man reveals himself as David, a divorcé who ice skates alone and believes that Gutierrez is “the link between me and the source of all of my problems.”
Inexplicably, Gutierrez goes to drinks with this dude. Now Kurtwell is here. Well, fuck. Kurtwell sits across from the best person in the entire world and is like, “You have no proof that I molested a bunch of kids, except that I am the creepiest, oldest, whitest, grossest person alive. Also, the Yung Pope is jealous of me.” Then he proceeds to insult Gutierrez. Which means he must be ended.
David Milla Jovovich is freaking out at a fence. Gutierrez lets him into his hotel room anyway. David removes his wig. “I am Kurtwell's son, but that's not the point,” he says. “The point is the horror.” Gutierrez begins to weep. I think we can relax now re: Gutierrez's mortal life? Though the hotel owner also seems to have some kind of malevolent plan for him? TBD.
James Cromwell is officially dying. He tell everyone to leave the room except ol' Lenny Belardo. He begs the Yung Pope to tell him the story of ... something. Here goes. Around age, er, 13? IDK, Young Diane Keaton has glasses to indicate she has aged since her youthful days of hurling basketballs around with her hair down. Young Diane Keaton is like, “We need to go say hello to Billy, whose mom is dying.” The Yung Yung Pope argues, but then submits, then decides he must pray for Billy's dying mom. The YYP is like, “Listen up, God!!!! We gotta chat!!!”
Light fills Billy's Dying Mom's room. Billy's Dying Mom sits up and is like, “Hey, guys!” The Yung Yung Pope runs home, freaked.
James Cromwell tells the Yung Pope that his mother, despite her boat-hippie-ing, is still alive, too. The Yung Pope does his best Claire Danes cry. “Alas,” says James Cromwell, “time to die.”
Gutierrez shows up at Classic Old White Dude Pedo's office and tells him that he's been given orders to come to the Vatican for a fair trial. Kurtwell is like, “You have no evidence.” Gutierrez is like, “O RLY, then what are all these photos of you getting blown by the local liquor-purveyor-slash-tennis-star?" Kurtwell immediately tries to blackmail the Yung Pope with letters he wrote to his “California girlfriend.” The journalist he shows them to is like, “R U kidding me with this shit, or...?” Gutierrez shows up and pulls a reverse Pretty Woman. “Your car has been confiscated,” he says. “We're taking the train.”
The Yung Pope, clad in his pope Juicy suit best, drops a photo of himself off on Esther's beach, then scurries away in his copter. Esther kneels in the sand in tight jeans, stressing me the fuck out.
The Yung Pope has now, suddenly, published his love letters in The New Yorker, because, sure. His one-time leg-owner lover reads them in her Nancy Meyers home, then smiles longingly at a rack of knives before going outside to show her kids that she, much like the Yung Pope, can juggle two oranges. Orange you sad she didn't juggle those knives?
And now, here we are, watching the very final episode of The Young Pope, wondering if by the end we will have a definitive answer as to whether God truly exists and whether Jude Law is naturally this tan. It's wintertime at the Vatican, and snowing gorgeously. “The world has stopped turning,” reports The News, “because of the Yung Pope's love letters.” OK! Sure.
The Yung Pope is having a meeting with Santa. He tries to make out with him, understandably, and is rebuffed. Sofia arrives and is like, “How did you get the prime minister to cancel all of our taxes?” The Yung Pope is like, “I humiliated him.” Sofia is like, “You are diabolical.” He's like, “Yes, and also, I am blowing off a bunch of children to watch golf.” Ah, yes. Even though the Yung Pope is now a venerated writer and paragon of beautifully repressed lust, even though he is coming to terms with his orphanhood, even though he cried a few scenes ago, even though he works out very gracefully, it is important to remember that we're still dealing with
The Yung Pope is doing his own laundry, another stunning development in his uneven growth process. He tells the best human on earth, Gutierrez, that he would like him to become his personal secretary, because Sister Mary has completed her mission of turning him into a vague asshole versus a blazing dick. Gutierrez says he can't, because he's gay — ugh, of course he's gay, because he is perfect in every possible way. Gutierrez shames the pope for comparing homosexuals to pedophiles, and begs him to change his mind on that whole thing where he vengefully banishes all gay people from the Church. The Yung Pope is like, “Ughhhhhhhh, I have already changed soooo much, do I have toooooooooo???”
The Yung Pope is daydreaming about another fraught meeting with at least 20 Santas. He asks them to share the wisest thing they've ever learned. Sleepy Santa raises his hand first. “Believe in yourself!!!!” he says. “That ... sucked,” replies the Yung Pope.
The Yung Pope is practicing false modesty — “Oh, IDK if I'm REAAAALLLY a saint” — so that one of the Yung Pope's many enablers/advisers whose name I still do not know can tell him that he is really a saint. “You cured that sick woman. You knocked up Esther. You killed Sister Antonia. That was dope.” This Guy encourages the Yung Pope to attend a Christmas service in Guatemala City that honors another saint, Juana. The Yung Pope is like, “... Fine.”
The Yung Pope did not ditch the children's tour after all. However, he does immediately destroy all of them by suggesting that they are responsible for the rain, because raindrops are the “teardrops of Christ.” You can take the pope out of young, but you can't take the young out of the pope, amirite??
A Yung Boy is sitting alone in the museum. He explains that his mummy wants him to stick to the Mediterranean diet, so he will be abstaining from the hamburgers and french fries Sofia has bestowed upon his peers by way of distracting them from the fact that Christ is upset with them. “I don't want a mummy with a beard,” he adds, staring at the Yung Pope's favorite painting of a bearded breast-feeding man. The Yung Pope is like, “Bro, you have to chill.” Both agree that, ultimately, it is better not to chill.
Now The Yung Pope is having another dissociative episode, this time imagining his Yung Yung Yung self as a pope. Please keep up. Another one of his enablers/advisers/cardinals, Aguirre, tells him that if he were to appear in public, it would help his constituents “be in a good mood.” “That's not my job,” says the Yung Pope. “Yes it is,” says Aguirre. Both great points, really.
The Yung Pope confronts the cardinal that he sent to Alaska for no fucking reason. His shaking hands are peeling from the cold. This is some Gutierrez shit. Please stop crushing my icy heart, Paolo!! Suddenly, Juana herself appears in a group of giggling children. The Yung Pope smiles, perhaps realizing that he is still being a vague asshole, if not a blazing dick, and that he should remedy that soon.
Kurtwell is telling his story about being kicked out of his apartment in the rain to the Yung Pope by way of defending his rampant pedophilia. This time, he adds a detail about being molested by his building's superintendent. The Yung Pope is like, “That definitely sucks, but, like, you molested dozens of kids, so ...” “Oh, right, that,” says Kurtwell. “Yeah, that totally happened.” Easiest trial ever, dang. The Yung Pope punishes Kurtwell in his favorite way: by sending him to Alaska. Alaska must be really salty about this show.
Diane Keaton, who hasn't been on this show in a minute, is like, “So, I hear I'm leaving The Young Pope?” The Yung Pope confirms that he's sending her to Africa as soon as possible, to take over the post of the late mindfucker Sister Antonia. “We all have to go back to where we began,” says The Yung Pope. “You began with hippie parents,” says Diane Keaton. I think Diane Keaton has been reading my recaps. The Yung Pope has a low-key heart attack as Diane Keaton flies away into the ether, and tells Gutierrez he doesn't believe in God, because those who believe in God “don't believe in anything.” Still kinda confused on the trajectory of the Yung Pope's journey here, TBH.
Voiello confirms to his young best friend Girolamo that (1) he was in love with Diane Keaton, and (2) some fucked-up shit went down re: Tonino Pettola. Clearly someone has buried Tonino Pettola in quicksand.
The Yung Pope is spending Christmas Eve with Voiello, playing pool. Voiello is like, “Why aren't your parents getting in touch with you? Oh, because they were hippies, and you are a conservative nightmare.” OMG. This is genius. Can somebody please try this same mindfuckery on Trump? I'll wait.
The Yung Pope is not going to Guatemala after all. Sorry, Juana. But you're dead, so it's probably not a huge deal to you. Instead, he will go to Venice, to find God. In whom he doesn't believe. Keep. Up. Good news: Venice has Cherry Coke Zero. Gutierrez, the love of my adult life, buys the Yung Pope a li'l telescope because he is a goddamn angel. Gutierrez then asks the Yung Pope if he will turn around and give a benediction to the hundreds of people watching him drink Cherry Coke Zero. The Yung Pope says no, because, remember, he is still a vague asshole.
The next morning, everyone is waiting for the Yung Pope to speak. He begins to talk about Juana, so, Juana, there you go! Everyone on earth is watching, including the woman-stuck-in-her-bed-forever, the cardinal banished to Alaska (Jesus, you couldn't let him hang, Yung Pope?), the man who murdered Lesser Saint Ginger Peer and his hot wife, the prime minister, Freddy the tennis-loving liquor purveyor, the sex worker from before, and the woman who asked the Yung Pope to touch her legs and he said no. The Yung Pope explains that Juana told a bunch of children that “God smiled.” Everyone. Fucking. Loses. It. The Yung Pope tells all of them to smile, and they do.
The Yung Pope spies some old-ass boat hippies in the crowd. His parents! Except they begin to leave. For a boat, likely!
The Yung Pope finishes his speech — “One day I'll die, and then we'll all hug” — and falls over, appearing to almost die. He spots Jesus in the clouds. Hey, Jesus!
It appears we have to wait until next season (yes, there is a next season) to determine whether the Yung Pope is dead or alive. But there's one thing that we know for certain, a knowledge that nobody can take away from us, not Paolo Sorrentino or hippie boat parents or even Cloud Jesus. We know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that this pope — dead or alive, tan or fake-tanned, fuckin' hot or just normal hot but with an attitude that amplifies his attractiveness, blazingly dickish or vaguely assholeish — is