“Gates of Eden” sets up a galaxy-spanning race against time as one character is forced to make a major sacrifice.
This recap of Pandora season 2, episode 3, “Gates of Eden”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
Remember when I said in my recap of the previous episode that Osborn was being set-up for a slightly more active role? Well, “Gates of Eden” is where we get to enjoy that development, though it must be said that it doesn’t do much for the episode overall. Even Osborn is surprised when Ralen turns up to rescue him – though what else would he be doing there?
Whatever. This is all in service of a nice trip down memory lane which features twenty-two-years-prior versions of Osborn, Shral, and Pevney, and a bit of an origin for Baby Jax and the source of Evil Jax’s box-based psychosis. None of this means much, though, since there’s really no sense of any time at all having passed between then and the present-day. The point of flashbacks and younger versions of established characters is usually to showcase growth, but there’s none of that here, really. Pandora has always had an issue with assuming a plot turn or development is impactful without really putting in the necessary work, and the same can be said here – the episode coasts on the idea of Baby Jax and Young Osborn and such, just as concepts, without ever making those concepts matter in any meaningful sense.
This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, since Pandora can’t even get its present-day relationships straight. It’s difficult to parse where Jax and Xander even are in a romantic sense at this point, and the brief allusions to a love triangle with Ralen are just silly, especially given that Matta seems to be the only competent person in the galaxy. That should make her self-sacrifice in “Gates of Eden” really sting, but it doesn’t, really, since she’s always felt like an extension of Ralen’s character more than her own entity, and I’m sure her being used as Ancient insurance will be used as a means to take Ralen in a different direction, as opposed to anything else.
As for the whole Ancients thing in general, I’d on-board with the idea of getting all the universe’s disparate races on-side for a galaxy-spanning quest; it feels like a very space-opera setup, and the time constraints should help to give the rest of the season some pace. Plus, I am also curious about what’s going to happen with Ralen given Matta’s sacrifice, even for the complaining I did about that above. If there’s anything that can be said for Pandora after “Gates of Eden”, it’s that it’s beginning to feel a bit like Mass Effect 3. Let’s just hope it has a better ending.
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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.