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Carnival Row season 2 review – The end is here

by Sean P. Aune | February 17, 2023February 17, 2023 8:30 am EST

Is Carnival Row season 2 a worthy conclusion to the series? Find out in our Carnival Row season 2 review if it’s worth checking out!


Thanks to Covid, it has been an extremely long wait for Carnival Row season 2. Season 1 debuted in 2019, and then production had to wait for the pandemic to slow down. In our review for that season, we mentioned how it seemed to have an overabundance of storylines, which is still very much an issue in season 2. Thankfully, the first five minutes of this season are dedicated to reminding you of everything that happened just over three years ago.

When season 2 kicks off, Philo (Orland Bloom) is still living in the Row with Vignette (Cara Delevingne). The bigotry towards the refugees seems to only be getting worse, and their lives on the Row are miserable to say the least.

Meanwhile. Imogen (Tamzin Merchant) and Agreus (David Gyasi) are still on the run from Ezra (Andrew Grower), and living their lives at sea.

Tourmaline (Karla Crome) is dealing with some new issues that she is less than thrilled about.

All told, everyone is in a state of flux and needs to be reset as the season begins. And most definitely, no one ends the season in the same way they began it.

This season does a lot to expand the world as we finally get to see a bit of the lands of The Pact, and the civil war that they are now fighting amongst themselves. We also meet a new monster that completely defies description. You’ll just have to see it for yourself, and then probably have nightmares for a month.

Where season 1 already overwhelmed us with stories, geographically separating the characters makes that even more awkward in season 2. Entire episodes are spent in the Row, and the very next episode will be spent 100% with Imogen and Agreus. It’s not until much later in the season do they begin to twist back together.

And there is a whole new twist that is brought in this year for Imogen and Agreus that, while interesting, feels like a heavier burden than this series needed to deal with.

It remains unclear if the creators knew this was the final season when they started, but it feels that they definitely knew by the end. While there are openings for further adventures of everyone, there is an epilogue that wraps up nearly everyone’s stories to a point that you can walk away satisfied that you received a complete tale.

Carnival Row seemingly had a lot of promise, and it just never quite lived up to it. If you enjoyed season 1, you will definitely want to finish the journey. If you were waiting to find out if you should bother, you can easily come down on the side of skipping the series.

Disclaimer: Amazon provided The Nerdy with all 10 episodes of Carnival Row season 2 for the purposes of this review. We watched them to completion before beginning this review.


Sean P. Aune

Sean Aune has been a pop culture aficionado since before there was even a term for pop culture. From the time his father brought home Amazing