With much of the exposition from the first season out of the way, Dark Season 2 begins to tackle more complex themes and events, and focuses even further on the more on the human side of the story. This season was released in 2019 on Netflix, and follows the events of Season 1 where Jonas has now entered a new timeline, 2053 – after the Winden apocalypse has come to fruition. On top of this, other characters are becoming slowly aware of the abnormal events going on around them, and begin to suspect that something odd is happening with time. This Dark Season 2 review will contain SPOILERS until the final two paragraphs.
The best part about this season, and what made it truly stand out compared to the first, was the focus on the more human characteristics of the town. Last season had a lot of ground and exposition to set out in order to make this season happen, so this is not a hit on season 1 at all. But now that this groundwork has been laid, it is apparent that the show’s purpose isn’t only to tell a story of time travel, but one of human struggle. One of my favorite examples of this was in Egon, specifically his story in the 80s. I had previously been viewing him as a man stuck in the past, refusing to keep up with the times. But after spending time with him here, his struggle was expounded on, his relationships were developed, and ultimately, a deep sympathy was gained. Another great example was the development of Jonas and his father, Michael. The scenes featuring the two of them, especially with the younger (time traveling) Jonas, allowed the two actors to shine. They portrayed realistic grief and love without ever straying too far in either direction.
Speaking of time travel, it reached a new level of complexity as it added two new periods, 1921 and 2053. Despite the previous season being hard to follow at times with new times and characters being thrown at you, this season incorporates these new years gracefully so as not to further confuse. They had distinct traits and helped explain the events going on in the other periods. Certain character backstories were detailed which allowed for a deeper understanding of what led them to their life and purpose in the future. Finally, with the 2053 period, I initially had reservations especially when Season 1 ended, as I predicted that it may delve into some more post-apocalyptic style story and stray away from the more family-oriented moments. But instead, they only used that period as an endpoint, and never lingered too long on the themes of war or violence.
My only major gripe with the season was (like last time) the ending. But whereas last time it was an apprehensive feeling about what was to come, this time I did not feel as if the ending fit well with what came before. The abrupt introduction of a new Martha following the emotional moments that came before felt like it tore me away from those feelings. The reveal of different worlds also felt weird and out of place, but that is more me being skeptical rather than a true fault, whereas the loss of an emotional moment was an actual critique. But as with last time, I would not be surprised if they were able to well incorporate this new idea into the next season.
In terms of production value, the show still exceeded my expectations but I won’t expound on that too much since I said this all in my last review. The casting continued to astonish because with new time periods, older and younger versions of the characters needed to be found. And every single choice both looked and acted like their counterparts. The cinematography was also beautiful, which is especially impressive to me on a Netflix show as they tend to always look stale and unoriginal. And finally, the music choices continue to fit each episode and moment, meshing perfectly with the atmosphere they are trying to achieve.
Overall, Dark Season 2 is an absurdly fun watch that forces the audience to both participate and think on a deeper level than most Netflix shows ask. Compared to the last season, this one even adds a new level of emotional attachment to characters and relationships. It balances the more scientific time travel aspects with the human stories brilliantly and never lets one get too far away while trying to develop the other. Dark Season 2 is a nice step up from the first (even though the first is great too) and I hope it continues into the final season.
Dark Season 1 Review: Here
Dark Season 3 Review: Here
Dark Series Review: Here
See other TV/movie reviews or what I plan to watch next here: Review