‘Undone’ Season 2 Review: Understanding Family & Generational Trauma on Screen

Nuha Hassan reviews Season 2 of Prime Video's Undone. The visually stunning series transcends creativity by using rotoscoping and live action.

‘Undone’ Season 2 Review: Understanding Family & Generational Trauma on Screen

by Nuha Hassan

Prime Video’s Undone is an ambitious form of storytelling that transcends creativity by using rotoscoping and live-action. It’s a visually stunning series that dives into the complex themes of spirituality, mental illness, religion, and quantum entanglement. A psychological sci-fi comedy from Bojack Horseman creatorsRaphael Bob-Waksberg and Kate Purdy and directed by Hisko Hulsing, Undone goes beyond the creative and trippy effects of the story and changes the audience’s perspective on healing of the wounds of time. The last time the audience saw Alma (Rosa Salazar), her world had turned upside down. After she meets her father’s undead spirit (Bob Odenkirk), he convinces her that she can move through time. She is convinced that she can turn time around and save him so that the past will change.

The new season picks up exactly where season one left off: Alma sits in front of a cave while her sister Becca (Angelique Cabral) and mother Camila (Constance Marie) panic out of their minds. They are convinced that Alma is going through a schizophrenic episode. But regardless of her family’s objections, Alma walks toward the cave and she is introduced to an alternative reality where her father is alive and well. What complicates this new alternative world is that Alma’s powers are different and Becca has powers, just like their father, except she can revisit memories through time. When she reunites with her parents, she finds her life to be the same mundane life she used to live before, and she discovers that Camila is hiding a big secret that could change the entire trajectory of their family dynamic.

Undone has a lot of family secrets, and season two dives into Alma’s family roots and how that impacted the lives of her family. The show takes time to explain the two different immigrant stories — Camila and Geraldine (Holley Faine), Alma’s paternal grandmother who spent most of her life at a mental hospital due to her schizophrenic episodes. Each story is told in a non-linear structure and looks at the haunting and heartbreaking choices made by these women. Whether it is sacrificing their children or a family torn apart by resentment. It has an undefined emotional journey that grounds Camila and Geraldine’s wounds that they can heal from years of generational trauma. The show looks at the different layers of emotional and psychological scarring it does on a human being, and these elements are attempting to repair someone’s grief through the connection between family.

The biggest part of Undone’s incredible success is due to Salazar’s amazing acting. Her performance is expressive and for a medium that relies on the actor’s expression, she does an amazing job. Also, Salazar shows Alma’s restlessness and mental instability, as she tries her best to get everything back the way it was or fix it. Salazar’s performance is what holds Undone together, and everything about the show is magnificent on its own.

The second season shows the endless loop of dissatisfaction as Alma runs through the trippy and psychedelic halls of the hospital while trying to figure out her new powers. She is obsessed with changing times, but she discovers that regardless of these challenges, it is never too late to fix what is inside them. Undone’s drama is never boring. It deals with the difficult human emotions, complicated history of family roots, and overcoming generational trauma together, even if these characters are not from the same realities. It’s a wild visual journey of women’s trauma and the sacrifices (and secrets) she keeps to make her family happy, and that is universally common amongst a lot of women. In the end, what matters most is the unity and self-reflection of the character’s flaws, which becomes worthwhile for a trippy journey through time.

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