Raising Dion: The Mind Mover Returns!

The sophomore season of Raising Dion is fun and flashy. Just remember that you’re watching a superhero show based around a child and created for kids.

Check out our review of Raising Dion Season 2, now!

Dion (Ja’Siah Young), Jonathon (Gavin Munn) and Esperanza (Sammi Hanney) face off against an enemy (Image courtesy of Netflix)

It’s been over 2 years since Raising Dion, the comic book adaptation of a superpowered elementary student, premiered on Netflix. Since then, the world has gone a little upside down and it seems that perhaps Dion has too. The second season of the popular series is scheduled to premiere on February 1st. Until tomorrow, I’ll tell you what I can. 

Dion’s story appears to be happening in real time. Just as two years have passed for viewers, two years have passed for Dion (Ja’Siah Young) and Nicole (Alisha Wainwright). Dion is ten now and still working on his powers. By day he and his best friends, Esperanza (Sammi Haney) and Jonathon (Gavin Munn) from the Triangle of Justice. Dion, as Mind Mover (his super identity), solves problems in his neighborhood. Esperanza and Jonathon serve as his support system. Of course, Dion does this without his mother’s knowledge or permission. 

Despite Dion’s age, Nicole remains as vigilant as ever, perhaps even more so after the events of Season 1. Nicole’s treatment by the plot is perhaps my biggest complaint about this season. She’s an excellent mom, even tempered and kind and not quick to rush to judgment. She helps Dion as much as any non-powered person can help a superpowered kid. Where she can’t, she seeks out support. Those supports include a new program at Biona (a research lab where Mark-Dion’s father-worked before his death). The program features both powered and non-powered adults. They help train powered kids, giving them skills to adapt to the world they live in. Dion has apparently been training at the center for the past two years. Now he’s advanced past his non-powered trainer and requires more of a challenge. 

Can They Talk??

Tevin (Rome Flynn), Janelle (Aubriana Davis), Dion and Nicole (Alisha Wainwright) face off against a new threat.
Tevin (Rome Flynn), Janelle (Aubriana Davis), Dion and Nicole (Alisha Wainwright) face off against a new threat.

Enter Tevin Wakefield (Rome Flynn). Tevin is handsome, funny and nice but most importantly: he’s powered. He has the ability to cast shields and he’s the person who’s going to step in as Dion’s trainer. Nicole is resistant to the idea. She’s seen what one powered man has attempted to do to her son and she wants no parts of another. Ultimately she’s convinced that it’s the right thing for Dion, but this is just the first instance of Nicole’s reasonable concerns being treated as overprotectiveness. Over and over this season we see Nicole attempt to remind both Dion (and those around him) that he’s still a child. That he shouldn’t do things that might endanger himself. Over and over we see Dion and people around him remind Nicole that Dion is “powered”. This obviously means that he should be allowed to do things other children can’t or wouldn’t.

Nicole’s treatment is one of the most frustrating things about this season of Raising Dion. I’d love to see her getting a bit more respect as Dion’s mother (and sole living parent). However, I did really enjoy the relationship the show is building between her and Tevin. It’s uncomplicated and easy and built around a mutual care for Dion. They work well together and I like that Nicole gets the opportunity to be someone outside of just a mother. 

Powers, Powers Everywhere

This season introduces more powered people in general, it seems Iceland was a really popular destination spot 10 years ago. We’re introduced to Janelle Carter (Aubriana Davis), a 15-year old girl dealing with a power that appears to destroy everything around her. She and her mother, Simone (Tracey Bonner) have come to Biona to help get her “behavioral issues” under control. The two women develop a close connection with Nicole and it’s perhaps one of the better aspects of the season. 

My second least favorite thing about this season is the return of Pat Rollins. Jason Ritter returns as the former friend turned villain this season. Pat’s mysteriously absent of the Crooked Energy that made him the Crooked Man and he seems determined to make amends and change his life around. The only problem with that is that he’s…well, a murderer. Several times over. Instead of taking personal responsibility for his actions, Pat continues to shift blame.

Pat Rollins (Jason Ritter) and Dion share a chance encounter. (Image Courtesy of Netflix)
Pat Rollins (Jason Ritter) and Dion share a chance encounter. (Image Courtesy of Netflix)

He’s whiny and irritating and he never realizes why he’s in the position he’s currently in.  Biona is keeping Pat under lock and key, but of course, he finds his way back into the wild and back into the lives of Nicole and Dion. After their traumatic dealings with him last season, neither of them are eager to see him again. Unfortunately, Pat is perhaps one of the only people who can help the small family when things start to appear rocky. But that brings the question: If Pat doesn’t have the Crooked Energy anymore, who does?

The Crooked Energy has escaped him and is now inhabiting the body of a small boy named Brayden (Griffin Robert Faulkner). Brayden is convincingly creepy and very much obsessed with Dion. The Crooked Energy wants Dion at any cost and it’s using Brayden to do so. Dion is pleased to have met Brayden once he realizes he’s also powered. Of course that quickly turns into dismay when he realizes what hides behind Brayden’s friendly mask. 

Questions Asked, Answered and Left Hanging.

I did enjoy Esperanza’s independent storyline this season. Being different is never easy and I imagine Esperanza might feel left behind. Raising Dion addresses this without ever feeling pedantic or cheesy. I was also glad to see Sammi Haney have an opportunity to shine. She’s an excellent actress and I’m excited to see more of her.

Season 2 does leave a lot of unanswered questions for me. For example: why exactly is the Crooked Energy so obsessed with Dion in particular? This is never explained to us. How is Dion able to create whatever powers he desires (running tally includes teleportation, flame hands, storm creation, telekinesis and more). How many more powered people are there in the world and are they also training? 

Despite these questions, the sophomore season of Raising Dion is fun and flashy. Just remember that you’re watching a superhero show based around a child and created for kids. The child actors are some of the best that I’ve seen and the supporting adults all have believable chemistry. It’s a cute show to watch with your family before bed or on the weekends and there’s a very clear set up for Season 3. I’m excited to see what this show does next and I hope you are too!

For a refresher on Season 1 check out our review here!

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