Amazon Prime’s first animated series, UNDONE explores the nature of time and the yearning to do life over if only to correct one’s mistakes in a series that is trippy but also very relatable and grounded in strong characters. Season 1 was top-notch sci-fi, authentic and hallucinogenic and challenging in its ideas; Season 2 isn’t as powerful, though it delivers the goods.
Skip this paragraph if you haven’t seen Season 1 yet, which I recommend you do. In Season 1, Alma (Rosa Salazar, probably my favorite actress after seeing her in this and BRAND NEW CHERRY FLAVOR) is broken and restless due to her father (Bob Odenkirk) vanishing and turning up dead during her childhood. One day, she sees him again just before a car accident, but this was no hallucination–Dad is reaching across time to ask her to help save him from ever dying in the first place. The key, he says, is for her to unlock her dormant power to control time itself. The result is an exciting journey of discovery, reconnecting with her father, keeping her worried family at bay, and pulling the right strings so reality would shift and become in her mind perfect.
In Season 2, the story continues right where it left off. Alma gets everything she wants, but she’s still unsatisfied and restlessly looking for a problem she can fix. The only trick is her powers have weakened, resulting in her working with an ally to once again go into the past to fix a problem hanging over the family’s head. Is Alma looking for a problem that isn’t there because she’s disposed to being unhappy, itchy to use her power to “fix” reality for its own sake, or is there something real she can fix and finally make things perfect?
For me, the result isn’t as strong as the first season. Alma doesn’t have the same agency, there isn’t the same exciting process of discovery, and her ally is reluctant. The result is the plot moves forward, her ally says I don’t know if we should be messing with this, Alma says we do this and everything will work out, and then it repeats. When things finally break, the plot starts to get exciting, but until then, I was feeling a little uncertain as a viewer and a fan of the first season, as the second season felt softer both in the plot and dialogue. What you do get, what really carries the story, is the characters are darn likeable, and you want them to win.
Overall, Season 2 is far more of a family drama than the story of a young woman discovering her power to change reality, but it’s a likeable family with interesting problems, and I enjoyed it. It’s different, but it’s still good.