Brothers and Sisters – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Forever – | Review Score – 3.5/5
The Compass – | Review Score – 3.5/5
The Witchfinder – | Review Score – 3.5/5
The Dinner Party – | Review Score – 3.5/5
The Truth About Unicorns – | Review Score – 3.5/5
The Queen’s Speech
Next to time travel, fantasy and sci-fi are some of the hardest genres to write for. Not only do you need to have an understanding of characters and fictional places, you also need to construct a world that stands to logic and reason. Even Harry Potter, for all of its positives, holds a fair few sins with its worldbuilding. And yet, because the story is good enough, people will look past that.
When it comes to See though, the sins made in the first season are only accentuated for this follow-up, making it increasingly difficult to buy into this blind world.
Now, it’s worth pointing out that ahead of release, Apple only made the first three episodes available to critics. While there’s nothing wrong with that, this season starts brightly before falling into mundane mediocrity for large swathes of its 8 episode run-time.
The story here picks up where we left off from before. Kane continues to manipulate those around her, joined by Maghra as she takes over Pennsa, home to Lord Harlan and his loyal troops. After gaining a considerable force by her side, Kane sets her sights on bigger conquests.
Before we dive into that though, the show also toys with much smaller subplots too, which intertwine around a looming war that engulfs the final few episodes of this season. Specifically, we’re graced with Baba Voss heading off on a rescue mission to find and save his daughter, Haniwa.
She’s currently held up with the Trviantians, a brutal warrior race commanded by none other than Edo Voss, Baba’s younger brother. He’s got a serious chip on his shoulder after Baba abandoned the family all those years ago. He intends to gain revenge one way or another.
This essentially encapsulates the first three episodes before the season diverts off from that and steers into more politically charged waters. The middle portion of this season features an awful lot of walking, talking and general diversion tactics to pad out the run-time.
In truth, there’s probably material here for about 6 episodes but See does everything it can to drip-feed out its story across this extended period of time. And that’s before mentioning that these middle chapters are around 20 minutes shorter than the rest of the show. Thankfully, the final two episodes do pick up the pace and end things on a promising note, ready for the already-greenlit third season.
Aesthetically, See continues to deliver gorgeous scenery, with lots of establishing shots across the frozen tundra, lush forestry and a whole range of diverse interior locales. There’s also some more development with the worldbuilding here, introducing new tribes and ideas, although there’s still a lot of shaky illogical issues that are difficult to look past.
The biggest problem here comes from the elephant in the room – guns. This is America after all and season 1’s finale confirmed that the world does have working guns still lying around. And yet, no one ever uses them. Instead, we get scenes where Kofun (who is obviously sighted) taught how to fight blindfolded and Haniwa using her bow and arrow until it’s not convenient.
A good example of this comes in episode 3, where Haniwa uses her sight to outsmart and outwit an entire fortress full of people. And yet, come the finale she’s barely a focal point beyond serving as another foot soldier in a big skirmish. To be fair, she is involved in her own forbidden love angle with rival commander, Wren, but it all devolves into some cheesy eye-rolling shenanigans, especially when the pair kiss in the middle of a large, open field, armies on either side of them.
While watching, one can’t help but feel that a gun or two would solve a lot of the problems here. Unfortunately, this is something See seems to know too and as the season progresses. It’s clear that the writers have plans to make more and more people sighted as the seasons go on but it’s still unknown how many seasons are actually in the pipeline. Given the numbers this show seems to be pulling in, it doesn’t look like Apple are ready to pull the plug just yet.
While season 2 isn’t much of an improvement over the first, the well-choreographed action and a decent rivalry between Baba Voss and his brother are enough to keep this one watchable. There’s still a lot of illogical set pieces, plot contrivances and annoying characters present, but See remains enjoyably mediocre nonetheless. This is a fun weekend distraction but also a far cry from the best of the genre.