Debuting on March 8, Season 2 of Underground has more action, more heart-pumping- and heart- stopping drama, and more moral muscle than its WGN America ratings-record-breaking debut of last year. And, as I say in my video review above, the first season of the Misha Green- and Joe Pokaski-created series about the Underground Railroad and the race for freedom for slaves, wasn’t exactly short on those admirable qualities to begin with.

With the set-up of Season 1 behind the John Legend EP’d pre-Civil War set show and the aftermath of the Macon 7’s daring escape from Georgia, the new season of Underground shows a distinct maturation into a deeper narrative of the horrors of American slavery as well as the complexities of the series’ main characters.

In short, Season 2 of Underground is excellent and perhaps more pertinent than ever.

The performances of Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Aldis Hodge, Jessica de Gouw and Alano Miller now fully inhabit that 19th century time of perpetual danger, institutionalized torture, abolitionists,  and the anxiety of desperate people in very desperate straits – as I also say in my video review above. As for now-series regular Amirah Vann as former top house slave Ernestine, the wide range of the accomplished actor has only grown.

What Underground has in addition to all that in this season of many welcomed additions is the historical iconic figure Harriet Tubman. In an exceptional and manifold turn by Aisha Hinds, the legendary conductor of the railroad is alive much more than most tales of her deeds and her upcoming more-than-deserved portrait on the $20 bill. A living and breathing representation of the very best of America fighting the very worst of America, Hinds’ Tubman is a masterstroke on the Sony Pictures Television-produced series’s part in setting this often harrowing fiction in the even more harrowing reality of that time and our own.

Those other additions to Underground include Fargo alum Bokeem Woodbine as Daniel, Jasika Nicole as Georgia, Sadie Stratton as slave trader Patty Cannon and Legend himself Frederick Douglass.

Click on my video review above to see more of what I think of Underground‘s second season – and there is more, trust me. Much more on this road that you should once again travel and watch.

This review originally ran on March 7