The Wilds Season 2 is a wild ride indeed. It’s one that continues the stories of Toni, Shelby, Marta, Rachel, Dot, Fatin and Leah, while also introducing some new male characters. The girls are as engaging as before, their stories still as interesting, and their development more earned than ever. But we cannot truly say the same of the boys.
Of course, we were always going to wind up comparing the boys with the girls, particularly considering how this experiment started. And there’s something to be said about the hypothesis at the center of this story, which makes the boys if not necessary, at least an interesting addition. But individually, and when it comes to relationships between them, fans might find there’s less to keep them engaged.
There’s no denying that the season suffers because of it. But there’s still enough of what works to keep fans glued to their TV screens for these eight episodes. In fact, despite the missteps in the boys’ storyline, there’s still more than enough to end on a high. And it’s one that absolutely requires a Season 3.
We can thank each and every one of the girls for that. Season 2 focuses on what the fans want — yes, there’s plenty of Shoni, enough to make your heart grow three whole sizes — while also doing the hard work of going even further. The Wilds Season 2 explores relationships we’d already invested in but in different ways. Some we didn’t think we could care about end up becoming super important…
…and is that another ship we would die for?
It all flows very naturally, because the writing and acting have made this group of women become more than just TV characters. We know them, or at least we feel like we do. Which means we care about what happens to them, what they’re thinking, and who they’re friends (or more) with.
There are ups and downs — that’s life. Relationships are fractured and then repaired (and vice versa). But no part of the Season 2 storyline for the characters we already know will leave fans unmoved. And, honestly, that’s a good thing — because the new characters, well, to say they don’t hit the mark would be an understatement.
For comparison’s sake, their storyline is interesting for a bit. But it turns pretty dry quickly, then it goes dark, only to end up being underwhelming. There’s one character that truly works — in the most surprising way possible. A couple of other characters work some of the time. The rest is just a list of events that should evoke a reaction, but never end up hitting the right emotional beats.
In the same way you care about even the little things with the girls, there’s a sense that the small moments for the boys, the ones that are supposed to be character-defining, are just …time we could be spending with the characters we already care about.
The way it all comes together is, however, satisfying. It’s not entirely surprising. But it works well enough to give you some closure, some hint at a possible future, some hope and of course, set up a Season 3 I will definitely need. The journey that took us there just isn’t always great for the individuals, and that’s a real shame.
Despite the issues, however, Season 2 of The Wilds is still worth it. It’s worth it for Shoni, who had me scrolling the AO3 tag late into the night, desperate for content. Not only that, it’s worth it for Toni and Shelby’s individual growth. It’s worth it for Fatin, who might just be my favorite character in Season 2. Plus, it’s worth it for the next step in Rachel’s journey, for Martha’s story, which was left pretty open-ended in Season 1, for Dot and what she is (and can be), and yes, for Leah and the ways this whole story comes together for her and the others.
It’s not all perfect, but it still works. It does so in a way that, as a critic, I can recognize doesn’t always hit all the right beats, but as a fan I’m still mostly grateful for. Mostly. Despite the ways it all makes sense, I still could have done without the boys. I said what I said.
Are you excited for Season 2 of The Wilds? Share with us in the comments below!