WarningMight contain spoilers.

Two years was far too long a wait, but I’m relieved to be able to say the show has lost none of its magic or charm. I’m only surprised to see the conflict between Hilda and Johanna repeated as if for the first time. It’s something I thought was resolved by the end of the first season.

Every episode is a delight, even the ones that stand alone, like ‘The Jorts Incident’. The finale was first rate—the eerie sequence when Hilda and her mother are first thrown out of Nowhere Space into a dark, sunless place with unrecognizable fauna made me initially assume they were in another dimension or something of the sort. I would have liked to spend more time there, but one could say that about the entire show.

The music is excellent. The score for ‘The Deerfox’ (which I’ll talk about below) is marvelous throughout. So are some sections from the finale. Setting the ending of ‘The Bells of Trolberg’ to Frankie Rose’s ‘Pair of Wings’[1] was a stroke of genius, and other similar choices work exceedingly well too.

There is simply no overstating how wholesome, sweet, charming, funny, interesting, and moving this unique series is. It’ll be tragic if the upcoming 70-minute special is the end. Granted, I’ve heard a third season is in production, but there is no official word beyond the movie. All I can do for now is promise myself I’ll rewatch the whole series soon.

On episode nine (‘The Deerfox’)

The greatest achievement of the season, and indeed the show as a whole: the masterpiece that is ‘The Deerfox’. One of the strengths of Hilda’s storytelling is how it plants the seeds of future stories as incidental details and doesn’t forget what came before. Rather than beginning and ending neatly in a single episode, the tale of Twig’s increasing unhappiness and dissatisfaction with their new life unfolds gradually and naturally, without undue emphasis, over the course of eight episodes, until everything comes to a head here at last. In the same vein, Johanna immediately and unhesitatingly becoming an active participant in the search is meaningful because we’ve seen a very different side of her all season.

Learning how Hilda and Twig’s relationship began only makes it all the more difficult not to weep when the moment comes for Twig to say goodbye to Hilda. The sadness and finality of the scene make it seem like it might truly be time for him to leave, and it’s impossible to begrudge him the chance to return to his parents,[2] no matter how your heart breaks. The tears flow immediately and without hesitation when he returns to save Hilda. He’s such a hero.

I thought the wolf was a regular fox because of its colouring. It was quite a frightening enemy for an animal that’s usually treated so casually in fiction.

  1. Which I only heard for the first time a few months prior, as it happens.
  2. They seem very sweet, if rather unconcerned about their son having been missing for years… but then would we recognize a deerfox expressing concern? What do we even know about them? This is the most we’ve ever seen.