Surviving a near-death experience was an understatement for Nadia Vulvokov (Natasha Lyonne) after waking from each death-defying accident to relive the same day. Russian doll, season 1, premiered in 2019 as Nadia and her fans tried to wrap their heads around time loops. Finally, after two years Russian doll announced that season two will premiere on April 20, 2022 to continue Nadia’s story and provide clues as to how time works in Nadia’s world.
While Season 2 gave some clues as to what fans are expecting to see on the show, it also left viewers asking more questions or hypothesizing as to why exactly Nadia was in the time warp and how exactly did she break it when she did? Reddit users at the u/RussianDoll subreddit have provided their opinions or theories about what’s really going on in the show.
Mike is in a time warp
After a cab killed Nadia and she showed up in the same bathroom as at the beginning of the episode, it gave viewers clues that time worked differently for Nadia. Continue in season one of russian doll, Viewers learned that Alan (Charlie Barnett) also experienced a time warp phenomenon. What if more people were stuck in this time warp?
Reddit user u/Balthazar_rising shared his theories regarding the possibility that Mike (Jeremy Bobb), the university professor and sex addict, was also stuck in an endless time warp. They argue that they’ve seen Mike almost “everywhere” on the show. They further explained that Mike seemed to be the most damaged person on the TV series, so reliving the same experiences may have been a form of punishment for him.
Reappearing in front of the bathroom mirror, Nadia wondered if she hadn’t witnessed these events before. She recalled looking for her lost cat, Oatmeal, when she was hit by a taxi. Retracing her steps to the same place where her first death was, Oatmeal appeared across the street (just like the first time), except this time Nadia didn’t get hit by the taxi, and she was able to to catch her cat .
Nadia held her cat in her arms, but a few minutes later her cat disappeared. Then Nadia fell backwards into the lake and reappeared in front of the bathroom mirror. Some Reddit users noticed oatmeal’s strange behavior, and u/schwerky suggested that oatmeal represented “Schrödinger’s cat”. Schrödinger’s cat refers to the dead and alive cat, a thought experiment used to explain the paradox of quantum mechanics.
The Power of the Time Warp
Usually, time loops are caused and controlled by some kind of external action or spell. In one of the biggest time warps on TV shows, Buffy the vampire slayer‘s episode “Life Serial”, Buffy’s time warp was a test caused by a spell. But what if humans didn’t control the time loop, but the time loop controlled humans?
Reddit user u/zeta212 noticed that the dialogue or lines that the characters said at one point in the TV series seemed quite odd, as if not said naturally by those characters. In particular, they note that Mike said, “I’m the whole of where the choice should be.” This could be due to Mike evolving from not being the pompous person he saw at the start of the series, or being able to influence or control characters over time. Reddit user u/whoisliva commented that Mike’s sentence could be a way to explain or excuse his bad behavior.
What does the chicken symbolize?
Although the chicken was one of the foods found on the table at the party, the chicken appeared in additional scenes later in the series. The chicken became a recurring item and didn’t always appear in the same raw form as it did in the birthday party scene. Chicken bones also happened to cause one of Nadia’s deaths.
Perhaps the chicken didn’t just resemble a comfort food or a standard food. Reddit user u/schwerky suggested that chicken represents the “uncertainty of human life,” where they explained that humans keep chickens to eventually eat them, and suggested that the deaths of chickens serve a larger “purpose.” served. Another Reddit user, u/plotthick, took this thought further, suggesting that the chicken might be the only element on the show that represents “normalcy.” They further investigate that the chicken soup offered served as a typical traditional meal, while the chicken at the birthday party could represent a friendly gesture.
The Meaning Behind the “Russian Doll”
Some films or TV shows may not disclose all information orally or directly. For example, Julia Ducournaus Movie, Raw (2016) uses gruesome scenes of violence as a metaphorical device to convey the emotions the characters are experiencing, rather than having the characters announce that they are feeling fearful or emotionless. During Russian doll may have intentionally used some objects in his show to convey certain elements about the characters or about the plot, one Reddit user carefully analyzed the meaning of the show’s title itself.
Russian dolls or Matryoshka dolls are painted wooden dolls and each doll is placed inside a larger doll. One of the ideas suggested by Reddit user u/oitnbspinofffor2022 was that each of Nadia’s deaths alluded to her removing a piece of herself, causing her to stop just focusing on herself and noticing the world around her could. This process that Nadia undergoes alludes to removing a smaller doll from the larger one.
At the end of Russian doll In the first season, Nadia spoke to Alan on the roof of a building after he decided not to jump off the building. At the same time as Nadia and Alan left the roof, a split screen showed Nadia talking to Mike and walking towards Alan. In these two scenes, Nadia and Alan wore two different outfits.
Reddit user u/randallparkinson noted that during this scene, and in one particular shot in particular, two people resembled Nadia. This may have shed light on the fact that there are three timelines that crossed in that one scene. Each timeline could have operated on a different path, with each character experiencing different events. Her theory doesn’t account for the possibility that during this event, the two people walking in opposite directions got dressed and look like Nadia.
The Russian Doll Experiments with Time Like the “Principle”
In Christopher Nolans movie 2020, Principle, Viewers had difficulty understanding the concept of “time reversal”. In principleThe protagonist (JohnDavidWashington) had to stop an arms dealer, for this he had to travel into the past. The time machine inside Principle, or turnstile, operated differently than the time machines in other films. Therefore, the protagonist moved backwards even though the surrounding objects and people in the environment were moving forward.
Reddit user u/Royal_Passion_5274 specifically linked the filmTeach, to the last episode of Russian doll. They expanded on the idea of multiple timelines suggested by other Reddit users. However, they suggested that the reason the two redheaded individuals were facing the opposite direction than Nadia in the black coat was because their timeline was reversed. As Nadia and her timeline moved forward.
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