Rusty's World

Russian Doll | February 21, 2019

SPOILERS

SERIOUSLY, IF YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED RUSSIAN DOLL, TURN BACK NOW.


ALSO, IF YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED RUSSIAN DOLL, YOU SHOULD REALLY DO THAT, THEN COME BACK HERE.

Okay, that should do it.

All right, when I finished watching Russian Doll, I was blown away by how good it was. It was incredibly entertaining and thought provoking. I walked away knowing what I had seen and didn’t think there was any debate.

Then I read an article talking about what happened in the show and I was amazed by how wrong it was.

So then I asked my wife what she thought happened in the show and it wasn’t what I thought happened (though it was different from what the article said).

So then I asked another friend who watched it and he also had a different take than mine. Then HE read an article by the creators who gave a different take. Then people were asking for a Season 2, which made absolutely no sense to me, based on my reading of the show.

So… I am wrong, I guess? But that makes the show much worse, unfortunately.  However, whenever I talked about it with anyone and told them my take, they agreed that it made the show better.

So, here goes.

Why should there be no season 2?

Because the main characters are already dead.

They were dead all along. Nobody came back from the dead and replayed their last day(s). They were already dead and replaying it in some sort of purgatory afterlife. They had to learn the lessons needed before they could move on. At the end they did exactly that.

Sure, this could just be a random theory (like people who wrongly said that Lost was purgatory), except there are things that happened on the show that made no sense unless this was what happened.

I have four examples (though I bet there are more):

1. Things and people started vanishing the more times through the characters went. Where did those things go? If this was just a re-run, things that were not directly affected by the main characters should remain unchanged. (I know that whole parallel timeline thing that popped up at the end can explain this somewhat, but pretty weakly. ‘In this parallel timeline there are no such thing as mirrors!’ is the worst Sliders episode ever.)

Stuff could change because none of it was real anyway.

2. The final look at the party only had Maxine (Greta Lee), remaining. It was the natural final stage of the party and its diminishing guests, but when Nadia (Natasha Lyonne) tried to urge Maxine to come with her, she gave back a deadpan ‘I can’t.’ Why? Because she isn’t real. She is a construct of this place and had to follow the specific rules for it. If she was still a real person, why would she have restrictions AND KNOW SHE HAD RESTRICTIONS that she couldn’t leave the apartment?

3. When Nadia finally met Lucy (Tatiana Rivera), the young girl initially acted normally but then, as Nadia started to get ‘ill’, she responded as an omniscient narrator (or at least a semi-omniscient narrator).
Was that normal behaviour? Was this a parallel timeline where Lucy was somehow aware of the actions going on in the meta plot and able to advise Nadia? Or was she a construct of the world, pushing Nadia down the path?

4. When Nadia and Alan (Charlie Barnett) had their breakthroughs and either merged timelines or went on with their lives (depending on which of those accounts you believe), they stumbled across a… parade of homeless people? Or something? It was a great scene, but made absolutely zero sense if you think this is just life as usual. (The homeless parade timeline?)


Nadia and Alan have been dead the whole time. (Well, from their first deaths, anyway.)


This is also why I cringed at the idea of a second season. What would a second season look like if they were dead? And if it shows that they AREN’T dead, it makes the first season so much worse! Disappointing!

(Note: They could still make further seasons if they mess with the format, like American Horror Story did.)

(Not like Fargo or True Detective, though, because that would eliminate Natasha Lyonne, and she is just too great.)


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