Mother tries to adapt to her new brood, but growing suspicions and ravenous indigenous life prove problematic in the solid “Pentagram”.
This recap of Raised by Wolves season 1, episode 2, “Pentagram”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
Raised By Wolves episode 2, “Pentagram”, begins with a flashback to Boston, 2145, in the midst of the religious war we’ve heard so much about, the sequence punctuated by the same harsh banshee scream that Mother used to splatter the Ark of Heaven’s crewmen in the premiere. It quickly becomes apparent what’s happening as we see an atheist couple use a medical android to secure their passage on the Ark by resculpting their faces with plastic surgery such that they resemble two of the approved passengers — Marcus and Sue.
“Marcus” is really called Caleb, but after reconstructive surgery and swotting up on scripture, he becomes Marcus. His companion, Mary (Mary-Sue, Ridley? Really?), is less convinced. She hates her new face and the very idea of what they’re doing, but they nonetheless, sick of living on rats, track down the real Marcus and Sue and shoot them dead. But that leads to a troubling revelation. Marcus and Sue are parents of a young son, Paul, who they’ll be reunited with at the Ark’s boarding area. When they meet their “son”, the encounter is predictably a bit awkward. Luckily, the long journey into space will occur while they hibernate. Before entering stasis, they ingest what looks very much like the blood and body of Christ, but remember we’re not putting a name to this fanciful Roman religion for safety’s sake.
Back on Kepler-22b in the present day, at least as far as the show’s concerned, Mother replaces her eyes with some… spares, let’s say, and keeps her dangerous murder peepers safe and sound. She fixes up Father and lets him know that they have five more children, which is a recurring nightmare I have, as it happens. Nevertheless, they figure they’ll do it right this time, and as they bury the bodies of the Mithraic Mother killed in the premiere, she sets father’s mind at ease by explaining how she can’t weaponize without her eyes. Needless to say, he doesn’t tell jokes anymore.
Campion is pleased to see Father again but is increasingly worried about and suspicious of Mother. He has heard her being referred to as a Necromancer, not a generic service model like Father. Paul is among the children Mother took from the Ark; she explains to them all how there is no religion of any kind here, and that once they’re acclimated they’re going to migrate to the planet’s tropical zone, where survival will be simpler, and build a new, atheistic civilization.
It’s a good pitch, but Campion isn’t buying it. He wants her eyes to be destroyed, and tells Father as much. He begins to bond with the kids who’re all, thanks to the wonders of stasis, 13 years older than they look. Paul has a pet mouse that he lets Campion hold and keep for a while. Their ringleader, Hunter (Ethan Hazzard), tells Campion that Necromancers are built for mass extinction and that Mother must have killed all of Campion’s siblings without even realizing it. If that model of android could feel emotion, they’d be useless, so the idea Mother cares about their wellbeing is, at least according to Hunter, a fiction. He invites Campion to pray with them. Campion refuses, but he does keep watch.
“Pentagram” gives a little backstory to the kids. All of from military families except Hunter, who’s a brainiac, which he thinks makes him ineligible for menial labor. Father is able to convince him to work by making the only alternative listening to his high-minded paradox jokes — perhaps Hunter isn’t as clever as he thinks. We also hear from Tempest (Jordan Loughran), who’s pregnant. She explains to Mother how, during stasis, a high-ranking member of the Mithraic was able to somehow break free and rape several of the comatose children. He was scheduled for execution when Mother arrived and hastened the sentence; Tempest’s only regret is that she couldn’t watch him die herself.
With that extraordinarily morbid development out of the way, “Pentagram” rockets towards its ending, during which the kids are besieged by a sinister indigenous lifeform that scurries on all fours. It almost goes wrong when Mother realizes her eyes are missing, but Father shakes Campion down for them so that she can pop the intruders. How have they been here so long without encountering these creatures? We don’t know, for now. But it’s just as well Mother kept her eyes open. Ha!
Anyway, as the episode ends, the scurrying aliens knock Marcus into one of the planet’s pits, but he’s suspended by a rope. Eventually, his surviving comrades are able to locate him.
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Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.