On Topic from director Jeffrey Walker is an intense story of three women who believe in the LAMBS OF GOD.
Sisters Iphigenia (Essie Davis), Margarity (Ann Dowd) and Carla (Jessica Barden) are the last nuns of St. Agnes living on a remote island. Taking care of themselves by raising sheep, they believe they are surrounded by the sisters who came before them. Content with their way of life, no one comes on the island and they never leave.
The unexpected and frightening visitor of Father Ignatius (Sam Reid) comes to try and destroy everything the women have been protecting. With an attitude of superiority, he soon learns who truly is in charge of the island. The women must make a choice on how to handle the situation and the choice is his.
On the mainland, Father Ignatius’ sister Frankie (Kate Mulvany) is confused as to where her brother is. Believing he was to visit, when he does not show up, she turns to Sgt. Barnaby (Daniel Henshall) investigate. Frankie also turns to the church and lets them know that the press might be interested in the story.
At St. Agnes, Ignatius is continuing to be defiant and try to get word to the outside world that he is alive and under the control of the nuns. When the message gets to the church, they send Father Bob (Damon Herriman) to investigate using any method possible to keep the church from becoming the focus of any more stories.
Ignatius becomes close to Sister Carla and begins to embrace what is happening around him. When Sister Iphigenia is pushed to go back to the mainland, all hades breaks lose on the island with an ending that is astonishing.
Davis as Sister Iphigenia tries to balance how the women have been living with the danger that Father Ignatius brings with him. She is determined to discover what the church is up to and when they do, she must decide if her old life is something she wants to invite onto the island. Her past has family secrets that are destructive. Davis is truly amazing in this role brining the twists, torment and a life her character never truly reconciled with.
Dowd as Sister Margarita has issues that have been living in her head and under her skin since she was a young lady. Her fears are kept in check most of the time as she projects and image of a stern and unfeeling nun, but it is far from the truth. I just love Ann Dowd and see her so much an unappreciated actress. Currently in the role of Aunt Lydia in the Hulu smash series The Handmaid’s Tale, she takes this role to the edge and then throws us over!
Barden as Sister Carla is an innocent who has had no exposure to the mainland or outside world. Curious about everything in their world, that curiosity expands to Father Ignatius and all the wizardry and gadgets he brings to St. Agnes. Barden mixes the innocents of Carla with the physical awakenings in a girl her age and not shy about it either. This is a character with the mix of the religious and secular world.
Reid as Father Ignatius goes through some serious stuff with these women. He starts out mouthy and spitting vileness feeling superior over these women he sees as insane and needing to get out of St. Agnes. Watching his character change, Reid’s character has issues of his own that have a chance to be accepted by the sisters and this actor gives a stellar performance in his transformation.
Mulvany as Frankie is not having any of the nonsense from the police or the church. They seem willing to write him off, but Frankie makes it clear she is not stopping until all searches are exhausted. Henshall as Sgt. Barnaby wants to help Frankie in any way possible knowing that she is a handful. Yet with each search, he is by her side feeling the need to protect her.
Herriman as Father Bob is sent to look for Ignatius by ingratiating himself to Frankie and waits for the go ahead from the church to visit the island. Herriman gives his character a creepy vibe that immediately had me yelling at the screen! If you are going to do creepy, this is the way to do it.
Other cast include Emma Lancaster as Sister Theresa, Yvonne Rae as Sister Assumpta, Sarah Woods as Sister Cook, Heidi Young as Sister Paula, John Bell as Bishop Malone, Henry Hammersia as Constable Day. Sigrid Thornton as Rose Stanford nd Ezekiel Simat as Jeremiah.
The four episodes include The Devil Into Paradise, The Blood of Eden, The Beast Incarnate and Resurrection.
LAMBS OF GOD is a four-part series that is filled with twists, turns, shocks, second takes, jaw drops and dogma. Each of the sisters has a story to tell and a past that has kept them secluded in the run-down convent. In the midst of madness with Father Ignatius, the reasons behind what they do begin to slowly emerge.
The story shocks and then it is as if the nuns reach through the screen to give you a nice cup of tea to relax for a moment, and then offer a plate of shock cookies! Each of the sisters on the surface is very happy with their cloistered life, but once the Father shows up – all bets are off. They are not the only ones with plans as the church is the whole reason everything happened in the first place.
David, Dowd and Barden ARE the short series and take us on a journey through their lives, their struggles and their journey into a life they are willing to sacrifice everything for. Their gift of story telling and where it leads is something completely mind blowing from start to finish. Adding Reid and Herriman into the mix just brings in a war between priests and nuns and it is so on.
There are details I have left out and for good reason, once again we have here a series that must be experienced and I will not spoil it. So, get some popcorn ready and prep the sofa for a nice little binge ride to St. Agnes. The nuns will be there to greet you!
In the end – welcome to St. Agnus!