- Hamish Hart
Your Honor (Season 2) Review
THE premiere episode of the New Orleans based crime-drama Your Honor proved to be as harrowing as it was heartbreaking, receiving substantial viewership and ending with a finale that caused a chain reaction of unprecedented events to follow. But despite these events technically being followed up on in the second season, Your Honor now feels slightly deflated when compared to its predecessor both thematically and emotionally.
With the death of his son greatly weighing on him since being incarcerated, former judge Michael Desiato (Bryan Cranston) is offered a chance at redemption from agent Olivia Delmont (Rosie Perez). However, upon learning he must infiltrate the notorious Baxter crime family, Michael must decide what is more important: living with regret or dying with closure.
One of the greatest strengths about Your Honor’s first season was its ability to create meaningful relationships, with much of Season 1 focusing on the continual struggle between single father Michael and his son Adam. The contrast between the two felt natural considering the situation both were involved in. Michael’s downfall was understandable for the viewer as he was simply a father trying to protect his son, while Adam was near opposite, trying to live his best life by becoming embroiled in a dangerous relationship as he had come to terms with his actions and excepted his inevitable fate.
Season 2 attempts to fix minimal problems from the first such as the lack of different perspectives from other crime syndicates. But in an ironic twist, this season end up leaning too far in the other direction by focusing too much on Michael’s adversaries.
Certain perspectives were intriguing and necessary for the story they were conveying, but when a full episode is devoted to a character who plays a minimal role in the final episode, it led many to question whether their involvement was justified, thus resulting in a flat season finale.
Your Honor carries my most favoured aspect from season to season: the acting. Apart from some minor characters, nearly everybody delivers a compelling performance. Cranston continues his seemingly never-ending streak of wonderful performances, once again being the standout in a show littered with them. Other standouts included the ever-underrated Michael Stuhlbarg as Jimmy Baxter, Isiah Whitlock Jr as the city’s underhanded mayor, and Lilli Kay as Fia Baxter who was the most improved when compared to her Season 1 role, coming across more relatable and apathetic in this most recent season.
Your Honor may have slightly fell off the hinges when compared to its impressive coming out season, but Season 2 still features an absorbing narrative that boldly broadened the horizons of its characters by expanding on old favourites while developing new ones. The gamble of this latest season is one that will hopefully pay off if the series is renewed for a third, but if it isn’t, Your Honor will have solidified its legacy as a show that is the opposite of wine – it got worse with age.