‘The End of the F***ing World’ season two review
By Sonam Kaloti, Arts Editor
The End of the F****ing World’s second season dives deep into the aftermath of the events which occurred in its first season. The second season is set two years after the events of the first, meaning that leads James (Alex Lawther) and Alyssa (Jessica Barden) are now 19 years old.
The season starts off on a confusing foot. We’re introduced to new characters—with entire episodes dedicated to their story and how it connects to the bigger picture—before having reunited with our lovely cast from the previous season. New lead character, Bonnie (Naomi Ackie), is on a murderous hunt for the teens, inspired by her desperate lust for revenge. More murder ensues in this season, as expected, but in unexpected ways.
Alyssa’s family moved from their original town to start anew once her mother got broken up with. They go to live with their mom’s half-sister, and Alyssa gets a job as a waitress at her family’s café. They live in a small town, which looks very country due to every house being a type of farmhouse on a ranch. There are tons of surrounding forests, which adds to the eerie “this-feels-kind-of-like-twilight” vibe of the second season. The number of instances where a character stood lurking in the trees at night, stalking another from afar, may just be too many to count. A special scene was in one in which James (in the trees), is stalking Bonnie (also in the trees), who is stalking Alyssa (not in the trees this time—she’s in the café)—who recently got mad at James for stalking her. Now he was stalking her again, but so was someone else! Alyssa’s really got it going on, I guess.
Speaking of Alyssa being a hot commodity in the second season—surprise! She gets married within the first two episodes to a brand-new character who serves as nothing besides as an example of a nice country boy who wants nothing more than to build a house for his wife, someday have kids, and probably also a white picket fence and a horse. In Alyssa’s words, he “has some strong opinions,” by which she means, he doesn’t believe Finland exists. What a catch!
This season focused less on dialogue and more on unfolding the new plot through actions and cinematography. I was especially hooked by the wide camera angles and the special effects placed on night shots—such as the colourful but haunting bokeh made by the café’s neon sign, floating up into the dark forest surrounding it.
Silence was placed extraordinarily well into certain scenes. Without spoilers, the last episode of the season was well-paced and done amazingly. Gun shots sound—and the scene, absolutely still and quiet, beautifully drags on for what feels like a gut wrenching eternity.
The plot itself, though it seems like it was created from scratch after the success of the first season, holds up well and complements the first season well–both ironically, and plot progression wise. Because of this, I don’t mind too much how it came to be. As seemingly random as the events which take place are, they are exactly what would come to be in Alyssa’s and James’ misfortunate lives. Thus, marking season two a major success on all fronts—especially those experimental ones which spiced the new season up and prevented it from falling into a repetitive cycle.