The first season of Carnival Row was released in August 2019, so we all know it has been a while since the last time we saw it. The fans of ‘Carnival Row’ have now waited for almost four years, and it seems that their patience might finally pay off.
The second season began filming in 2019 and suffered multiple hiccups due to various reasons before completing it in September 2021. The post-production also took one year, and it probably seems to reflect the quality of the show. ‘Carnival Row’ Season 2 is also the final season, which wraps up the story and ties all the ends in the 10 episodes. To start with my opinion, it was a satisfying watch that felt a bit rushed and forced but considering it is the final season, it has to be.
The first episode begins right where the first season ended. Philo and Vignette are now restricted to Row after the acting Chancellor ordered all the faefolk to be kept in their area after the murder of his father. Philo and Vignette are trying everything to help the faefolk in the Row. With the help of Black Raven, Vignette robs a train to steal medicine to help the faefolk suffering from a deadly plague that only affects them. Meanwhile, the city is now under attack by a new creature, which forces them to get help from ex-detective Philo. We also get to see Agreus and Imogen who are sailing to a new world in the hope of starting a new life away from the discriminatory society. What follows ahead is shocking and heartbreaking.
The relationship between Philo and Vignette is in the doldrums if that's fair to say. They keep coming back to each other despite their difference in opinions, but it gets confusing for the audience as to how quickly they trust and distrust each other. And I am not talking of a disagreement on the small stuff, but on the decisions concerning life and death. Philo always sees good in Vignette even though she keeps taking decisions that seem illogical and stupid to start with. It will be fairer to say that there is no progress in the maturity of Vignette, and she was way better in the first season.
The second season also blurs the line between wrong and right. The first season was entirely about the general human population oppressing the faefolk and treating them in an inhuman way, so I knew whom to back, and who I do support to win. But the second season blurs that line by showing the good and evil of both communities. With the arrival of the "New Dawn," the second season is not straight up about the war between the two communities, but it is more about the fight between the good and evil of both groups. It is more about the individuals like Philo, Vignette, Agreus, Imogen, Tourmaline, Darius, Ezra, Leonora, and more. New Dawn is violent, and their ways of achieving freedom are much more harsh and destructive than the faefolk of Carnival Row or the military of Burgue.
The situation is even more blurry in the case of Jonah and Sophie, who are secret lovers and also politicians from opposite parties. Jonah has restricted all the faefolk while Sophie is showing to have sympathy with them. But it is not what it seems as Sophie is the one controlling Jonah and making him do all things, but at the same time, she is also genuinely trying to help the poor and sick faefolk, without faking it. The attraction between them first, and later the divide, highlights the beauty of this story, which finishes more quickly than I anticipated as I saw much more potential. This is one of the first stories which seemed to be rushed.
All these are enough to indicate that the second season is not going to be a smooth ride. There are a lot of deaths with gruesome violent scenes, some of which might give satisfaction while some might surprise you while also being unnecessary. I think there are some characters who don't deserve the kind of death they ultimately get this season. Sparas is the new creature this season, who is responsible for the majority of killings. He looks scary and violent, and the creators have certainly invested a good amount of time in designing it. By the looks of it, Sparas seems invincible, it is tall and scary, and common weapons have hardly any effect on it. Sparas is certainly the kind of creature who looks perfect for a show's final showdown.
Tourmaline has a much more important role to play this season, and it would be safe to say that Karla Crome has the best character development this season. Tourmaline is the one who ultimately holds the fate of the Burgue starting from the first episode. I won't reveal what happens to each character, but each episode is worth your time, and all the actors have given their best to make their characters look perfect.
The happy ending of the show certainly satisfied me, and it felt like everyone got what they deserved or at least they got what the writers wanted, considering this was the end. However, some may not be happy with the ending Cara Delevingne's Vignette got as it felt very rushed with no buildup or with hardly any indication in the previous nine episodes.
The amount of time taken to complete the post-production certainly reflects on the show. The visuals are certainly better, and the design and special effects look all exemplary. I watched the show back in November, which means once it airs this month, the quality should be improved if anything was lacking in the first place.
Final Score- [8.5/10]
Published at Midgard Times
Note: All ten episodes of Season 2 are screened for this review.
Premiere Date: February 17, 2023, on Prime Video (two episodes every Friday)
Get all latest content delivered to your email a few times a month.
Bringing Pop Culture News from Every Realm, Get All the Latest Movie, TV News, Reviews & Trailers
Got Any questions? Drop an email to [email protected]