Russian Doll season 3: Everything we know so far

Natasha Lyonne in a subway in Russian Doll season 2
(Image credit: Netflix)

We hope time is truly a flat circle and brings around Russian Doll season 3. Netflix hasn't renewed the time-tripping dramedy yet, and it had had better not become one of the many Netflix canceled shows.

Russian Doll follows a game developer named Nadia, who relives her 36th birthday party repeatedly — the same conversations with the same friends. If Nadia dies, she restarts at the same point during the event. While investigating what is happening to her, Nadia discovers a man named Alan (Charlie Barnett) is also experiencing a time loop. They team up to figure out how they're connected and if they can help each other break free.

In season 2, set a few years later, Nadia and Charlie are sent on another time-based adventure. They are transported to the past via a portal located in a subway car. For Nadia, it represents a chance to right the wrongs of previous generations. But she soon learns that messing with time can have very serious, universe-altering consequences.

Here's everything we know so far about Russian Doll season 3. 

Russian Doll season 3 release date speculation

While Netflix hasn't officially renewed Russian Doll season 3, it seems just a matter of, um, time. The show got a ton of buzz its first season, and the extra-long three-year hiatus before season 2 stoked anticipation among fans to a fever pitch.

Co-creators Natasha Lyonne and Leslye Headland have previously said they planned for Russian Doll to run for three seasons. Headland told , "We initially pitched it as three seasons. We came in with it as like, 'Here’s the idea for season 1, here’s the idea for season 2, here’s the idea for season 3'. So, I could definitely see us going back to one of those ideas."

Lyonne told The Hollywood Reporter, "It feels like there’s an idea cooking for Season 3. And it would be really fun if it was one of those shows where, five years later, it’s like, 'No, wait a second! I think we’ve got another idea for a few episodes.'"

A renewal isn't a foregone conclusion. Russian Doll season 2 hasn't popped up on Netflix's list of the top 10 English-language shows

If the streamer does bring the show back, it may take awhile. While the pandemic certainly caused a delay in production of season 2, the creative team has been open about being deliberate and not rushing the writing phase. If Russian Doll season 2 gets the greenlight, we don't expect to see it before late 2023 at the earliest.

Russian Doll season 3 cast

Greta Lee as Maxine and Natasha Lyonne as Nadia in Russian Doll season 2

(Image credit: Netflix)

The Russian Doll season 3 cast is sure to be led again by co-creator Natasha Lyonne as Nadia Vulvokov, a coder who finds herself pulled in time-warping adventures. Also likely to return is Charlie Barnett as Alan Zaveri, a man who had similar experiences to Nadia. 

Other cast members who could appear again are Greta Lee as Maxine and Rebecca Henderson as Lizzy, Nadia's friends, as well as Ritesh Rajan as deli clerk Ferran and Brendan Sexton III as homeless man Horse. But season 3 may not feature Elizabeth Ashley as Ruth, as the motherly figure passed away.

Some new faces joined the cast in season 2, but since the stories mainly took place in the past, we don't expect them to return. They include Annie Murphy as young Ruth, Chloë Sevigny as Nadia's mother Lenora Vulvokov, Carolyn Michelle Smith as Alan's grandmother Agnes, and Sharlto Copley as Leonora's boyfriend Chez.

Likely, season 3 will add new faces to the show. 

Russian Doll season 3 plot

Russian Doll's future is up in the air, which means it's nearly impossible to speculate about potential storylines. Neither Lyonne nor Headland have hinted about season 3 plot ideas.

One thing we know for (almost) sure — it'll involve some kind of time distortion. Season 1 had the time loop, season 2 had time travel to the past. Perhaps season 3 will go into the future. 

That could also align with the themes of the show so far. Season 1 focused on Nadia and Alan's self-discovery; season 2 saw them grapple with their mothers and grandmothers. Season 3 could complete the circle by sending them on some sort of journey involving their children or grandchildren. 

Many fans are also hoping for closure on other storylines. Like, what is the deal with Horse, the homeless man? He's played a significant role in both seasons. Who is he and is he somehow behind the time distortions? 

Another loose thread is Alan's love life. In season 1, he experienced a devastating break-up with Beatrice. In season 2, he engaged in a romance with Lenny ... in his grandmother's body in 1962 East Berlin. Will he finally find love in the present day?

Kelly Woo
Streaming Editor

Kelly is the streaming channel editor for Tom’s Guide, so basically, she watches TV for a living. Previously, she was a freelance entertainment writer for Yahoo, Vulture, TV Guide and other outlets. When she’s not watching TV and movies for work, she’s watching them for fun, seeing live music, writing songs, knitting and gardening.