06/13/2024

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Review: ‘Kubra’ Season 2 Remains Thought-Provoking Despite Being A Step Down

The post Review: ‘Kubra’ Season 2 Remains Thought-Provoking Despite Being A Step Down appeared first on Ready Steady Cut.

I’ll say this about Kubra Season 2 – it’ll get you thinking. And not many shows do that these days, let alone on Netflix.

Kubra was unexpectedly great when it debuted its equally thought-provoking first season. What started as a character study became an examination of faith itself; our need to cling to it, revel in it, and be swayed by those who seem to embody it. By the end of Season 1, though, it had morphed into something else, a cautionary tale about AI and how creeping technological advancement might intersect with religion.

Season 2 takes on a more sci-fi tone. With the true nature of Kubra now revealed, these eight episodes give it a life of its own. Its mischief-making extends way beyond manipulative chatroom theatrics. It can now breach every digital security system in the world. It can topple governments, empty banks, and create prophets.

Gokhan still fancies himself one of those. In the more mythical first season, he toyed with the idea that he could work miracles and commune with Allah. But when he discovered the truth, he had a choice to make. He could admit he had been swindled or double down. He chose the latter.

Gokhan was targeted by Kubra in the first instance because he was the exact right mix of economically vulnerable and malleably faithful. But the real secret ingredient was arrogance. Gokhan had to believe, deep down, that he was capable of being a prophet; that he was so important God himself would speak through him. It only stands to reason that he’d be unable to let that newfound power go.

Throughout Kubra Season 2, Gokhan lies to himself again and again. He tries to rationalize the AI as God’s will, not just the tool of a greedy tech executive (is there any other kind?). He won’t accept he’s being used, instead claiming to be using Kubra’s overlords to his ends. But what are those ends? World domination? An ever-growing following? He doesn’t even seem to know himself.

This is an interesting angle for a second season to take. The first was about Gokhan’s rise, but Season 2 is about his downfall, the hemorrhaging of his followers and values as he lives in perpetual denial. As the season begins, Gokhan is already a wanted man for his ATM stunt, and the faith of his followers is immediately tested by the increased scrutiny. Even his staunchest allies quickly begin to reconsider their allegiance to him as his Messiah complex causes more and more harm.

Without the potential mysticism that propped up Season 1 – the reveal didn’t come until very close to the end – it’s undeniable that Kubra Season 2 has lost an essential quality. But it retains a provocative thematic throughline, and the performers rise to the challenge of selling the dilemma Gokhan finds himself in.

TV these days rarely makes you think, but Kubra is very good at that. It’s a worthwhile quality for a show that benefits from a global streaming release, where it can find the right audience through word of mouth over time. The construction is respectable, without any need to be overly, patronizingly “arty”, and a show this content to let its subject speak for itself without much flourish is always worthy of respect.

The post Review: ‘Kubra’ Season 2 Remains Thought-Provoking Despite Being A Step Down appeared first on Ready Steady Cut.