Carnivale Season 2
With Lodz dead, Ben Hawkins fully understands his healing powers and guided by Management, the Russian Beljakov, he continues his search for his father, Henry Scudder. Some of the carnies realise that something strange is going on, but they don’t have any proof and with Samson holding the ropes tightly with support from Management, the carnival continues to aid Hawkins in his search. However, Brother Justin is also looking for Scudder as the man has powers Justin needs to fullfil his task to bring Hell on Earth and to aid, he sends out Varlyn Stroud, a criminal who kills everyone who gets in his way.
Meanwhile, Justin’s sister Iris keeps cleaning up his mess and starts doubting that the choices she made are the correct ones as she starts to understand that Justin isn’t the man of God she thought he was. With Justin benefitting from his radio appearances, a huge amount of people start gathering at New Kanaan to join up with Brother Justin in search for salvation. One of them is Sofie who has left the carnival and starts working as Justin’s maid. But there’s something strange going on between those two and it looks like Justin doesn’t have such a grip over Sofie as he has over other people…
Sound and Vision:
Except for some minor aliasing there’s nothing to complain at all. The saturated colors, contrast, amount of detail and sharpness are all extremely good and deliver a very high viewing quality. Compression errors or damage are absent.
We get a 5.1 soundtrack that’s focused primarily on dialogue but the surround speakers do create some additional atmosphere and are used for sporadic effects that bring in that little extra to make it stand out of the crowd compared to other series.
– Three audio commentary tracks by Daniel Knauf, producer Howard Klein and cast & crew
– Magic and Myth: The Meaning of Carnivale: documentary that gives better insight in the mythology and also talks about where season 3 would have gone to if it would have been made
– Museum of Film and Television: the most important cast & crew appear on a Q&A session
– Creating The Scene: four scenes are analysed by the makers
This second season of Carnivale continues the almost artistic way of telling the story of the battle between good and evil but does have some differences with the first season. The acting is still splendid and while the first season was filled with a magical and mysterious atmosphere, this time we get a more straight foward story that will appeal more to people in general. As the season continues, the pace gets heightened and especially the last four episodes are going in overdrive compared to all the other episodes and especially the first season. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing but the fact that HBO has ended the series with this second season does bring some disappointment seeing that there’s a major cliffhanger at the end. Will Ben Hawkins survive? Is Brother Justin going to come back? How will Sofie evolve? We’ll never know…
Technically, Warner is delivering a decent dvd package with good image and sound quality and some interesting extras to top it all off.