Season One of The Mosquito Coast was one of the best TV shows of 2021. It was unique, had a great script, and an excellent cast performance. So it was with bated breath that Season Two would be just as good, especially since Season One ended on a cliffhanger. It is based on a novel written by actor Justin Theroux’s uncle Paul Theroux, who also serves as the series’ producer alongside Justin.
Despite the direct link to the author of the book, the TV version deviates significantly from the source. This worked particularly well in Season One, which greatly expanded on the original material with more current geopolitical references and included a number of unexpected twists and turns. That in turn made the entire series feel fresh and relevant. Season Two, on the other hand, felt like a completely different series. The entire plot has shifted to following the fugitive family on their escape boat and their new home in the jungle with a slew of other people fleeing persecution by law enforcement for various environmental protests. This whole premise seems unrealistic and hard to swallow. The confined jungle locale also meant the characters’ movements are severely restricted within their jungle haven. The series’ overall pace had slowed, and it frequently seemed aimless. Some scenes and characters added little to the overall story and could have easily been edited out. Instead, it all seems to take a long time for anything to happen and felt like it was just prolonging the whole series to fit into 10 episodes where in could all have probably been cut down to 7 episodes like in Season One.
On the plus side, we still have a great cast, but they seem a little lost this time around, and I found myself feeling disassociated most of the time. The slow pacing felt off, as if the show was being stretched out to accommodate 10 episodes. It’s ironic and contradictory that while the series seemed to take its time in the earlier episodes, it felt rushed by the time the final episode aired. At the very least, season two provided a proper closure, so we can hopefully avoid a season three.