I wish that I could say that I’m surprised by the cancellation of The Order, but with how long it took to get a renewal I assumed it was coming. It’s why I’m now worried about Julie and the Phantoms, it’s been months and there is still no renewal.
Netflix has a formula, release a show, see how many people talk about it online, and then decide, way too quickly, whether or not it deserves to be renewed. It’s why many of the shows covered in Gone Too Soon are from Netflix. The streaming service turns out original television shows at an alarming pace. It can occasionally feel like you get left behind if you don’t watch the newest show the second it lands. Which leads to many shows getting lost in the noise. The Order is one of those shows, it performed well enough in 2019 to warrant a second season, but even ranking second on the week’s top list wasn’t enough for another renewal.
In general Netflix’s propensity to cancel things after one or two seasons make it hard for viewers to want to feel invested in their new releases, for every Stranger Things there’s a Spinning Out. Early cancellations cut shows off at the knees. The Order wasn’t reinventing the wheel, but it was a solid genre show with interesting character dynamics. It was basically everything it needed to be.
College student Jack Morton (Jake Manley, A Dog’s Journey) is accepted to Belgrave University, under false pretenses. Spurred on by his grandfather (Matt Frewer, Watchman) his goal is to join the Hermetic Order of the Blue Rose and get revenge on his father, Edward Coventry (Max Martini, 13 Hours) for the death of his mother. The only problem is they are missing a key bit of information, the Hermetic Order of the Blue Rose is a secret society that teaches and practices magic, and it’s run by Jack’s father.
The Knights of Saint Christopher are werewolves, charged with keeping dark magic in check. There is Jack’s RA, Randall Carpio (Adam DiMarco, The Magicians), the only girl Lilith Bathory (Devery Jacobs, American Gods), and Professor Hamish Duke (Thomas Elms, Motherland: Fort Salem). The knights lure Jake into their hideout, where he is chosen to house “Silverback” , the hide of a werewolf that grants him his powers.
The werewolves are a great found family, while the witches of the order are nuanced characters who believe that they are doing what’s best. The second season builds on the characters and their relationships. The Order and the wolves are given more opportunities to interact with each other which adds depth to all their characters. Though season two did have a few issues, namely the uneven motivation of Alyssa, the parts that did work greatly outweighed the parts that didn’t. I wish we could see where the show was going to go from there.
The Order had many ships with potential. Starting with Vera and Hamish a couple whose potential was hinted at in season one and we got to see together in season two. The leader of the Order and the leader of the knights are such a power couple, with a lot of great stolen glances.
Then there is Lilith and Nicole though we don’t see much of them, they seemed to have potential from the little they were together. The Randall and Gabrielle relationship also began this season. Though the two seemed to have little in common at first they actually seemed like a couple that could be good together. He seemed to bring out a better side of her and it led to more depth for Gabrelle’s character.
By the end of season two I was over Alyssa and Jack. They had a few good moments, but they had both made their positions very clear, Jack was on the side of The Order and the werewolves while Alyssa sided with Praxis. They no longer work as a couple.
After spending most of the season making the worst decisions possible Alyssa dies in the final moments of season two. After stealing Vera’s magic she has her throat ripped out by Midnight the werewolf hide currently in Gabrielle’s body. Jack then carries Alyssa and the Vade Macum into the woods presumably to resurrect her, a decision that can only have disastrous consequences. As evidenced by this tweet from creator, Dennis Heaton:
Does Vera have her magic back? Will she be able to get her magic back? What does that mean for her position as the Grand Magus?
Then there’s Lilith’s story line. I wish this season would have had more Lillith, she was sorely missed. After Lilith gets sucked into hell in the fourth episode the wolves must find a way to get her back. When she returns she has a demon signal carved into her and says that they should have left her in hell. What was supposed to happen next? What happened to Lilith in hell? So many questions are left unanswered. The Order left the audience with a lot of questions.