The Chosen One

"The Chosen One" centers around a theme of a cult-like community.

Fans of supernatural dramas and medical thrillers might be happy to hear that season 2 of the Netflix original, “The Chosen One” is now streaming. It picks up immediately in the swing of things where season 1 left off, so viewers should be advised to watch the first season to have the best viewing experience. Each season has six suspenseful episodes, making the series an easy weekend binge for dedicated watchers. 

The show was originally filmed in Portuguese, which gives the viewer a new cultural experience they might not always get when watching American shows on Netflix. While it may be tempting to turn on the English version of the show, I recommend watching it in Portuguese while reading the English subtitles for a better experience. I found the English voice dub to be more distracting to watch than reading the words because the English voices didn’t always match the emotion of what was happening in a scene.

Season 1 follows three young doctors who try to bring the Zika virus vaccines to a remote village in Brazil. They run into more than they bargained for when they discover the cult-like atmosphere in the village of Aguazul, which is ruled by a mysterious faith healer, The Chosen One.

The Chosen One is always at odds with an even more mysterious Serpent that lurks in the forest. The doctors begin questioning what they know about science, life and death as they tangle with supernatural forces at work in the village. While this plot is cheesy at times, it was still gripping. 

Squeamish viewers be warned; The series has some gory and chilling scenes. Part of cult membership involves encountering small children chanting ominously in the darkness and the regular consumption of alligator brains. While this certainly was creepy, it seems like some of these elements were added arbitrarily to add to the scare factor. 

Now, one month after the incidents in season 1, Doctor Lucia (Paloma Bernadi), the main protagonist, contracts an incurable strain of the Zika virus. She must return to the village of Aguazul in hopes of being healed by The Chosen One. She has to make the difficult choice between trusting what she knows as a doctor of medicine or doing The Chosen One’s dark bidding in exchange for a cure. 

Most of the actors in “The Chosen One” are relatively unknown to American audiences. Even in scenes where the writing isn’t great, the actors power through to deliver a compelling story. This is why the series is better watched in the original language, the emotions are more authentic. 

While the main characters have all returned for season 2, one important new character is introduced. Now that the secrets of Aguazul have been revealed to the world, a journalist named Eva comes to the village to capture the story of what’s really happening there. Questions arise as to whether The Chosen One’s miracles are truly divine acts, but the closer Eva gets to finding answers, the more danger she puts herself in. 

This season of “The Chosen One matches the energy and answers many of the questions it posed in season 1. It dives into developing its characters further, but it also raises more questions of who’s good and who’s evil, and how one can tell the difference.

At points, there are numerous conflicts that occur in one episode that don’t seem to move the story along, like two young village members engaging in a forbidden relationship. This doesn’t take away from the fact that the series is entertaining, but it may be hard to know what to focus on as the show switches from scene to scene. 

“The Chosen One may not be the best Netflix original to come out this year, but it’s worth watching. Some of the plot is predictable but improves in the second season. But as Netflix branches out to incorporate more international content, it’s heading in the right direction with this series.

Contact Taylor Sarlo at breezeartdirector@gmail.com. For more on the culture, arts and lifestyle of the JMU and Harrisonburg communities, follow the culture desk on Twitter @Breeze_Culture.