What the hell was up with that Greenland stuff?
When The Young Pope was first announced, you probably didn't think, I can't wait for that Greenland episode! No shots at the residents of the giant island, but I just didn't expect that discussing the loaded history of Catholicism in the ice-covered territory would be one of Pope Pius XII's biggest geopolitical points of contention. I, for one, can't remember a piece of media with this much of an interest in the country since 1994's D2: The Mighty Ducks, in which Emilio Estevez's youth hockey coach discovered the ironic distinction that Iceland is covered in green and Greenland is, in fact, covered in ice. Similarly, Lenny observes that God could be under all the ice. Who really knows?
One thing is clear: Lenny's interest in Greenland extends beyond its chilly surface. He seems particularly curious about the prime minister of Greenland (Carolina Carlsson), whom he entertains with blustering lectures, rock music, and offhand comments like, "I know I'm incredibly handsome -- but let's please try to forget about that." His interest in her scans as flirtatious, though it's possible she was only making him think about Esther, the other woman he spends much of the episode wandering the grounds of the Vatican with.
After Sunday night's episode, which was plotted like a political thriller and dealt with the fallout of Lenny's shadowy speech and Sister Mary's rather Trump-like press conference, Episode 4 pumped the brakes a bit on the prescient power dynamics and dove a bit deeper into Lenny's fractured psyche. When we saw the image of the woman dancing at the end of the episode with text about Greenland at the bottom of the screen, it felt like we were seeing a vision of peace and comfort. It was the type of melancholy, soulful ending that shows like The Sopranos and Mad Men often excelled at: a moment of contentment just outside the grasp of the show's troubled lead.