Tina Kabitsi reloaded.
A little more than a year after the huge success of The Oath, the fiendish screenwriter and storyteller Tina Kabitsi returns for another story oozing philanthropy and magnanimity while also aspiring to become a beaconing light for all those individuals out there in the big bad world who are still inclined to believe that they can make a difference through the exercise of their vocation. The ten episodes comprising the core of the new show The Oath 2: The Fall are also the first part in a three-part cycle that will be completed in due course over the following season. Kabitsi herself has told us, in the Q+A hosted by Tap The Line Online Magazine, a few things about about her new project: "[It] is about a humanist doctor’s quest for redemption. The fall and the ascent. The show is divided into three thematical units: 1)The hospital, 2) The prisons and 3) The trains. Three cycles in one. Our hero is a modern Prometheus, a saint doctor who pays a heavy price for his struggle in favor of the common good. It is the vindication that comes as the result of a long-term fight". Thus, the ten episodes first aired in April 8, 2023 in the streaming platform (ERTFLIX) of the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation (ΕΡΤ) and will be available until April 17, tell the first story (The Hospital) which revolves around the good fight conducted by the conscientious surgeon Philippos Razis against a criminal ring performing illegal operations to young, underprivileged refugees in order to steal their vital organs.
The story begins in a rainy night when Philippos walks out of the hospital where he works to find a little a teenage Roma girl shaking like a leaf in the cold. He asks her if she's ok, struggles to get out of her some words regarding where her parents might be, but to no avail. However, Philippos takes the girl with him and returns to the hospital where, during his initial examination, he realizes that the kid has a deep scar, probably from an incision, in her belly. After putting the girl into surgery, he becomes aware of the disturbing fact that one of her kidneys is missing. Unfortunately, the girl dies and her body remains in the hospital, unwanted. Philippos wants to know at any cost what happened to the girl and, above all, who took her kidney by performing an illegal surgery. He finds the woman who left the underaged girl outside the hospital, but she is too afraid to talk to him and tell him what she knows about the illegal transplants of human organs. At the same time, Philippos's wife, Maritina (Thaleia Matika) is pregnant to their child, but she has an early labor that results in the infant's death. The couple's grieving process as well as the impact that the loss of the child has on their relationship is one of the main sub-plots in The Oath 2 along with several others, each concerning a different main character in the show.
We witness the personal struggles of Philippos's colleague and good friend Raphael (Ioannis Papazisis) who learns that he suffers from multiple sclerosis in the first episodes of the season while we also follow Thaleia's character arc, a TV journalist who meets Philippos when she checks her father in the hospital and gets instantly hooked by the illegal transplant scoop that will probably boost her career perspectives. There are more intriguing characters such as the enigmatic young doctor Lena (Dimitra Vitta) who is hinted to be involved with the bad guys, though this is not resolved in the finale and we will have to wait for the second cycle to see where her story is going. Vitta's presence is magnetic, not least due to her striking looks and capturing, light-colored eyes, and her character is one of the most compelling players in the story. Moreover, Lena Papaligoura, one of the highly respected Greek thespians, provides the character of the oncologist Erietta with a special aura and her lines in the courtroom scene, in the finale of the season, ring so authentic and true to our ears that we temporarily forget that we are watching a work of fiction.
A word of advice: don't feel compelled to draw a comparison between the 2022 Oath series with that show as there is the major difference that has to do with simple mathematics. The first Oath was a story told in its totality in the course of more than 30 episodes while The Oath 2 is much shorter (10 episodes), thus less available to contain the nuances and kaleidoscopic pigmentation of its predecessor. There will be the time for a fair assessment when all three cycles of The Oath 2: The Fall will be aired and then we will have the chance to discern analogies and discrepancies between the two productions. The director, Christos Georgiou provides the audience with clear optics with the hospital setting with its strong lighting and linoleum floors dominating the majority of the show's runtime. Once again, as we did with The Oath, we become privy to the inner workings and jargon of the doctors and hospital staff with the plausibility of those we see and hear being on the highest possible level as Kabitsi has vital sources in the medical world and their help in the screenplay's veracity is invaluable.
The Oath 2 is the story of Philippos Razis, a "modern Prometheus" as he takes the powers of life and death away from the gods and he is punished for good measure by his fellow humans. As the first part in a trilogy, this was an intense experience, charged with an immense emotional force that is explicitly manifested through the grief as experienced by Philippos's wife, Maritina and the protagonist's strife for vindication and justice with all the odds being against him. Christos Loulis delivers a solid performance as Philippos while Thaleia Matika steals the thunder with her facial expressions of unspekable distress after losing her baby. All members of the cast do a more than satisfying job in their respective roles with Papazisis, Papaligoura, and Vitta leading the show. This first set of episodes opens our appetite and I'm certain that Kabitsi's star will shine brighter than ever when the finale of this three-part series is reached. The only problem is that we will have to wait, for an undisclosed amount of time, for the second cycle to kick in so stay tuned as soon we will have news about the airing dates.