'The Young Pope' Episode 7: I don't think that was the type of penance Andrew had in mind
There's not a lot of likeable characters in The Young Pope, but our pontiff's childhood BFF Andrew is a rare exception. Sure, he's a bit brooding, but you'd be too if your pope buddy was homophobic and wanted to expunge any would-be priests who might be gay. Especially after episode six revealed in typical HBO fashion that Andrew is likely bisexual after he was apart of an intense bisexual threesome in Honduras (the kicker: After they finished, he huddled them up underneath the blankets and leads them in a prayer — God bless this show).
Episode six, however, ended with the heartbreaking suicide of a young Latino man who wanted to be a priest, but was rejected for his sexuality. As episode seven reveals, unsurprisingly, this puts Andrew in an emotional tailspin that undermines his faith in the Vatican and Pius XIII. It doesn't help matters that Pius XIII doesn't exhibit any sorrow for what happened to the young man, because he says he now gets to be closer to God. Ugh.
We understand Andrew's decision to want to leave Vatican City and return to Honduras to do the lord's work as some type of penance for the shit storm that's going on with the new pope. But if anyone knew the full story, maybe they would've suggested he stay away from the country.
(Editor's note: We confess, there are spoilers for The Young Pope below).
The Young Pope meets Narcos:
You see, the woman in Andrew's threesome is the wife of one of the biggest drug lords in South America. There were some subtle hints in the previous episode that something could be up, after Andrew addressed his followers in Honduras that his replacement would have the courage to speak out against the cartels (as he longingly stared at said woman).
Then why, pray tell, would Andrew return to Honduras? Well, he did want to get away from Pius and the Vatican and apparently had nowhere else to go. But any excitement at seeing his lover at the airport is immediately undercut when she says, cooly, "He knows."
Thus The Young Pope briefly diverges into a spinoff of Netflix's Narcos, with a menacing narco explaining to Andrew that the reason he's the most feared drug lord is because he's also the most violent (cool!). Shortly after, Andrew's body is left in the middle of the Honduran countryside. Just like that, The Young Pope lost not just one of its only likeable characters, but one of its most fascinating.
Sister Mary, Andrew — and to a lesser extent, Cardinal Spencer — are the only ties to Pius XIII's life as Lenny Belardo, which is fundamental toward understanding this young pope and what exactly he aims to achieve. Though in fairness, there's not much going for the pope right now aside from resentment that he was abandoned by his parents as a child, which still consumes him even when he's chilling with kangaroos and dropping babies.
So Andrew, being the one who grew up with Pius, is dead, and leaves our pope who very few friends in his inner circle. In this episode, Sister Mary tried to pawn off two impostors as Lenny's real parents, so she's worthy of a papal subtweet or two (he probably uses Twitter, he's a young pope!). Don Tomasso no longer has confessional sessions with the pope because Pius never made him a cardinal as he promised, which is petty on both sides. Even the affable Monsignor Gutierrez — now a cardinal thanks to Pius — is probably a little peeved because he now has to leave the confines of the church every now and then (he can't handle a car driving by on the street without freaking out, so I hope he doesn't go vacationing to Manhattan). Save for Esther and her baby, which she also named Pius and is somehow very chill with the pope dropping him that one time, our pope is losing allies quickly.
We should also take a moment to mourn Andrew's death for another reason: How awesome would he have been as a pope? While Young Pope memes would suggest otherwise, our young pope does not fuck and probably will not fuck. But Andrew — oh, Andrew would've been the pope who fucked, if his time in Honduras was any indication.
Let's just pray Pius doesn't lose anyone else close to him. But just to be safe, someone should keep an eye on that kangaroo in the Vatican Gardens.
Other Young Pope musings:
We previously mentioned that Sister Mary brought in two people to pose as Pius' parents, and he quickly realized they couldn't be them. How? He literally sniffed his faux mother and noted it couldn't be her, because somehow decades later he remembers exactly how she smells and not much else.
Our Holy Father also upgraded from notable baby-dropper to dude who enjoys changing diapers. He did, however, note that the baby had a poopy diaper. As babies do.
Cardinal Voiello continues to scheme behind-the-scenes to try and get rid of Pius. This episode, he iterates the importance of finding an "adult pope." You know, cause this pope is a young pope!