Carnival Row Season 2 Eps. 1 & 2 Painfully Powerful Start: Review
Amazon's Carnival Row premiered two intensely powerful Season 2 episodes as the Orlando Bloom & Cara Delevingne-starrer nears its endgame.
The second season of Amazon's Carnival Row premiered its first two episodes this past week— enough to give a taste of what is to come and leave viewers wanting more. It was a fantastic start: strong, fast paced, and not feeling the need to waste time introducing us to characters all over again. It was not hard to pick up, even after all the years waiting for its second season. It felt seamless and did not miss a beat. The pacing was fast enough to give viewers the sense that something big is looming in the shadows, making your breath get caught in your throat.
The first thing and the biggest qualm I must note is: Zack Snyder would sure be proud of how dark this was filmed. At times I struggled to make out what was on my screen; even during the day, it still looked like it was night at the Burgue. I guess it did add to the tone of the city, but man, my eyes were not too happy. Though selfishly, I have to say, thankfully, Philo (Orlando Bloom) was pretty visible most times… ahem… but I digress. This was my only issue with the first two episodes. Other than that, I kind of wish I had rewatched the first season again to remember everything that transpired. This part it is not a hard pass since it definitely would have taken away from the tone of the episodes if this had indeed been fulfilled, so I am thankful for the season one recap videos that rekindled my memories and sparked my interest all over again.
This season definitely started off way better and more on edge than the first one with the first two episodes: "Fight or Flight" and "New Dawn." I really enjoyed the first two installments and very excited to get to relive these characters again. I am definitely curious to see where things will finally connect because right now, things seem very convoluted to even imagine where things will be headed. As the first season, despite the dark, it was still visually stunning; makeup and costume definitely add so much whimsy and reality to this show.
In regards to characters and storyline, it was seamless— everyone seems to have slipped right back into their characters without missing a single beat. Vignette (Cara Delevingne) is deep into the Ravens, and they have ambushed a train to steal medicine for the plague that seems to only affect faeries. However, there seems to be some tension between her and Dahlia (Chloe Pirrie), who reminds Vignette of her place and threatens to cut her wings if she pulls another stunt against her wishes. Philo, on his end, still seems to be getting caught up in the middle as he tries to take one for the team to rescue Darius (Ariyon Bakare) and then later on puts together a plan to announce who he really is to bring on controversy over Jonah (Arty Froushan), however, the Ravens end up cutting the party short to show everyone a taste of what is going on at the Row.
Although my favorite story has to be Agreus (David Gyasi) and Imogen (Tazmin Merchant), they were my least favorite characters on season 1 and quickly grew on me as their romance developed even when there seemed to be secrets kept from both sides. That said, they are still sailing in search of freedom and encounter a very hard wall that forces them to stop their trip short, and they are taken and captured by a new society that Agreus no longer recognizes. While Imogen is dropped off at a house and tested by who she believes to be a servant, Agreus is prosecuted and put in death row to be killed until someone intervenes at last moment. I wonder what his reaction meant when Imogen described the person who tested her. Agreus seemed to know the lady and not sure what the expression on his face was meant to portray worry or relief. That said, I am very much looking forward to exploring this place more, as it seems like everyone is free to be themselves and have lovers amongst all kinds.
However, there are two things I am most curious about (apart from where Agreus and Imogen are at): Sophie (Caroline Ford) and Tourmaline (Karla Crome). There seems to be something about Sophie, there is a secret she must be hiding, and indeed we see that she is hiding faefolk in her attic, and financially she does not seem to be doing very well off. Though it appears she has a plan she has set in motion to bring on change, but what type of change is she really after? In regards to Tourmaline, she now seems to bear a course from Haruspex Tsimani (Alice Krige) and is experiencing blackouts in which she seems to be in someone else's body and practicing black magic during those moments. I am curious to see what will come from this, and I hope she is not consumed by evil.
The first two episodes of Amazon's Carnival Row definitely did a great job in setting the tone for this second season and making me want more. At first I was happy I would not have to binge as it would give me more of a chance to absorb what transpires form episode to episode. However, not I wish there were more episodes out so I could finally start getting some answers. I can imagine things will take a bit of a shift since a faerie was killed during the dinner, Philo was spotted, and now Dahlia is dead. Things can only get worse before they get better, if they do.