Alex Lawther and Jessica Barden revive their roles, James and Alyssa, as the modern day Bonnie and Clyde in “The End of the F***ing World” season two. The gripping British series returned to Netflix without falling short of its dark romance, nostalgic soundtrack and relatable inner-dialogue.
“It was a fitting end. A doomed love story. A perfect tragedy. And then I didn’t die,” said James.
James recaps all the feels of season one finale, which left off on a dramatic cliffhanger as the screen faded to black as a gunshot went off. Not knowing who was shot or if anyone lived, James’ voiceover in season two shows the audience that he, in fact, was the one who survived the gunshot.
The show fast forwards its audience a whole two years later, introducing a new character, Bonnie (Naomi Ackie). Bonnie, just like James and Alyssa, grew up her whole life with a broken family and a lack of love. We find out the plot of season two is her wanting revenge after finding out James and Alyssa murdered her “boyfriend” back in season one.
“I think [adding new character Bonnie] it’s a really brave thing to do,” said Barden in an interview with JOE. “I think it sets up the series in a brilliant way because it’s the first of many surprises.”
Portrayed throughout the show, season two primarily addresses mental issues and emotional abuse. It’s no doubt that James and Alyssa are two very sad people. However, straying away from season one’s focus of James convincing himself he’s a psychopath, this season seemed to focus more on James’ depression of losing his parents while carrying the weight of being a murder, and Alyssa’s battle with reliving her trauma after being assaulted.
“The season tackles mental health, loss and love in a very unique way, it makes everything confusing about the first season make sense,” said Twitter user Holden. “So good. Binging it, again.”
Mental health and abuse are both sensitive topics to touch on. However, the show’s willingness to allow the audience to see what goes on in each of the character’s minds gives the show a more relatable feel to it, rather than just watching a dark comedy about two star crossed lovers.
The exceptional character development is also something to take note of. Within the reputable inner-dialogue, the audience can see that all three characters are trying to find the answer within the people they love to try and fix their own internal issues. The characters finally become self aware of what their needs are compared to season one. With only eight episodes, James slowly starts to realize the toxic relationship he had with Alyssa from the beginning. For Alyssa, her character finally starts to think about the way she has been treating others, and how she’s been misleading people before thinking about what she wants for herself first.
The final episode ends with both characters choosing to stay with each other — with Alyssa coming to terms that she needs “a lot of time and some psychological help.” Although, the happy ending most likely means a season three will not be in the works, it ends perfectly enough that another season would just be dragging the storyline.