Another Life season 2, episode 1 recap – “Live to Fight Another Day” let the culling commence

October 14, 2021
Jonathon Wilson 0
Netflix, TV Recaps
2.5

Summary

“Live to Fight Another Day” isn’t afraid to kill off some crew, which is always good, but it doesn’t quite suggest that this season has anything more to offer than the first.

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2.5

Summary

“Live to Fight Another Day” isn’t afraid to kill off some crew, which is always good, but it doesn’t quite suggest that this season has anything more to offer than the first.

This recap of Another Life season 2, episode 1, “Live to Fight Another Day”, contains spoilers.


RIP Beauchamp. You probably won’t be missed, but it helps to set the scene to kill a character off almost immediately, and Another Life Season 2 needs to be justifying itself. Not that there’ll be another life for Beauchamp! Oh, ha ha ha. Cutting humor.

Another Life season 2, episode 1 recap

Anyway, the crew of the Salvare is in pretty dire straits. Following the destruction of Zakir and the resultant debris, the hull is compromised and the shields are on their way to failing. There’s a neat ticking-clock device in how long they’ll supposedly hold out, but it’s a fluid one, the kind of thing that can change at a moment’s notice, which is exactly the kind of tension-building this show likes and leans upon.

Speaking of things this show likes: Sci-fi tropes that are obviously bad ideas! How about augmenting William’s new female avatar with Achaian code? What could possibly go wrong with that? Well, probably quite a lot, actually. “Live to Fight Another Day” at least toys with the idea of this whole thing being dangerous, limiting the avatar’s presence around the ship and interrogating it – it calls itself Iara – more directly, but maybe I’m just cynical or have consumed too much sci-fi in my time. Either way, when Asimov’s Laws of Robotics get brought up, alarms start sounding in my head.

But the idea is knowing one’s enemy, which is about to become a theme. If Arrival is the gold standard for movies about finding a diplomatic solution for dealing with extra-terrestrials, Another Life is, like, a bronze at best. The idea of Niko having to negotiate with the Achaians in person is an intriguing one, but with the idea of peace being translated by Iara, and the offer coming directly on the back of both August and Oliver being killed off by an Achaian attack, it’s hard to imagine peace as being particularly viable. Again, maybe I’m just cynical.

I’ll give Another Life credit where it’s due – killing off supporting characters is usually a good idea. Nobody should feel safe in space, after all, and I always admire when shows have the guts to pull the trigger. But with only so many characters to kill off, and only so many reasons to care about any of them, one has to ask how long this general approach can sustain the drama.

There’s mystery planetside in the form of Eric, the Artifact, a disappearing Jana, and Homeland Security, but you know how nebulous those kinds of things can be at such an early stage. I don’t dislike this show, you understand, I just find it to be consistently immersion-breaking and puzzling, often to its detriment.

You can stream Another Life season 2, episode 1, “Live to Fight Another Day”, exclusively on Netflix.

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