Amazon Prime’s ‘Paper Girls’ is a story of four girls who travel in time. What starts as an accident turns into a series of travels where the girls end up next to different versions of themselves in the past and the future. While they try to figure out how time travel works and if they will ever find a way back to their original timeline, they have to keep an eye out for the soldiers of the Old Watch, whose task is to kill anyone who time travels. One of those soldiers is Prioress. She is dangerous and relentless and it looks like she can go to any extent to find and kill the girls. This is why it is very shocking when she comes to their aid, in the end. As the four of them run away, Prioress is left behind to deal with the Old Watch, whom she has severely betrayed. Does this mean the end for her? Is she really dead? Let’s find out.
Is Prioress Dead?
While it looks like she is dead, one can’t say that she is gone for good in the finale of ‘Paper Girls’ Season 1. From the beginning of the show, Prioress is portrayed as a ruthless person who is hell-bent on finding the paper girls, possibly with the intention of killing them. She is extremely dangerous because she didn’t give a shred of care about whom she hurts in the quest to finish her mission. In 2019, she attacks KJ’s parents when she discovers that they know something about the hockey stick with which KJ had, unintentionally, killed her brother. It is also revealed that Prioress is highly skilled at her job, and is very good at duping people into believing that she is a harmless person.
Time and again, the girls cross paths with her. She chases after them through timelines, and they barely escape her. In the end, when it looks like they are stuck in the 1999 timeline for the next seven years, Prioress shows up. There is nowhere to run and the girls willingly surrender when the Grandfather shows up to have a little chat with them. However, once they are taken to the Old Watch headquarters, a shift in Prioress’ behavior surfaces when she discovers that one of the girls is named Tiffany Quilkin.
She reveals to the girls that the war between STF and the Old Watch has been going on for a very long time. Ever since she got caught up in it, she has been trying to put out the fires caused by the STF terrorists, who are trying to change the timeline to serve their own purpose. This war is a direct result of the discovery made by Dr. Joan Braunstein. It is indicated that Braunstein and her team are responsible for giving STF the tools they need to alter the timeline. In the future, Tiffany, too, will be a part of this team. But now that she is here, Prioress asks her to take a look around and see how much a mess the world is in. She wants Tiffany to go to the future and tell her future self to stop this war, one way or another.
Prioress is dedicated to ending the war, and from one of her conversations with the Grandfather, it looks like she is frustrated with the Old Watch following all the ethical rules and whatnot when she could end the STF rebellion singlehandedly. However, she knows that the Grandfather will never allow her to take that route, so when she finds young Tiffany, she tries to take another approach to solve the issue. This is the only chance she’ll get to manipulate the future, and hence the past, and it seems like she is ready to give her life for the cause, which is exactly what happens in the end.
While fighting the Old Watch guards, she is fatally shot in the back. Despite her injuries, she succeeds in sending the girls to two different timelines, hoping they’ll get to stop the war. To help her heal, the girls release the robotic flies on her. Had she received a few more minutes, the flies would have healed her completely. However, as a punishment, the Grandfather retrieves the flies and lets Prioress bleed on the stairs. This makes it look like she might not make it, but, because we don’t actually see her dead, there is a possibility that she may have survived her wounds. However, if we follow her arc in the comics, it is more likely that she succumbed.
The thing about shows like ‘Paper Girls’ is that death doesn’t really mean much because a person always exists in some other time. So, even if Prioress died sending the girls into different timelines, this is not the last we’ll see of her. She still exists in all the moments when she was alive and because she was an important part of the Old Watch, there is a good chance that the girls will come across her again, though she might not be the same person that saved them.