Carnival Row season 2 takes place relatively shortly after Carnival Row season 1; however, much seems to have happened in the intervening time that is worthy of further examination. This Amazon Prime original series has received mixed reviews from critics and fans, but the show has done well to carve out a niche for itself in the modern streaming world. Carnival Row will likely end with season 2, which makes recapping the events between seasons 1 and 2 even more important.
Carnival Row season 1 ends with Philo and Vignette killing the Dark Asher and its master, Piety Breakspear. Unfortunately, after Chancellor Absalom Breakspear is murdered by a Fae cult, the Burgue falls into chaos and Jonah Breakspear, acting Chancellor after his father’s death, confines the Fae to Carnival Row. Philo then admits to his status as a half-blood and joins Vignette and the other Fae in the Row, ending Carnival Row season 1 on a sad note.
Vignette And The Black Ravens Maintain Resistance To The Burgue
After Vignette, Philo, and the other Fae are confined to the Row, Vignette and the Black Ravens show that they are continuing to resist Burguish oppression. Indeed, the opening scene of Carnival Row season 2 demonstrates this by showing Vignette and her companions stealing medicine from a Burguish train. Despite the presence of fly-wire, a type of barbed wire meant to keep Pix from flying, the Black Ravens have clearly found ways to continue their resistance.
After their confinement in the Row, the Fae’s living conditions reached an all-time low, making the Black Ravens’ resistance critical. However, it also made it much more difficult for the Ravens to operate, creating questions about how they could manage to continue functioning. Carnival Row season 2, episode 1 shows that Vignette and the others have managed to find ways of helping their people despite the incredible restrictions forced upon them.
Philo Fights To Save Darius
Meanwhile, Philo seems to have spent most of his time in the Row searching for a way to free Darius, his old friend from the Army who was bitten by a werewolf. Carnival Row is an underrated Amazon Original because of its commitment to seeing out smaller storylines, such as Philo and Darius’ relationship. Philo refuses to give up on his friends and always does what he thinks is right, making it critical to the integrity of his character that he continues to fight for Darius.
Carnival Row season 2, episode 2 shows Philo finally securing somewhat limited freedom for an initially ungrateful Darius. Philo describes going through a lot to spring Darius, so it seems like most of his time since the end of Carnival Row season 1 was dedicated toward this end. Philo has also clearly spent much time with Vignette, whom he lives with within the Row.
Agreus And Imogen Sail The Open Waters
Elsewhere, Imogen and Agreus have fled the Burgue and are sailing the open waters together. Agreus and Imogen are two of the few Carnival Row main characters who avoid tragedy at the end of season 1. Imogen is forced to leave her home and her brother behind, yet she seems content to do so she can be with Agreus.
Imogen and Agreus mention stopping in several ports during their travels but never disembarking their ship. That implies a sense of unease and confusion in their lives, but they still seem to have had a better time between Carnival Row season 1 and season 2 than any other characters. However, the good times come to a jarring halt at the end of season 2, episode 1, when a Pactish dreadnaught appears above them.
Jonah And Sophie Battle To Keep Control
In the Burguish capital, Jonah Breakspear and Sophie Longerbane fight to keep control of the government in the fallout of Absalom’s murder and Jonah’s extreme policies. The danger of imperial politics is one of Carnival Row‘s hidden details, and it all culminates with Jonah and Sophie’s story in Carnival Row season 2. Jonah’s decision to lock the Fae on the Row creates a massive economic slump for the Burgue in the short period between Carnival Row seasons 1 and 2.
Without the Fae, there is no workforce to keep the industry moving. This brings their economy screeching to a halt and puts enormous pressure on Jonah and Sophie to fix things or risk being ousted as Chancellor and Leader of the Opposition, respectively. The two maintain their secretive alliance as they battle to retain their positions and grow their influence.
A Revolution Takes Hold In The Pact
On the other side of Carnival Row‘s intricate, fantastical world, the Pact, a recent rival to the Burgue, experiences a Russian-style revolution. Though little word of the Pactish civil war seems to have spread to the Burgue, the former lords of the Pact appear to be on the back foot. It is difficult to say when exactly the revolution began, but it seems to have taken firm hold of the country between Carnival Row season 1 and season 2.
Agreus and Imogen’s story shows the Pact for the first time on Carnival Row in season 2, episode 2. Though the port of Ragusa, the city Imogen and Agreus are shepherded to, appears war-torn and frail from the outside, the inner city displays a unique harmony between humans and Fae. However, if the Pactish revolution is anything like the Russian Revolution, it is based on the harmony won’t last long.
A Fae Disease Devastates Carnival Row
It is difficult to know what to expect from Carnival Row season 2 after a Fae disease leaves Carnival Row devastated. Though it seems only to affect the Pix, the disease adds another layer to the already complex plot. Vignette calls the sickness Bás Dubh, and it seems to occur when Pix cannot fly regularly.
Vignette and the Black Ravens do their best to steal medicine to treat the illness, but it has little impact. The Fae are also likely suffering from other sicknesses that come from so many people being crammed into such a small place. It is unlikely that there is much clean water to go around, and their food supply seems drastically insufficient. The time between Carnival Row season 1 and season 2 has left the Fae in even worse conditions than they were already in.