Fate: The Winx Saga season 2 remembered the magic of friendship

Fate The Winx Club Saga Season 2. (L to R) Precious Mustapha as Aisha, Eliot Salt as Terra, Paulina Chavez as Flora, Abigail Cowen as Bloom, Elisha Applebaum as Musa, Hannah Van Der Westhuysen as Stella in Fate The Winx Club Saga Season 2. Cr. Steffan Hill/Netflix © 2022.
Fate The Winx Club Saga Season 2. (L to R) Precious Mustapha as Aisha, Eliot Salt as Terra, Paulina Chavez as Flora, Abigail Cowen as Bloom, Elisha Applebaum as Musa, Hannah Van Der Westhuysen as Stella in Fate The Winx Club Saga Season 2. Cr. Steffan Hill/Netflix © 2022. /

Spoilers ahead of Fate: The Winx Saga season 2

I want to open this review by giving praise where praise is due. Fate: The Winx Saga season 2 is a shining example of a writers room taking the critiques of their freshman run and using them to expand their storytelling. When I tell you that this sophomore season outpaces season 1 by light years, I say that with immense joy in my heart.

First and foremost, the way friendship is a through line and a supportive element in season 2’s narrative is beautiful to see unfold onscreen. Last season, much of the story centered on Bloom, her search for answers, and her slow acclimation to the new world she’d been dropped into after setting her parents’ room on fire and seriously injuring her mother.

Terra, Musa, Stella, and especially Aisha were more like satellites moving around Bloom and existing in plots that were primarily focused on romance or they were working as supports or obstacles for Bloom. They were not a quintet of friends despite the show telling us they were. Season 2 presents a different story.

Bloom is not lone wolfing her way through episodes. While there’s plenty of emphasis on the immense power she wields with the Dragon Flame, and how this pushes her to take missions on herself, there’s an incredible amount of teamwork seen in this second season.

The girls play to their strengths, they strategize together, they lovingly rag on each other’s plans, and are frank when one of them oversteps their bounds. This is apparent right out of the gate. The season hits the ground running in its premiere as our quintet organizes a rescue mission for Silva and we’re reacquainted with their powers in a stunning sequence.

Fate: The Winx Saga season 2 goes beyond aesthetic and builds its lore

Fate: The Winx Saga
Fate: The Winx Saga – Netflix /

In my review of season 1, I noted that Fate: The Winx Saga needed to find its identity. To me, the show came off as a generic supernatural drama with messy storytelling and wasted potential. Much of this had to do with its weak world-building.

Yes, the Winx are a known property and the cartoon is beloved, but the live-action adaption couldn’t afford to rest on the laurels of its source material. After all, Netflix turned it into an aged-up grimdark teen fantasy so its main audience draw was likely made up of subscribers who either didn’t know the cartoon’s lore or didn’t care about it. As such new lore would need to be established.

While the show’s freshman season did introduce us to fairies, Alfea, Blood witches, Specialists, the Burned Ones, Solaria, and the Other World, much of it felt empty like words thrown on a page without much thought to it. That’s not how season 2 comes across.

The fairies are no longer non-descript magical beings who could be confused with witches. Their magic, which is shown through out the season in both mundane and spectacular fashion (as it should be), is innate, natural, and tied to their unique world.

There’s a particular focus on guidance, connection, and family that speaks to how vital having a community is to a person’s development. Season 2 is helped along by the levity that’s sprinkled in among the gravity that is the war brewing in the background between the fairies and the Blood witches.

Bloom and the rest of the girls are dealing with a lot. Rosalind, who is essentially the anti-thesis of the late Headmistress Dowling, is scheming, manipulating, and exercising her will in a manner that’s detrimental to those around her. But, the season still makes room to explore what’s happening to these characters outside of preparing for the worst.

Aisha gains a love interest in Grey, a specialist she initially has a prickly relationship with until she softens and fumbles her way through a romance with her friends as her wingwomen. Musa’s struggling with the realities of being a mind fairy during a time of spiked stress and tension at the school.

Terra is coming into herself and fully embracing the fact that she’s gay (yes, she gets a love interest, too). She’s also contending with family issues due to the pressure her father and brother are under with Rosalind. Plus, her cousin Flora has arrived and as much as they love one another, they’re clashing like mad when it comes to life or death situations and who should be in their social circle.

Flora’s addition to Fate: The Winx Saga is seamless. She’s a calming force, but she also wears her heart on her sleeve which can lead to reckless choices that need to be cleaned up later. However, just like the other girls, she’s brave and forthright in her conviction to protect the people she loves.

As for Stella, she spends the season finding her way. When her mother, the queen, restricts her ability to come and go from the school, Stella must face the facts of her situation. She’s a princess who isn’t respected and the heir to a throne currently occupied by a woman who’s as slippery as an eel. It’s a head trip and one that sees her forming an unexpected bond with Beatrix.

And, in the midst of this, Bloom is dealing with her guilt over freeing Rosalind. She’s trying to help Sky come to terms with Silva lying to him about his father. She’s also working on controlling her powers and letting her friends in to help her even when her instinct is to act alone.

Honestly, season 2 has a lot to say about support systems and what each person needs to survive and thrive. But, and I cannot stress this enough, it’s also pretty cool. The fight sequences are engaging. We see more of Alfea including the town the students frequent during their off time. The story is cohesive and compelling, the stakes are apparent from the beginning, and season 2 answers more questions than it leaves its audience with by the end.

I will note that a couple of the plot twists don’t land quite as smoothly but, for the most part, this sophomore season is solid. By the finale, you’ll be begging for more of this story. Last season, I’d completely written Fate: The Winx Saga off by the end. But this season, I can truly say that not only did the show improve, it excelled.

If Netflix doesn’t renew the series for a third season, they’ll be letting go of a gem that’s proven the best is yet to come. They can only go up from here. I expect an even bigger and better season is in our future.

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