The Young Pope: Does it Matter that we don’t know how Lenny was Elected?


The biggest mystery of the show is barely stressed or teased

The Young Pope is a strange show in which a kangaroo is able to run free across the papal palace. Lenny hasn’t been Pope all that long and his plans aren’t all that clear. What is even less clear than that, however, is how he became Pope in the first place. There have been two episodes so far and that little detail has been left unsaid. In fact, it has only been brought up less than a handful of times. It can’t be all that important, can it?

The only thing we know for sure is that Cardinal Michael was expecting himself to win. He says as much directly Lenny, saying that it should have been him. That’s not how it turned out. Just how did an American stage such a coup to become the youngest Pope in history? There’s no way to know, at least not right now, and The Young Pope possibly isn’t interested in letting us in on that secret. We may never find out how it happened, and that seems to be the case according to this behind the scenes clip:

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Executive Producer Lorenzo Mielli clearly states that his election was a mystery. That doesn’t definitively tell us that The Young Pope won’t ever reveal that little secret, but that does feel like the implication. The Characters of The Young Pope don’t stop to wonder how Lenny won the election, they just come up with plans to deal with it. Because it’s not brought up often, it’s easy for the audience to gloss over it as well. Yes, it’s unbelievably weird that this man is now Pope. But the show works best when you just accept the fact and move on.

Next: Lenny doesn't care what you think of him.

There are more interesting moving pieces of The Young Pope, after all. Why does Sister Mary believe that Lenny is actually a Saint? What is Lenny’s relationship like with his adopted brother, Andrew? How it got to this point is of minor concern right now. How the chargers are going to deal with it is far more pressing.