Warning: This article contains spoilers. After ending The End of the F***ing World Series 1 on a major cliffhanger two years ago, fans were quick to theorise how the show would ever continue as the source material, a graphic novel by Charles Forsman, had been exhausted in the first season. The release of the Season 2 trailer only brought about more questions. Why is Alyssa in a wedding dress? Would we see James again? Whose ashes are those? And who the hell is Bonnie?
Unfortunately, only one of these questions was answered in Episode 1. We meet a new character, Bonnie, in her own traumatic childhood, and soon learn about her connection to the pair. Although establishing Bonnie’s backstory early on let us get to know her, I wondered whether an entire episode dedicated to solely her was necessary, I was itching to see Alyssa again, and having to wait until Episode 2 made me impatient.
But it was worth the wait. After that shock reveal in Episode 2, we see the pair embark on another adventure, this time unknowingly pursued by Bonnie, the lover of previously murdered Clive Koch, who is set on vengeance after hearing the news of his death.
This series explores how the traumatic events season 1 affected the duo in different ways. Whereas a lot of television series and films imply that things go back to normal after a traumatic event is over, TEOTFW subverts the norm. It explores character complexities and develops James and Alyssa as people, showing how they’re coping, or not coping.
The characters are ultimately very relatable to a young adult audience
Despite the absurdity of the events in this show, and the extreme misfortune Alyssa, James, and even Bonnie face, the characters are ultimately very relatable to a young adult audience. A lot of people have dealt with or know someone who has been affected by traumatic events, no matter how big or small they seem, and a show like TEOTFW demonstrates the importance of dealing with it.
This season is full of parallels to the first. This shows the development of the characters after the events of season one, highlighting their change in reactions to certain scenarios, despite the feeling of reliving trauma. However, it also shows how parts of us stay the same, and all is not lost, even though it can feel like it. Despite having considerably fewer jokes and comic relief this season, it fits the theme that the new series had. If I’d watched a man be murdered in front of me I’d be a bit less sassy too. Catch it now on Channel 4.
Last modified: 12th November 2019