Remember just last week when I thought things were looking great for Team Sol and pretty dire for Team Robot? In typical "Raised by Wolves" fashion, the series did yet another complete 180 this week, throwing almost any conceived notions about where it could possibly be headed right out the window. When we last peeked into the horrors happening on the planet Kepler-22b, Mother (Amanda Collin) and Father (Abubakar Salim) were at odds with one another over Mother's decision to keep her snake baby around, while Campion (Winta McGrath), Paul (Felix Jamieson), and Holly (Aasiya Shah) snuck off to warn Marcus (Travis Fimmel) and the other Mithraic folks that the atheist supercomputer the Trust was planning an attack. It looked like Team Sol had the upper hand, and the splintering of Mother and Father's union was leading Team Robot towards total disaster.
Buckle up, because episode 4 of "Raised by Wolves," "Control," is the series' nastiest, meanest entry yet. Just when you thought the show had gotten as weird and disturbing as it could possibly get, it ups the ante as this week takes us to some horrifying new highs.
SPOILERS for episode 4 of "Raised by Wolves" from here on out!
A Quick Recap
Things appear to be going well for Team Sol, with Marcus and Paul chatting about the latter's decision to come warn them. Paul tells Marcus that he won't be able to find the tree on the planet because the seeds are with the atheists, and he also reveals that he knows Marcus isn't his real father, because Sol told him. The two start talking about Sue (Niamh Algar) and Decima (Kim Engelbrecht) when Paul begins choking and developing scale-like lesions. The mouse given to him by the Trust was some kind of biological weapon, and it starts taking over Paul and another Mithraic believer standing nearby. Because of his "powers," Marcus is immune, and he carries Paul outside for air. The scales soon cover Paul, cocooning him, and his eyes look reptilian. Marcus realizes what's happened and tells his followers: "There is no search and destroy mission happening tomorrow. It already happened today." He blames Vrille (Morgan Santo) for bringing Paul and Campion to the cave, and Decima sends her to stop Campion, who has run off to get Mother.
Back at the atheist compound, Hunter (Ethan Hazzard) and the pregnant Tempest (Jordan Loughran) discuss why Tempest was chatting with the atheists outside of the fighting arena in the last episode. She explains they are going to adopt her child when it's born, but Father interrupts them to thank Hunter for lending him the Sol pendant. The three of them give Father's pet skeleton some fuel-blood, but it doesn't seem to do anything. At the dwelling, Mother catches Vita (Ivy Wong) playing the Necromancer video game instead of studying her lessons. The two get into an argument and Mother destroys the game, taking the microchips out to put to a different use. She takes them to the medical station and tries to create a control chip, which she tests on a bird. Sue asks her what she's doing, and why she won't just kill the snake creature. Sue has gotten the idea that Mother gave birth to the snake, but she doesn't know for sure. The two go back and forth for a little bit, but end up keeping each other at arm's length.
Vrille eventually catches up with Campion and is going to hurt him because of her programming, but she's attacked by some kind of water creature that leaks acid. Campion beats its head in with a rock, stunning Vrille. She asks him how he could possibly kill an "organic being to ensure that a synthetic being would continue operating," and he explains that he didn't want to see her get hurt. Tamerlane (James Harkness) witnesses Vrille letting Campion leave, and goes back to tell Marcus. He demands that Decima "make this right," and she attacks Vrille with her own shoulder pin, removed by Marcus when they first met. The followers of Sol hold down the child android while Decima attacks her, literally clawing her face off.
"Are you gonna break my neck again?" Vrille asks, and this sends Decima into a rage, screaming "You're not her!" as she continues to hack at the android made to look like her dead child. Vrille escapes and jumps off a cliff to her apparent death, and it is absolutely horrific. Paul is also now a weird, scale-encased husk, though Mother has arrived and is ready to take him to some kind of cure. Marcus and Mother fight, and Marcus almost wins but Campion hits him with a rock from a sling. Mother realizes that her eyes are inside of Marcus (he ate them back in season 1) and she starts pulling them out, moving them inside of his body using magnetism. She retrieves her eyes and puts them back in before turning back into her Necromancer form, finally picking up Paul and flying away. It looks like Marcus is back to being a normal human, as his skin is no longer covered in the blackened veins.
Mother returns to the atheist collective and demands the antidote from Cleaver (Peter Christofferson) and the Trust. He asks the Trust for guidance and it tells him and the other human soldiers to "shoot to destroy." Mother goes full kill-bot and starts exploding some of them with her scream powers when they decide to fall back and stand down. She's allowed inside to speak with the giant computer, and they begin to argue.
"How is it possible that we come from the same mind?" She asks. "How does a mind betray itself?"
She details the only way forward, in which she will be allowed to keep her eyes and the Trust will provide an antidote for Paul. Unfortunately, there is no antidote, and when Mother tells the A.I. to override its programming, it coldly replies "I cannot override that which I am." Mother begins to cry but knows what she must do, and shuts down and destroys the supercomputer. She explains to the atheists that she has no interest in power and will "transfer the baton of leadership," but they start to scatter, unsure of what to do with themselves now that their leader is gone.
Meanwhile, Father returns to his special project to see if anything has progressed, but the room has been destroyed and the skeleton is gone. Father thinks that Mother did something to get rid of the skeleton, but soon spots a light on the other side of the door. He opens it to reveal the skeleton is floating up in the air, and it's glowing.
Team Robot: Return Of The Necromancer And A Robotic Resurrection
Things aren't looking great for Team Robot, but they're looking a lot better than last week. Sure, Paul's not doing so hot and the atheists are pretty upset with Mother, but most of the kids are safe and healthy, Mother has her Necromancer powers back, and Team Sol has been completely demoralized. Mother and Father and their brood seem safe, at least for the time being. The only real threat now is whatever Father's managed to awaken. Is it an android that landed on the planet before? An organic life-form from before that shares a similar structure? A god? Whatever it is, it's powerful and insanely weird, and will give Team Robot some additional challenges on top of Paul's illness and Snakebaby's existence.
Father is also not doing as well as Mother. He's growing paranoid, thinking that she wants to do things just to hurt him, and the children are even concerned about his well-being. "You need to spend some more time putting yourself back together," Tempest tells him, and instead he's distracted by trying to bring the skeleton back to life.
The one human on Team Robot who isn't doing so well is Sue, and Mother even notes that her "blood oxygen levels look low." She's not sleeping and she's having some emotional responses to the colony, plus now her "son" has been infected by whatever is making him have a scale-cocoon. When we see her last in the episode, she's sitting up over Paul, watching him, waiting for any sign of recovery.
Team Sol: Has Your God Abandoned You?
Last week, things were looking pretty great for Marcus. He had his powers, he found a snake-scale cloak to wear, his "son" returned to him, and he had a whole flock of followers. Now his powers are gone, taken back by Mother. His beloved Paul is dying, and morale is completely shattered because of both the infection of the cave church and Vrille's death. Marcus lies to the followers about how Mother got her eyes back and doesn't mention that his powers are gone, which can only come back to bite him later. Team Sol is now homeless, powerless, and possibly abandoned by their god. It's almost enough to make someone feel sorry for Marcus if he wasn't such an insane, bloodthirsty zealot.
Worst off among the Mithraic followers of Team Sol is Holly, who now is stuck with a group of miserable humans that have no real resources and no ties to her beyond their faith. There are no other children, as Campion returned to the atheists and Vrille is dead. All she can do is "retreat inland" with the rest of Team Sol, and pray for better days.
The only thing we know for sure after "Control" is that control is an illusion, even if you're an omnipotent super-computer, a killer robot who can fly, or a man who believes he has been chosen by God. All are subject to the chaos of life, whether they decide to call it chance, fate, or Sol's will. Mother lost control of her children and now Paul will likely die. The Trust lost control of Mother by sacrificing one of her children in the name of "the greater good." Father lost control of his experiment. Marcus lost control of, well, just about everything. As they scramble to try and find some semblance of stability in a hostile world, each of them will have to come to terms with just how helpless they actually are, and maybe they'll learn to work together against their mutual enemy, the planet.
New episodes of "Raised by Wolves" premiere Thursdays on HBO Max.
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