Thursday, October 14, 2021

REVIEW: 'Another Life' - The Salvare Crew Battles Destruction That Immediately Turns Deadly in 'Live to Fight Another Day'

Netflix's Another Life - Episode 2.01 "Live to Fight Another Day"

Shock waves hit a Salvare struggling in the aftermath of an epic act of destruction. Niko questions William's judgment as Erik looks to the Achaia.

In 2020, the television industry aired 493 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the season premiere of Netflix's Another Life.

"Live to Fight Another Day" was written by Aaron Martin and directed by Kevin Dowling

First contact with aliens has been established. And yet, both sides fear that the other wants to completely annihilate them. That forces a lot of extreme actions. It produces deadly consequences. Of course, that is felt acutely on the human side as the show offers no real entrance into the Achaia. They are simply an ominous threat that terrifies those who don't understand the technology they control. It's a mystery that needs to be solved. But an ominous visual was created in space. Niko decided to destroy the Artifact on Zakir because it's what the few remaining survivors wanted. The Achaia soon arrived and completely destroyed the planet. Navigating through the blast radius dominates the majority of this premiere. It takes skill in order to succeed without the ship being torn apart. Even then, casualties quickly add up. In the first few moments, Beauchamp is killed because of the initial impact. That cuts off easy access from the ship's bridge to the rest of its hull. That makes it more difficult for Niko and the rest of the crew to navigate. It immediately establishes stakes for the season as well. Of course, it's noticeable that the premiere opts to kill off certain characters who didn't exactly pop from the first season. In fairness, Beauchamp wasn't really given that opportunity because he was introduced so late in the run. He was competitive with Cas in trying to prove themselves as a worthy second-in-command. That was the bulk of his interest though. Meanwhile, August and Oliver die while trying to repair the ship from the outside. An Achaian ship arrives. They are first to notice it. They are attacked. August's chord is tangled up. Oliver protects her. They both die. That's a shocking development. One that didn't seem likely given the pregnancy cliffhanger at the conclusion of the second season. That's odd. It absolutely comes across as the show wanting to write off the characters because they didn't pop as intended. Of course, Javier was also part of that throuple. He doesn't perish. He may still have ongoing importance because of the device implanted in his head. Bernie and Zayn have to create a new piece of technology to ensure Javier isn't sending out information unknowingly. It's all complicated. It also feels like the show going through the motions to appear as smart. But it's really just setting the table for this pending conflict. The same applies to the sudden existence of Iara. That development showed just how foolish William can be. He was in love with Niko. The show wants to blur the line of what's real and what's artificial. That is at the crux of William's identity. Iara even argues that the two of them aren't dominated by fear in the same way humans and Achaians are. That doesn't inherently make her trustworthy. She is built on technology that no one understands. The ship and its crew are falling apart. And yet, there are always replacements onboard to step up and fulfill these roles. The most significant introduction here is Richard, who is stunned at why it took Niko so long to activate him. He also questions the people who have been part of this mission so far. That's not all that productive. It's also him getting his bearings. He presents as a competent negotiator who yearns to understand what motivates each side of a conflict. That skill seems necessary for the storytelling as it moves forward. The odds are still stacked against humanity though. Erik is tricked into leaving Jana all alone inside the Artifact. He needs to believe that they are healing her. He doesn't want them to use this as a chance to warp her mind and make her their latest soldier. No one knows where Harper has gone either. Meanwhile, Niko's only choice is to go talk with the Achaian. Again, this should be a major development. One that helps put this conflict into better context. Hopefully, the show can achieve that goal. This premiere wants to recontextualize some things. That's blatantly obvious. However, it still has fascinating things to say about what motivates humanity and how far we're willing to go to achieve those ideals. People are desperate. They are trusted with so many powerful tools. Anything can go awry at any moment. That's the danger of Niko's job and everyone who signed up to serve on this mission. They believe they have to warn the people of Earth before they are lost just like the other civilizations infected by the Achaian. They may not get that chance because this alien species is so much more advanced than they are.