WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for 3Below: Tales of Arcadia, streaming now on Netflix.
3Below: Tales of Arcadia, the second installment of the Guillermo del Toro animated trilogy that began with Trollhunters, delivers an epic space saga. The first season saw the royals of Akiridion-5, Prince Krel (Diego Luna) and Princess Aja (Tatiana Maslany), flee to Earth with their Mothership (Glenn Close), bodyguards Varvatos (Nick Offerman) and Zadra (Hayley Atwell), dog Luug, as well as the cores -- or life essences -- of their comatose parents, King Fialkov (Andy Garcia) and Queen Coranda (Maslany, again).
That followed a coup on their homeworld by the evil emperor Morando (Alon Aboutboul), who in Season 2 arrives on Earth, intending to kill the entire family. While Krel spends most of his time trying to revive his parents, Aja becomes an even greater warrior, fending off bounty hunters, and U.S. government's Area 49, which struck a bargain with Morando to get the royals off the planet in exchange for them being left alone. However, Morando goes back on his word, aiming to kill everyone in sight, which leads to an epic firefight in the two-part season finale, "A Glorious End."
THE THRONE SACRIFICES ITSELF
The head of Area 49, Colonel Kubritz (Uzo Aduba), tries to help out the teens, but to no avail. The villain attains what he came for, the core of the Celestial, Gaylen, and turns into a giant, and tears Arcadia apart. However, Krel and Aja unearth a special cannon from Seklos, the Celestial who opposed Gaylen. But firing it requires the high-energy life essence of two royals.
The siblings decide to sacrifice themselves. However, their parents are revived by the Mothership's own sacrifice her A.I. essence, and by Krel's experiments. That results in the king and queen seizing the cannon. In a heartbreaking moment, they promise their children they'll always be with them, and fire the weapon, blowing Morando to bits. The king and queen die in the process, saving both their world and Earth. Luckily, the casualty count stops there, as Varvatos barely survives the onslaught, and vows to continue protecting the throne.
THE RESISTANCE WINS
When Morando took Akiridion, he built robots called Omens to police the planet. Season 2 sees Zadra working with the Resistance she discovered in the previous season, and formulating military strategies from Earth to combat the uprising. Luckily, this time she has Krel, who engineers a wormhole that allows some of the fighters to arrive to team with the royals and the Area 49 battalion.
They do a lot of damage, destroying the Omens that Morando brought over, which coincides with the Resistance back home finally winning the war. It appears Morando's death knocked the winds out their sails. As Zadra would point out, despite the tragedy, the Resistance needs to be fortified, which leads to an exodus from Earth to restore peace on Akiridion.
A NEW RULER RISES
The season ends the same way the series began, with the siblings at Arcadia High School telling a fantasy story about illegal aliens, a sociopolitical theme the show handled so well. But it turns out it isn't a made-up story about migrants, as they finally reveal themselves to the town, having saved it so many times with the likes of Toby (Charlie Saxton) from Trollhunters, Aja's boyfriend Steve (Steven Yeun) and the nerdy Eli (Cole Sand). This time, the siblings' fears are put to bed, as Arcadia accepts the aliens as allies and, more so, family.
While everyone -- including Eli, who apparently got permission to make the star trek -- departs, Krel decides to remain on Earth, as he feels like he belongs here. With his scientific genius, he knows he could strengthen the planet against future invasions. He's also in awe of the mystical nature of the town after meeting the Trollhunters and venturing into their relic-filled market. More so, it seems like a great chance to work with Area 49, which needs to redeem itself. With trust in place with the Earthlings now, Aja knows her place is on Akiridion, as she vows to come up with a new name for her role on the throne.
Seeing as she's more warrior-like (something she discovered her mother was too) and she has Varvatos and Zadra alongside her, the dynamic of her empire could shift to a more action-oriented one to ensure coups and wars never break out again. Aja also makes it clear, with the wormhole tech available, Akiridion and Earth are both her homes and she'll readily defend both empires with her life.
Season 2 of DreamWorks' 3Below: Tales of Arcadia is available now on Netflix.