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Altered Carbon Season 2 Review

Updated: May 17, 2020

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The premise of the show is that a person’s consciousness and soul can be downloaded and transferred to a new body. This allows a lot of people to achieve immortality in theory. The very rich and powerful are able to take advantage of this enabling corruption and decadence.

Takashi Kovacs is the lead character, a former military man, who is continuing his quest from season one to track down his lost love. Similarly to season one, Kovacs stumbles across another murder mystery to kick off season two as a gun for hire, and we’re off to the races.

The Good

Anthony Mackie plays Kovacs this season, and does a splendid job at it. Joel Kinnamon’s performance as Kovacs in season one was of a no nonsense and intense nature.

Mackie brings more life and humour to the character, and it’s easy to get behind him as the protagonist. Mackie discovers good chemistry with the rest of the cast, and is a real breath of fresh air on screen. This could speak to Kovacs development from the events of season one, perhaps he is able to enjoy himself a little more these days?

The returning Chris Connor as Poe, Kovacs AI compatriot, remains a good source of comedy throughout the season. Newcomer Simone Missick as the bounty hunter Trepp is fantastic too, and adds a lot to the show this year. Trepp’s character is explored in depth – we learn about her motives and passions, helping us to empathise with her and understand her plight.

On an aesthetic level, Altered Carbon is truly breath taking and brings this dystopian cyberpunk vision to life on so many different levels.

The fight sequences have been choregraphed to perfection, scenes transition smoothly and everything about the way this show is shot feels bold and confident.

The Not So Good

The biggest issue plaguing this series is the shallowness of approach when there is so much potential to deal with issues about the human condition. A story where an individual’s consciousness can be transferred from one body to another is crying out for a deeper exploration of the ethical questions surrounding it. It’s disappointing that these ideas aren’t explored, as the core concepts of a lot of shows don’t lend themselves to exploring such issues. It definitely feels like a lost opportunity in that regard.

The Verdict

A formulaic show yes – Kovacs finds himself searching for his lost love while engaging in yet another murder mystery. Precisely the same structure as the first season. But perhaps every show doesn’t need a 4 or 5 season story arc, as there is still plenty of fun to be had in this action packed, visually stunning ride.

Judge's Score


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