If you haven’t watched the HBO Max sci-fi collection Raised by Wolves, studying this text received’t spoil you about what occurs within the Season 2 finale. Not as a result of there aren’t spoilers—it’s crammed with them!—however as a result of really, nothing on this present makes any sense out of context, and typically even in context. But not in that irritating approach of a collection that’s lumbering about making an attempt to create mysteries to maintain viewers ; Raised by Wolves is a completely distinctive, totally insane present that attracts us in not due to its mysteries, however due to the fullness and dynamic existence of the alien world it has created, and the compelling beings who inhabit it. It’s fascinating to discover reasonably than to resolve. And a shortened Season 2 has been much more explosively charming than earlier than.
That mentioned, I’ve about ten thousand questions after the Season 2 finale, “Happiness,” however I’ve whittled it all the way down to seven. Hopefully the present will probably be renewed for Season 3, as a result of if it’s not, I swear to Sol…
The veil has been lifted! And she ought to undoubtedly put it again on! One of one of the best issues about Raised by Wolves shouldn’t be solely the way in which it balances its remedy of believers versus nonbelievers, but in addition in the way in which that it makes us continually query Mother/Lamia and her intentions. Grandmother has historical tech that’s much more superior than Mother or Father, and Mother’s fast hostility to her appeared ill-advised, even merciless.
But as soon as once more, it looks like she Mother proper; Grandmother is a grasp manipulator, and the veil she shared with Mother to destroy Snake God Eel Baby Number Seven trapped Mother proper afterwards. And we nonetheless don’t know for sure if Number 7 was weaponized, past being jealous of Campion and throwing tantrums as a result of its mother locked it up and received’t feed it milk or fruit. (Also, emotionless-Mother thrusting her hand into the Snake Baby’s eye to drag out its mind was past terrible!)
What we do know is that Grandmother’s talents are centered on an intersection of biology and know-how; she was capable of speed up Tempest’s child in its improvement, and likewise possibly gave it a webbing mutation. And crucially, as we discovered in “Happiness,” the fish individuals within the acid sea had been/are devolved people—due to her. Grandmother explains that they’re happier this fashion. To her credit score, they don’t appear to be making weapons to destroy each other just like the Earthlings like to do.
What’s fascinating and terrifying about that is that I do consider Grandmother and her dedication to her directive. She is programmed to bio-form humanity to permit them to outlive any situation. Here, meaning turning into fish individuals (which additionally doesn’t incur the wrath of Sol/The Entity… extra on that in a second). But that could be a corruption of her function; as even she says, these “individuals” are nonetheless “technically” human, so it counts. But it’s totally logic and math-based, it doesn’t take note of the lives being affected. As Raised by Wolves factors out repeatedly, you possibly can’t rely solely on cause or solely on emotion; there was to an intersection.
Most essential of all: Who initially decommissioned / destroyed Grandmother? And who made these scratch marks??
Ok possibly I ought to have led with this, as a result of “Happiness” begins out within the wake of Campion’s faceless, murderous love curiosity android Vrille getting smoked by his jealous Snake-Storm God brother. Totally relatable.
But let’s additionally not neglect about Paul, whose mother and father had been killed and their faces had been taken by two strangers who then turned cultists. Then one in all them become a tree and was eaten by the aforementioned Snake-Storm God. Oh, additionally his pet mouse was used to rework him right into a lizard sack.
Tempest, after all, was raped after which handed her child over to a fish particular person within the acid sea; now the newborn is again and has instantly logged right into a bio-forming gaming server. Holly sees her Mithraic mates all brutally murdered by Vrille. Vita… nicely, everybody’s making an attempt to guard her from the reality, however she nearly obtained herself become a tree. And now Campion is worked up to be rising some scales so he can work together extra with the acid sea! Rise fish individuals, rise! (Hunter appears okay, apart from the truth that he’s residing on Kepler-22b on the whole.)
One of probably the most fascinating issues about these children, although, was in seeing their hard-lined perception techniques (in both route) turn out to be softened and questioned all through the early episodes of the season, and the way they had been capable of focus on (calmly, rationally, but nonetheless emotionally) these beliefs. With all the pieces else taking place, that was put aside within the later episodes, however it’s nonetheless a driving issue going ahead I’m certain, particularly as a result of in the long run, all the pieces appears to come back again to 2 disparate human societies making an attempt to out-weapon one another for dominance. Unless they’re become fish individuals, after all.
Or actually, what even is “The Entity”? Is it Sol? It undoubtedly appears to learn about and interact with Mithraic artifacts and relics, and it particularly manipulates believers into some really deranged acts. Grandmother has said that it is going to be appeased provided that the remaining people turn out to be Fish People and go into the acid sea. Why? And is that associated in any respect to the extra violent werewolf-esque beings we noticed in Season 1?
Here’s what we do know: “Sol/The Entity” (which I’ll name Sol for the sake of readability from right here on out) impregnated Mother with the Snake-Storm God Baby. It additionally made Sue turn out to be a “tree of data” for mentioned Snake Baby to eat and instantly evolve. But… for what function? To eradicate people from its floor?
Further, why did The Trust wish to flip Paul and the others right into a lizard sack? Is The Trust really associated to Sol one way or the other? Or is it in competitors identical to on Earth? Grandmother appears to be anti-Sol, and but, she needs to show individuals into fish. So are these directives really in live performance with each other? Is everybody simply making an attempt to get people into the ocean??
We noticed within the “video” that Father and Grandmother present the youngsters (minus Vida) that the seeds trigger you to violently and horrifically flip right into a tree, and that surrounding that tree had been the Snake Cult people we noticed in Season 1. So what’s their position on this? And are people in Kepler-22b basically given two choices: turn out to be a fish or a snake cultist to outlive?
Grandmother tells Father that ignorance will not be bliss, however it does guarantee survival. There was a lot occurring in that seaside dialog, however the quiet reveal/affirmation that the mermen that we’ve seen are devolved people (which might be additionally true of the were-people we noticed in Season 1) was key. There’s one thing very highly effective on this present in regards to the switch of vitality; take into account how Marcus had that tooth on him that resurrected a desiccated were-person. Grandmother, too, appears to have the ability to mutate people nearly immediately and… via videogames?
One of the wildest pivots Raised by Wolves made in “Happiness” was that an excessive amount of gaming can devolve you right into a fish particular person. But a contented fish particular person, I suppose? And can they reproduce like that, or are they struggling—which is why one in all them adopted Tempest round and needed her child so badly?
The fish individuals don’t appear to be violent, Mother simply made that decision instantly after they began hanging round. So what are they as much as within the sea nowadays? Hopefully Season 3 will reveal extra.
To return to an earlier level about Sol/The Entity, the Snake Cult appears linked to it one way or the other. We discovered in “Happiness” that Sol is probably going within the core of the planet, and “hardwires” into the floor via the bushes and such. So what’s the cult’s position on this? It looks like Sol doesn’t need people on the floor for no matter cause, so do they stay in these large holes one way or the other? And/or do they only make routine sacrifices to Sol / the Snake with a purpose to be left alone?
The change in climate triggered by Mother’s galactic battle along with her Snake Baby (who simply needed to nurse!) may pressure the people who’re left into the ocean or into the holes/caves. Those appear, for the time being, like the one choices—and Campion (the potential “chosen one,” the bridge between people and tech) is at the moment all for the fish route!
Raised by Wolves’ resident Gaius Baltar / Rasputin has had a hell of a time this season. He went from a violent outsider who believed himself to be a savior (after stealing Mother’s eyes, which granted him some particular protections whereas they had been ingested), to kinda teaming up with Mother and, in the end, turning his again on Sol. But Sol works in mysterious methods, and he wasn’t achieved with Marcus. Wildcard Lucius took up the temporary mantle of The New Savior and crucified Marcus the other way up on the tree that was previously Sue / previously digested / previously the Snake Baby.
There are so many Biblical allusions on this present, however I’m unsure what number of of them (if any) are to be taken as gospel (ha!) in relation to how Raised by Wolves is telling its story. It might simply be utilizing the traditional creation archetype and even Genesis as a baseline on which to construct one thing new, regardless that the the other way up crucifixion calls again to the desires of St. Peter the Apostle (though there may be, er, a twist right here that’s decidedly not Biblical). Lucius was instructed to kill Marcus and put the Mithraic helmet on him so he would die in darkness, however it appears to have helped in resurrect. The episode ended then with Marcus floating the other way up, nonetheless in his cross place, dripping blood on Lucius. This fucking present!!!
Now, couple of questions. Firstly, why would The Trust be utilizing the Punisher Mask for its personal punishments if it’s a Mithraic relic? (The individuals The Trust managed had been additionally fast to start out worshipping a brand new idol, weren’t they?) And what powers does it possess? Further, what the hell even is Marcus now? Is he some type of inverted necromancer? Or is he Sol’s reply to Mother? Why did Sol/The Entity need this? To destroy the remaining people extra successfully? Or simply the believers? Or simply the atheists??
I’ve written nearly 2,000 phrases about this loopy present right here, and sooner or later should relaxation. “Emotions expend a lot vitality,” in spite of everything, regardless that I one way or the other spent zero time speaking about my favourite character, Father. I’m very invested in him discovering happiness! But no matter all of it means in the long run, I simply hope we get the respect of spending extra time on this weird, unimaginable world.
Allison Keene is the TV Editor of Paste Magazine. For extra tv speak, popular culture chat and common japery, you possibly can comply with her @keeneTV
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