Undone Season 2 Review: Another Great Season Of Existential And Emotional Television

The first season of "Undone" took big swings that paid off in spades. The show from "BoJack Horseman" alums Raphael Bob-Waksberg and Kate Purdy shattered the mold of conventional TV storytelling and delivered an utterly unique show centered on achingly relatable and believable characters. The show and those characters — the Winograd-Diaz family — are back for a second season. And although "Undone" is different than any other show out there, it still faces the daunting question of any second season or sequel — how can the creators tell another story that builds on the events of the first while bringing something new (but also familiar) to the viewers?

For "Undone," Purdy and Bob-Waksberg used some of the usual tools to do so — the upcoming episodes are more expansive than the first, for example — but the co-creators didn't fall into the trap of making things "bigger" than the first season in an attempt to one-up what came before. Instead, Purdy and Bob-Waksberg clearly had themes they wanted to explore — the impact of intergenerational trauma, the importance and difficulty of working on yourself — and meticulously put together another season of emotional, engaging television.

And while it doesn't quite reach the echelons of its first season (something that would be extremely difficult to do given the groundbreaking work of the first), it still delivers a story exploring the complexity and messiness of life — the triumphs and challenges and everything in between — through achingly believable characters.

Alma and Becca: two sisters trying to fix their family through time and space

In season 2, we are once again centered on Alma (Rosa Salazar), though her sister Becca (Angelique Cabral) and her mother Camilla (Constance Marie) are further developed this time around. Alma has taken on the role her father (Bob Odenkirk) did in season 1 — she is the one goading her sister Becca to develop her abilities while Becca plays a more reluctant version of season 1's Alma.

Where the first season had Alma trying to bring her dad back to life, season 2 has Alma and Becca moving through time and space to uncover and try to erase traumas that have reverberated through generations of their family. Like season 1, season 2 of "Undone" uses rotoscope animation to blur the line between the mundane and the otherworldly. It also deftly dovetails its "what happens next?" detective story with the internal journeys of the Winograd-Diaz family members. At its core, "Undone" also remains an exploration of who we are, what it means to live a life, and how those two things are tied to people we love and — in season 2 especially — by the generations that came before us.

All that sounds heavy, but "Undone" explores these themes in a way that doesn't feel didactic. The show is personal despite its existential explorations, and you come to care for the Winograd-Diaz family because of the specificity of their flaws and struggles. You know these people (maybe you even see some of yourself in them), and the fact they're falling through psychedelic clouds and trying to open magical doors doesn't detract from their relatability.

The pain and the beauty of life

With "Undone," it's easy to focus on the mystery of whether Alma's abilities are real or if she's mentally ill. The answer to that question, however, doesn't matter, and season 2 puts that question to the wayside for most of it. It's also easy (and enjoyable) to follow the season's other mystery: what happened in the Winograd-Diaz family's past that caused rifts in the family today?

While the suspense of that mystery will keep you clicking to watch the next episode, the core of the show revolves around how its characters become brave enough to face themselves — the good, the bad, and the messy — for the sake of themselves and their relationships. It's also about the realization, as one character says during the season, that "part of life is accepting that bad things are going to happen and finding ways to move through them together."

Doing so isn't easy, but "Undone" shows us the heartbreaking beauty that comes when you do. And as Alma moves forward, you might find yourself with the inspiration to do so as well. That's no small feat from eight 25-minute episodes of television.

/Film Rating: 8 out of 10

All eight episodes of Season 2's "Undone" premiere on Prime Video on April 29, 2022.