In our tradition of keeping reviews spoiler-free, you won’t find anything about the plot of Altered Carbon‘s Season 2 here. But to summarize: the Netflix series, based on the book of the same title by Richard K. Morgan, is set in a cyberpunk future where those of means can literally live forever. They store their consciousness on “stacks” and jump from one body — real or synthetic — to the next, indefinitely, never experiencing real death.
The story centers on, Takashi Kovacs, “the last envoy”, what that means, and his place in a society he doesn’t quite fit into.
Season 2 starts where Season 1 ended. Kovacs finds himself in the middle of another bloody mystery — literally — in a new “sleeve” (body). As a result, the character is played by a different actor: Anthony Mackie of Marvel fame, who is a bit less convincing in the role than Joel Kinnaman, his Season 1 predecessor.
With the story taking place on a different planet, Harlan’s World, we get a whole new cast of co-stars and supporting characters with only one steady reoccurrence (who is brilliant as ever and one of the finest portrayals in the show). If you were particularly attached to anyone from Season 1, let me assure you there is a myriad of cool new characters around.
Those who watched Season 1 will understand the premise, but the plot has been broadened. The politics of Harlan’s World are thoroughly developed, giving you a good impression of a close-to totalitarian regime in a cyberpunk world. So are the class differences between the rich, the common folk and the military. In this regard, Season 2 is much more interesting than the first.
If you’re a fan of Altered Carbon, you will enjoy this as well. It has a good story, it focuses well on the human aspect, and it is visually pleasing. If you were on the fence about Season 1, give the show another chance. If you’re looking for something new to binge, give it a try!