The Raised By Wolves Colony Report: The Battle Of Faiths Begins

Praise Sol! "Raised by Wolves" is back and weirder than ever, kicking off its second season with a bang. The series, created by Aaron Guzikowski and executive-produced Ridley Scott, follows a pair of androids and their human brood as they attempt to create a new colony on the planet Kepler-22b. The androids are Mother (Amanda Collin), a former Necromancer killer robot with new maternal programming, and Father (Abubakar Salim), a caregiver android who counters many of Mother's more murderous moods. They set out to create a colony and raise their human brood of children, but were thwarted at every turn by both the planet itself and another group of survivors that belonged to a religiously zealous group, the Mithraic. After a Mithraic ark ship crashed, however, Mother and Father adopted some of the surviving children, along with surviving adult Sue (Niamh Algar). Sue was an atheist hiding aboard the Mithraic ship along with her husband Marcus (Travis Fimmel) and their son, Paul (Felix Jamieson). Unfortunately, Marcus has become a bit deranged and believes that he has been chosen the Mithraic god Sol to take over the planet in his name, which causes some problems for the atheist androids and their kin. 

When last season ended, Mother and Father had taken their landing cruiser deep into the planet in an attempt to kill Mother's natural-born child, a snake-creature that resembles bones found by the children. They somehow survive, and the androids, Sue, and the children all manage to find the atheist commune in the tropical zone of the planet. Now they must face new challenges as they try to assimilate into a new society and forgive one another for the sins they committed in the name of survival. Marcus is also still out there, somewhere, self-righteous and totally insane. 

Season 2 of "Raised by Wolves" throws us right back into the story with Mother's discovery by the atheist colonists. Each week, I'll recap the episodes and then dig into how things are going for the two big teams: Team Robot, and Team Sol. I get the feeling that neither of them will feel like winners by the end of this. 

SPOILERS for season 2, episode 1 of "Raised by Wolves" from here on out.

A Quick Recap

The season premiere of "Raised by Wolves" kicks off with a group of atheist colonists finding Mother in the jungle. They bring her back to run some tests at the behest of their overlord, who happens to be some kind of artificial intelligence. While complaining about being bossed around by a robot, one of the colonists digs in Mother's guts. This triggers a defense mechanism that causes contact with her blood to mutate human flesh, quickly turning the poor colonist into a nightmarish Cronenbergian freak. Mother is about to kill everyone in the room when the AI speaks to her in her mind, commanding her to come and speak with him. She meets Quantum 6, the futuristic super-computer created by the atheists to rule them, and he welcomes her with a friendly "hello, sister." It turns out that his programmer was the same creator as Mother's, and they are siblings, in a sense. Quantum 6 tells Mother that she and her family will be welcome in the colony, and that she has helped save them. 

"Thanks to you, all that remains of the Mithraic threat is a lone terrorist who will soon be eliminated," he tells her. Cut to Marcus freezing his Mithraic butt off 3000 miles away from the Tropical Zone. He watches a ship crash and goes to find it so he can use it to attack the atheist colony. He ends up landing nearby and discovering two Mithraic survivors being held captive by the atheists. He de-activates the chest bombs that keep them from escaping and then takes them to a cave where he's found a giant Mithraic symbol carved into the walls. Despite the fact that one of them is an android, he recruits them into his plot to overthrow the atheists.

Meanwhile, Mother is reunited with Father, Sue, and the children. Father is confused and she explains the situation, telling him that she has changed. She is no longer capable of killing as she did before, and her programming has been radically altered. Even her kill-eyes are gone, no longer able to shoot laser beams. Father is still upset with Mother over her secret betrayal with the A.I. who impregnated her with the snake baby, but he informs her that he will hold off on erasing his memories of her for the time being. They begin learning about their new surroundings and explore outside in the Tropical Zone for the first time. The children are in awe of the warmth of the area and the fact that there's life around them, including edible fruit and birds flying above. Everyone seems pretty optimistic, except for Paul, who gets into another argument with his mother about her lack of faith. He tells her that her soul is impure and that he wished she had died when she was "supposed to," which causes her to pack up her things and leave the colony. 

In the colony, daily assignments are given by Quantum 6, imprinted on little metal balls. The children and Father are assigned to go gather food, while Mother is assigned to go teach the very young children in the colony. Mother has been given a new name: Lamia. A lamia in Greek mythology was a serpent-based demonic being who ate children, so the name's accurate, whether she still has her laser eyes or not. Some of the colonists are cruel to Father and Vita (Ivy Wong) as they search for food, though he reassures her that she is not bad for being born into a Mithraic family. They discover some unusual objects in a cave that look like they might be made of bone, and Father takes them back to the colony for research. At the same time, Paul and Campion go looking for food and instead find trouble. Campion discovers a nest with eggs and keeps one so he can raise whatever hatches as a pet, while Paul finds a hexagonal object with Mithraic symbols all over it. Both agree to keep their findings secret, but Sol knows how long that will last. 

The episode ends with Mother and Father rushing out into the night to discover a burning symbol of Sol in front of their home. Mother asks what it means and Father tells her, "a threat." It looks like Marcus and his tiny crew are going to take on the atheists sooner instead of later, but how? 

Team Robot: A Strained Kind of Hope

Things are looking more optimistic than usual for "Raised by Wolves" on Team Robot, although Mother/Lamia is clearly not well. Her outward kindness feels false, and her eyes are completely dead. At the very beginning of the episode, while the colonists are digging around in her guts, they discuss how one of them thinks Quantum 6 hates him. "It's a machine, it doesn't hate anything," the other replies, and it feels like a warning for the rest of the season. Mother later tells Quantum 6 that she feels impulses "to conceal the parts of myself that displease me." She is feeling shame, Quantum 6 explains, a very human emotion. Mother is beginning to think beyond her programming and is experiencing emotions the same way a human being would. Unfortunately, she's also deeply traumatized from her experiences and she's got a bit of a rage problem, so she's a ticking time bomb. When she is looking after the young children, one of them paints a snake creature on an egg. She seems shaken by the imagery and tells them not to paint something so scary. 

"It's not scary. It's beautiful. All living things are beautiful," the child says, and this seems to shake Mother even more. Her snake child is potentially deadly and possibly still out there, and she feels responsible. Life, and the creation of it, has not been beautiful for her. She even tells the children when they're reunited: "androids can change, just like human beings. I am no longer an exterminator. And although I am not a creator of human life, I am forever its guardian." It sounds like she's a little bitter about the creation part, but we'll have to see how that all pans out. 

The children, for their part, seem cautiously optimistic about the whole thing. They're a little unnerved by a woman doing penance beside the assignment line, repeating "pain is violence, violence is pain," but otherwise are excited about being in a place that's not actively trying to kill them. Hunter (Ethan Hazzard) is a little less impressed, cracking wise about having to queue up for work: "It's called waiting in line, welcome to the future!"

Team Sol: Something Wicked This Way Comes

Marcus, who believes himself to be the chosen son of Sol who will bring about a new beginning for mankind, has started his next phase of attack against the atheists. He's managed to get closer to them with his stolen ship, found the cave with the giant symbol, and is headed towards creating a new cult of Sol on the planet. The two Mithraic survivors he's rescued are Decima (Kim Engelbrecht) and Vrille (Morgan Santo), though he's reluctant to allow Vrille to stick around due to his mistrust of all androids. Decima calls Vrille her "daughter," and explains that she's a civilian-model android intended only for companionship. She has to beg Marcus to save her as well, but he relents. When they reach the cave, he questions them on their pasts. The only reason the atheists let Decima keep Vrille was because she fixed their ship — Decima is a quantum gravity engineer. She's also devoted to Sol, though she was not baptized. Marcus reassures her that baptism doesn't matter, only her love of their god does. 

Looking Forward

So what should we expect in the weeks to come? I expect a showdown between Mother and Quantum 6, Marcus recruiting more Mithraic folks to Team Sol, and a whole lot of violence. There's also a fair bit of tension just among our core family, with Mother and Father at odds and some serious disagreements brewing between the children regarding faith. The atheist colonists also don't seem too keen on the Mithraic children being among them, even though they've been (mostly) assimilated to atheist or agnostic beliefs. Only Paul is completely devoted to Sol, and he, like his father, believes that he might be the chosen son who will save his people. 

The only thing we can expect for sure with "Raised by Wolves" is the unexpected, because this series is ridiculously obtuse and so very, deliciously weird. I can't wait to see what unnerving visions will play out, and hope you'll come along for the ride. 

New episodes of "Raised by Wolves" premiere Thursdays on HBO Max.