Altered Carbon Season 2 - Review

Monday, April 6, 2020 • 3 minutes to read

The ending of the season one left no doubts - Takeshi Kovacs lives, and we will see more of his adventures in next season. Thirty years after the Bancroft case, another Meth locates Kovacs and offers him a job and a new sleeve. Once again, Takeshi would have a chance to see Quellcrist Falconer.

A new sleeve means the new look of the main character, and a different actor is playing the leading role. That important story component allows TV series showrunners to introduce new actors or actresses for the leading role, which has some Doctor Who vibe. Something not so familiar in popular TV series, even those sci-fi.

The new season is shorter then the first one, and if you are into ratings, the second season also has higher scores in all review aggregators.

Fame is a fool’s idea of glory.

I was very positively surprised by the first season. I am a big fan of cyberpunk themes, the production was excellent, the main character was a complex person, and a detective-like plot was exciting to watch. If you like sci-fi, knows the genre, then you know what to expect.

It does not mean it is a series for everybody. This is definitely not a Woody Allen movie or a romantic comedy. This is cyberpunk, and that is not something you could see a lot on TV or in cinemas. This genre has some specific properties, which makes it not very popular. It is brutal, techie, political, and slightly philosophical.

Technology has conquered death, but with endless future comes endless past.

The first episode introduces us to some new characters and places and starts a new story, which at first looks very similar to the one from the first season. Of course, trying to tell the same story again just with different actors makes no sense, so an expected surprise and plot twist happens. And it disappoints.

Although the level of a story is not the like in the previous season, it is something a person who knows the series would expect. Unfortunately, all the following episodes except the last one are only worse. The plot has holes and dead ends, characters make irrational decisions, and side stories are better than the main one.

Immortality means an eternity of living with what we’ve done.

In general, the second season of Altered Carbon is very uneven. Some of the new characters introduce some fresh ideas and depth; for some, I cannot even understand what the reason to add them was. Moreover, the plot is a lot worse than the one in the first part. At least for my taste, it is drifting too much from the cyberpunk genre.

However, the biggest disappointment is Takeshi Kovacs. Apparently, with a new sleeve, Takeshi has also lost his character, part of his memory, and a lot of his intelligence. It looks like writers forget who the main character is, what his past is, and his motivations.

We are more than the sum of our intentions.

Through the whole second season of Altered Carbon, I did not experience that “just one more episode” syndrome. That probably summarizes it. Writers' decisions and ideas did not keep interested, I did not want to know what would happen next, have not attached to (almost) any character. Sometimes what Takeshi did or said have made me angry, as this would never happen for the person I met last season.

This season disappointed me. However, without spoiling it, the last episode has some bright sides. The writing was a lot better, some dialogues finally make sense, especially for non-main characters. I am almost sure there would be the third season, and I will still watch it.

My binary score: 0

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