Season three is gory, atmospheric, and explosive in nature, but the interspersed, dialogue-heavy scenes discussing political maneuvers and military stratagem ruin any built-up momentum.
This review of the Apple TV+ series See season 3 does not contain any major spoilers.
The idea of an entire world losing the ability of sight and consequently reverting back to the Middle Ages is one of those high-concept science fiction storylines that feels ever-so familiar and yet entirely unique at the same time. This concept, that creator Steven Knight (Peaky Blinders) uses as the basis for See, has been employed numerous times before in fictional novels, but feels fresh on our TV screens, or so it did back in 2019. Three years later and the series is drawing to a close, hoping to go out on an almighty bang with a nation on the brink of war. See always had hard-hitting violence on its side, now this tortured people have an explosive weaponry that promises fire and thunder within its arsenal as well.
The third season focuses on a vengeful lieutenant, who is desperate to wage war on the whole of civilization with these newly acquired, ungodly explosives. He believes their raw power alone will help him to abolish his enemies and conquer continents as he yearns to build an unstoppable empire of his own. The crazed scientist with these big dreams is none other than Tormada, played by an unhinged David Hewlett (The Shape of Water), sporting a truly iconic and ghastly appearance to go with those demented plans. Tormada was Edo’s right hand man and after his leader’s death at the end of season two, he now seeks his revenge, hunting down Baba Voss (Jason Momoa) with these unparalleled weapons by his side.
Our fearless leader, Baba Voss, has since exiled himself to the forest, where he scavenges for food alone, trying to live a quiet existence away from the city’s sinful upheaval. This ensuing war catapults Baba back into high society though, as he attempts to warn his wife, Queen Maghra, of the coming dangers. This exciting plot point allows the series to engage in some brutal warfare and the show capitalizes on this excuse for some atmospheric visuals. The battle sequences are beautifully realized, with gorgeous aesthetics and brutal violence. Watching the blind armies find resourceful methods to attack one another is also a nice, added touch that brings real depth to this world.
And See is remarkably adept at its world building, creating a blind society that feels authentic and believable. The showrunners don’t shy away from humanity’s uglier side either, painting a fevered, frantic people, ravaged by this ancient virus. There’s religious hysteria with witchfinders searching for sighted individuals, who they intend to set on fire. And in Sibeth (Sylvia Hoeks) we have a deranged villain to behold too. This rich world building is however, a double-edged sword, leading to an indulgence in what can be a jarring mythology. The show can be bogged down by its own mythology at times, with unusual character names and a complex political vernacular. Far too many scenes are dialogue heavy, relying on political and military chatter to push the narrative forwards.
Some of this dialogue is quite tedious to watch and confusing to follow, but there is also a tender side to the series, with characters supplying sage advice and touching sentiment towards one another. The juxtaposition of gory violence and this family camaraderie is a welcomed dynamic, although these moments are always intercut with the aforementioned, stilted conversations. In conclusion, when the show focuses on exhilarating action and heartfelt family drama it becomes an intense and engaging series, yet this is inconsistent overall.
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