(CTN News) – Having given part 1 of The Witcher season 3 even more thought and performed a considerable amount of science on the subject, I can say that it was pretty lousy.
It’s not much different from what I thought at the time. Now that the final three episodes have arrived on Netflix, I’m even more sure of it! It doesn’t magically improve season 3, and it may even highlight its shortcomings even more.
In addition to that, it has some cool sword fights and tons of wizards shooting lasers at each other.
Because there isn’t much left to do for the show, Part 2 won’t change any minds about season 3. The final three episodes merely ignite the gunpowder that has been (messily) strewn about the show’s characters and subplots.
It ends up being the biggest and most ambitious fantasy battle The Witcher has attempted so far, even if the character motivations don’t make any sense and the show has never really explained how magic works.
The devastation wrought in part 2 doesn’t really land on anything more than a superficial level since part 1 has thin characterization.
Part 2’s run time is dominated by denouement after its explosive start. The characters go on walkabouts, lick their wounds, and meet people that only book readers will understand.
Thus, the film ends in a downbeat manner that seems like it’s meant to feel like The Empire Strikes Back, but leaves viewers with a different status quo and little reason to care.
In retrospect, the decision to divide The Witcher season 3 into two uneven parts reveals a structural flaw that was present from its inception.
As a result, there is no way to discover who the master manipulator is in The Witcher season 3 and the story is contorted to meet the writers’ desire to surprise the audience.
The characters are therefore pushed along the Continent without feeling agency in order to get to the fireworks.
Adding a little Hitchcockian suspense, showing the viewers right from the start the threat (which book readers knew all along), and watching the characters get snared by a trap they didn’t see coming, might have served the season better.
For the sake of a reveal, we end up with a show that jumbles motivations, locations, and conflicts, making a second viewing worse rather than better.
As season 3 comes to a close, it’s difficult to describe what kind of show The Witcher is.
Although it’s trapped in narrative inertia, it still delivers fantasy fun in part 2 — Ciri (Freya Allan) gets her chance after spending most of the season in hiding, and part 2’s best moments revolve around what she’s up to — but the show’s creative team seems unwilling to change its approach, as episode after episode continues to cram tangles of knotty plotting into too few episodes without changing its approach.
This game is suffocating itself, and it doesn’t have to.
Thankfully, Geralt will be getting a new face with the magic of television recasting in season 4, as Henry Cavill steps down for Liam Hemsworth to replace him in the role.
There’s no doubt that The Witcher is going to benefit from this reset. This is necessary – because it is also a good chance for viewers to leave the show at this time.