The Vow Part Two

The Vow is making a new promise: it will be back for more next year.

The HBO documentary series about the headline-grabbing NXIVM cult is set to air its season finale this weekend, and the premium cable channel has just announced that the series will return in The Vow Part Two, a second installment of episodes which will air in 2021. Get more details about the new season below.

According to an HBO press release, the Emmy-winning, Academy Award nominated team of Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer will be back to direct and executive produce the new batch of episodes, which will premiere on HBO and be available to watch on the HBO Max streaming service afterward. The new season continues the story, diving into the trial of one of the key players in the NXIVM cult:

Set against the backdrop of the federal trial of The United States against Keith Raniere, THE VOW Part Two will offer an exclusive view into Raniere’s innermost circle. It delves into the stories of NXIVM’s top leadership in the US and Mexico, and into powerful, intimate stories of DOS members. Part Two follows the legal and emotional journeys of the group’s founders, supporters and defectors as new evidence and stunning revelations come to light while federal prosecutors and defense attorneys battle for opposing views of justice in a case caught in the national spotlight.

This sounds very much like a Making a Murderer season 2 scenario, and I have to wonder if the same fate is in store for this show that befell that gigantic Netflix water cooler hit. The audience was simply not interested in a second season in the same way that they were hooked by the first season, and based on everything I’ve heard about The Vow so far, it seems like it could end up running into that same hurdle.

The story The Vow is telling is fascinating, but every reaction I’ve seen says the same thing: it has stretched its story thin with too many episodes, and it would have been a much better show if it had found a way to trim the fat and compress this information into a shorter number of episodes. So the fact that the show is doing the opposite and adding even more episodes to its plate seems a little disheartening – though, to be fair to the series, Keith Raniere is still currently awaiting sentencing (which is expected to happen this fall), so maybe they’ll be able to tackle this new chapter about his trial in a more succinct way.

The Vow season one finale airs on HBO on October 18, 2020.

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