‘Kubra’ Season 2 Review: An Impactful Second Season With A Clear Message


In the present time, we have witnessed how the ones in power are not just concerned about winning a physical war but also about having complete control over social media narratives. Silencing the marginalized and spreading propaganda through bot accounts is a method popularly used these days. Now what would happen if an AI was capable of breaching every security wall and had access to data that could destroy the high and mighty? It could go both ways—the company could lend the technology to those in power to further control the masses, or it could attempt to take over the world. In the case of Kubra, the latter takes place. The Turkish television series started on a mystic note, but thankfully it arrived at something even better—the intersection of religion and technology.
Season one had the audience guessing the reason behind the supernatural phenomena, and it eventually arrived at the final revelation. A closer look at the series goes on to reveal how economic inequality resulted in the success of the AI program. Gokhan was a common man tired of injustice all around him. He was religious, and somewhere deep down, he believed he had a special connection with God. His sense of self-righteousness and his economic limitations made him the perfect candidate for the AI program to flourish. Gokhan was controlled by a man with resources and a superiority complex. The software company owner, Berk, did not care about the masses; all he was concerned about was power and complete control. He looked down upon Semavi’s followers, consisting mostly of the economically backward. Using his technology and Gokhan, Berk made them believe that the revolution would put an end to inequality and injustice. But in reality, they were merely his foot soldiers; he was using them to achieve his goal of dominating the world using his AI program. Kubra tactfully discusses the danger that a company might pose if they have access to a tremendous amount of data and are technologically backed to control the thought process of individuals. The co-dependency of religious fundamentalism and technology has largely been the focus of the series. The masses needed a savior after the government had failed them. Perhaps they believed that only a miracle could help their situation, and technology created the messiah for them. Gokhan was dissatisfied with his ordinary existence, and Kubra made him believe that he was special. It all started with one text that inspired Gokhan to take extreme steps, but in the end, it was all nothing but a mirage.
While season one established the AI-messiah relationship, season two revolves around the downfall of Semavi. One of the most interesting aspects of Kubra is the shift in Gokhan’s character—from being a religious man with high morality who was determined to work for the greater good to ultimately giving into his greed for power. Gokhan’s character is a great example of how the human mind works and how often we find a way to justify our actions. Even after finding out that it was not Allah who was communicating with him, he convinced himself that the AI was God’s way of reaching him. He chose to live in denial, but unfortunately, he was not fighting for the cause alone. He had already involved too many people who trusted him blindly, and maybe deep down he was ashamed to admit the truth. Gokhan was afraid of failing his followers, and he believed that maybe joining hands with Berk would help him liberate his people. 
Season two of Kubra is all about Gokhan coming to terms with his reality, but at a great expense. Unlike in season one, where he thought he was making decisions all by himself, oblivious to the existence of Kubra, this time his hands were tied, and he had no choice but to discuss every detail with Berk. Gokhan made himself believe that he was the one in control, but deep down he knew that without Kubra, he had no power. All the miracles that people had witnessed were planned by Kubra, which meant that the reason why the masses started to believe in Gokhan was in itself an elaborate lie. Gokhan fooled himself into believing that he could bring about some change. But he eventually realized that the situation had gone way out of his control. Season two underlines man’s obsessive need for power. The maddening obsession resulted in Gokhan losing his loved ones, yet it almost seemed as if he could not put an end to it. He was riding a wave, and he was willing to sacrifice his loved ones for the sake of the illusion that he had in his mind. Instead of looking in the mirror, he was ready to blame everyone around him for the chaos that was unleashed.
Kubra is not flawless in its making, but the message it strives to deliver is impactful. The second season arrives at the idea that the truth never affects religious fanatics in the hopes that something better than the current reality is in the waiting. It also makes one wonder that had the system not failed the common people, maybe they would not have prayed for a miracle. It was easier to trust the supernatural than to indulge in rational thinking. Hope was what drove the followers, but sadly, such a solution cannot be long-lasting. The development of the characters in the second season is commendable. The progression is well-timed, and the collapse of the movement does not come across as all too sudden. Cagatay Ulusoy, as the protagonist, Gokhan Sahinoglu, carries the show on his shoulders. He brilliantly portrays the shift in Gokhan’s personality, and he is definitely a reason to watch the show. The supporting cast delivered a convincing performance altogether. The cool, desaturated tone used throughout the series complements the theme, and it visually adds a certain depth. Overall, Kubra is worth a watch, especially because of the difficult subject matter that it deals with. The coming together of technology and religion is something that is often discussed, but to incorporate it into a narrative and deliver the message loud and clear is praiseworthy.

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Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni has worked as a film researcher on a government-sponsored project and is currently employed as a film studies teacher at a private institute. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies. Film History and feminist reading of cinema are her areas of interest.

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