The first installment of this, apparently, larger epic was pretty much a police procedural (in the BBC and Aussie format) with a brushstroke of the supernatural. That brushstroke added some interesting insights into Dominic Ona-Ariki’s main character and culture, but felt more a distraction and forced aspect to set the show apart.
This second series is still a murder mystery, but things take a strong left turn deeply into the spiritual as well. What was a brushstroke in the previous run is now very much at the center of of the tale. In addition, several of the main characters see ends to their paths begun in series 1 and other new paths are opened up. Understanding? Well not as much, but certainly a bit more of the history behind the titular bridge.
Main character stories that see the most expansion are driven by Joel Tobeck, Alison Bruce, and Michelle Langstone. Tobeck and Bruce follow stories that track straight out of the first round. Langstone’s story is more of new expansion, based on her first introduction but going off in another direction.
Overall, the show is decidedly unique in feel. While the murder mystery is central, it is really more about Ariki’s struggle with his visions and draw to the bridge. The finale does bring us to a pause, but it is far from a resolution to the questions the show raises. As of the finale, series 3 has yet to be announced, so I don’t know if it will ever be fully resolved, but I could live with the ending if I needed to. But I’m curious enough to go back if offered. A word of warning though: It’s definitely a darker show that I could only consume at the rate of one episode at a time. It isn’t grisly, it’s just, well, sad, paced, and depressing. That doesn’t make it bad, but it does mean you should plan your viewing appropriately.