The second season of New Zealand supernatural crime thriller One Lane Bridge is a binge-worthy watch, and it’s set to premiere in the US and Canada.
As with the first season, Season 2 of One Lane Bridge draws you in and holds your attention until the closing credits, cos you simply must know who did it in this supernatural whodunit. And there’s more besides that to keep you hooked.
But before we encounter any victims, we reconnect with Detective Ariki Davis (Dominic Ona-Ariki, The Commons), the ambitious young Māori detective from Auckland who came to Queensland to work under veteran copper DSS Stephen Tremaine (Joel Tobeck, The Doctor Blake Mysteries). Soon after arriving, and while working on his first case, Ariki rediscovered his matakite, a supernatural, second-sight ability.
It’s not something that he has gotten used to. The visions Ariki sees feel exceedingly real — and they always place him amongst the ghosts of dead people at the town’s infamous landmark, One Lane Bridge. His most recent feels-so-real nightmare freaks him out even more than usual… because Stephen is in it. The two haven’t been getting on and their words to each other have been harsh, but this is something altogether different.
Fast forward: Ariki has another vision and races to the bridge, arriving just in time to stop Stephen from committing suicide. What Ariki doesn’t realize is that, in preventing this death, he inadvertently sets in motion a chain of events that will adversely affect members of the community — including the murder of someone near and dear to him.
Elsewhere in this town set amidst the magnificent mountains of the Southern Alps, Planet Panic activists are protesting the development of a new multi-use real estate project by local husband-and-wife business owners Charlotte (Michelle Langstone, 800 Words) and Haggis McCrae (Phil Brown, The Brokenwood Mysteries). The McCraes need the water rights for the project to move forward, and the eco-activists, which include Ariki’s flatmates, are doing everything in their power to stop it happening.
Ariki wishes he could stop his visions, but he can’t. And while Stephen isn’t in them now, others in Ariki’s small but meaningful inner circle are. He doesn’t know how to interpret this. Are these people meant to die soon? He already wonders if he had somehow caused his friend’s death. Between his grief and sense of guilt, Ariki is all kinds of messed up, so for help he turns again to Lois (Alison Bruce, The Gulf), Stephen’s wife, who has a supernatural-like ability of her own.
As the homicide investigation continues, Ariki uncovers years-old secrets and lies about the still-living and the dead — some through detective work, some through his matakite and connection to the bridge, all of it unsettling. Meanwhile, the activists are still at it, with one amongst them upping the ante on getting the McCraes to kill their project.
Finally, someone is in custody for the murder. But are they really the killer?
I enjoyed Season 2 of One Lane Bridge, having binged the screeners of its five episodes over two nights. Not only did I want to know who the killer was, I was eager to see what Ariki’s matakite would lead to, if anything. Where this part of the story goes is someplace I hadn’t even contemplated. The murder mystery includes a number of red herrings — including one that is very creative and very convincing. I was like, “Hah! You got me,” when the truth was revealed. And the ending leaves the door wide open for a Season 3. (Bring it!)
Note that certain threads in Season 2 reference things that happened in Season 1. While it isn’t necessary to have seen the first season to get into the second season’s story, I will say that knowing the backstory of certain individuals and their actions and relationships is helpful to get the full effect of what the new season offers.
The Season 2 cast includes returning cast members Nathalie Morris (Bump), Alex Walker (Shortland Street), Phoebe McKellar (Straight Forward), Jared Turner (The Almighty Johnsons), and Matt Chamberlain (Alibi), as well as Hester Ullyart (Doctors), Arlo Green (Straight Forward), and Jim Moriarty (Vegas).
One Lane Bridge: Season 2 premieres in the US and Canada on Thursday, October 7, exclusively on Sundance Now and its apps and digital channels, including Sundance Now on Amazon Channels, and the AMC+ streaming bundle. New episodes debut every Thursday through November 4.
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