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Raised by Wolves Season 2
Photograph by Coco Van Oppens/HBO Max

Television

‘Raised by Wolves’ S2E5 ‘King’ blends horror and adventure in exciting midseason episode

‘Raised by Wolves’ delivers a highly entertaining midseason episode.

Raised by Wolves has seen a major power shift in the last episode, and this week the robots Mother (Amanda Collin) and Father (Abubakar Salim) continue to show signs they’re evolving. Evolving to be more human. For better or worse, likely, as this ensemble cast continues to figure out how to survive while also fighting each other at every turn.

Episode five, titled “King,” opens with Marcus (Travis Fimmel) having a bugger of a time keeping his star pupil in line. He lost his superpowers and is clearly losing confidence in himself. Customary of the character, though, he finds a new gear in motivating his small flock. Fimmel is exceptional when it comes to subtle acting and it’s on full display in the opening.

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His star pupil Danjal (Jenna Upton) continues to be a weak element of the show. In a forced scene last episode, she killed her robot child and now she’s turning on Marcus as his power seems to have wained. It’s hard to believe a woman who believed in Marcus fully a day ago is now questioning him. It’s likely the problem of TV shows having to take sharp turns in order to progress the story, but it feels unnatural and way too quick for the character. The actor is assertive and does well with what she has, but her motivation seems all over the place in this episode.

There are a few plots that are juggled well in this episode. Father continues to figure out what the deal is with the being he brought back from death. This being was the cliffhanger of the last episode and serves as a major mystery. To add a bit of a human element, Father seems to be attracted to the creation. Might there be trouble in paradise for Father and Mother? It’s also interesting to see how Father is understanding maybe his purpose can grow and evolve. That’s put to the test when he gets help from an unlikely person who was once his foe.

Raised by Wolves Season 2

Photograph by Coco Van Oppens/HBO Max

Mother is on a mission to figure out how to save Paul (Felix Jamieson) who has been turned into a black cacoon. In a key scene of incredible acting, Mother tortures one of the leaders of the colony for answers on a cure. There’s a compelling point made about how humans can be reprogrammed as easily as robots.

A crisis of faith, or at least turning to a God for answers continues with Sue (Niamh Algar). She wants to cure Paul since she seems to be the only doctor in the colony, and in a key scene, she praises Sol. It’s a shocking moment considering she was a non-believer. It’s a reminder in tough painful times we seek answers and solace from anyone who may give it. Judging by her actions and others it appears this season is about characters lacking faith are finding it.

Sue definitely goes through quite a grotesque and unnerving experience that’s straight out of Alien. It’s an intense scene to say the least when she thinks she sees a leech inside Paul’s room. Once inside, the leech seems to disappear and then reappear in her mask. She’s freaking out and while viewers might assume it’s real, given her troubled state and clear lack of sleep it’s hard to understand what is real in this sequence. That helps create a sense of mystery, especially with Paul who is in a black cacoon of goo.

This sets off a side adventure involving those acid swimming mermaids. It supplies a good amount of action, mixes in alien stuff, and also shines a bit more light on these weird creatures. It all leads to possibly the best line of the series, “What’s the difference between a god and an alien.” It’s a series-defining line, that helps realize the thought process of those with faith, and those who don’t. It’s a line in the sand that’s going to be interesting to see who crosses as the series progresses.

This episode is rather flawless in general, although it’s becoming rather clear Marcus’ character has a heavy layer of plot armor to keep his story moving. One could equate his luck to his belief in Sol, but in most cases, it reads as if he stumbles onto the right path simply to keep his flock believing he is a prophet and is not just lucky. There are too many coincidences keeping his character relevant however good the acting is scene to scene.

But that’s not all, as Marcus makes a big discovery. No spoilers here as far as what he finds, but it’s a major revelation in regards to something from the previous season. If there was a power switch last episode one can smell another coming soon.

Raised by Wolves S2E5 “King” blends horror, adventure, and action in a satisfying mid-season episode. This might be the scariest yet while also progressing most of its subplots. In fact, it’s kinda shocking how far it takes things and makes the second half of this season all the more exciting.

Raised by Wolves Season 2
‘Raised by Wolves’ S2E5 ‘King’ blends horror and adventure in exciting midseason episode
Raised by Wolves S2E5 'King' review
Raised by Wolves S2E5 "King" blends horror, adventure, and action in a satisfying mid-season episode. This might be the scariest episode yet while also progressing most of its subplots. In fact, it's kinda shocking how far it takes things and makes the second half of this season all the more exciting.
Reader Rating1 Vote
9
Some truly scary scenes
Good adventure and discovery scenes
Seems to feature good character beats throughout
Danjal's subplot has a bit of purpose, but it also feels rushed
9
Great

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