WarningMight contain spoilers.

Having loved the stellar first season, I tried to keep my expectations in check for the second. I didn’t expect Anthony Mackie to match Joel Kinnaman’s towering performance, but, as someone who’s liked him in everything I’ve seen him in, I hoped he’d be able to use the central conceit of the show (the changing bodies) to maintain a sense of continuity yet create something unique and memorable.

Sadly, the Altered Carbon of the second season could not live up to the magnificence of the first. Anthony Mackie’s Takeshi Kovacs wasn’t just different; he was like another character entirely. Gone, too, was all the meaning infused into every scene. No longer was Poe a perfectly-balanced supporting character who held your interest without being forced into a larger role; now he was one of the focal points of the story.

The end of the second season left me feeling indifferent towards the show. There is no doubt the scope for a completely different third season that recaptures the compelling essence of the first, but if I never watched another minute of something under Altered Carbon name, I wouldn’t feel I had lost anything of value. (Just as well, in hindsight.)