The first season of Undone, on Prime Video, felt like a hidden gem of a show. The story of Alma (Rosa Salazar), a young woman trying to utilize time travel powers to save her dead father (Bob Odenkirk), with his help from beyond the grave, was wonderfully trippy and yet still human. The duality of the series stemmed from a combination of elements including creative rotoscope animation directed by Hisko Hulsing (Montage of Heck), a funny-yet-vulnerable tone from executive producers Kate Purdy and Raphael Bob-Waksberg (BoJack Horseman), and a charismatic lead performance from Salazar.
It also featured an ambiguous, but beautiful, ending with Alma sitting outside of a cave waiting to see if her time travel action saved her father or if her discovered abilities were just in her head. If you’re worried I might spoil that question in this review I promise you that you won’t find the answer here, but know that Undone Season 2 justifies itself with a story that, while at times feeling too expansive, always retains the human core that made you enjoy it in the first place. The plot of this season takes place after the events of the first season and is set into motion when Alma discovers her sister Becca (Angelique Cabral) is experiencing time travel-like visions. This in turn starts the two sisters on an emotional journey that leads them to better understand people such as their mother Camila (Constance Marie), and others intertwined in their lives.
While Season One of Undone was locked in on Alma’s perspective and felt more like a character study, Season 2 unspools its focus towards its supporting cast making the narrative feel more like an ensemble piece. This storytelling perspective has its strengths, particularly in that it allows for more of a dramatic showcase for Cabral and Marie who make great work of the opportunity to show more of Becca and Camila. During the last season, due to the secondary nature of their place in the story, you might have thought of these characters as simply “Alma’s sister” or “Alma’s mother.” Due to both the actresses and the story doing good work in fleshing them out by the end of the season you’ll see Becca and Camila as characters with their own interesting and relatable perspectives.
The main drawback of this storytelling perspective is that we get, what felt like to me, a lot less time examining Alma and her narrative. While the reason for this shift on to other characters is explained in the season, it doesn’t help the feeling that one key ingredient of the Undone recipe is missing, especially as Salazar is so magnetic in the role. During the first season of the show we truly got to know Alma – her thoughts, feelings, fears, desires, strengths, and flaws. Unfortunately, here she mostly feels like a device that is used to help propel the narrative further. Despite this, Salazar stills brings to the character the same compelling balance of humor and pathos when she can.
Just as there lies a duality of surrealism and humanity at the core of Undone as a show, there also exists a duality within its second season. On the one hand, there is a purpose to this season. It doesn’t lessen the impact of its first outing, and it does a good job at branching out and exploring other characters such as Becca and Camila. On the other hand, it feels like some of the magic is missing with less of a focus on Alma, who we really grew to care for in Season One. Despite the expansion of the show having drawbacks, Undone Season 2 still uses its trippy visuals to tell a very human and ultimately small-scale journey. If you loved the first season, I think this is one worth taking – one that won’t make you wish you had time travel powers of your own to stop you from watching it in the first place.