In Greenleaf, a series that now arrives in its third season, we have an evangelical church run by a charismatic pastor, with tens of thousands of followers scattered around the world, but who abuses his power over the faithful and corrupts himself, showing obvious greed in his search of earning easy money (watch here).
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Easy come, easy go: his family, which ends up entering the scheme of marital betrayal, deep secrets and crimes like money laundering, ends up being directly affected.
Does this all sound familiar? For some people, this plot has already been seen again and again through the countless evangelical congregations that, while claiming to spread the word of God, also conceal various twisted relations with power. There are loads of examples, but do not name them, just open Google or the newspapers to find out who the local examples are.
However, in Greenleaf, unlike what happens in the real life of these false prophets, both the leader and the members of his family begin to pay the price of their ambition.
Corruption above all else
In this third season, Pastor James Greenleaf, leader of a powerful American evangelical church, begins to feel the effects of unbridled greed. We follow the overthrow’s onset of this controversial figure, who publicly shows himself to be an enlightened God’s correspondent person on earth, but who behind the scenes, succumbed to lust, extramarital affairs and crimes such as money laundering. These situations begin to get exposed, creating a rift between the leader, his wife, his children and the congregation he founded.
The third season of Greenleaf, therefore, is certainly the most powerful so far of this sensational series co-produced by Oprah Winfrey. It shows perfectly the hypocrisy of pastors who, in the name of faith, use the people’s naiveté to enrich and take advantage of mundane blessings wholly incompatible with what they preach at the pulpit. James Greenleaf preaches the Prosperity Theology, which is to say that the wealth that people cultivate on earth is the will of God for them. It is clear that this theory is only an excuse to enrich without being accountable to the society that holds these privileges (and here is one more similarity to the evangelical churches, since almost every single one of them make use of this same Theology).
Being the corruption of souls and values the main motto of Greenleaf so far, this third season begins to show that these crimes not always compensate. The American government begins to surround the Greenleafs’ church’s activities, causing embarrassment to them before the faithful. In addition, family relationships deteriorate even faster after the devastating events shown at the end of the previous season. In this new batch of episodes, it is clear that the use of the others’ good faith can generate gigantic punishments.
This new season of Greenleaf brings sensational performances by the main couple, played by Keith David and Lynn Whitfield. Both are fantastic at being absurdly manipulative, cultivating an image of a couple united by God in front of the faithful, but who are on a warpath behind the scenes. Surely their work this season will garner memories at next year’s awards.
More importantly, Greenleaf shows, without any fear of reprisal, the cogwheels of a church driven by the Prosperity Theology, and how these religious entities relate to politics in search of more power. Once again, people will recognize many examples, old and recent, of this spurious relation. Greenleaf, in its new season, proves that the religious maxim is money above all else, and corruption above all.
Trailer and additional information about Greenleaf Season 3 Netflix
Synopsis 1: For decades, behind the walls of a church to thousands, a family secret has lurked in the dark. Let there be light.
Synopsis 2: Although members of the Greenleaf family run a Memphis megachurch, their business and personal lives are tainted with greed, adultery and other sins.
Age rating: 14;