UK TV review: Undone Season 2
Rosa Salazar’s still got it!8
Bob Odenkirk’s beautiful performance8
Katherine McLaughlin | On 29, Apr 2022
Warning: This contains spoilers for Season 1. Not seen it? Read our review here.
It’s almost three years after the first season of Undone was released. Since then, we’ve experienced a life-altering pandemic and great loss and sorrow. It’s a comforting thought to imagine that parallel realities and time-travel exist as a way to alter the past and redo the future – which is exactly what Season 2 of this beautifully and painstakingly rotoscoped series delves into with gusto.
From the creators of BoJack Horseman, Raphael Bob-Waksberg and Kate Purdy, with oil painting animation from a team led by director Hisko Hulsing, the new series examines personal growth, motherhood, mental health, memory and trauma with a haunting intensity. It sheds some of the deliciously dry humour from Season 1 in favour of piecing together an increasingly complex storyline that dares to ask: “What makes you think you’ll be happy in any reality?”
At the end of Season 1, Alma (Rosa Salazar) stole her mother, Camila’s (Constance Maries) car, fleeing to Mexico and leaving her boyfriend Sam (Siddharth Dhananjay) doubting her sanity. Sister Becca (Angelique Cabral) found Alma sitting by a cave awaiting the return of her dead father Jacob (Bob Odenkirk).
It was a cliff-hanger of a finale, and one which Season 2 approaches by shifting the focus from Alma’s perspective and giving more screen time to other characters. In particular it is revealed (in the trailer) Alma’s sister has the ability to time-travel and the two pair up to explore their Jewish lineage on their father’s side (the Netflix show Russian Doll does something similar in its second season). Their Mexican heritage, and the spirituality aspect from Season 1 is still in play with multiple storylines addressing the dual legacies of their family history and what that means in the present day.
The twists may not be as mind-blowing as in Season 1, but they are intriguing and handled with care. Unlocking family secrets brings its own issues and anxieties and Undone explores the impact of repressed memories on the human psyche with enough mystery and creative animation to keep things engaging. Grief, regret, acceptance and abandonment are the powerful feelings that drive the narrative with the entire cast each delivering emotionally charged performances. Odenkirk in particular is really firing on all cylinders in this season, and new characters played by Ana Ortiz (Ugly Betty) and Carlos Santos (Gentefied) do great work. Siddharth Dhananjay appears briefly and his absence from this season is a shame.
This time round, the endless possibilities and parallel universes offer up a chance to change things while also highlighting personal responsibility and the importance of following your own path away from the influence of others. Contrasting ideas on marriage, family and womanhood, how those change over time and the expectations of different cultures are involving, even if they are a tad familiar. What’s most compelling about Season 2 of Undone is the way in which it opens up a vault of riches on the universality of dashed dreams and hopes in a world where the only certainty is that unexpected events will always require readjustment and put a wrinkle in the best-laid plans.
Undone is available to watch online on Amazon Prime Video as part of a Prime membership or a £5.99 monthly subscription.