Raised by Wolves So Far
When the Mithraic are close to dying, Marcus takes advantage of the situation to bring his people back from the brink and assume power in the process. As their new leader, he firmly sets his sights on saving his son and their other children. As they try to locate the Atheist settlement, the Mithraic have a run in with a local inhabitant who has been keeping tabs on both groups. Meanwhile, the Atheist camp is suffering from a food shortage and must find a new source including hunting the strange creatures. Also, Mother’s been sneaking off to a Mithraic crash site to plug into their network and learn more about her past.
[Slight Spoilers Ahead]
Despite their previous bonding, a rivalry begins to grow between Campion and Paul with the former becoming jealous of the latter’s ingenuity and sharpness. Paul earns high praise from their surrogate parents for his ability to solve puzzles quickly and his trap he constructed to catch and kill the creatures. A device much needed since the children pretty much froze when they had to do the slaughtering. Campion violently punches his friend when he learns the moss they found will be used as bait in the trap.
This incident brings up a deeper discussion between the androids and how Mother is absent from raising the children. During their argument, they notice drawings in the tent in the style of Tally, their child that is presumed to fallen into one of the pits. She’s been haunting their community playing games with Vita and even pays Campion a visit.
Meanwhile, the Mithraic perform recon on the Atheist compound as they plot their rescue mission. The plan consists of two parts where they first attack Mother while she’s at the crash site plugged into the system and is completely vulnerable. After she’s been destroyed, a second force will raid the settlement to rescue the children from Father. Though there are hiccups, the Mithraic are successful after some of the children turn against their caregivers. Afterwards, the victorious side figures out what to do with an incapacitated Mother, broken down Father, and the impure in Sol’s eyes, Campion.
The first of the new episodes of Raised by Wolves, “Lost Paradise”, is excellent and the best of the season so far. We have the big battle between the sides and even though these aren’t Game of Thrones’ “Battle of the Bastards” numbers, it does create a large scale feel because of the two fronts.
During the attack on Mother, the raised earth effects are visually stunning but do devolve into cheaply made CGI once she transforms into necromancer mode and causes the boulders to explode. The layering and coordination with the actors are a little off and the scene has an artificial feel to it.
The skirmish at the actual settlement is intense and despite all his feelings of inadequacy compared to his other half, Father really holds his own. He shows he’s proficient with the slings from last week and makes good use of Paul’s trap. Too bad the numbers are against him and those he’s trying to protect turn on him.
It’s also worth mentioning how great Abubakar Salim has been in the role and the range he exhibits, even for a character that is an android. He is the loving and encouraging father to these children that can be stern when needed and he even has Dad jokes. Then after he’s reprogrammed by the Mithraic, it’s such a contrast to see him so emotionless and cold.
The only part of the sixth episode Raised by Wolves that seemed out of place are the scenes when Mother is plugged into the network. Last week laid the groundwork for a romance angle between Mother and her creator, the original Campion. We see that further develop and it culminates into a bizarre, intimate scene that defies gravity.
With already so much action, the following episode of Raised by Wolves takes a slower pace and allows the viewer to decompress after the battle. There are some great scenes between Mother and Marcus, the two leaders of their groups as they verbally spar over their ways of life and teachings. Afterwards, Mother reveals she knows Marcus’ secret but he can’t kill her because of the voices in his head.
It’s interesting to watch Marcus’ descent into madness caused by these voices. You don’t know if he’s really going crazy and his position of power is corrupting him or if he’s the true chosen one of the Mithraic and speaking to Sol. He’s so torn that he literally fights with himself. His peculiar behavior and decisions begin to alienate his wife, Sue.
“Faces” leans more into the supernatural element as well. In addition to the voices Marcus hears, Campion has his own visions of his sibling, Tally. The way she interacts with him is spine tingling and raises the hair on the back of your neck. The scares are unexpected but the situations juxtaposed to Marcus’ show the inner strength Campion possesses.
Both episodes do a good job of developing the children more. Even though the eldest, Hunter, was the least reluctant to embrace the Atheist ways, now that he’s back with his people he finds himself no longer at the top of the pecking order. Tempest was enjoying her time away but is back with the Mithraic, whom she now despises. She is also with child and you know such a religious group is going to be judgy about teen pregnancy, regardless of who the father is.
The most intriguing relationship is the complicated one between Campion and Paul. Previously during the moss discovery, Campion expressed his trust in his friend with Paul being touched by the compliment. But their growing rivalry and differing views on life and the soul put them into conflict with each other, not to mention Paul is the main reason the Mithraic won. However, they manage to make it work accepting they can disagree and still be friends while Paul also does everything he can to save Campion after the Atheists lose.
Episodes six and seven of Raised by Wolves provide some great action, a few scares, and more character work. The Mithraic may have won but are they making a big mistake by keeping Mother alive? We’ll find out next week.
Raised by Wolves releases new episodes Thursdays on HBO Max.