Sweet Home Season 2 Review

hello world!
Art of Lily K
| December 6, 2023
hello world!

Guess what? I’m back, just as I promised in the previous article. Did I spend my entire Friday watching Season 2 of Sweet Home? Absolutely. Do I regret it? Not at all. 

I am happy to report that Sweet Home 2 not only elevates what made it great in the first place, gets rid of things that didn’t really work, but also introduces new things that add to the thrill. But where there is good news (= this season is great), there’s also bad news. Minor spoiler before the big spoilers later on: at the end of the show, it pops up very ominously that Season 3 is coming Summer 2024. That means that, yes, this season very much feels like a middle ground. This means that by the time the time jump happens, we are at episode 4. So really, the new things I mentioned previously only get to come into play when we get to the midway point. This season is also shorter than the first was. Instead of the 12-episode run, we got eight, and if I am being honest, halfway through episode 7 (also the longest out of all), I even said that there’s no way they will wrap it all up in the last one. 

But let’s get into it. This is your warning that we are stepping into SPOILER territory. 

Cha Hyun-Su (Song Kang) is back and things are not looking great for him
Cha Hyun-Su (Song Kang) is back and things are not looking great for him

As I mentioned, Season 2 starts right where the first season left off. Cha Hyun-Su (Song Kang) is with the military, but as it was revealed, the one who’s driving is Sang-Wook (Lee Jin-Wook). However, they are quick to jump into action as the military realizes that their car got hijacked, and Hyun-Su immediately calls out Sang-Wook for being Jung Ui-myeong. This is the monster that acts like a parasite and takes over other’s bodies to survive. They get into a fight in the vehicle while also being chased by the military and Yi-Kyung (Lee Si-young). Sang-Wook reveals that he was saved by Ui-myeong and it’s pretty clear that he is still in there somewhere as the story progresses forward. After they manage to escape capture, Hyun-Su realizes that he can simply pretend to go along with the plan since Sang-Wook intends to go right where he is heading as well. 

However, once they get to the Bamseom Emergency Management Bureau and they both get captured, Hyun-Su soon realizes that the whole propaganda about developing a vaccine with the help of the special infectees was a lie. The doctor, Dr. Lim (Oh Jung-Se), who is leading the tests, doesn’t even care about the vaccine. He says early on that Mankind is the Virus Earth is trying to get rid of, and maybe turning into a monster is the vaccine itself. But regardless of his theories, he gets rid of subjects that aren’t helpful in the progress of testing without a blink of an eye. While Hyun-Su subjects himself to it all willingly, Sang-Wook is doing everything he can to get out of his capture even though he seemingly lost his powers. While they are in there, we also get to follow the other survivors of Green Home, and let’s just say that things are not going well for them either. 

Sang-Wook (Lee Jin-Wook) is a completely changed man in Season 2
Sang-Wook (Lee Jin-Wook) is a completely changed man in Season 2

Just as many of the members have predicted, the military has no better control over the situation than anyone else. They kill anyone, even if there’s the slightest chance of monsterization. They are reckless and, right at the beginning, cause havoc as they try to kill a monster running away from them. The whole thing ends up causing the death of countless civilians, and it is just pure and other chaos. 

The group quickly finds themselves heading back to the apartment building as Lee Eun-Yoo (Go Min-Si) threatens the soldiers with a gun. She is unable to let go of her brother Eun-Hyeok (Lee Do-hyun) and wants to see for herself if he is gone or turned into a monster like Ji-Su (Park Gyuyoung) said. Of course, this ends up causing them many troubles and makes their whole ordeal even more harrowing. They lose members along the way, but the real blowdown comes in Episode 3 for both of the storylines going. 

Yi-Kyung finds her fiancée, who was destroyed by the inhuman tests, and while grieving, the baby in her starts growing at an incredibly fast pace. Later on, this has Yi-Kyung questioning herself if it was her desires that turned her baby into a monster. Sang-Wook regains his powers and also defeats Hyun-Su, deciding not to help him anymore as he is way too human to be a monster or Neohuman. But the biggest destruction comes to the other survivors. The higher-ups of the military decide to take the entire stadium out since they can’t keep up with all the new monsters. This devastating event results in the death of the beloved character, Ji-Su, who, by this point, seems to have given up on all. Only four survivors are left: Eun-Yoo, the young Kim Yeoung-Su (Go Choi), Cha Jin-Ok (Kim Hee-Jung), and the coward Kang Seung-Wan (Woo Jung-Kook). The series leaves us with a devastating ending to act 1, and I’m not gonna lie, I was pretty upset because of the people we lost. Especially Ji-Su, the badass bassist from season 1, who has already been through hell, and I kinda hoped that her story wouldn’t end so tragically. 

Cha Hyun-Su going through a brutal test thinking he can be of help
Cha Hyun-Su going through a brutal test thinking he can be of help

Episode 4 starts with a time jump to Day 337 of the Monsterization Outbreak. Those who survived the bombing of the Stadium escaped under it and established living underground under the watchful eyes of the remaining military personnel. We not only get to follow new characters; we also get a fresh perspective as the focus is often not on the civilians but the soldiers. Of course, not all of the characters from season 1 are gone. Lee Eun-Yoo becomes the main protagonist and goes from the annoying little sister who thinks she is smarter than everyone else to a survivor. Sure, she is still reckless, maybe more so than before, but it is mostly because of her belief that her brother Eun-Hyeok is keeping a watchful eye on her. She sets out every day to look for him and gets into quite dangerous situations, but she survives thanks to an invisible Guardian. These events are what fuel her belief that her brother might still be around, even if it is in monster form. 

Up until episode 6, we don’t get any confirmation about what happened with the three main protagonists: Hyun-Su, Sang-Wook, and Yi-Kyung. The main focus is once again on a more “grounded” level with the small colony underground. 

This is where a tiny bit of the weakness of the series shows and where you can clearly tell that this is very much a mid-season serving as a build-up to the finale. There’s a lot of establishing of the new characters, and to be fair, they are all relatively interesting additions to this story, especially the soldiers. A tiny number of the new characters feel unnecessary and almost cartoonish in a story like this, but thankfully, the series doesn’t really stay with them for long. What hurt the entire thing for me was the reduction of the original team. For example, they had a very interesting story going on with Kim Yeoung-Su, who not only lost his father and all the adults he looked up to but also started off the season by losing his last family member: his sister. His resentment toward the adults who kept making him false promises and how it all changed him was such a brilliant tool, and for now, it feels like they pushed it way to the back. 

Dr. Lim is your run-of-the-mill crazy scientist, but he has an important role in revealing that monsterization has been evolving and appearing even without any of the very obvious symptoms (excessive nosebleed). This leads to some major problems, but once again problems that we won’t see until season 3, even though the seeds have already been planted for it. 

Lee Eun-Yoo turned from innocent, know-it-all Ballerina to cold-hearted Survivor
Lee Eun-Yoo turned from innocent, know-it-all Ballerina to cold-hearted Survivor

Since this is pretty much a mid-season, we can’t talk about satisfying revelations for now. By the end, we get a lot of new things established. Yi-Kyung is gone; her daughter is a rapidly growing human-looking monster who can turn people into monsters just with a touch, and she seemingly hates all humans by the end. Hyun-Su rocks a double personality, one that was implied previously in season 1, but at the end of episode 8, it becomes such a shift in his character that it makes you question everything that happened previously. A small group of soldiers in search of their comrade find out that the partially destroyed Bamseom is home to evolved monsters who are looking to turn people into one of them as well. Dr. Lim meets Sang-Wook, who reveals to him that he is his very first test subject and late friend in a new body. But the biggest surprise comes at the end of the final episode as from a cocoon-like thing back at Green Home (which was partially visible in Episode 2), Lee Eun-Hyeok emerges, still seemingly Human, but with the same blue-ish eyes that Hyun-Su had as his other personality emerged. 

So, while yes, we got answers to some of the things, we also got completely new questions and mysteries that need to be solved by the third season. The biggest question out of all is: is it the final season? I will be honest; I don’t want this series to overstay its welcome. We see it time and time again how something that became extremely popular with its first season overstayed its welcome by an added 14 seasons… yes, I am throwing shade. If you know, you know. I can throw a smaller shade, saying that something that should have stayed in its confined, very nice and cozy space got an unnecessary and rushed 4th and final season. Of course, there’s always the exception where something that should have had three more seasons ended with a disappointing season 8… And the list could go on. But my main point is that Sweet Home really, and I seriously mean, REALLY should close itself down with the third season. Not because this season 2 wasn’t good, but simply because the story that started with a tiny group of survivors in a rundown apartment building already grew out of itself. 

Hyun-Su in one of his final fights
Hyun-Su in one of his final fights

I enjoyed season 2 a lot. I don’t even remember when the last time was when a series had me being genuinely invested in its characters like this one. I cried more than I can admit on the internet, but I also felt a tiny bit of disconnection. You see, the 1st season (which I’ve seen four times at this point) works so perfectly because it is focused on its characters, the survivors we are all rooting for, right? Now, with this season, we lost most of them. Three of them disappear in the middle and don’t show up till the end, and the new characters are not as nuanced as I had hoped for. Not bad by any means, but they don’t even come close to characters like An Gil-Seob (Kim Kap-su) from season 1, who freaking showed up in episode 4 and stole the entire show. 

Therefore, while I am very, VERY excited to see what comes in season 3, I am also secretly hoping it will be the final season of this show. I feel like if they drag it out for too long, it will heavily overstay its welcome. Song Kang, who plays Cha Hyun-Su, also announced that he is starting his military service; therefore, this was his last project for a while. So, while I absolutely love this series and will probably rewatch season 2 after I am done writing this, I also wish to get a fantastic final season in Summer 2024. 

But regardless of what happens, you can all bet your asses that I will be back to write about that too. 

9 out of 10 

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