Run Little Rabbit
The War Zone
For Whom The Bell Tolls
Two Cheers For Democracy
Back for a second season, Secret City returns with another political web of deceit and a whole new conspiracy for Harriet Dunkley to uncover. As the plot thickens and the pieces begin to fall into alignment, the season builds up to a climactic, but somewhat thought-provoking ending, highlighting dangers around technology and our own perceptions of war.
For the most part, the second season does a really good job building the same tension and drama that run rampant through the first season. In many ways, the second season feels a little better in terms of pacing across the 6 episodes and begins with a literal bang. When a suburban house in Davoren Park, Adelaide explodes in the middle of the night, fingers point to the lone survivor from the house, Robbie Lambert as the sole suspect. All is not what it seems though and as Harriet adjusts to life outside prison, after serving 2 years following the events last season, her and Mina find themselves thrown back into another deadly game of political espionage.
At the heart of this issue sits a shadowy game player known by the alias of Rabbit. Between sending compromising emails to Harriet and threatening Mina’s life, Harriet works to uncover evidence to explain just what’s going on and who this mysterious Rabbit figure is. The answers to both may just rest with a woman called Cal. As the plot progresses and the real story is uncovered behind the explosion, the game changes to a much more widespread and globally devastating outcome. While the plot itself is resolved in a relatively satisfying manner by the end of the sixth episode, the ambiguous final shot leaves the door wide open for a possible third season.
Anna Torv is really the glue that holds everything together here. Her tenacious, spunky attitude as she portrays Harriet helps keep everyone aligned and as she dives further down the rabbit hole, the stakes are raised further. As the people around her get sucked into the conspiracy too, including Karen Koutoufides and Joseph Sullivan, the focus shifts to encapsulate the perspective of a few more characters rather than just Harriet as the season progresses. This works really well, reinforcing how high up the food chain this conspiracy runs and just how many people are consequently affected by it.
Stylistically Secret City keeps things suitably minimalistic. There’s faint traces of electronica in the musical score but for the most part, there’s nothing particularly outstanding with the camera work, editing or lighting. Much like the first season, Secret City keeps the focus squarely on the acting and plot which are both very good here.
For the thematic relevance around technology and our relationship with other nationalities, I found the second season of Secret City to be better paced and written this second time around. While there are better espionage thrillers out there, Secret City is consistently well written and continues to deliver surprises and secrets right the way across the 6 episodes. There’s some well worked twists along the way too and the numerous questions raised this season are thankfully answered when the credits roll. While some may lament the direction this season takes toward the end, especially with the somewhat sombre ending, Secret City is a decent espionage offering nonetheless and well worth checking out.
Verdict - 7.5/10