The Queen’s Gambit spoilers follow.
Who could have guessed that a show about chess would become one of Netflix’s biggest success stories?
Yet such is the case with The Queen’s Gambit, the limited series that has become a word-of-mouth sensation, making it the number one show on Netflix since its release last month.
The adaptation of Walter Tevis’ 1983 novel, which follows chess prodigy Beth Harmon (Anya Taylor-Joy), has captivated viewers and critics alike, leading to a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a devoted fan following (as well as an increased demand for chess sets).
So, will there be a Queen’s Gambit season 2?
The Queen’s Gambit’s sleeper-hit status has therefore naturally raised questions about a possible second season.
So far nothing is confirmed. On paper, it would seem an unlikely move, considering the series used all the material from Tevis’ novel and would need to consult his estate for any extension of the story. But while there may be no official plans for a second season, the cast and crew are open to the possibility of further exploring Beth’s journey.
“We’ve had a lot of fun talking about what happens tomorrow,” producer William Horberg said when speaking to Town & Country, though he admitted that “the last scene feels like a beautiful note to end the show on, so I’m not sure if we want to go on and answer that question”.
Meanwhile, stars Anya Taylor-Joy and Harry Melling (who plays Harry Beltik) won’t rule anything out. “If I’ve learned anything from being in this industry, it’s never say never,” said Taylor-Joy, who added she would “certainly come back if I was asked to”. Melling agrees, noting that “stranger things have happened”.
Of course, it’s not unheard of for a limited series to be renewed, a case in point being HBO’s highly-rated Big Little Lies.
However, the final episode of The Queen’s Gambit was so faultless that a second season would only risk undoing the series’ impact.
How does The Queen’s Gambit end?
In ‘Endgame’, we see Beth reunite with childhood friend Jolene (Moses Ingram) after hitting rock bottom in her struggle with addiction to tranquillisers and alcohol. Yet after attending the funeral for her first chess tutor Mr Shaibel, Beth gets sober and attends the 1968 Tournament of Champions in Moscow. It’s here she faces a rematch with rival Borgov (Marcin Dorociński) for the title of World Chess Champion.
Yet however riveting, the highlight of the episode is not Beth’s final match, but rather her increased self-confidence and trust in those around her. This is apparent in the scene where her friends and former opponents, Townes (Jacob Fortune-Lloyd), Benny (Thomas Brodie-Sangster), and Beltik (Melling) rush to call her and offer their support and advice on how to beat Borgov.
It’s this external support and newfound assurance that allows Beth to conjure her mental chessboard, something she has previously only thought possible through the use of tranquillisers and alcohol. It’s a seminal victory in her struggle, and she goes on to defeat Borgov and become the new World Chess Champion.
Fresh from her victory, the last scene depicts Beth missing her flight back home, choosing instead to visit a Moscow park filled with elderly chess players. As she sits down to start a game, Beth ends the series by taking off her gloves, smiling, looking straight into the camera, and saying: “Let’s play.”
The last episode has the perfect ending. With her final match mirroring her first game with Mr Shaibel, Beth comes full circle. She has battled her demons, accepted support from others, and is finally at peace with herself, playing chess simply for the fun of it.
A second season is therefore wholly unnecessary, as her journey is now complete. Any continuation of Beth’s story would only serve to harm the strength of the show’s ending and Beth’s narrative arc. As we’ve seen with Big Little Lies, an audience’s love for characters and their world isn’t necessarily enough to inspire a compelling sequel.
Netflix should consequently resist the temptation to capitalise on the success of The Queen’s Gambit and leave the series as it is, expertly crafted and utterly engaging.
After all, if there’s anything we can learn from Beth’s journey, it’s that any chess player needs to learn when to play on – and when to resign with grace.
The Queen’s Gambit is available on Netflix.
Digital Spy has launched its first-ever digital magazine with exclusive features, interviews, and videos. Access the latest edition with a 1-month free trial, only on Apple News+.
Interested in Digital Spy’s weekly newsletter? Sign up to get it sent straight to your inbox – and don’t forget to join our Watch This Facebook Group for daily TV recommendations and discussions with other readers.
You Might Also Like
— to uk.news.yahoo.com