REVIEW: ‘Undone’ Season 2 Explores Grief, Identity, and Accepting it All

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Undone Season 2 Review - But Why Tho

Directed by Hisko Hulsing and created by Kate Purdy and Raphael Bob-Waksberg, Undone is a genre-bending animated series that explores reality’s elastic and chaotic nature through its central character, Alma (Rosa Salazar). After getting into a car accident and nearly dying, Alma finds she has a new ability that alters time. Developing this power, she strives to correct the past, bring back her father from death, and find out the truth about her father (Bob Odenkirk) as well. Having ended on a significant cliffhanger, Undone Season 2 answers questions, reveals secrets and pushes its characters toward a hardwon acceptance. 

Undone Season 1 was a stunning exploration of grief, identity, and mental illness. The rotoscope animated series broke narrative expectations and pushed audiences into a world of science fiction and family drama. This season, Alma realizes there are deeper mysteries in her family’s past and that her father’s death and her connection to time are just the beginning. However, no one in her family is interested in digging up uncomfortable truths with her—until she finally convinces her sister Becca (Angelique Cabral) to help her look. As the sisters search for answers, they unravel a complex network of memories and motivations that have shaped who they are today.

Undone has centered on Mexican and Mexican-American identity in its narrative, and it’s a prism through which it views mental health and family that can’t be pulled away. This season, we see curanderas as Alma follows her father’s premise that faith healers and shamans are connected to time in a different way. But more importantly, we see that survival for many in the generations above Alma meant locking away parts of themselves, the factors that hurt and separate them from what they believe is acceptable to the world around them.

Reviewing Undone Season 2 is hard. So much of the season revolves around familial relations that have to experience with little to no information to help emotional beats land. That said, what I can talk about is how this season pivots significantly from the first. In Season 1, Alma’s Mexican-American identity feels like an obstacle to overcome, a part of her that has continually been pushed towards assimilation by her Mexican mother, Camila (Constance Marie). Pieces of her identity rise to the surface, especially as the use of Indigenous Mexican practices comes to the forefront. In Season 2, Alma and her family end up in Mexico, experiencing cuanderismo firsthand and, in many ways seeing what life would be like if they had learned Spanish and grown-up attached to their culture deeply.

Now that the setting has changed regarding Alma’s ethnic identity, Undone Season 2 isn’t about running from the unkempt and scary parts of yourself. Alma isn’t running from her power; she’s embracing it. She isn’t running from her personality and stubborn nature; she’s using it to push everything forward. It’s this acceptance that leads to the season’s largest impact: accept your past in order to move to the future.

Much of Undone Season 2 is about uncovering the pieces of characters that they have ignored or purposefully turned away from. Over the series’ short episode order, it unpacks significant and painful trauma that reverberates through the entire family. One choice made by the mother affects the child, which affects the child’s choices, and so on and so forth. A choice ripples through a life and every subsequent life in its orbit. Solving for that choice, accepting the harm it caused, and untieing the guilt and shame associated with it allows Alma and her family to grow.

While the first half of the season seems like Undone has lost sight of its main drive in Season 1, Alma’s mental health, by the time the end of the season happens, we’ve returned. Acceptance is key to healing and growing, and I don’t think any story has done this better than Undone. 

Undone Season 2 is stunning for different reasons than the first. The rotoscope animation is breathtaking, and every performance is phenomenal. Not only that, it tells a complex story of latinidad, mental health, disability, trauma, and how our lives affect and are affected by those around us. This season is about family, how it changes us and how we change it, but ultimately how we can all help each other heal by accepting the parts of ourselves we don’t want to love.

Undone Season 2 is available weekly to stream on Prime Video on April 19, 2022.


Undone Season 2
  • 9/10
    Rating - 9/10
9/10

TL;DR

Undone Season 2 is stunning for different reasons than the first. The rotoscoped animation is breathtaking, and every performance is phenomenal. Not only that, it tells a complex story of latinidad, mental health, disability, trauma, and how our lives affect and are affected by those around us. This season is about family, how it changes us and how we change it, but ultimately how we can all help each other heal by accepting the parts of ourselves we don’t want to love.