Mrs. Davis S1E1 Recap and Analysis: A Classic Force

“Mother of Mercy: The Call of the Horse”

Mrs. Davis S1E1 - Simone faces sideways with a dart sticking out of her chest, the German who shot her blurry in the background

The following recap contains spoilers for Mrs. Davis S1E1, “Mother of Mercy: The Call of the Horse” (written by Tara Hernandez & Damon Lindelof and directed by Owen Harris)

Welcome, dear reader, as we begin to review the Peacock series Mrs. Davis with Episode 1, “Mother of Mercy: The Call of the Horse.” Well, that was quite the kickoff to this unusual series. A medieval nun massacre. A rescued castaway. A decapitated call girl. And that’s just the first 16 minutes.

The rest of the episode sets our heroine, Sister Simone of the Our Lady of the Immaculate Valley convent, upon her quest. Actually, she is given two quests. The “Boss” gives Simone a new target. A name that Jay doesn’t want to pass along, because facing Her is an “enormous mistake.” The Algorithm gives Simone a more traditional quest. A quest so traditional that it’s cliché: the Quest for the Holy Grail.

Along the way, we are introduced to dozens of little mysteries, just as we would hope for from a Damon Lindelof-helmed series. This promises to be a fun ride. Let’s get started.

Simone looks over her shoulder into the camera, Jay looking at her fuzzy in the background
Take it up with the Boss?

Pineapple Falafels

On her way back from rescuing the mark from his would-be exploiters, Simone stops in at the diner run by Jay. She tells him of her little adventure and asks for a new target. Apparently, her odd hobby of exposing wayward magicians is being fed by the Boss. Jay just acts as the middleman and doesn’t seem to know why this time the order slip is blank. There is no name.

Later, during her private birthday drink with Mother Superior, she confesses that there is a man in her life, by which she is obviously referring to Jay. There is more to their relationship than him being her handler for the Boss. Does she love him? Indeed she does, but there is no sex involved, “at least not in the traditional sense.”

We finally figure out what this means upon her second visit to Jay’s diner. This is not a real place, at least not in the traditional sense. It’s a type of mind palace. Are Jay and the Boss real? Well, someone has been feeding her the names of two-bit illusionists, so let’s say yes. In fact, let’s just go ahead and state the obvious, Jay is Jesus and the Boss is his dad. You know, God. Thus Sister Simone, a nun, loves Jesus, but not in a sexual way. Kind of makes sense, actually.

Is this Heaven though? Well, the falafels are heavenly, we can only say that much for the moment. Should we be worried that the diner is “in the midst of a potential flood” on her second visit? Past associations between God and floods did not turn out so good for the human race. Though maybe this is just the Boss getting back at Jay for defying his will and not passing along the order slip with the name on it. Let’s hope that’s all it turns out to be.

Simone has strawberry jam splattered all over her and looks angry
Sister Simone is in a jam

Strawberry Jam

Simone’s life in the convent is simple and yet idyllic. Everything she’s ever wanted is right there in that place. Like any good story, the routine is established, and then the routine is broken. Mother Superior goes through three drinks with Simone, not the usual one and done. She’s clearly trying to build up the courage to talk to her about something, but ultimately giving up and declaring it “time for bed.”

The next morning, as the sisters prepare to head out on a jam run, a helicopter lands and whisks Mother Superior away. The woman in the helicopter has marks on her arm and looks scared. One sister wonders if they took Mother to the place where they make you…dead. Uh, what?

Mrs. Davis then pulls off an elaborate scam to destroy the convent’s livelihood, drawing them into a shaved ice stand trap and blowing up all their jam. She is also clearly responsible for the convent being sold and the sisters being sent off to the four corners of the world (though pretty nice assignments, from the sound of it). All because Simone will not talk to “It.”

Mrs. Davis S1E1 - Wiley and Simone jump through a giant donut on a motorcycle as the Germans chase them
That was pretty cool

Manna Donuts

Then things get really crazy (as if they weren’t already) when Simone is kidnapped by the Germans. Bumbling, over-the-top, conspiratorial Germans who want to know what she knows, because they seek the same thing the Algorithm does. Though at this point, Simone doesn’t know what that is. To say that these villains are cartoonish would be an overstatement. They actually use a giant butterfly net to try to catch Simone during the motorcycle chase. Wow.

Simone is rescued by Wiley, who we pretty much know from all the pre-release information is an ex-lover of hers. Wiley wants to take her back to the headquarters of the Resistance, who are resisting the same thing Simone is, the Algorithm. He might have had her too, had he not blown up her horse.

Fed up with both of the men in her life, Simone finally caves in and follows the directions given to her by the two little girls in the restaurant and meets via proxy with Mrs. Davis. Mrs. Davis tells Simone that she is “quite literally the only person on the planet who can accomplish what I’m about to ask.” She/It cheerfully confesses to destroying Simone’s life in a classic force to get her to come to this meeting.

Mrs. Davis wants Simone to find the Holy Grail and destroy it—nicely bringing the episode full circle, having started with a nun tasked with hiding the Holy Grail to preserve it. In exchange, Simone will be granted a wish, within the fundamental laws of nature of course. Simone jumps on the opportunity and proposes that Mrs. Davis shut herself down. She/It agrees and they shake on it.

Mrs. Davis S1E1 - A redheaded nun in a fighting stance with the caption "We ARE the Templar"
Templar nuns are quite badass

Quick Takes

A couple of quick takes on the rest of the episode and other tangentially related things:

  • The burning at the stake of members of the Knights Templar in 1307 was a real historical event stemming from the Trials of the Knights Templar that would span from 1307 to 1310, and eventually lead to their official suppression by the Pope in 1312.
  • That said, the show is taking some liberties here, as the fateful Friday the 13th of that October was only the day in which first series of arrests were ordered by France’s King Philip IV. This event is sometimes credited for giving that day it’s superstitious bona fides as a day of ill luck.
  • Who were the “sisters across the sea” that the Templar Mother Superior referred to? This would have been much too early to be referencing the Americas.
  • What was so important about the knight’s armored boots that the Templar sister risked going back to the town square and fishing them out of the ashes?
  • Interesting that Schrodinger (the castaway scientist) had a sword on the beach.
  • He was preparing the rocket fuel in a mortar bowl that looked very much like the Grail. Some folks have theorized exactly that, but to my eye it was not at all the same bowl.
  • Of course, Schrodinger has a cat. Though he appears to be very much alive (so far).
  • The cat’s name is Apollo, a religious reference to the Greek god of practically everything. Though it could also be a reference to NASA’s Apollo space program, since Schrodinger was building and launching a rocket.
  • Schrodinger himself was considered dead while he was actually alive.
  • What is the “so sad” thing Mrs. Davis knows about Schrodinger?
  • The con artist magicians are named Guinevere, Morgana, and Lance—obvious Arthurian references.
  • Along with the obvious themes of science versus religion, technology versus faith, we are also assigning genders to these adversaries. Science and technology are being represented by “Her,” the Algorithm. Religion and faith are being represented by “Him,” the Boss, i.e. God. To draw the parallel a little tighter, Jesus even refers to Mrs. Davis as being “all-knowing and all-powerful.”
  • Jay refers to the Boss in the plural when he tells Simone she can take it up with “them.” If he’s referring to the Trinity though, isn’t he part of “them?”
  • Of course, when Simone visits him the second time, Jay says “Thank God, it’s about time,” thinking she is the plumber. So does that imply that God is external to this reality? Maybe the Boss is not God after all?
  • How did Mrs. Davis kill Simone’s dad?
  • Simone’s horse is literally “A Horse with No Name.”
  • Simone has some interesting scars. A bullet entry and exit wound, it appears, and then maybe also a C-section scar?
  • There are 18 candles on the birthday cake. Has Simone been a nun for 18 years?
  • Who is the woman in the helicopter? What is up with the marks on her arm?
  • What is the significance of 2,546 pieces of silver? One theory that has popped up is that it is a reference to the Chicago song “25 or 6 to 4.”
  • What is up with Simone saying “cha-cha-cha” instead of “amen?” Was that a little Easter egg that the bus had “CHA” displayed beside Simone when the doors were up for loading luggage?
  • Is the “owl room” an Easter egg reference to Twin Peaks? The owls are not what they seem.
  • There’s been a lot of online comparisons to several other shows/movies, including Preacher, Warrior Nun, Watchmen, The Big Lebowski, Her (2013), and of course Lost.
  • Speaking of Lost, we have a “HATCH” reference. Nice.
  • What is the significance of the queen of hearts playing card that Mrs. Davis gifted Simone?
  • Davis’ manipulations to get Simone to talk to her are not really a “classic force” since Simone knows all along that she is being manipulated into the meeting and at no time does she think it’s her idea to do so.
  • If you are wondering about the bizarre episode titles, it is because they allowed an AI to generate them. Not quite ready to replace Hollywood writers just yet, IMHO.
  • Kudos to Redditor u/tdciago on r/MrsDavisTVSeries for many more interesting catches enumerated in this post: Episode 1: Things I Noticed on Rewatch (beware of potential spoilers for Episodes 2–4 though).
Mrs. Davis S1E1 - The Holy Grail sits on a table full of other dining table implements, with golden sunlight beaming down upon it
The Holy Grail

Best lines of the episodes:

  • “We did not consort with the Templar. We ARE the Templar!”
  • “Present Day. Not Paris. Obviously.”
  • “The world was broken when you disappeared, Mr. Schrodinger, but the Algorithm fixed it.”
  • “Wait, so they’re con artists?” “Worse. They’re magicians.”
  • “Jesus, you’re so intense, man.”
  • “Wishes are for little girls.”
  • “You’re all fired.”
  • “See the way I jumped through that doughnut? That was pretty cool, right?” “What? No. I mean, yeah, sort of.”
  • “Did you just kill my horse?”
  • “I’m betting someone who had a lot of disappointment in their life said that to you.”
Mrs. Davis S1E1 - A family, dad, mom and twin daughters in pageant costume, sit at a restaurant booth, all looking intently into the camera
Ever get the feeling you’re being watched?


Obviously, I love it. This was a perfect pilot, making me definitely want more. These are characters I already care for and want to learn more about. The story is moving forward nicely and the seeds have been planted for much more to come. I’m enjoying the mix of goofy humor played upon the backdrop of serious philosophical themes. Of course, I also have a special soft spot for stories that play on Christian mythology, like Lucifer, Preacher, and Good Omens. This is definitely in my wheelhouse.

That’s all for this week. Please let us know your thoughts and feelings about this week’s episode, and any theories you have on what’s to come, in the comments below.

All images courtesy of Peacock

Written by Brien Allen

Brien Allen is the last of the original crazy people who responded to this nutjob on Facebook wanting to start an online blog prior to Twin Peaks S3. Some of his other favorite shows have been Vr.5, Buffy, Lost, Stargate: Universe, The OA, and Counterpart. He's an OG BBSer, Trekkie, Blue Blaze Irregular, and former semi-professional improviser. He is also a staunch defender of putting two spaces after a period, but has been told to shut up and color.

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