Russian Doll season 2 timeline explained

Russian Doll season 2 is now on Netflix, and it’s a time-hopping extravaganza. The new installment of the Netflix show picks up four years after season 1 – Nadia is about to turn 40, and she and Alan (Charlie Barnett) find themselves traveling through time rather than re-living it. 

However, this makes things a little confusing – between them, Nadia and Alan visit the ’40s, the ’60s, the ’80s, and two points in the 21st Century, and not necessarily in that order. We’ve identified their main time travel destinations and put them in chronological order, breaking down the key events that happen each year, which should hopefully make things a little clearer if the new season left you with some questions.

Of course, that means there are major spoilers ahead, so this is your warning to click away now if you haven’t finished all seven episodes. Scroll on to find our guide to the Russian Doll season 2 timeline, and make sure you check out our guide to the Russian Doll season 2 ending explained too. 

Russian Doll season 2 timeline: 1944 

Natasha Lyonne in Russian Doll season 2

(Image credit: Netflix)

At the end of episode 4, Nadia arrives in Budapest, Hungary, towards the end of World War 2. She inhabits the body of her grandmother, Vera (Ilona McCrea), who was a young woman at the time. She attempts to take back her Jewish family’s valuables that were stolen by the Nazis. 

1962 

Carolyn Michelle Smith in Russian Doll season 2

(Image credit: Netflix)

In episode 4, we find out that Alan has been traveling back to East Berlin in 1962, during the Cold War when the city was still divided by the Berlin Wall. Like Nadia in 1944, he is also inhabiting the body of his grandmother, Agnes (Carolyn Michelle Smith) a Ghanian student in East Germany who is involved in a plot to tunnel under the Berlin Wall.

1982 

Chloe Sevigny in Russian Doll season 2

(Image credit: Netflix)

This is the first year Nadia travels to, and the one she returns to the most frequently. Finding herself in the East Village in New York City, she inhabits the body of her mother, Nora (Chloë Sevigny), who is heavily pregnant with Nadia. In episode 5, Nora’s water breaks while she’s on the subway, and Nadia ends up giving birth to herself. Kind of. 

2018 

Greta Lee in Russian Doll season 2

(Image credit: Netflix)

In episode 7, Nadia and Alan find themselves back at Nadia’s 36th birthday party in 2018. Back in Maxine’s (Greta Lee) apartment, Harry Nilsson’s ‘Gotta Get Up’ (the song that signaled Nadia’s time loop resetting in season 1) plays – but things aren’t quite as they were four years ago. At this point, Nadia has brought her newborn self back to the 21st Century, and it’s messing up the timeline, to put things lightly. Chickens are uncooking themselves, 20th Century Jewish schoolboys are running around the birthday party, and multiple Ruths start to arrive. 

2022 

Greta Lee and Natasha Lyonne in Russian Doll season 2

(Image credit: Netflix)

Four years have passed since season 1 ended, so the present day for Nadia and Alan is New York City in 2022. It’s nearly Nadia’s birthday again, but this time around she’s about to turn 40.


Finished Russian Doll season 2 and need more viewing inspiration? Check out our list of the other best Netflix shows that you can stream right now. Plus, here’s our guide to everything we know so far about a potential Russian Doll season 3

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