Episode 1 of Russian Doll Season 2 starts with a mysterious woman in the underground, chipping away at a wall and taking a bag out. This is a brief tease of what’s to come though, as we finally skip across to Nadia, who is out of the time loop now. Nadia’s 40th birthday is coming up, conforming that 4 years have passed since the “eat, sleep, death, repeat” loop of the opening 8 episodes. Nadia is still smoking and drinking, Horse is still lurking about, and the universe is about to open another Pandora’s box for Nadia.
When Nadia gets on the train home, she’s thrown back to 1982. The billboards, adverts and general aesthetic of the world all lend themselves to this being real. And given Nadia has already had a brush with death, she quickly realizes that she’s wrapped up in another surreal nightmare.
Nadia has no phone either, and instead she has a matchbox with the words “See you at 8, Chez” scribbled on the inside. When she arrives at the bar, she finds herself faced with a young version of Crazy Eddie. Anyway, this Chez character soon shows up and takes her outside, offering a pill and heading off to a strange house which Nadia appears to have the keys for. The goal here is a bag under the sofa, which they take together and head back to Chez’s apartment. Only… there’s something far more strange going on.
When Nadia heads into the bathroom and checks the mirror, she looks completely different. She’s actually adopting her mother’s identity, right down to pregnant belly and being called Lenora. Nadia decides to run, heading back to the subway and on the train back. And by back, we mean to 2022.
Nadia heads over to see Alan, who confirms through his confusion that this is only happening to Nadia. She believes they have unfinished business and this is the universe messing with them again, courtesy of the time travel train.
Alan has been off dating numerous different girls, partly to appease her mother and partly to try and find “the one”, after breaking up with Beatrice. So far though, there’s been no luck. While Alan is off on another uninspiring date, Nadia visits Ruthie in hospital.
She seems to confirm that Chezare is the man responsible for stealing the gold from Lenora. Lightbulb moment! Nadia heads back to the subway again, deciding to right this wrong and heading back to 1982. Noticing the gold coins in Chez’s bag in the apartment, Nadia quickly realizes that he’s responsible for stealing them. When he mentions how it’s their plan, she has doubts.
While Nadia is using the bathroom, Chez high-tails it out the apartment. She’s forced to chase him through the streets but to no avail.
Alan meanwhile, finishes his date and heads on the subway train himself, visibly worried and breathing heavily as he appears to board his own time travel train.
The Episode Review
Russian Doll is back and instead of a recurring time loop, the universe has thrown another twist our way in the form of a train heading back through time. It’s a nice way to mix things up, and it would appear that Nadia is going to try and change the past but in doing so, inevitably mess up the future. That’s just a theory at this point so we’ll have to wait and see.
Meanwhile, the show manages to reintroduce all the key characters in a natural way, while simultaneously keep the same beating heart intact – that being the humour and sci-fi elements from season 1.
There’s certainly lots to like with this intriguing opener, especially given the little twist midway through. Hopefully the rest of the show can deliver.