Monday, January 21, 2019

Carmen Sandiego - Becoming Carmen Sandiego

After opening with a stylish heist sequence, the two-part opener to Netflix's Carmen Sandiego takes place mostly in flashbacks which fill in the history of the world's most famous thief, including where she learned her skills and acquired both her unusual name and trademark hat. While the robbery truly is the best part of the two episodes (making me hopeful that the remainder of the season will be even better), the flashbacks are an interesting way to rewrite the Carmen Sandiego's (Gina Rodriguez) history for the purposes of the new show.

"Becoming Carmen Sandiego" introduces us to a thief with a heart, a sort of modern day Robin Hood stealing from the secret society of thieves who raised her (but never let her into the field) both to prove herself worthy and to undo some of the bad the V.I.L.E. Academy is responsible for. The flashbacks also let us know how Carmen met her partner, the helpful hacker Player (Stranger Things' Finn Wolfhard), but the further it dives into teen angst and rebellion the further it gets from the terrific opening sequence until things finally come full circle at the episode's conclusion. With the origin story completed, here's hoping we'll get more of Carmen Sandiego on the run and less of her waxing poetic about the old days.

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