Rebellion – Netflix Season 2 Review



Season 1

Season 2

Episode Guide

Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 3
Episode 4
Episode 5



I’ll be the first to admit, I wasn’t sold on the first season. The mix of soap-opera drama with a plot torn between high-stake action and melodrama didn’t quite hit the right notes for me. Back for a second season, Rebellion (also known as Resistance) returns with a renewed vision and an espionage flavour this time around. With a slew of returning and new characters to the fold, Rebellion does a decent job re-inventing itself, delivering a well-paced thriller full of tense moments and drama.

The story this time begins in 1920, in the heart of Ireland’s bloody war for Independence. Unlike the first season’s action-heavy focus, this second season feels much closer to an espionage thriller, playing on all the usual spy tropes you’d expect including double agents, moles and tense pockets of action to alleviate the character drama. On the surface, the Resistance appear to have been stifled but under the surface, a growing contingency brews as the Irish prepare and strengthen their forces. This all builds toward a dramatic second half of the season, as casualties are met on both sides with a memorable season finale depicting the infamous Bloody Sunday Massacre.

Split across 5 episodes once again, Rebellion makes the most of its short run time by packing an awful lot into its episodes. The melodrama and soap opera subplots do return from before but this time are merged into the main plot lines of the story. For the most part this works really well, with Ursula being forced to play both sides in order to get her son back a great example of this. A return of several familiar faces from the first season help give some continuity here too, including Jimmy and his brother on opposite sides of the conflict and Harry Butler becoming entangled in the conflict thanks to his involvement with the bank.

The focus isn’t squarely on the rebels here either, with an equal emphasis on both sides of the conflict helping to give some dimension to the antagonists this season. Most of which is depicted through General Winter. Along with his right hand man, Captain McLeod, most of the season sees these two pulling the strings and organizing a mole to infiltrate the ranks of the Resistance. Without giving too much away, both characters do get their comeuppance here and the outcome is a rather satisfying conclusion during the final couple of episodes of the season.

For all the positives, Rebellion is still largely the same show it was before. The large cast and melodramatic subplots are still included here but better disguised this time around. Some of the editing and cutting between scenes feels a little rough around the edges too, with a fair few rapid cuts during slowed dialogue exchanges feeling out-of-place and offsetting the pacing.

Having said all of that, Rebellion’s second season is a vast improvement over what’s come before. It’s not perfect and whilst its unlikely to persuade many put off from the first season to give this another go, this show feels much more confident as a spy thriller than an outright action flick. The character melodrama is still here but it feels much better disguised than before, with each episode chock full of subplots and characterisation to keep things moving at a decent pace.

While the series does suffer a little with its editing and there’s nothing particularly outstanding that hasn’t been done better in other shows, Rebellion’s second season is a nice surprise, and a much improved offering over the first season. If you’re on the fence with this one, it’s certainly worth giving it another go; you might just find yourself pleasantly surprised.


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  • Verdict - 7.5/10

29 thoughts on “Rebellion – Netflix Season 2 Review”

  1. I’m 82 and thought I was losing my mind with the musical chairs of characters between the 2 seasons. No continuity of character identification, too bad. Detracted from the overall enjoyment of this historical fiction.

  2. So terribly confused with season 2…
    Where are the main characters??
    Is Urusla May??
    That dreadful, slimy brother is back…
    I don’t think I can invest any more time…

  3. I thought Season I was excellent. Season 2 seems like a whole new series, I just want to know what happened to Sir Barriston Selma and Caitlin Stark.

  4. Well I can see I am not the only one totally confused by season two. I can’t believe they removed the three best actresses and whom played big parts.
    Season one ended with Frances killing the detective, a big deal but then poof, disappears.
    Really disappointed, won’t bother watching the rest of season two.

  5. keep going back and reviewing season 1 to make any sense of season 2! Don’t need anymore seasons of this mess!

  6. Just started season two. Utterly confusing to figure out the characters. Got the May to Ursula switch but there was no background given. What happened to Mr. Hammond ?
    Who is Ursula’s friend?
    What is Minnie doing ? The storyline is not bad, it has binge potential but more information is needed in order to enjoy.

  7. I am like you all! Trying to google if ms Sweeney is May? And thought she was giving the child to Mr Hammond and his wife!🧐 and where is Liza, if Jimmy got amnesty so should she have.

  8. Done!
    Too confusing, I was vested in the relationships in season 1.
    This series had binge quality, such a shame.

  9. All of you as I can see are confused I myself was when I started watching season 2 , miss sweeney is indeed miss Lacey , if you listened to the final episode in season 1 you would’ve seen that miss Lacey asked Hammond for a new place to stay , new name and a higher position in her job , as for minnies mum I am not sure but I think she passed away and the father is MIA which left Minnie and her uncle (who I didn’t know exsisted aha ) to help with the younger siblings , and as said before jimmy escaped prison with a few fellow ira members and all of you are wondering where miss Elizabeth is but as you saw in the last episode she was also shipped off to a prison and obviously kept separate from the men which only can mean she is still in prison and didn’t escape with the other members

  10. Like many, I was very confused by the absence of many key characters, most notably the key three female characters from Season 1 of Rebellion. And, yes, it was odd that Ursula’s situation was somewhat similar to May, from working in the Castle to the child out of wedlock.

    At the end of the day, I’m guessing some of this had more to do with the availability — or not — of those actors/actresses. For instance, Sarah Greene — who played May — has been busy in Ransom, Normal People and the Dublin Murders.

  11. Yup , agree with so many others and hope it reaches those writers and show writers . When one invests in the storylines of some engaging characters most folks need closure rather than brand new characters with just a few very confusing glance back at past storylines and characters. Lots of cognitive dissonance. Will try to treat season 2 as its own thing but it’s discombobulating as expressed by others .

  12. I had waited months for Netflix to get season 1 before watching this, figuring that I needed to see the first season to follow the second. Logical, right?


    Five characters that were really the main focus of the first season (Jimmy, Liz, May, Frances, & Art) and at the end of the first episode of the second season, I’ve seen one (Jimmy) and had one throwaway comment about Art maybe being dead to explain his absence, What the heck? Really? It’s like reading a book series and entirely skipping a volume – or two! I’m glad to see Jimmy again, but without Liz, May, and Frances (or at least some good explanation of what happened to them) I won’t be bothering to finish season 2.

    I don’t recall the last time I’ve been so disappointed when a show I loved got a second season, but this is the same show in name only.

  13. Agree with all the above comments.. where are some of the main characters from season 1 disappeared to? I don’t think Ursula is May although May was pregnant and Ursula has a child in the nunnery.. Wher as Lizzy gone Frances too and Minnie’s mum all disappeared into thin air? This really should have been explained in the start of season two

  14. Season 2 totally confusing ,what has happened to Lizzie and her mother .What has happened to Minnie’s mother, who is Ursula ?

  15. it was extremely confusing, what happened to jimmy’s brother with the brown hair and since when does he have a brother with red hair? and what happened to Minnie’s father? and Frances, Elizabeth and May? is Ursula supposed to be May??

  16. I agree with previous comments. I too thought I’d missed
    some episodes, very frustrating not to have a continuity of charters. I really enjoyed the first series and the grittiness. What is the point of telling half a story. Especially what happened to Mr Hammond, can we find out in series 3 if there is one please!!!

  17. Agree with previous comments re the unsatisfying nature of not knowing what happened to main protagonists in Series1 ?

  18. Season 2 – where are Frances, Elizabeth and Ms. Lacy? They were instrumental in Season 1. Dump them because they’re women? Jimmy and Elizabeth both nearly died protecting one another. Now-zip, she’s gone. No explanation. The obnoxious brother is still here. The simpering cad. If I have to watch that actor open his huge mouth one more time, I’ll toss my cookies. Is that his only schtick? I’m done

  19. I also found season 2 confusing. The Ursula character was very confusing. Kept researching may from season one thinking I had completely missed something. I didn’t but the show did. No explanation of what happened to main characters from season one. What happened to them all ?

  20. I found second season confusing. usually in a following season you are informed about the main characters and what happened to them if they are no longer in the next season. What happened to Elizabeth. ant Mrs Butler her mother. What happened to Jimmys brothers wife that lost her son?. I might be wrong about these names but the three friends at the beginning were May, Francess, and Elizabeth. Did May become Ursula? Did Francess become Agnes??? Very weird!!

  21. I was confused with season 2. There is no word about the characters such as Ms Lacy in Season 1?

  22. I am confused, The second season has too many new people to carry the story through. is Ms Sweeney meant to be the same character as Ms. Lacy in season 1 ?
    The should have told us what happened the them and introduced the new people better .

  23. A continuation of the anesthetizing, trivializing and fictionalizing of the Irish Rebellion from series one. In episode 4 totally and egregiously glosses over the killing of innocent football fans at Croke Park by the British.

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