Netflix’s fedora-wearing vigilante returns October 1st for the all-new season Carmen Sandiego Season 2. With that on the horizon, let’s remember what our courageous heroine has accomplished on her mission to restore the riches of the world to their rightful homes in our Carmen Sandiego Season 1 recap.
Carmen Sandiego Season 1 opens with a mysterious figure being pursued by an overly incompetent investigator by the name of Chase Devineaux and his overqualified assistant Julie Argent. The stranger in the oversized hat turns out to be Carmen Sandiego, world-class thief and nimble touch extraordinaire. San-Diego shows off her skill and prowess as she effortlessly navigates rooftops and obstacles with her stolen goods in hand. The artefacts in question happen to belong to a professor from the V.I.L.E Academy, a target we soon learn holds personal significance to Sandiego’s history. After fleeing the scene of the crime Sandiego is trapped by former classmate Gray (Code name ‘Crackle’), although this was part of Carmen’s plan all along as she knew her stolen treasure was being tracked.
Meanwhile, the audience is taken back in time as we meet young Carmen, otherwise known by her code name ‘Black Sheep’. Black Sheep has grown up on V.I.L.E Island, after being found as a baby, and is training to be a part of their mission to be professional thieves. After a spell of cabin fever, young Black Sheep pick-pockets a teacher in the hopes of communicating with the outside world. Meanwhile, a young man named ‘Player’ manages to hack the V.I.L.E network and ultimately reaches Sandiego on the stolen mobile. The pair of perfect strangers build a meaningful yet covert friendship.
After failing her graduating test with Professor Shadow-san, Black Sheep is left to wonder how she could have failed considering she is the top of her class. In an act of rebellion, Black Sheep defies orders and crashes her team members first mission off the island. When Black Sheep reaches the Mission site first she befriends the archaeological dig leader and gains an appreciation for its historical importance. When the camp is attacked by her own classmates, Black Sheep saves the dig leader from classmate Gray before being captured and returned to V.I.L.E island, soon after Black Sheep escapes with the help of her invisible friend Player. Meanwhile, in present-day Carmen Sandiego is explaining her side of the story to ex-classmate Gray who she has now trapped and left for Inspector Devineaux to find.
After her skillful escape from two unidentified agents aided by her Boston-born partners, Zack and Ivy, Player remotely navigates the trio to a secret lab in Indonesia in which V.I.L.E are planning their next evil mission. Sandiego and her entertaining partners act to foil V.I.L.E.’s plan to destroy Indonesian crops in order to promote their own branded rice. Whilst Carmen is off on her adventure and before inspector Devineaux and Argent could reach Gray for interrogation, he is swept up by the ‘Cleaners’ and returned to V.I.L.E’s headquarters. Gray is led to what he believes is attending a debriefing, but instead, he is met by faculty member Dr. Bellum, who inserts an ominous device into his head. The two mysterious agents from earlier receive a call from ‘Chief’ and are ordered to begin ‘Plan B’.
During a trip to Ecuador, Carmen explores a shipwreck with Ivy and Zack, stumbling upon a priceless doubloon with great historical significance. When a tuna swallows the Doubloon Carmen and her friends work to reach the treasure before V.I.L.E agents Topo and Chevre. Meanwhile agent Devineaux and Argent say goodbye after a long day when suddenly Devineaux is kidnapped by the two mysterious agents. The agents open a video call with the chief of A.C.M.E, a shadow investigation agency that believes Sandiego is the key to finding and taking down V.I.L.E. Argent manages to track down Devineaux and his kidnappers, Argent and Devineaux are then both recruited by A.C.M.E in order to track down Carmen San-Diego.
Sandiego’s next adventure takes her to the streets of Amsterdam as Carmen and her side-kicks Ivy and Zack work to infiltrate the pristine home of a scandalous art collector. Using ploys of disguise and ruse, Carmen and Ivy turn bumbling Zach into a passable duke allowing access to the building that houses a collection of irreplaceable art that has been stolen from its rightful places. During this escapade Detective Devineaux is hot on Carmen’s tail although he is unaware, believing he is chasing ‘The Duchess’ which happens to be Sandiego’s current alias. After successfully retrieving the art, the agents of A.C.M.E discover the chateaux destroyed and the paintings in their original locations. Meanwhile, Gray is seen walking off a bus in Sydney in front of the Sydney Opera House.
After following a lead Sandiego finds herself in Sydney also, where she sees Gray, who doesn’t recognize Carmen and now answers to his original name Graham. Confused, Carmen seeks answers from another V.I.L.E agent, Chevre, who gives her no answers but instead activates a low-frequency device before leaving. Player comes to the conclusion that this device is for hypnotic suggestion to influence V.I.L.E agents and possibly even Carmen. Gray and Carmen meet again, where Gray asks this now perfect stranger on a date to his favourite café. Later, Player’s suspicions are confirmed when Carmen ignores her better instincts to be controlled by the device previously left behind, only coming to her senses once the device has been disabled. After the relief that the day is saved Carmen decides to meet Graham at the café but quickly changes her mind believing he would be safer without her in his life.
Once again following her intuition Carmen manages to predict Professor Maelstrom’s plan to steal all 17 copies of the Magna Carta. Although this time San-Diego comes face to face with her old classmate and rival, Paper Star. Paper Star uses swift origami and paper folds to create surprisingly dangerous flying stars. After a brief fight with Carmen, Paper Star manages to steal the Magna Carter leaving Player to track her to a train for Carmen to later intercept. Meanwhile Argent and Devineaux have already boarded said train as they are investigating Paper Star and trying to figure out her relevance to Sandiego. After another intense fight between Paper Star and San-Diego, Carmen retrieves the Magna Carter leaving it for Devineuax to find, whilst Paper Star escapes having stolen Divneuax’s A.C.M.E staff card as consolation for her failure.
After attending a charity auction Carmen learns that criminal Mime Bomb has stolen a stamp worth $10.000.000. In a race to retrieve the valuable stamp Carmen comes face to face with V.I.L.E agent Tigress in a battle of wits and agility in order to keep track of the stolen artefact. Tigress was sent on Shadow-San’s suggestion much to the dismay of the rest of the faculty as they had little faith in Tigress’s competence. Mime bomb is eventually arrested by Devineaux and Argent and subsequently released in order to be followed in the hopes of being led to Carmen. After a chaotic car chase over the Golden Gate Bridge in which Carmen and Devineaux pursue Tigress and Mime Bomb, Devineaux ends up in the ocean and Tigress is retrieved by the ‘Cleaners’.
After V.I.L.E discovers the identity of the A.C.M.E card owner they begin to investigate Devineaux and soon realize a pattern: wherever Sandiego has been so has Devineaux. With this misguided information, V.I.L.E conclude that Carmen is not working alone but with the aid of Devineaux. Shadow-San and Brunt work together to kidnap and interrogate Devineaux, Carmen manages to rescue him just after he informs A.C.M.E of his whereabouts. Brunt betrays Carmen by trying to kill her whilst Shadow-San reveals he was the one to find Black Sheep as a baby and everything he has done so far was to protect her from a life of crime. The chief of A.C.M.E now deems Carmen a threat to be dealt with and Shadow-San disappears leaving only a hard drive of data with leads for future adventures.
Carmen Sandiego Season 2 premieres Oct 1st, 2019, let us know in the comments if you’re looking forward to the return of the famous fedora wielding thief.
Kelly has been a film critic for Ready Steady Cut since 2018. Kelly gained a BSc in Film Production and Technology leading to her most notable credit for the production designer for a short film screened as part of the London Film Festival line up.