Review: The Nevers Episode 2 Slows Things Down While Still Packing A Punch. Literally.
The newest sci-fi series in town is the quirky and special, The Nevers on HBO Max. The epic-in-scope show combines elements of powers-based genre stories but is set in Victorian England. The premiere episode of The Nevers landed pretty well, so I’ve been generally excited to see what the series holds for audiences going forward. As I’ll mention in this The Nevers episode 2 review, the HBO Original series does not disappoint, even though things slow down considerably in the new episode.
The Nevers Episode 2 Review Finds Optimism In Its Criticism
Image via HBO Max.
Unlike the premiere episode, The Nevers episode 2 really slows things down. This is almost always the case when shows go from the pilot to its second episode. Usually, this slowing down of pacing correlates to a dip in †he quality of the series as well. Fortunately, however, such is not the case with The Nevers episode 2. The show takes its time here to establish the individual characters and establish more of the story, in exchange for the fast-paced action sequences.
And it’s all still pretty riveting. The episode opens with two women discussing the Touched, who are in this world, people ‘afflicted’ with various powers. We learn of just how the mysterious villains preying on these young women are luring them to their cause. Continuing, the rest of the episode is more about setting up conflicts, character beats, and a last-minute reveal at the end that definitely changes the status quo of the rest of the season.
Character Development Is Key For An Engaging Story
Image via HBO Max.
The Nevers seems to realize that for a story to be riveting, the audience has to invest in the characters early. So this episode really spends the time to develop these characters, their motivations, and seemingly where their stories will go. Most poignant is that of the lead character of True (Laura Donnelly), who gets a great revelation by episode’s end, something only hinted at in episode 1. Even Penance Adair (Ann Skelly) gets a bit of a romantic subplot that was introduced in the premiere episode.
Along with her, we see the street-hardened beat cop Frank Mundi (Ben Chaplin) take on a more significant role. Mundi has a personal stake in the events of episode 1, which saw a young girl kidnapped at the hands of the serial killer Maladie (Amy Manson). Overall The Nevers episode 2 does a great job of keeping things relevant and engaging while almost taking a break from the larger action set pieces. Even though there is a brutal fight scene to look forward to in the third act.
Nothing Conclusive Just Yet
Image via HBO Max.
I’m a little wary of calling everything a success in this The Nevers episode 2 review. Even though a lot of it did work for me. The cabal of old white politicians discussing women’s rights and the Touched was a little off-putting. Which also feels like that’s the point of those sequences to begin with. Which counteracts the sympathetic character beat introduced for one of those characters, Massen (Pip Torrens) in episode 2. The show has a lot of parallels with feminism and women’s rights, similar to the allegory created by the X-Men with racism and the sense of ‘other’-hood. I’m still pretty invested in the characters so far and am keen to see where their journeys go.
The Nevers episode 2 premieres on HBO Max on April 18 at 9 PM EST.
Feature image via HBO Max.
Shah Shahid is an entertainment writer, movie critic (so he thinks), host of the Split Screen Podcast (on Apple Podcasts & everywhere else) and filmy father on a mission to educate his girls on decades of film history. Armed with uncontrollable sarcasm and cautious optimism, Shah loves discussing film, television and comic book content until his wife’s eyes glaze over. So save her by engaging him on his own blog at BlankPageBeatdown.com or on Twitter @theshahshahid.