Station to Station
Episode 4 of Russian Doll Season 2 begins with us switching over to Alan, who happens to adopt his grandmother’s identity, Agnes. He too has travelled back but he’s in East Berlin, 1962. He’s also shacked up with partner Lenny. Now, unlike Nadia, Alan believes this is their form of “levelling up”. Alan has clearly fallen for Lenny, which he relays across to Nadia when they catch up in the present day again after their own individual treks to the past. Alan likes spending time there and just wants to live out his dual life in peace. Alan also warns Nadia against changing things in the past.
With the receipt for the gold train in hand, Nadia leaves Alan in the park and visits Ruthie, telling her she wants to go to Budapest. Between smoke-choked laughs, Ruthie encourages her to take Maxine if she intends to galivant across to Europe.
So off the pair go, preparing to dive into the past. Quite literally in the past in fact is Alan, who finds out there’s More going on with Lenny than we first thought. Agnes happens to be part of a massive group who intend to dig a tunnel under the Berlin wall. When Agnes expresses her concerns, the others call her out for hypocrisy given she’s the one who actually encouraged them to start this.
It turns out Agnes is a bit of an activist in the past, which catches Alan off-guard when he finds out. Alan encourages Lenny to wait, but he laughs incredulously, pointing out that he won’t wait 27 years to see his family when the wall actually falls. His loved ones are in West Berlin and this tunnel is his ticket to get to the other side.
Lenny questions whether Agnes is actually an informant, given his doubts, but he obviously waves off these concerns. This big revelation sees Alan look at things differently, wondering whether Nadia is right and that he needs to save Lenny from making a massive mistake. However, it seems like he’s too late as when Alan hops back in time later on in the episode, he finds Lenny gone and the entrance to the underground tunnel.
Meanwhile, Nadia realizes that Halasz is dead but in doing some research, tracks down Kristof Halasz, a late ancestor of the Nazi. The man refuses to divulge anything about the gold train though, at least not yet anyway. The pair head out to a club in the middle of nowhere, where Maxine immediately finds herself smitten with this tall, mysterious stranger.
The party gets underway, allowing Nadia time to slip out and check through Kristof’s gear. She finds a whole bunch of swastikas and other memorabilia. When Kristof shows up, kissing Maxine, he explains he found all this gear after clearing out his grandfather’s place and it doesn’t belong to him. In order to help her out, Kristof encourages Nadia to smoke some LSD, sending her on a trip through her subconscious.
When she and Maxine awaken, they find themselves in a cemetery at the grave of a chemist called Laszlo Kiss. It’s unclear whether this is actually important or not but she and Maxine do talk about it so let’s say it is!
Anyway, after a fruitless trip (unless you count a mental European party as progress) the duo decide to head home again, realizing they’re not going to find anything in Budapest.
After making it back, Nadia phones Ruthie and gets an idea to head over to 82 again. Only, Nadia falls asleep on the train. When she awakens, she finds herself far away from 1982, Nazi outfits? A stuffy steam engine carriage? Uh oh. Nadia has time travelled to 1944 in Budapest.
The Episode Review
This episode slows down a little for a somewhat pointless trip over to Hungary and a lot of information regarding Alan that feels disparate to what’s currently happening in Nadia’s timeline. Whether these stories will converge together at some point, picking out the gold as a thread to hold everything together, is unclear at this point
However, it would appear that there’s still much more than we don’t know and there’s a lot of disparate plot threads going on here. It also doesn’t help that the time travel rules are a little unclear here. Sure, we know the time travel train goes back to 1982 and forward to 2022…so how did Nadia end up in 1944? And why is Alan in 1962? Do Alan and Nadia have different trains with different rules?
With only three episodes left, there’s actually not a whole lot of time to start tying everything together so let’s hope Russian Doll starts delivering on these answers soon!