Review: Altered Carbon Season 2 Episode 1

Set in a futuristic world, ‘Altered Carbon’ follows the story of a man named Takeshi Kovacs, who wakes up in a body that is not his, in a world that is not his, to do a job that has nothing to do with him. Because he has no other option, he decides to go forward with it. As one layer after another is peeled off, he discovers that the case has strong connections to him.

The first season of the series had offered us a look into the world that we could be headed towards. It begins with a murder mystery, but it also touches upon the philosophical debate of whether or not humans should get to crack the code of immortality. Throw in mesmerising visuals and awesome action scenes, and ‘Altered Carbon’ made for an exciting watch. With its second season, the show tries to do the same.

There are familiar things like a mystery, a lot of action and our favourite AI. Then there are some new additions, like a new face for Kovacs, a new set of allies, unknown but certainly powerful enemies, and in midst of all of that, his quest to find Quell. The first episode assures you of a thrilling ride and demands you to buckle up; and while it is enjoyable, we have our fingers crossed, hoping that the show doesn’t serve us the same thing wrapped in new packaging.

Altered Carbon Season 2 Episode 1 Recap

In the previous season, Takeshi Kovacs discovered that Quellcrist Falconer, the woman he loves, is not really dead. Or, at least, that’s what his sister told him before he killed her. After looking for her all this while, he finds himself back on the planet where it all had started. He had vowed to never return to Harlan’s World, but the promise of Quell’s whereabouts led him here. To get what he wants, Kovacs has to solve the murder of another Meth. However, this time around, the stakes seem to be higher and getting to the bottom of it might unravel everything for him.

Altered Carbon Season 2 Episode 1 Review

Getting the sleeve of Falcon from the MCU is definitely an upgrade for Takeshi Kovacs. For the fans of Anthony Mackie, this is an excellent opportunity to see him in action, while we wait for Disney to deliver ‘Falcon and the Winter Soldier’.

Kovacs is a complicated character. He is extremely good at solving mysteries and killing people who requires a tough edge for him. But there is also his love for Quellcrist, the loss of whom allows us a glimpse into his emotional side. He has very little regard for the lives of others, especially when he is pissed. But then there is his connection with the ghost of a person who may or may not be alive.

In the first episode itself, the story demands all the emotions from Mackie, who excellently adapts to the role and the history that comes with it. The challenge for him is to keep the same essence of Kovacs that Joel Kinnaman had left behind. After all, a man can change as many sleeves as possible but remains the same person on the inside.

Even if you do find some divergence from the Kovacs you got to know in the first season, if you find him more heart-broken and uncouth than before, then it is the result of the time jump that the story witnesses. To its credit, the show, too, raises the question of whether a person remains the same after they’ve left their body, and so many after it.

It is too early to tell whether Season 2 manages to be better than its predecessor or gets eclipsed in its shadow, but the first episode does make us hopeful. Just like its protagonist, it immediately jumps to the point and doesn’t beat around the bush unnecessarily. We have a case, we have a suspect, and we also get a twist. But, of course, things are much more complicated than they appear right now, and we can’t wait to find out what secrets Kovacs will uncover this time around and if things will end the same way for another loved one like they did the last time.

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