A young woman begins receiving messages from an unknown number that claims to be her deceased father. Trying to uncover the truth, she stumbles upon a larger conspiracy involving the singularity.
Rotten Tomatoes: 100%
It’s Review Time (Season 2): 8
Cast & Crew:
Creator: Craig Silverstein
Katie Chang as Maddie Kim
Paul Dano as Caspian
Rosemarie DeWitt as Ellen Kim
Raza Jaffrey as Vinod Chanda
David Dae Kim as David Kim
Ron Livingston as Peter Waxman
Taylor Schilling as Renee
William Hurt as Stephen Holstrom
Thomasin McKenzie as MIST
Clyde Kusatsu as Ping
The story of Pantheon continues as Caspian becomes the head and leads Logorythms to find the cure for Uploaded Intelligence and stop the code of uploads from decaying. On the other hand, Maddie has lost her father’s UI.
As the story continues, we learn that Caspian has cracked the core to fix the degradation of UI’s code, and he has successfully fixed David’s UI with the help of Laurie’s code, but it has given birth to a CI (Cloud Intelligence) as MIST. MIST becomes a child born of David’s and Laurie’s code, which is powerful enough to fix and cure the code decaying of any UI, which will help them live forever and will not cause any glitches.
As for Ellen Kim, she is testifying against Logorythms at the Council provided by the Court of United States of America. Ellen has opened up about what Logorythms did to her husband, took his consciousness and uploaded it on a cloud server for their technological expansion and extermination. Although this provides David Kim with a longer life, but the top executives at Logorythms lied that David did not survive and died while they were uploading him. Ellen shares the pain and suffering one goes through while being uploaded and even the plans Logorythms has for uploading more people in the future, which was going without notifying the government. As Ellen shares more details about Logorythms, it leads to the revelation of the Data Center Logorythms in Norway.
Considering such risks, the Government of United States launched Commander Coupet, an astronaut who was uploaded and trained to tackle such unwanted and dangerous Uploaded Intelligence. And later, they launch a virus called Safe Surf, which eats up any UI on the internet.
Season 2 of Pantheon continued to live on the expectations it gave us in Season 1. Whether it is a uniquely weird story, its adaptation from the real world, people and events, or how close the future it predicts can be real, the writers of the series did an amazing job at showing us how scary AI and technological advancement can be.
Coming to this season itself, I can say that I had much more expectations from the second season of the series. After the cancellation and renewal of the series, it felt like the writer tried to rush the story and were eager to finish the story within this season. The second season begins with a quick pace and hardly gives the viewers any time to settle in. As soon as the viewer gets settled in, we have already reached episode 2 or 3 by then. That causes the viewer to miss some important details which might result in being somewhat important as the story continues further.
I wanted the writer to explore the series more than what they did. In season 1, story hardly started to build up to something that we could expect to blow up and expand even more but it is sad to see that the series ended with this season.
As for the rest of the things, considering it as a mini-series, Pantheon did wonderful to take its viewers on a science fiction journey that hardly anyone expected from an animated series. Yes, there are other anime and animated series that have unexpected plot lines, but the way Pantheon explored the near reality and took it further to years ahead gave chills to the people who are aware of Geopolitics and Global Leaders.
Let’s discuss the things I liked and disliked further in the sections below.
5 things I liked about the Season 2 of Pantheon:
There are a lot of things I really liked in this series and even in this season as well. So let’s start without wasting any time or just filling in the words in my blog.
- The continuity of the series remains excellent. Even after having a hiccup of being cancelled for a brief period of time and then later being continued by Amazon in specific parts of the world, writers, actors and animators do a great job at keeping up with the storyline and making sure that the viewers don’t feel out of place when they get back with the second season.
- There were numerous characters that were introduced in this season as well, but the writers didn’t waste any time in introducing the characters that hardly had any part or impact to make in the series or its main storyline. Yes, there were characters like Yair (Mark Ivanir), Farhad (Navid Negahban), and Olivia who were given back stories as they had important roles to play in the season.
- The possibilities the series explores are really scary. Just between the first and this season, we are introduced to AIs like ChatGPT and Google’s Bard which are way too powerful to handle and they keep on growing every single day. And thinking about what the series explores, uploading one’s consciousness entirely on a computer, where they live the way they want and can gain powers that can go beyond anyone’s control is just a chilling thought to think if this gets real. Yes, we might not be too far from this, but the way things are explored in the series is something that the entire world should be worried about.
- I still don’t get how did the writers pulled off such a stunt where they took real-world Corporate Giants, changed their names and had them as antagonists in their series. Whether it was Steve Jobs or Mukesh Ambani, the writers literally took them and had them as their big bads in the series. There could be even more that I might be missing on, but it takes some guts and strength to pull off such moves against such Billionaires who have a well established, well renowned companies.
- The maturity the writers display in this animated series remains fantastic. They did not care about who will be watching their show, the writers sticked with their vision and kept on expanding the possibilities they could take the story to. Yes, in the end, the story did get a bit vague and to the area of impossible to happen in reality, but still, the writers did a wonderful job at making us explore such a series.
5 things I disliked about the Season 2 of Pantheon:
Now coming to the part where I have complaints with the series, and especially this season in particular than the first one.
- It was a bit confusing at the start of this season to begin with. Pantheon is not available everywhere around the world, so I expected the creators or Amazon to at least release a video giving a recap of the first season on YouTube. There are not many people who watch it who might be creating recap video or even talking about it. It took me a while to remember the details that happened in the first season.
- As mentioned in the point above, I don’t know why this series is not available around the world. I understand that the first season was presented by AMC+ which is only available in USA, but for the second season with Amazon Prime, I expected it to be released worldwide on Prime Videos.
- The point I have mentioned in my entire blog, the pace was way too much to begin with in the very first episode. Writers don’t give enough time to the viewers who are tuning in back to the show, and instead considering their deadline, they rush to end the show within the limited number of episodes they got. The could have taken their time with increasing the time duration of last couple of episodes to wrap up with the story.
- There are many instances where one can recognise a similar voice being given to few other characters in this season. It might have been a cost cutting tactic from Amazon to make the actors they already have to act for other characters as well. In my review of first season, I said that AMC should have hired better actors. In this season, I would say that Amazon should have hired at least someone new to voice the various different characters in the series who do not even play a big role for the story. I heard the voice of Chanda, Ellen, and Peter Waxman for some other characters as well.
- The show ended way too soon. The series had potential to extended their story for at least 2 more season. The writers and creators should have been given more time to end their beautiful story much better. In the end, we see that Maddie literally becomes a Celestial (from Marvel) and is running an arena of simulation where she controls the worlds like a game. From there, the story went bizarre and for a series that was sticking to realism, I didn’t expect the series to end like this. Yes, it was still stunning to see what happened with the story at the end where Caspian and Maddie go back to the timeline where they first started interacting, that is the point where the series began in the first season and first episode.