Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Season 2 of Russian Doll is Superior to Season 1

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Sweet birthday baby! Russian Doll is back and better than before. When we last saw Nadia Vulvokov, we witnessed her die in various ways on an infinite time loop alongside Alan. Four years later, her 40th birthday is fast approaching. If season 1 is any indication, season 2 of Russian Doll will have something crazy happen.

Spoilers ahead! Read with caution!

The season begins with Nadia visiting her godmother Ruth, currently in the hospital after being involved in a fender bender. She boards a six train after the visit, which takes her back to 1982, the year she was born. As this train continues to bring her back in time throughout the season, she is mentally at every point, but she appears physically as someone from her family. Nadia is full of grief in her story, which deeply resonates with the women in her family. She then tries to rectify the wrongdoings they had done in the past. 

We also visit Alan, who is trying to continue living his life as normally as possible after the events of season 1. Nadia tells Alan everything about the train. Alan decides to board the train hesitantly to see where he ends up. Alan meets a man named Lenny, a former lover of his grandmother Agnes. Alan also is mentally there but physically in the body form of Agnes.

Both Nadia and Alan try to fix everything wrong from the past, but when Nadia decides to bring baby Nadia back to 2022, time starts breaking. Different timelines are mixing, things that happened in the 1st season start happening around them again, characters are duplicating, and dead characters are back like nothing happened. 

They find themselves back in Maxine’s world-famous time loop bathroom with Harry Nilsson’s Gotta Get Up playing in the background. 

Nadia decides to take baby Nadia back to the correct timeline after she and Alan see Ruth coming upstairs but in a loop. 

Since Nadia was stuck in this time-bending mess, she was not around for Ruth. She passes away from cancer, found during a check-up after her fender bender. 

In the final episode of the season, both Nadia and Alan try to find the train. They come across the character Horse, who we also see in season 1, who tells them where to go. They find the train. They soon find out a month has passed since Nadia’s birthday. Nadia and Alan get off the train only to get hit by another one. They fall through time and space. Both find themselves in different places and standing in leg-high water. Baby Nadia is also okay and falls right back into Nadia’s arms. 

Alan goes through a door and sees his grandmother Agnes, who says this place is called the void. 

Agnes says to him, “you can’t be so afraid of making the wrong choice that you don’t live at all.” She reassures him she is okay with not knowing what happened to Lenny. Alan runs up the stairs filled with life again. 

Nadia also goes through a door and is welcomed by her mother Nora. She then hands Nora baby Nadia. Nora asks Nadia if she would choose her to be her mother again and Nadia says, “I didn’t choose you the first time, but I guess that’s just how the story goes, huh, Mom?”

After that, she follows the red lights back to the present day and goes to Maxine’s house for Ruth’s wake. Everyone is okay, time is back to normal, and Alan is okay. They share a moment and Nadia then heads to the world-famous bathroom. The season ends with a Nadia smile.

Natasha Lyonne and Charlie Barnett give excellent performances. It’s Barnett who once again delivers an emotional performance and brings life to a character who is often fighting to find purpose in life. Alan is a person who many can relate to and Barnett makes him someone we can find comfort with even through his struggles because we know he can find the light. Lyonne’s comedic timing with the ability to instantly turn dramatic is incredible. They are both a force and continue to have impeccable chemistry. 

The supporting cast again gave strong performances. They add life to a season that is heavy with grief. Season 2 of Russian Doll has all the wonder, twists, and turns like the 1st season but becomes more emotional and deep. That’s what makes it even better than season 1. There is much more to explore with each episode. Catch season 2 of Russian Doll out now on Netflix. 

Image courtesy of Netflix

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