Some impromptu self-surgery in “Mass” leads Mother to further revelations while a rift emerges among the Mithraic.
This recap of Raised by Wolves season 1, episode 8, “Mass”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
Raised by Wolves episode 8 opens with perhaps its grisliest scene yet, as Marcus slices his own face off in the mirror. It’s just a dream, though, so no worries — aside from the fact that he’s obviously losing it rather rapidly and retreating into a radical faith he has spent his entire life decrying. He’s able to keep up appearances to Paul about Sol, insisting he has to make him a survivor since their almighty benevolent God won’t take things easy on him. Everything is fine!
Everything isn’t fine though, obviously, since Campion is losing it too, seeing visions of Tally while in captivity, as Mother staggers through the Ark’s wreckage, leaking goo everywhere. Luckily, the wreckage holds the answers yet again — a doctor android who can help to patch her up and figure out what’s wrong with her. But, as “Mass” later reveals, what’s wrong might really be right, and indeed the future of all humanity. Maybe.
See, as Doc Bot coaches Mother through an internal examination, she finds something in her abdomen that shouldn’t be there and is responding to her touch. She removes an eye and shoves it in there to have a look — handy! — and detects what she and the Doc Bot determine to be a tumour of some kind. She’s worried the sustained discomfort it’s causing will make it difficult for her to perform her caregiving duties, so Doc Bot suggests she feed it blood. The downside of this is that it’ll exacerbate its growth and hasten her decline. Needs must, I suppose, though she’ll require more donors for the task.
Father’s inner workings aren’t looking too good either; his fingers are twitching out Morse code that Hunter deciphers as “Sol is the light”. Hunter takes that to mean that the Father he knows is truly lost, which doesn’t bode well for an already — and increasingly — fractured dynamic at the settlement. Sue wants to leave with Paul, who wants to take Campion with them — he’s still feeding him fungus — and leave Marcus behind. Marcus is becoming increasingly devout and wants Paul to stay away from Campion, which will obviously push him towards Sue and their secretive escape. Marcus and Sue, meanwhile, share memories and flashbacks of their first meeting and their adventures together, which is classic “these two are going to betray each other” business.
It all kicks off in “Mass” when Marcus catches Paul outside the silo trying to holla at Campion. He immediately gets all weird and aggressive and insistent about whether Sue put him up to it, which prompts her to attack him. They argue and fight with all the Mithraic watching, but they obviously side with Marcus and help him to lock her up. Not sure if I’ve mentioned this, but Travis Fimmel is great in this role, and getting increasingly good the more Marcus unravels. Looking on, Holly and Vita think that Tempest was probably right to leave. It’s hard to disagree.
With Mother laid up conversing with another android, Raised by Wolves episode 8 takes the opportunity to reflect on its themes, as Mother mentions her desire to return to factory settings as she laments that she and Father suffer from impulses not in their programming, which Doc Bot has never heard of. She can’t understand, either, how despite being raised pacifists, Campion and his siblings would often play war. Is conflict and violence in our DNA?
Mother is suddenly grappling with new impulses — namely, the need to feed her “tumour” by any means necessary, which already entails being hooked up to Doc Bot’s bisected android brothers in an eerie, striking visual, and also means that she has to go on the hunt for more bodies to snaffle. In the process, she’s jumped by one of the planet’s native aliens and starts lapping that thing’s blood, too. Caregiving protocols, eh — they’re not particularly glamorous.
Speaking of Campion, he tunnels out of captivity and flees as Marcus burns a building down and Sue, Paul, Vita and Holly all escape together. Father eventually finds Campion in the woods and doesn’t respond well to having a rock slingshotted at his head. “Father, is it you?” asks Campion, right before Father chases him with an axe. I guess not. Sue and the kids, meanwhile, can’t escape in the lander, so are forced to leg it on foot.
When Mother hooks herself up intravenously to the alien, she has a seizure. When she later encounters Tempest, who has been snooping around the wreckage, the smell of her blood sets Mother’s tummy a-rumbling, and she screams at Tempest to stay away. Now obviously worried about her own impulses, Mother enters the sim once again, where the disembodied voice of Creator-Campion tells her that what she’s carrying inside her is her mission — has always been her mission. Campion and the others were, apparently, just a rehearsal for the real deal. The future of humanity is growing inside her.
Mother is pregnant.
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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.