Don’t adjust your sets. We’re starting out in Rome, in 93 AD, where an unfortunate guy named Juan is about to get a hot oil bath for preaching about Jesus. Plus he won’t bow to the Emperor, so it’s a thumbs down and into the bath he goes.
And since Jesus is Juan’s BFF, Juan just bobs back up in the giant cauldron, completely unharmed.
The Emperor’s guards swear the next guy they tossed in fell apart, so they don’t know what the problem is.
The Emperor decides they’ll go for the backup plan–Juan’s being exiled to the island of Patmos.
The soldier in charge of this trip gloats about Juan not having anyone to preach to on Patmos about his god.
Juan asks him what’s up with the hostility? He saw what happened with the oil. What more does he need?
The captain sees a storm approaching, but the soldier tells him to stay on course.
Which was a terrible idea, because the boat gets caught up in the storm and tosses everyone off. Juan somehow saves the Roman soldier and hauls him to shore, where they’re found by the other survivors in the morning.
They get Juan to some shade, but he’s still staying there until he dies. He thanks God for helping him cheat death yet again.
The soldier brings Juan a change of clothes and thanks Juan for saving him.
But of course it wasn’t him, personally. Does this soldier really think an old guy like him could’ve survived those waves alone? He’s seen two miracles. What more does he need?
The soldier can’t understand why Juan’s being respectful when he’s been such an ass.
Because Jesus said “Love your neighbor.”
The soldier asks how he can learn more about Juan’s god.
Juan gets a visit from an angel and has a meeting with God. Juan’s going to ghostwrite the story of the end of the world. (Revelations 1:1)
Now we jump to Rio in the 80s. Our narrator brags about how long he’s been manipulating humanity, taking advantage of every opportunity to make them suffer. And he’s been trying to get rid of that book, but it’s a losing battle.
A guy named Osvaldo starts reading the bible in prison. (John 12:47)
The other prisoners have been plotting their escape, but Osvaldo would rather stay in and read.
And a few years later, Osvaldo’s getting out of prison, but his bro, Felipe, is still angry at him, according to the narrator. The narrator has a plan for the daughter Osvaldo will have later.
Our narrator is tired of hanging out backstage. He’s ready to make his big entrance and no one will see it coming.
In Jerusalem, two people are being buried. One young woman notices another young woman noticing a young man.
The one with bangs is Hanna, and her sister is Debora, who’s engaged to the guy Hanna was checking out at the funeral. Something about Debora snogging some other guy makes me think she’s not all that serious about the engagement.
The funeral earlier was for the brother of the guy with the dark beard and his wife, who I think are the parents of Debora’s fiancé. Jonathan (the brother) always said he wanted to be buried in Jerusalem. Not that he and his wife were devout, they just felt a strong connection to the land of their ancestors.
Debora’s fiancé comes in with his cousin, Alan, and introduces him to Debora, Hanna, and their parents Gideon and Tamar.
It sounds like Alan is the son of the people who were buried earlier. He’s headed back to NY for school and what a coincidence, so is Debora. Both Gideon and fiancé ask Alan to look out for Debora while she’s in New York. Yeah, we all know how that’s going to go.
But first, Debora and her bestie Ariela go party.
Debora gets home late and gets a scolding from her mom. Mom doesn’t believe the “out late studying” story, but what’s she gonna do.
Debora’s family and the fiancé say goodbye to Debora before she leaves for the US.
Felipe (the brother of Osvaldo) is in New York. He’s not having any luck getting a job and he’s been eating out of the trash and sleeping on the street. But what he tells his mom is that he has a job and food and a place to live, but he just hasn’t been able to get any money together to send to her.
Osvaldo feels awkward because Felipe didn’t mention him in his letter at all.
So Debora’s in New York now and our narrator engineers a meeting between her and a friend of Alan’s with the help of some copier toner. Kidding, but that’s totally what it looks like. This demon dust makes Debora drop her folders and makes the guy walking with Alan just happen to notice her and walk over. Debora faints and he catches her.
Alan introduces Debora to his friend, dead-eyed Adriano. Seriously, this guy gives off a creepy vibe. Alan says Debora’s his cousin’s fiancée. Adriano doesn’t seem to care. Debora introduces her roomie, Susana, who’s already making eyes at Alan.
They head for a café where Adriano can complain about how terrible the “expresso” is here (and I can complain about it being eSpresso). Adriano’s from Rome. Debora’s majoring in biomedical science with Susana. They’ve decided they’re going to find cures for diseases and save the world.
Alan asks if they think the world can still be saved. Susana thinks so, if everyone does their part. Alan agrees–they can’t just expect God to save it.
Debora asks Adriano what he’s going to do to help the planet. (It sounds like a pick-up line.)
Nothing. He’s just gonna make money. Alan’s the dreamer.
Adriano’s had enough of talk and bad coffee. He wants to take Debora out and show her New York. Alan invites himself along, since his cousin appointed him Debora’s protector. Adriano promises he’ll take good care of her virtue.
New York is our narrator’s favorite city. He goes on to talk about how easy men are to seduce, but women need a little more work. The right words and a little bit of charm (and keeping your soulless eyes behind dark glasses) do the trick. These two–Debora and Adriano–are his parents. (Wait, so…our narrator is the Antichrist?)
He’s always liked brunettes, but he had genetic reasons for picking Debora. As for Adriano, he’s Debora’s type and he’ll help his evil spawn gain a strategic alliance.
Debora and Adriano spend time together–going to the theater, running around in Central Park. Adriano gives her an expensive-looking necklace.
Sometime later, there’s a party at Adriano’s apartment. Alan’s worried that Debora’s drinking too much. Susana hands him a drink and tells him he should maybe be worried about other things…people…maybe someone else at this party needs his attention. Alan finally gets a clue.
The party’s over and Adriano has gotten everyone but Debora out of his apartment. He’s thinking tonight’s the night, but she wants more time. She’s fine with “everything but.”
The demon dust, however, has plans of its own.