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Warning! The following contains spoilers for Altered Carbon Season 2. Read at your own risk!
Altered Carbon is back, and really hits the ground running in Season 2. There's action, intrigue, a stellar cast, and so much more to enjoy than in Season 1, though the plot does get a little crazy. Takeshi is tracked down by a bounty hunter three decades after Season 1, and taken to a Meth who promises him information on his long lost love Quellcrist Falconer.
Altered Carbon Season 2 has a lot of moving pieces, so it's understandable if you missed a piece or two. The following is a breakdown of how things worked out for each major character and where things could end up for them down the stretch.
What Happened With Quell
Quellcrest Falconer turned out to be alive, but as was shown early on, she wasn't herself. Altered Carbon revealed that Takeshi's sister Reileen had captured Quell some time ago, and had her cryogenically frozen near the Songspire tree on Harlan's World. The process kept Falconer alive in her original body without change for centuries, but also allowed an Elder (the former inhabitant species of Harlan's World) within the tree to merge with her stack. The Elder, hellbent on revenge against humanity for exterminating its species to create Harlan's World, took control of Quell and went about killing Meths in the city.
The Elder realized it could unleash the power of the Elder tech that protected Harlan's World, Angelfire, but not without killing itself and the person it inhabited. With the help of Poe and Dig, Takeshi was able to isolate the Elder from Quell's stack, and trap it in its own construct in virtual reality. While the Elder wasn't completely contained, Quell was free and her memory of her past life was fully restored thanks to Takeshi's prior efforts. At the end of Altered Carbon Season 2, she left Harlan's World to continue her revolution.
What Happened With Trepp
Altered Carbon Season 2 came and went, and truth be told, Simone Missick's Trepp was worse off for it. The Harlan's World bounty hunter lost her father, and put her own family at risk once Danica Harlan learned she was working with Takeshi. One slight positive was that she did get closure on her missing brother, but his corrupt DHF was a crappy consolation prize. Ultimately her family was safe though, so that's a slight positive, right?
What Happened With Poe And Dig
After trying to avoid it through the majority of Altered Carbon Season 2, Poe finally rebooted his glitchy system to help Takeshi. He's lost all his memories, but it's possible he could regain them with the help of Dig. As Dig helped Poe get re-acquainted with the world she found something interesting in his memories. It was the raw data of a human DHF that could possibly be brought to life if they can find a stack and sleeve for it.
What Happened With Carrera/Jaeger
The Protectorate's point man Carrera had been involved in the drama from the very start of Altered Carbon Season 2, and as Takeshi learned later, even further back than that. Carrera was actually a re-sleeved mentor of Kovacs from his days in CTAC, Jaeger. Towards the end of the adventure, Jaeger was possessed by the Elder, and killed when Takeshi sacrificed himself. With that said, Jaeger told Takeshi Prime (more on him in a bit) The Protectorate keeps copies on hand of assets, so it is possible we could see Jaeger sometime again.
What Happened With Takeshi
Altered Carbon Season 2's back half got a little crazy when it was revealed The Protectorate had double sleeved Takeshi without his knowing. The "new" Takeshi, Takeshi Prime, was copied 300 years prior, specifically before Takeshi had gotten to know Quellcrest Falconer. He was of the opinion she was a dangerous target, having not been through all the events with her that the Takeshi Altered Carbon had followed to this point had.
Takeshi Prime also had beef with Anthony Mackie's Takeshi, especially after Jaeger informed him his older self killed Reileen. If all went according to plan, Takeshi Prime would help the Protectorate kill the older Kovacs and Falconer, and help the organization win favor with the independent planet of Harlan's World.
Takeshi Prime did his best to bring in his other self and Quell, but was eventually swayed by both that the Protectorate didn't have his best interest in mind. Takeshi Prime eventually linked up with the heroes in order to stop the Elder, who had taken over Jaeger's body after being expelled from Quell. The Elder had created a device to harness the power of Angelfire without doing further damage to itself, and would destroy all humanity on Harlan's World if successful.
Ultimately the being was stopped, but at a great cost. Anthony Mackie's Takeshi sacrificed his own life in order to eliminate the being and destroy the device used to weaponize Harlan's World in order to keep it out of the hands of government officials. With Mackie's Takeshi a pile of ash, Takeshi Prime suffered no punishment from the illegal double-sleeving and was asked to remain on Harlan's World for a while as things settled down.
So Wait, The Takeshi We Know Is Really Dead?
The answer is yes, and no. The Takeshi Kovacs fans followed in Season 1 and Season 2 is really dead, but that doesn't mean he's gone for good. In the finale, Poe made a quick note on a post-it before his reboot. Once rebooted, he had no knowledge of the past events or adventures with anyone, but Dig was there to walk him through it all over again. Upon scanning his memory, they found a "raw human DHF," which really left both confused.
I spoke to Altered Carbon showrunner Alison Schapker about the moment, and got confirmation that the raw DHF data contains who we think it is. Poe has backed up Takeshi to his memory, and could bring him back in the future should he choose to do so. As for what that means for the future of the show, Schapker said that's a very good question.
I am so happy with the chess pieces that are left on the board. I have ideas of like how I want to play the fact that there is Kovacs Prime is out there, there's this stack out there, Quell is out there and Poe and Dig are out there.
Two Takeshis set up a potentially interesting tale to tell in Altered Carbon's future. The Takeshi with the Protectorate has minimal connections to the characters we know so far, which allows his journey to take place in a wildly different setting. Then there's whatever comes next for the Kovacs fans know, provided Poe and Dig find a way to bring him back. Plus, Quell's rebellion can now officially continue! As Alison Schapker said, there are a lot of directions this series can go moving forward.
Will Altered Carbon Return For Season 3?
At the moment, there's no word on whether or not Altered Carbon will return to Netflix for Season 3. The Season 2 finale has some open-ended questions to answer, though not so many that it wouldn't be a terrible end if Netflix pulled the plug. Still, with all the action and excitement that went down this season, who wants to say goodbye just yet?
It is worth noting that Altered Carbon has one more story in the Takeshi Kovacs novels to adapt. Additionally, author Richard K. Morgan has signaled he'd be up for more adaptations if the show will continue at Netflix beyond that. That doesn't mean it will for sure happen, but if enough viewers show up to watch Altered Carbon Season 2, the odds are stronger than not that we see Season 3.