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The dying have a special grace, and I think he saw straight into my heart. Honestly, I didn't want him to live. I wanted his suffering to end and for him to be with God where he could walk again and--and be happy. I wanted... I wanted him to die.
— Sister Molly to Tiago[src]

Sister Molly Finnister was a main character on Showtime's Penny Dreadful: City of Angels. She was portrayed by Kerry Bishé.[1]

Sister Molly was a charismatic radio evangelist. She was a beautiful singer and gifted orator. Molly captivated her many faithful followers even as she grappled with the complex demands of her life.[1]


Molly has been on the revival circuit since she was four years old. Many years ago, she and her mother were in Florida without a penny. They parked their car and pitched a tent near a marsh. A hurricane suddenly struck. Then it began raining and thunder storming. Finally, a truck full of men came by and took them in and found them shelter.

Throughout the Series[]

Season 1[]

Sister Molly prepares to go on stage. The curtains rise and Sister Molly takes center stage. She tells a story about meeting a man on the street on the search for the Lord and then sings. Afterward, she is approached by Detective Tiago Vega. As he asks about Hazlett and his position at the church, Tiago helps Sister Molly with the dishes. Molly didn’t know him well. She and her mother had dinner at his house two years ago. But she found that it’s difficult when getting too close to the parishioners, though Hazlett was always level-headed. Randolph, who’s tasked with protecting Molly’s "virtue," tells Tiago to get back to the truck, unaware that he's a detective. Molly assures him that it’s fine and continues talking to Tiago, who wonders why Sister Molly isn’t out front, where more people can see her. She’s "too famous" and prefers it in the kitchen, where it’s more quiet. Her life is busy with touring, doing a radio show and recording songs. Her calling is pastoral. She simply wishes to help people. She’s been on the revival circuit since she was four. She would sing a song and her mother would pass a hat. They went from town to town, all over Nebraska. Sooner or later, fate just found her.

Sister Molly tells Tiago about the time that one of the congregants became ill. She visited him at the hospital at his mother’s behest. He was in an iron lung, looking up at her through a mirror. Molly told his mother that she couldn’t heal him, but she did pray with him. He was very close to death, and Molly thinks that he saw straight through her. Admittedly, Molly wanted him to die and for his suffering to end, so that he could be with God. Tiago reveals that his brother is dying and that they need to take him off the respirator tomorrow. Molly asks if Tiago prays for Raul, or if he believes in miracles or God. He answers no to all three questions. However, he does recall believing as a kid that he saw Santa Muerte when his father died. Molly tells Tiago to find his grace and help his brother do so as well. When that little boy looked up at her, she couldn’t find the grace within herself, so she couldn’t possibly help him. The boy died two days later. She had to do a radio show that night. And then, she went home and cut her wrists. If his brother dies, Molly asks that Tiago come to her. Miss Adelaide and Randolph interrupt and inform Molly that the car is waiting.

Wicked Old World[]

At the Joyful Voices Ministry, Sister Molly rehearses her routine on stage as Miss Adelaide does accounting and Randolph reads a book. She cuts the song short, claiming she has a fitting with Brent. Miss Adelaide proposes that Randolph drive her, but Sister Molly turns down the offer, even as her mother insists. Molly has already agreed to wear the glasses and hat, but she doesn’t need a chaperone. She assures her mother that she’ll be home soon and leaves. As she does, Miss Adelaide signals Randolph to follow her, unbeknownst to Molly, who then goes into her room in search of an outfit.

Sister Molly stakes out the police department, waiting for Tiago to exit. As he does, she approaches him at the bus stop. She asks the talk and the two take a seat on the bench. She’s been praying for his brother. She presumes he died and asks if there’s been a service. Tiago reveals that his brother is recovering, much to Molly’s amazement. His bus arrives, but Tiago stays behind to continue talking with Molly. She reveals that she doesn’t get out by herself a lot and never gets a day off. There’s always work. Always pour souls in need of help. Tiago adds that it’s hard to leave them behind because they just stay in his head. While his captain recommended Seconal, Molly suggests Nembutal. She often wishes she was someone else entirely. A completely normal person. Tiago shares the same sentiment. He then offers her the chance to be someone else, just for the day.

Tiago takes Molly to the Santa Monica Pier. He plays a game at the shooting range and wins her a Popeye doll. Tiago shares with Molly how just after his seventh birthday, his father managed to scrape up enough money to bring all of them to the pier. They couldn’t afford to go on any of the rides, but it didn’t matter. They enjoyed being there. His brother Tomas and sister Gina were alive then. It was the best day of his life. They later died from Cholera. It was all over el barrio at the time. They all got sick, but some never recovered. Unbeknownst to them, they are being followed by Randolph.

Molly and Tiago look over the pier, into the ocean. Molly explains that she can’t bring Popeye home with her and gives him back to Tiago. Someone so jaunty has no place in her house. Tiago and Molly share a kiss. She offers to drive Tiago back to the station, but he intends to stay at the pier a bit longer, to continue enjoying what he calls the second best day of his life.

Molly returns home to the Joyful Voices Ministry. She tries to sneak into her room, but her mother is waiting for her. Miss Adelaide turns on the light and sings I’m Popeye the Sailor Man. Miss Adelaide sings outside of Molly’s door, as Molly sits on the floor, sobbing in the fetal position.

Josefina and the Holy Spirit[]

Molly arrives at the beach house Hazlett bought for the two of them to find that Tiago is there. Tiago asks why she lied to him about having an affair with Hazlett. Molly admits to sleeping with him. Furthermore, he wasn’t the first. But, she didn’t kill him. Molly tells Tiago that she’s not who he wants her to be. All she wants is to be left in peace. She asks that Tiago allow her that. She recalls how she and Tiago spent a day being someone else, but that’s over now. All the value from her life comes from being Sister Molly. And that’ll never change. She then leaves, but not before telling Tiago that she never wants to see him again.

Sister Molly speaks to her congregation. Josefina is among them. She asks them to join her; to stand up and be heard. She claims that Satan is among them and that they are not safe. She prays to the lord to save her. Her performance is so chilling that even Miss Adelaide momentarily appears concerned. Sister Molly welcomes her congregation to be saved. She touches each of them. When she gets to Josefina, Molly invites Josefina along with her on the holy road and kisses her forehead.

Later, Tiago finds Molly at the Joyful Voices Ministry washing dishes and decides to join her.

Children of the Royal Sun[]

Molly and Tiago return to her beach house, where they have sex. Afterward, Molly tells Tiago about her lowest point in life. Many years ago, she and her mother were in Florida without a penny. They parked their car and pitched a tent near a marsh. A hurricane suddenly struck. Then it began raining and thunder storming. Finally, a truck full of men came by and took them in and found them shelter. Molly is very much aware of how Tiago sees dragon of a mother. But there are times where Molly finds herself grateful for the dragon’s roar. She’ll always be in debt to her mother for introducing her to God and giving her useless life a purpose. Molly then inquires about Tiago’s scar. He tells her he’s had it since he was a kid. He and his father were working in the fields. Suddenly, there was a fire. Tiago tried to save him but couldn’t. Molly recognizes the burn as a handprint and tells Tiago that it’s a blessing.

Josefina tells the story of her assault to Sister Molly; how she was assaulted by a police officer while walking home with her brother. Molly promises Josefina that the pain will go away and she must know that too many others have suffered in the same way, but have come out on the other side so much stronger. She then tells Josefina a story about her and her mother in Florida when she was 10. They got caught in a terrible storm. A group of men said they would help them out. They sat in the warm truck. Molly’s mother in the front seat, laughing and drinking, while she was in the back. However, most of it is a blur. She recalls rain on the windows, tobacco smell, and her wet dress. And then suddenly she realized "Where is my mother?" Molly assures Josefina that she will make it through this. She also advises Josefina to kick any future attackers in the groin. Josefina laughs and tells Molly how her brother, who is a policeman, taught her how to put a suspect in a choke-hold. Molly then realizes that Josefina is Tiago’s sister.

How It Is With Brothers[]

Sister Molly and Miss Adelaide have breakfast together. She recalls how often they struggled in the past and how they were always hungry. Adelaide tells Molly how she used to get lonely. And in those times, she’d remember her purpose; that she wasn’t living just for herself and what a privilege that is. Molly doesn’t know what to do about her feelings for Tiago. Adelaide reminds her daughter that she’s Sister Molly and that’s the only person she’s ever been. She worries that they’ll lose everything if Molly isn’t fully committed to the church. Later, Sister Molly sings in front of the congregation. Josefina watches from the crowd with the other church goers. Miss Adelaide looks on from behind the curtain.

Maria and the Beast[]

Tiago grabs a drink at the bar following Diego’s false confession. On his way home, he finds Molly waiting outside his apartment. She notices that Tiago's had a rough night and offers to help shave his face. She’s got experience as she often helps shave the faces of those at the soup kitchen. Admittedly, James Hazlett was important to Molly, so she questions Diego’s motive, but Tiago simply tells her that Diego is the killer. Molly tells Tiago that she loves him before kissing him. The two of them then head upstairs into his apartment.

Hide and Seek[]

Molly baptizes several members of her congregation, including Josefina. Unfortunately, Tiago witnesses the act. Afterward, she helps Josefina with her hair. Molly tells Josefina that while she can live at the Temple for as long as she wants, she urges Josefina to stay at home with her family. However, Josefina is tired of hiding and fighting about her beliefs. If she doesn’t get out now, she’ll marry another Mexican, have kids, and end up as a maid like her mother. Molly wonders why Josefina wants to dye her hair red. Josefina replies that her brother Raul has a picture of his wall of a Gibson Girl from an old magazine. She had hair like a sunrise, and Josefina thought it was beautiful.

Molly visits Tiago at her apartment to explain herself for not telling him earlier that Josefina has joined her congregation. She explains that she was simply trying to help after Josefina confided in her. Josefina wants to join the Temple, and Molly is in no position to turn her away. She also couldn’t tell Tiago because she didn’t want to betray Josefina’s trust. Tiago tells Molly that his family doesn’t need her and that he’ll take care of his sister. They both realize that this relationship will never work, but neither can stop. Tiago tells her to leave, but she tells him that she needs what they have to be real. Tiago pulls Molly close, and they kiss.

Sing, Sing, Sing[]

Molly and Tiago spend the day on the beach. He tells Molly how Lewis is worried about him and wants him to stay hidden. However, Tiago will be back to work on Monday. There will be a ceremony. Tiago and Lewis are getting citations for the Hazlett case. Molly wants to go out in public. She’s tired of hiding with Tiago. She recalls their date on the pier. That’s the day she fell in love with Tiago because he allowed her to be herself. She wants to do that again just for one night. Tiago cautiously agrees.

Molly asks Tiago where he was born. He tells her while Josefina was born in Belvedere Heights, he was born in Sonoratown. All of them in a tiny little room, with no bathroom or hot water. So, his parents worked like mules and saved up every penny until they could move. She envies that Tiago has such pride in where he comes from. Molly, on the other hand, grew up in the backseat of her mother’s car. All over the midwest. Even Canada. She remarks that maybe they’ll have a real house one day.

Molly and Tiago enter the Crimson Cat. Tiago notices his mother and brother over at a table. He is reluctant to introduce Molly as his family is complicated. She says that she’s not ashamed and pushes Tiago to introduce her. Tiago introduces Molly to Maria and Raul, who tells tales of their past. He claims that Tiago is a natural born liar. Whenever something got broke, "little innocent Tiago" was never to blame. Maria adds that he was a good boy. Maria then asks how they met. Tiago reveals that they met while he was working a case and that she’s in public service. Maria asks if she’s a teacher. Molly replies that she’s partially correct. Raul then warns Molly that Maria is very protective of Tiago, who leaves to get drinks.

Raul has been sharing with Molly stories of their past. Molly is jealous. She’s never had any brothers or sisters and always wanted to be part of a big family. Maria then realizes that Molly is Sister Molly. She blames Molly for taking Tiago and Josefina from her. Tiago tells his mother to sit down and show her some respect. Josefina and Mateo join them. Josefina accuses Molly of lying to her. Maria blames Tiago for dividing the family. Mateo adds that a Chicano girl isn’t good enough for a white cop. He tells Tiago to be proud of their skin and nothing he does will change how they look. "No matter how many gringa putas you fuck." Tiago demands that everyone stop. His whole life, he’s disappointed people. He doesn’t believe in God or Santa Muerte, like Maria. He doesn’t join the union, like Raul. He’s not Chicano enough. He’s not white enough. He’s not cop enough. He’s not anything enough. But he knows who he is and that he loves Molly. He tells them they can turn their backs if they want, but this is who he is. Maria laughs and tells Tiago that he should have been a priest. Mateo looks to Molly and says that maybe she’s the priest. Tiago suggests that they start over and introduces Molly to everyone. Maria accepts Tiago’s passion for Molly, as he’s her soul, as are her other children. Molly promises she wouldn’t do anything to hurt Tiago or Josefina. Tiago then goes over to Mateo and tells him that he loves him and that sometime soon, they should talk. Tiago then takes Molly to dance as Raul partners with Josefina, and Mateo with Maria.

Day of the Dead[]

Tiago explains to Molly the reason in which they celebrate the Day of the Dead. They go to the cemetery and toast to relatives, including Tiago’s father, brother Tomas, and sister Gina, who both died before Mateo was born. They light candles and tell stories. Tiago invites Molly to join them next weekend. She asks if he’s ready for that, and he kisses her. She then tells Tiago that she loves him.

he following morning, Martial Law is instated. Tiago looks out his window to see that the army has been stationed on the streets of Los Angeles. Molly offers to take care of his hand, which he injured during the riot. She remarks that his family was very kind to her. She’s never had a large family or big Christmas. It was also just her and her mother. Her mother had four children before Molly, but none of them survived. She won’t even tell Molly their names. Molly’s always wanted a sister as well as bunk beds. Tiago states that the men who attacked him would’ve kicked him to death in the street. All Tiago is to them is just another spic. He claims that he can see it in Molly’s eyes too and tells her to find a white man to be with.

Molly realizes that Tiago is simply releasing his frustrations and that he doesn't mean what he's saying. However, Tiago argues that the two of them could never be together. They can’t even go outside and hold hands. She suggests they run away together. Possibly New York or Mexico. She wants to live her life with Tiago regardless of the cost. As for Sister Molly, last night was the first time that Molly felt as if she had banished her. She was truly happy. Tiago doesn’t want Molly to give up her life for him. However, she’s doing it for herself. As she can no longer endure being both Molly and Sister Molly. And with that, Tiago agrees to run away with Molly. The phone then rings. It’s Lewis. He wants Tiago to meet him downstairs.

At the Joyful Voices Ministry, Molly and Miss Adelaide debate whether it’s appropriate to get involved in politics. Molly explains that she has a responsibility to say something given that Martial Law has been instated. Molly then tells her mother that after tonight’s show, she’ll be leaving for a while. Because if she doesn’t, she’ll try to kill herself again, showing her mother the partially healed wounds on her wrists. Miss Adelaide suspects this is because of Tiago. She no longer cares if Molly is with him, but she can’t leave the church. Molly no longer wants to be a part of the church. She was four years old when her mother threw her in the revival tent. Miss Adelaide will not allow Molly to shirk her responsibilities. Molly welcomes her mother to try and stop her. She tells her mother to just let her go. Adelaide fears that she's lost Molly. She wrestled four children out of her womb before Molly and the Lord took them all, so that she could have Molly. Adelaide then reveals that Molly has no idea how much she’s done for her. When she was threatened, Miss Adelaide became God’s righteous minister of death. When James Hazlett fell in love, threatening Molly’s position at the church, Adelaide took care of it. She confesses to having James Hazlett and his family killed. Adelaide tells Molly that no one will ever be allowed to threaten her work and that she doesn’t want to hear anymore talk about Molly leaving.

Molly sits in the pool of the ministry, where she comes face-to-face with Santa Muerte. She asks if Molly wants the top or bottom bunk. Molly tells her to choose just moments before falling into Santa Muerte’s arms and dying from having slit her wrist.

Appearance and Personality[]

Molly is a young woman in her thirties with very light skin, blonde hair and grey eyes.

Powers and Abilities[]

Molly has an amazing singing voice, so powerful that it often appears to mesmerize her congregation.


Season 1[]

Memorable Quotes[]

"The dying have a special grace, and I think he saw straight into my heart. Honestly, I didn't want him to live. I wanted his suffering to end and for him to be with God where he could walk again and--and be happy. I wanted... I wanted him to die."
—Sister Molly to Tiago[src]

"My mother had four children before me. None of them survived. She wouldn't even tell me their names. Oh, God, how I longed for a sister and a bunk bed. I used to look at pictures of bunk beds in the Montgomery Ward catalog and dream about what that would be like. You know, would I want the top bunk or the bottom? I decided I would let my sister choose."
—Molly to Tiago[src]