The Witcher season 2 finally delivers on the promise of family that season 1 set up, and it does so in the best/worst of ways, in that it gives us enough to get us invested, and then it ends when it finally seems like we’re going to get more. Sure, Geralt gets a lot of time to be Dad!Geralt and Ciri gets a chance to build a relationship with him, but the Yennefer part, with both Ciri and Geralt is a little murkier by the end of the season. Still, there’s promise.
From now on, the three of them are a family. And that means that, whatever’s coming — and knowing The Witcher, a lot is, they will face together. And I don’t want to say that’s exactly why I’ve been watching since, like, the first episode of season 1, but that is exactly why I’ve been watching.
Can I get season 3 tomorrow? Please and thank you.
So, let’s talk about the second season of the show, and discuss what worked, what didn’t, and what we want to see next:
Dad!Geralt: For someone who spent the entirety of season 1 fighting against destiny, when Geralt commits to something, he really and truly commits, we gotta give him that. But in season 2 we see him not only committing to protecting Ciri, but fully committing to more. To loving her, to treating her as family, to being the father figure she never had. Geralt isn’t the unfeeling monster a lot of people mistake him for, we already knew that, but Ciri brings out a side of him neither Yennefer nor Jaskier ever managed, one that isn’t just protective and tender, but also emotionally available, because that’s what she needs. That’s the only way for their relationship to be what it needs to be. What they both deserve.
Yennefer’s Journey: Yennefer’s journey in season 2 was very different from her season 1 journey, which was about owning her power. In season 2, Yennefer loses that power, the one that she has defined her life by, and suddenly she’s forced to confront who she is without it — and if she can ever care about anything as much as she cares about it. That the answer is yes and that the answer is Ciri is both a surprise to her and the viewer, but there’s nothing more pure than Yennefer finding her purpose not in being powerful, or in being loved in a romantic way, but in being the parental figure she never had …just like Geralt.
Ciri, the badass: Season 1 Ciri was important plot-wise, season 2 Ciri is important because she’s Ciri, and we care about her. This isn’t surprising, as much as it’s the necessary next step for a journey that could never be just about Geralt and Yennefer. Freya Allan was outstanding in season 1, but there was a sense that we didn’t truly know Ciri. In season 2 we still don’t know everything about her, but it finally feels like we’re getting closer, and it’s a joy to see.
Jaskier and …everyone?: We’re not saying Jaskier has chemistry with everyone, but even the mice were more interesting when they were in his presence. From his reunion with Geralt, to his sudden, surprising camaraderie with Yennefer, his singing and even his brief moments at Kaer Morhen, Jaskie just works at everything he gets to do. Which means he really needs to do more come season 3. Uncle Jaskier, anyone?
WHAT DIDN’T WORK
Politics: Even if they’d made more sense than they ultimately did, no one watched this show for the politics, and that’s probably for the best. Vilgefortz, Stregobor, Dijkstra …it’s not really horrible, it’s just not the best or most interesting thing about the show. Tissaia, who shouldn’t even be part of this section category ends up playing the game at the end (or does she?), which honestly, makes her character less interesting. Sure, everyone always has an angle, but when characters are more angles than feelings, that means they will end up appealing more to our brain than our heart …which doesn’t always translate the way the show wants it to.
The Elves: There was a point where I felt like yelling at the TV to stop trying to make the elves happen! They were never gonna happen. At least not in season 2. Francesca was, without a doubt, the best part of this storyline, and she was still boring, at best. Her “friendship” with Fringilla was moderately interesting, if not truly engaging, but that didn’t last long. And okay, their setup for next season does sound like I might, at some point, be able to care about them. But not now.
Nilfgard: Not even the final reveal of Duny made Nilfgard better. The show tries to make their attempts to take over the Continent less black and white, but that’s really hard to swallow considering the whole narrative they themselves are pushing. There’s also no one even remotely interesting on the side of Nilfgard. Cahir is not that bad when he’s with Yennefer, but that’s probably more about Yennefer than he is about him, and they don’t spend enough time together for him to remain interesting. And, of course, there’s Fringilla, who the show spends a lot of time trying to make us relate to, to no avail.
WHAT WE WANT TO SEE NEXT
The thing that we want to see, the reason we committed to this show, is the family dynamics. The first two season have mostly been setup to what we want, and that’s what The Witcher season 3 needs to deliver next. Not just Geralt and Yennefer protecting Ciri, and training her, but the three of them growing closer. The three of them becoming a real family, not just one of convenience.
Right now, they care, but they don’t truly know each other. Once they do, their relationships will be much stronger, and perhaps, the Geralt and Yennefer relationship we desperately want can also be rescued from the ashes of what they used to be. If we get that, plus the two of them really bonding with Ciri, then the rest …the elves, the politics, Tissaia-who-might-not-be-Tissaia …all of that can work or not, and we will still be here, watching, wanting more.
Agree? Disagree? What did you think of The Witcher season 2? Share with us in the comments below!
The Witcher is available to stream on Netflix.