“Good Creatures” changes its angle and raises some compelling new questions in a fine episode.
This recap of Raised by Wolves season 2, episode 3, “Good Creatures”, contains spoilers.
How much sympathy is it possible to feel for a giant, slimy eel monster? This is a question that Raised by Wolves seems to be resting its second season on, or at least the first few episodes of it, having already pivoted from its initial approach, which was to present the terrifying No. 7 as a rampaging bioorganic menace that needed to be exterminated. As it happens, I think this is a more compelling idea more in-keeping with the show’s themes, but still, it’s a tough sell.
Raised by Wolves season 2, episode 3 recap
Luckily, nobody’s really buying it. Mother spends a good chunk of the episode trying to track the thing down, eventually encounters it atop a mountain – in a very lovely-looking sequence, for what it’s worth – and, off-screen, lures it down and takes it to a cave near the atheist base of operations, where it just chills around begging for pumpkins and getting whiny when Mother shows Campion too much attention. Of course, Campion has no idea that No. 7 is technically his brother, and nor does anyone else other than Father, who voices the most obvious question that one assumes will shape the next few episodes: Is this thing really a timid little herbivore, or is Mother’s connection to it causing her to dangerously assume as much because that’s what she’d prefer?
This is a compelling question. And even though a lot of the available evidence – Mother has Sue run tests on it which determine that it’s a baby, a herbivore, and is neither aquatic nor immune to the acid water – seems to imply Mother is correct in her assumptions, there’s still the small matter of the creature having been implanted inside Mother deliberately, and therefore for a purpose that one assumes isn’t just limited to blessing Kepler-22b with a useless new reptile. But that does mean that something else killed the people in the water in the second episode, which is something worth considering.
However Mother feels, Father is adamant that No. 7 is dangerous, and this leads him into further conflict with her. In a weird way, though, this also makes him closer to the other kids, since he’s paternal in a broad, general sense instead of just on the level of the individual. Mother’s fondness for No. 7 reads immediately as favouritism at best and obsession at worst, and ironically enough, the intensity of her mothering instinct makes her seem less human, more programmed. Father has all the anxieties and foibles of a regular person. When he loses a fight to Marcus in a weirdly lopsided way, he’s so desperate to claw back some of his pride that he agrees to fight an android named Billy in an obvious mismatch in exchange for some fuel blood.
The fact Father wins this fight quite handily says more about Marcus than it does about him. That specific model of android is renowned for its toughness, so he should be winning fights against dumb robots, even ones with chainsaw arms. But he should also be winning fights against humans like Marcus, and yet he got dusted handily, which implies that Marcus’s presumed godhood has some more basis than ego or delusion. It’s probably related to him swallowing Mother’s eyes in the first season, but its implications are pretty severe, especially since his cult seems to be expanding very quickly and he’s determined to get his hands on No. 7 for what one assumes are nefarious purposes.
Speaking of Marcus, the cliffhanger of “Good Creatures” involves him finally meeting back up with Paul, though this isn’t a clear-cut situation either since earlier the Trust had pumped Paul for information about his “father”, using his mouse as leverage. The question of whether Paul will join Marcus or not is another big one, especially since Campion is also there, and Campion has a reason of his own to stay since he’s immediately smitten with Vrille, the android companion of Marcus’s new squeeze Decima, who is modelled in the image of her dead daughter and whose programming often goes haywire because of how closely she has to emulate the real version of Vrille. There’s also an implication that Decima violently abuses the android in some way, which doesn’t bode well. Then again, thinking about it, there’s virtually nothing in this season so far that does bode well. So, that should be fun.