Episodes: 8 (~25 minutes)
Creators: Raphael Bob-Waksberg, Kate Purdy
Voice Stars: Rosa Salazar, Bob Odenkirk, Constance Marie, Holley Fain, Angelique Cabral
By Tom Moore
The first season of Prime Video’s breakout adult animated series “Undone” delivered some amazing mind-bending animation that drove its incredibly emotional story led by a fantastic performance from Rosa Salazar. In its follow-up season, “Undone” continues Alma’s (Salazar) journey with an unexpected story filled with stark realizations.
After last season’s finale saw Alma crushed by her time-jumping journey and left wondering if anything she did brought her father Jacob (Bob Odenkirk) back, the second season immediately picks up from there and takes viewers on a journey that’s pretty unexpected. Where the first season of “Undone” took viewers on a mind-bending story with wildly abstract visuals, this season is much more grounded. Not in the sense that there aren’t trippy visuals that widen your eyes and blow your mind, but this season’s use of time jumping is much more character-driven and plays a pivotal role in the storytelling.
As Alma attempts to understand her abilities more, moments that deal with time-travel and peering into the past work in expanding the stories and arcs of characters we’ve come to know in the first season as well as new characters. Although Alma remains the central character, other members of her family hold more of the spotlight with Alma acting as a sort of detective uncovering the secrets of her family, mainly of her mother Camila (Constance Marie) and grandmother Geraldine (Holley Fain). The use of time travel works incredibly well in creating these glimpses into the past and other people’s memories that add new layers to what Alma discovers and often subverts expectations in great ways. It serves as an excellent storytelling tool with how it plays a great role in big reveals and adds depth to new relationships and characters. It all comes together to form an engaging and emotional personal mystery for Alma that’s satisfying to be a part of and works in making supporting characters stronger.
The performances from Marie, Fain, and Angelique Cabral as Becca absolutely thrive with the deeper writing they have for their respective characters. Camila and Geraldine’s personal stories are full of emotion with how tragic and real they feel, and the way Becca becomes more involved in Alma’s journey not only strengthens their dynamic to be a charming pair, but also makes her solo journey more intriguing. Jacob and Alma’s dynamic also takes new form with the season’s new story direction and it’s interesting to see him and Alma’s mindsets clash. Salazar is still “Undone’s” breakout force though as she brings a great range to Alma that’ll make you laugh with all of her snarky comments and clutch your heart with some of the dark realizations she has with herself.
It’s honestly amazing that “Undone” can continue to hit such strong emotional beats even with a vastly different story direction and some of its groundbreaking elements not being as groundbreaking anymore. Even though we’ve now seen the series use its signature rotoscope animation, it still manages to be visually remarkable and fit perfectly with the more grounded feel of this season with the more vivid character designs. The emotions are higher than ever with some of the discoveries made by Alma legitimately make you choke up and put you on the verge of tears. Literally everyone in this series has your heart now and it makes this experience even more connective. Most importantly, it continues to make Alma’s personal journey in facing her issues more compelling and heartfelt.
For most of the season, it can feel like things are just constantly going Alma’s way and that she kind of gets off scot-free from the events of the season prior. While the effects of her time-jumping don’t really come with too many consequences or ramifications, the final moments of the season really hit hard and present an interesting future for Alma. There are some great themes about fate and responsibility that play out and are debated throughout the season, particularly between Jacob and Alma, that work towards a harsh, but necessary realization Alma needs. Her story comes full circle in a satisfying way that feels like the right choices were made and give Alma the self-understanding she desires. On paper, it would seem tragic, and it partly is for Alma, but it’s a pain that provides a sense of growth that is truly the culmination of everything she’s learned from her endeavors this season.
“Undone’s” second season might not be as mind-blowingly explosive or visually mesmerizing as its first, but it takes a stronger direction for its story and characters that creates emotionally fulfilling storylines, performances, and arcs that manage to subvert expectations and craft a follow-up that expands what’s possible for Alma’s journey.