Fate: The Winx Saga quickly became one of Netflix’s most popular titles when Season 1 was released in January 2021. It wasn’t without controversy, though. The series is an adaptation of the animated series, The Winx Club, and fans of the original show were quick to note that the Netflix series had seemingly whitewashed some of the characters for live-action. Criticism which some of the actors took to heart. Now, with Season 2, the series seems keen to try to do better by being more inclusive, and ultimately, these decisions help to carry an otherwise uneven season.
The second season of Fate: The Winx Saga picks up after the events of Season 1. The students of Alfea College are adjusting to life at school with headmistress Farah Dowling (Eve Best) still missing and Miranda Richardson‘s Headmistress Rosalind seeking to take back control. She’s strict, secretive and focused on Bloom because she’s the first fairy to transform at Alfea College in a long time. Sadie Soverall‘s Beatrix and Ken Duken‘s Andreas remain by her side as she seeks to right the “wrongs” of Dowling. Unfortunately for her, though, Bloom and the girls are not on board with her secrecy and the mysterious disappearance of Dowling. Eager to seek answers, Bloom and the others will have to take risks that could ultimately cost them everything.
Fate: The Winx Saga Season 2 is a lot better than the first season. But there is one issue the writers seem to continue to struggle with. Bloom remains the least interesting character of the group, which is unfortunate given her powers and what she’s meant to be capable of doing. It’s frustrating because it’s not the actress that fails in the role. Abigail Cowen gives her all to Bloom’s story. The problem is in the writing. It feels like Bloom’s story is never going to change. She has the dragon flame, yes, but when will she be able to be more than the fairy with the dragon flame? Allow the character to grow instead of making her reckless, leaving those around her to constantly clean up her mess. Thankfully, the other girls are fascinating.
Season 2 sees the rest of the girls spread their wings – pun intended. Aisha (Precious Mustapha), Musa (Elisha Applebaum) and Terra (Eliot Salt) all get a chance to shine. Especially Aisha, who was often used to drive the plot forward in Season 1 by “snitching.” Season 2 allows her to become a fully realized character. She’s allowed the chance to be an actual student and, more importantly, an actual teenager. The first season made Aisha out to be a goody two shoes who had no problem snitching on her friends. Her entire identity was the upstanding student who dared not to be reckless like her friends. This season, though, she’s allowed to have faults, she’s allowed to have relationships outside of the girls. It’s a much-appreciated change. The same can be said regarding the others, too. Terra and Stella, especially, feel as though they’ve grown tremendously since the first season. The only character to feel poorly conceived is Beatrix, who doesn’t change much from the first season. She’s a frustrating character who truly sees no real character development; it’s hard to decipher who she truly is as the show still remains unclear of who she is until the very last episode of the season. As for the boys? Some of them make strides this season, but honestly, they’re around more so to serve the plot than to truly become their own important characters.
As for the story, well, this is where Fate: The Winx Saga struggles a bit. Overall, it’s a strong season, sure, but there are plenty of issues throughout that do pull it down quite a bit. The fight scenes are still incredibly short; it usually takes a matter of five minutes for someone to come out on top and it’s always rather predictable. More importantly, though, the story has not changed much since the first season. Which is frustrating because by season’s end? There’s still plenty we don’t know regarding questions brought up during the first season. Should a third season be ordered, there’s sure to be plenty of new and exciting stuff to cover judging by the ending, however, the season does often feel like filler because it doesn’t advance nearly as much as it should. With that in mind, the character moments this season make for a strong sophomore effort. The young cast gives it their all, delivering some stellar moments in an otherwise uneven season.
Is it the best sophomore season of a Netflix series? Far from it. Is it still enjoyable? Yes.
While there’s still plenty of things Fate could do better, it does make an effort to try to be more inclusive this season. That, of course, does not make up for the casting issues many brought up during season one, but there is an obvious effort being made this time around and it doesn’t feel forced, which is a nice change.