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Review: Messiah Season 1 Episode 9

December 31, 2019
7 min read

It is often said that God is greater, but is he really greater than the innocent lives that are shed because of him? Is he not our creation, just like we’re his?  As we gradually approach the end of the season, Netflix’s ‘Messiah’ grows increasingly complex, and immensely horrifying.

The ninth episode of the series is titled, “God is Greater”, which serves as an apt, but also deeply ironic and equally tragic title of the episode. Things are finally completely unfolding, and the results aren’t exactly pleasant. The episode reveals the darker side of having your paths crossed with Al Massih as we become more unsure than ever about him being the savior due to the drastic events that take place.

Messiah Season 1 Episode 9 Recap:

The episode opens with a flashback of a young Aviram and his mother, revealing that she died at a bombing. Back in the present, Avi gets a call from Zev, his boss at Shin Bet. Zev offers him his job back and tells him that he can get his life as he’s in America.

Eva continues her investigation on Al Massih and learns that he had been admitted to the psychiatric hospital for seven months. Massih or Payam was suffering from Delusional Disorder/Messiah Complex. He was an intelligent patient who had articulate reasoning for his delusions. Eva confronts Payam who doesn’t reveal much, except that he is friends with Oscar Wallace.

The episode also has Eva’s father staying with her for sometime, as he feels unwell. He tells her that he feels connected to things and believes that things are happening. He begins to talk about her mother, echoing Massih’s exact words about how she thought Eva was God’s gift. The conversation deeply troubles Eva. She then shows up at Aviram’s place, and the two have sex and share an intimate conversation about their partners, revealing just how broken and damaged the two of them are.

Later, Eva tries contacting the numbers she traced to Russia from Al Massih’s records, and it turns out to Wallace as she hoped. She blames him for recruiting Massih. But he in turn tells her that she has everything wrong. Between the two of them, Wallace is not the dangerous one. He then tells her to read his book. She finds that the book is dedicated to Payam Golshiri, revealing that the book was in fact an accumulation of Golshiri’s ideas, it was his thesis. Wallace just took the name.

Staci, the mother of the girl who had cancer, finally reaches home with her daughter. But things become  increasingly complicated between Staci and her husband Jonah who tells her that he is filing for a divorce and sole custody. He can never forgive Staci for risking their daughter’s life and cannot trust Staci with her anymore.

Felix has a heated fight with Anna as she had kept away Rebecca’s abortion from him. He then visits Ed (Anna’s father) who has a TV channel and tells him that Al Massih will do a show for him. He thinks it will get his message across widely. But he does this, without asking the man. He then goes to Al Massih and tells him about the show, and how it will get his message directly to the homes of thousands. Massih agrees, but asks for Rebecca to be there.

Meanwhile, Anna drowns her sorrow at the bar, where she bonds with Miriam who asks her about Al Massih. She tells her that nothing good came from anything ever since he showed up and how he turned her life upside down. She feels growingly distant from her husband and her daughter, both of whom believe they’re chosen.

The ending of the episode takes a deeply dark and drastic turn. We see Samir shaving off his hair. While simultaneously in America, Felix, Massih and Rebecca get ready for the show. Just around the time, Jibril is also practicing as he is about to make his first public statement at Ramallah Grand Mosque. Suddenly, Massih leaves in a car, and Rebecca decides to step up. Jibril and Rebecca are shown to be walking simultaneously to the stage as they address a crowd about Al Massih.

It is then revealed that Samir is sent to the mosque as suicide bomber. What follows is a deeply horrifying scene as a terrified Samir goes to blow up the mosque and everyone in it. Jibril and Samir see each other, and after a moment, Samir decides not the press the trigger. But Sheikh Fez in the car outside presses the button, blowing up the mosque. At the same time, Rebecca has severe epileptic attack on stage and faints. It is then revealed that Massih left with Aviram and his men.

Messiah Season 1 Episode 9 Review:

What an ending. What a sad, horrifying, tragic ending to the episode. It feels like the timebomb I spoke of previously, finally went off. Literally too. We finally stepped on a mine in the minefield. To be honest, I can’t really say what I feel about the episode. I knew from the start that something terrible will happen to Jibril. I had a feeling something bad will happen to the young ones. But never had I expected it to turn out like this. When I figured it out, I wished there was another way to it.

Who would have thought looking back at Episode 5 of ‘Messiah’ that things will end up like this for Jibril and Samir. Samir who left for Jordan because he wanted to live became just a pawn in a larger political game that cost him his life. Jibril, who was just following his heart, was perhaps another pawn in the bigger game, or maybe his cause meant something. But he was too young to know what he is speaking about. This is why despite practising his lines, he forgets them,and ends up speaking about what he felt when he was at the border, and about Al Massih. As the old prophet mentioned, Jibril can only speak of what he truly believes in. The same can be said of Rebecca’s speech as she addresses the crowds and talks of Al Massih being the messenger and the eye of the storm.

If there is one thing the episode reveals, it is all the heartbreaks and sorrow that take place due to Al Massih, and the faith people have in him. Staci loses her marriage and her daughter. Anna experiences the same after Massih enters her life. Both Samir and Jibril lose their lives for a cause they weren’t even a part of all because of their involvement with Al Massih. The same happens with Rebecca who believes she’s chosen by Al Massih and puts herself out there, only to suffer from a severe epileptic attack.

In previous review I spoke of how there seems to be a sense of honesty in Al Massih. But as it happens with every episode, I don’t think I feel the same anymore. Especially after learning about Payam’s involvement with writing Cultural Terrorist. Maybe he’s just too smart that he seems to be good. This begins to make more sense after the tragic ending to the episode. By now, with each passing episode I feel like I am plucking off the petals from a metaphorical flower as I question “He’s good”, “No, he’s bad” consistently. One thing the show does well is that it continues to leave viewers hanging even this late in the season. I wonder if we finally get our answers in the season finale. We better.

Read More: Where Was Messiah Filmed?

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