Netflix’s Messiah raises uncomfortable questions

A still from the Netflix original series Messiah. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Netflix.
A still from the Netflix original series Messiah. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Netflix. /

After that ending to the Messiah, I think it’s safe to say there will be a second coming. Spoilers for season 1 ahead!

I went for the low-hanging fruit with that Messiah pun there, but if it made you groan inwardly, I’ve done my job.

The trailer for the Netflix original series had me from the first shot; the great unwashed, a sea of humanity walking to some unknown destination. Where are they going? What is happening? Is it a Pink Floyd reunion? The Messiah! As a brown person, I was glad that Jesus wasn’t a random white guy.

Further speculation made me realize I should have held out for something more. It was an interesting premise that would have benefited from an austere editor. It tends to drag in some places, but Netflix gets a solid B for effort for the new Netflix original series that premiered on Jan. 1, 2020.

I sympathize with the writers. It was a heavy subject to take on. Is he the Messiah, or the antichrist? I think it’s safe to say he was neither, and as the story progresses, it is revealed that he spent a few months in an asylum. He had the Messiah-complex, a bit of a cop-out but one that added further dimensions and layers to the story.

The media industrial complex seems to be learning from past mistakes. They didn’t pull a Homeland; they actually hired Arabic and Hebrew speaking actors to play these parts.

For me, the character of Eva Gellar did nothing. We’re expected to believe she’s this brilliant CIA officer who everyone fears, and she’s so fierce. Throughout the show, she just runs around being inept at everything and is in a bad mood about it all.

It wasn’t just her, though. None of the main characters are likable or that effective. I was trying so hard to be rooting for someone, but they all seemed self-involved. Maybe it was a cynical jab at the modern world; man is inherently selfish.

The one character who had my heart was Jibril, a true summer child. He remains pure of heart and soul until the very end. The choice of name was lost on no one, Jibril/Gabriel was one of the archangels, and he brought God’s revelations to the Prophets.

In what seems very much like divine intervention, the Messiah actor’s name is Mehdi Dehbi! For those not in the know, Mehdi is the name of the man who will lead the believers into battle against the antichrist, come the end of days.

The flip side of the coin is the self-destructive nature of extremists. We see some of the disillusioned kids being recruited into a madrassah where they are brainwashed into becoming suicide bombers. You must destroy what you can’t understand.

What I did like about the show are the many uncomfortable questions it raises. At the very beginning, the “Messiah” abandons the people he has brought to the edge of the Palestine/Israel border. He leaves them to starve and die, and someone asks ‘What kind of god does that?”

What kind of god watches as millions starve, as the weak suffer abuse, as the strong amass fortunes? What kind of god abandons you when you are most in need?

Faith is a very interesting thing. Believers will follow on bended knee, and blind-faith can cover many a fault. The cynics will have one foot out the door, looking for a reason to leave.

The Netflix series has not been renewed for season 2 yet. We’ll let you know as soon as we hear anything about the future of the series!

Messiah season 1 is now streaming on Netflix.

Next. Messiah season 2 release date and what's next. dark