‘Sneaky Pete’ remains a fun and twisty long con in Season 2 (TV review)

“Sneaky Pete,” developed by Bryan Cranston and Graham Yost, was originally created as a “mystery of the week” series for CBS, about a con man who would solve different cases each week, all while pretending to be a member of a family that wasn’t his own. However, CBS passed and Amazon Prime turned it into a serialized story. Season 1 was a smart, fun, “Ocean’s 11”-style story.  The show became Amazon’s most watched series, most likely because of “Breaking Bad” fans looking for their Cranston fix.

(LIGHT SPOILERS FOLLOW.)

Season 2 picks up immediately following Season 1, as Marius, a.k.a. Pete (Giovanni Ribisi), has been kidnapped by a couple of bad guys who claim Pete owes their boss $11 million.  Among a host of other problems, the family has covered up the murder of a cop, and must launder money for the local kingpin to pay back a favor.

In typical “Sneaky Pete” fashion, resolving this situation requires some sort of con or heist, with some sort of twist for the viewer.  Between cons, we notice Marius developing a bit of a conscience and going to much greater measures to help his new family with their situations and keep them safe at any cost. As the characters grow closer, the viewer can only wonder how long the con will last before they find out the truth about Pete.

Although Season 2 is missing Cranston, the whole cast turns in outstanding performances. The star is clearly Ribisi, but Margo Martindale (as Audrey), and Marin Ireland (as Julia) are just as much on display.  Oh, and I can’t forget Ethan Embry as real Pete. I’ve been a fan of his since “Can’t Hardly Wait,” so it’s always a treat to see him on screen.

Even though the formula is the same as Season 1, and Cranston is not here, Season 2 is still a joy to watch for those who like the heist-style films and shows. The end of Season 2 seems to lead us to another season and you can bet I’ll be there to see how it plays out.

Season 2:

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