THE WITCHER (2021)
Season Two [Premiere]
Aired On: Netflix
Release Date: 12/17/21
Action. Adventure. Drama.
"Geralt of Rivia, a solitary monster hunter, struggles to find his place in a world where people often prove more wicked than beasts."
Toss a coin to Netflix because The Witcher is back with season 2 of the hit Netflix adaptation of the books and popular video game franchise. We may not know if Henry Cavill will ever don the cape of Superman again but he's back to slay more monsters and keep his promise to Calanthe to protect Ciri.
Episode 1 of Season 2 picks up following the aftermath of the Season 1 finale. I recommend refreshing yourself on Season 1 before jumping into Season 2 because it has been 2 years since the former premiered. I'll admit I had trouble initially jumping right into this episode because it had been so long since I finished the first season. The premiere opens with a female mage scanning dead soldiers on the battlefield looking at their last dying moments trying to find any trace of where Yennefer is, if she's alive at all. With no helpful memories or signs of Yennefer they quickly move away from the decimation.
Moving on, we see Geralt and Ciri traveling together and learning about one another. Along the way Geralt realizes something is lurking in the woods and they should seek refuge in order to keep Ciri safe. They stumble upon what appears to be an old abandoned mansion. Where they stay for the night unaware of what awaits them.
It immediately feels good to have The Witcher back in my life. Although I was never very familiar with the video game series, I did play a good amount of The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt. It's been a while but even being only a little familiar with the video game franchise made it rewarding when things I'm familiar with from the games pop up in the show. I won't go into those because this is a non-spoiler review but even if you aren't familiar with the games it's still effective.
Henry Cavill was great in season 1 as Geralt, truly surprising a lot of people who weren't sold on him when he was announced. From the premiere episode alone I can tell he's still fully embodying this character and then some. The special effects here, especially during the action scenes, are well done and the make-up / digital effects of some of the characters are fine. There’s nothing that's gonna ruin the episode or pull you out of it. What I really enjoyed about this episode is the central plot that happens within the mansion Geralt and Ciri are staying in for the night. It's simple, yet effective and truly a character/relationship building but you also get some interesting details from Geralt's past. You can start to see the interesting companionship between him and Ciri start to form.
I almost wish the whole episode just stayed on this one storyline for the whole of it and just on the one or two locations. I found that when it started to show other characters storylines and events happening within the world that it took away from the episode overall. I may be in the minority on that, but I believe this episode would have been more special and stronger overall if the other character storylines could have been held off until the following episode.
This season consists of 8 episodes 6 of which Netflix is allowing critics to immediately binge but the final 2 won't be available until release. From what I've seen so far throughout this new season, I think you'll agree that the show has only improved from season 1.