Episode 1 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 2 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 3 -| Review Score – 3/5
Episode 4 -| Review Score – 3/5
Episode 5 -| Review Score – 3/5
Episode 6 -| Review Score – 3/5
Episode 7 -| Review Score – 2.5/5
Episode 8 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 9 -| Review Score – 2.5/5
Episode 10 -| Review Score – 2/5
Undercover is a show – unsurprisingly – about cops working undercover. The first season done well to maintain an air of tension throughout its 10 episode run, backed up by some strong character work and decent plotting.
With a second season teased for quite some time, Undercover returns with a lacklustre and mediocre 10 episodes of action. I use the term action very lightly here though, given the majority of the show is drowned out with melodrama, common TV tropes and plot contrivances.
Before we dive into that, the story picks up some time after the first season. Ferry Bouman is in prison awaiting trial and Bob is still working with the police. Kim is the only real moving cog here, having moved on to work as an investigative reporter after hanging up her undercover coat.
She seems to have stumbled upon something big. Really big. Meeting Bob in a cafe, she asks for his help in tracking down a tractor serial number. This brings Kim to the El Dorado ranch, run by Laurent and Jean-Pierre Berger.
One things leads to another and Kim finds herself in over her head and in serious danger. A shocking opening scene paves way for Bob to get involved in this case, forced to go undercover once more to try and uncover the truth about what these two men are up to.
With a history of exporting guns behind the facade of operating an NCO, Bob and the police work together to try and bring these two men to justice.
Complicating matters further is fellow undercover agent Lisa (going by the name of Sharon here) who works with Bob for the first half of the season. Her character is then unceremoniously dumped in favour of her colleague Nathalie; a woman involved with Laurent and mother of 7 year old Jackson who’s caught in the cross-fire. With her help, Bob dons his new disguise of Steve and heads up to the ranch to learn more.
This cat and mouse chase continues for much of the season, eventually capitulating into a couple of maddening episodes at the end where logic and reason is thrown completely out the window.
I won’t get into spoilers here but early on we’re told explicitly that Laurent is the weak-link in the business. He’s got a big mouth and doesn’t really think things through; the perfect target for the police to prey on.
JP meanwhile is far more cold and calculating. He figures out the police are onto him time and again, brushing aside all of their plans and seemingly in the clear by the end.
Only, all of this careful character work is thrown away as rash decisions, out of character dialogue and incredulous choices are made to make the episodes more exciting at the expense of a compelling and well written narrative.
That’s a real shame because the real antagonistic star is ironically Ferry Bouman, whom we only see fragments of across the season. Even from within the prison walls he has influence over Bob and it promises to explode into quite the showdown late on.
Unfortunately the fuse is stamped out long before the explosion as the showdown between Bouman and Bob is ultimately weak and disappointing.
And that unfortunately sums up this second season – weak and disappointing. From the overlong episodes to the incredulous logic near the end, Undercover undoes any hard work it did in the first season to produce a lacklustre follow-up that could have been so much more.