SERIES REVIEW – The third season of See is bloody, atmospheric, and explosive, but the interjection of dialogue-filled scenes discussing political maneuvers and military war plans takes too much of the momentum away. This Apple TV+ series review of See Season 3 contains no significant spoilers.
The idea that an entire world loses its ability to see, and is consequently thrust back into a transition between antiquity and the Middle Ages, is one of those brilliantly conceived sci-fi stories that feel both so familiar and yet utterly unique. This concept, which creator Steven Knight (Peaky Blinders) uses as the basis for See, has been used countless times in fictional novels, but it feels fresh on TV screens, at least it did in 2019.
Now, three years on from the series’ launch, the final season, which depicts the struggles of a country on the brink of war, is saying goodbye with a “big bang.” But unfortunately, only in a concrete sense. For the story is that in See, which has always featured gritty violence and post-apocalyptic war scenes, the enemy (as the end of season two hinted) now has an explosive arsenal of weapons that promises both fire and thunder in its arsenal.
Warmonger, vengeful warlord
The third season centers on a vengeful, bitter, and glory-hungry leader and a mad scientist determined to wage war on civilization with these newly acquired, godless explosives. (He’s a bit like Putin these days.) He believes that the sheer brute force of their newfound weaponry can help him eliminate his enemies and conquer continents while longing to build his own unstoppable empire.
The mad scientist with such big dreams is none other than Tormada, played by the deranged David Hewlett (Touch of Water), who backs these mad plans with truly charismatic and uncanny power. Tormada was Edo’s right-hand man, and after his leader’s death at the end of season two, he’s out for revenge, hunting down Baba Voss (Jason Momoa) with these unparalleled weapons at his side.
Baba Voss is “retired,”… but not for long
Our fearless leader, Baba Voss, has since exiled himself to the forest, where he forages alone and tries to live a quiet life away from the criminal turmoil of the city. The ensuing war, however, thrusts Baba back into ‘high’ society as he tries to warn his wife, Queen Maghra, of the dangers ahead.
This exciting plot point allows the series to put brutal warfare back on the screen, and the series uses this as an excuse for some atmospheric battle scenes. The way the blind armies find inventive ways to attack each other is also a nice added element that gives this world real depth. All beautifully realized, with sumptuous aesthetics and brutal violence.
A credible, blind world, but a lot of dialogues are boring
And See does a remarkably clever job of world-building, creating a blind society that feels authentic and believable. The showrunners don’t shy away from the uglier side of humanity, painting a feverish, frenzied people ravaged by this ancient virus. There’s religious hysteria, witch hunters looking for seers to set on fire. And in Sibeth (Sylvia Hoeks), we also get to see a severe psychopathic villain, once again brilliantly played by the 39-year-old Dutch actress.
But this rich world-building is a double-edged sword, leading us to become immersed in a mythology that can be disturbing. The series is occasionally bogged down by its mythology, unusual character names, and complex political vernacular. Too many scenes have too much dialogue and rely on political and military chatter to move the narrative forward.
If there’s a fight, let there be a fight…
Some of the dialogue is tedious to watch and confusing to follow. Still, the series has a tender side, with characters offering sage advice to each other and some characters expressing touching emotions for each other – even during surprising scenes between unexpected characters fighting each other. The juxtaposition – or even juxtaposition – of bloody violence and this family camaraderie is indeed a welcome dynamic, but these moments are constantly interrupted by the aforementioned contrived conversations.
Unfortunately, the See 03 season did not consistently carry on the excellent quality of the series. When the series concentrates on hard-hitting battles, clashes and wars, and heartfelt family drama, it becomes an intense and engaging series. Still, we are bored when these are interrupted by political dialogue and discussion. Fortunately, there is not much of the latter, but unfortunately, just enough for the third season to deserve only a “GOOD” rating, unlike the previous two seasons…