Anthracite Season 1 Review – A fun crime thriller which forgets its roots at the end

Season 1



Episode Guide

Episode 1 -| Review Score – 3/5
Episode 2 -| Review Score – 3/5
Episode 3 -| Review Score – 2.5/5
Episode 4 -| Review Score – 3/5
Episode 5 -| Review Score – 3/5
Episode 6 -| Review Score – 2.5/5

Anthracite: Secrets of the Sect is an exciting French Netflix Original that graced our screens this year. With exciting themes of being the chosen one, betrayals and secrets, it’s for those who love crime and investigative shows. The 6-episode series stars Hatik, Camille Lou, Jean-Marc Barr, Noemie Schmidt and Nicolas Godart and is written by Maxime Berthemy and Fanny Robert while being directed by Julius Berg. 

Season 1 is set 30 years after the mass suicide of the Ecrins cult in the Alpine town of Levionna. In 2024, a murder takes place which is set up like a cult ritual embraced by the same town with all fingers pointing at Jaro Gatsi, an outsider who trying to toe the line so he can get back to his daughter. He crosses paths with Ida, a quirky and novice web sleuth who is looking into the same cult to find her missing father.

But as they start delving deeper into the secrets of the village, secrets of their own past bubble up that are all linked to the incident that took place in 1994. Of course, no amateur investigation is complete without the local cops’ ire.

Well, here we have Detective Gio Deluca who is trying to win back the trust of her squad by solving the case while her own brother, Romeo is out gallivanting with Jaro and Ida. Oh, and there is the shady Arcacia mining company that just may be responsible for odd illnesses and mysterious disappearances that are being pinned on the cult.

The Netflix crime thriller starts out well, especially the tone which is quite far from what we would expect from such a sombre topic. Having been isolated all her life, Ida has rarely interacted with her fellow humans making it awkward as she now teams up with a frustrated delinquent to look into a cult that no one wants to talk about.

There is constant use of black humour, pop soundtracks and even animation to emphasize Ida’s reliance on the internet to navigate real-world problems. Unfortunately, this ends midway after which Anthracite forgets that it had set a whimsy, quirky tone.

But even then, Season 1 stays quite strong till the penultimate episode, making the most of its scenic beauty to weave the murder mystery that has going on. The Netflix series also makes use of 90s technology to set apart the flashbacks which makes it easier to follow the non-linear timeline. A lot of investigative shows make the solving of the mystery quite convoluted but that is not the case for Anthracite.

Fully fleshed-out subplots are given to all the different elements and they are all neatly tied up together in the end. However, it is this aspect, the resolution that lacks quite a lot.

We get a showdown between the major characters at the beginning of the finale only for it to all end in a quick 10-minute segment. This leads to an anticlimactic ending with a small shocking plot twist which is not enough to fix the Season 1 finale. Had Anthracite been able to maintain its witty tone and paced out the story uniformly, it could have made for a better viewing experience.

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  • Verdict - 6/10

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