Friday, October 15, 2021

REVIEW: 'Another Life' - A Secret Within William's Code Threatens the Entire Mission for the Salvare Crew in 'Will to Power'

Netflix's Another Life - Episode 2.04 "Will to Power"

Under suspicion for severing a lifeline, Iara now finds her life on the line. William discovers a surprise within. A habitable planet calls to Cas.

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 next episode of Netflix's Another Life.

"Will to Power" was written by Lucie Pagé and directed by Kellie Cyrus

The Salvare is trying to return to Earth as quickly as possible. As noted here though, it's still going to be a months-long journey. They don't have any time to waste. They don't know what's happening on Earth with the Achaia either. Erik has Niko's ring. He believes it's nothing but the latest trick from this alien species. He still returns to the Artifact looking for answers. He still sees the importance of that task even though he was told to stop. He persists even though several people are afraid for his safety. He's at least doing the smart thing in sending Jana far away from this mystery. He doesn't want to jeopardize her life any further. He is taking a lot of risk. The Salvare is as well with every stop and detour they take. Cas argues that any potential planet for colonization should be explored. That didn't go so well the first time the crew made that venture away from the mission. At that point, they wanted to know what it was like for a planet to already have a connection to the Achaia. They are still seeking out those answers. This new planet doesn't have an Artifact though. It has seemingly gone untouched by any form of civilization. As such, it's beaming with potential. The crew must do more than simply note its coordinates for further exploration by a different mission. It's still fundamentally a distraction. Not a lot of time is spent with Cas and Bernie as they travel down to the surface to collect its environmental data and determine its sustainability. Instead, the priority remains on figuring out who cut the tether between the Salvare and the Achaian ship. It was easy to blame Iara at first. She was seeking retribution against the forces that caused so much pain to Javier. He's not technically died. The show keeping him in limbo suggests that some twist is inevitable that will bring him back to life. He is fortunate to have that potential unlike the other members of this crew who have died along the way. He simply goes in and out of comas. A lot changes when he is away. People want to save his life. Zayn doesn't know if that's possible. It's a priority. But it too isn't the main focus. Iara isn't responsible for the severed connection. Instead, yet another artificial intelligence has been a part of this journey. Gabriel has been lurking within William's code this entire time. His presence can help explain the various malfunctions that have occurred since this journey began. Of course, that feels like the show trying to retroactively explain some of its past events. It no longer trusts what it did. And so, it's trying something new. But it just comes out of no where. Yes, the audience and the Salvare crew have an attachment to William. It's notable that he understands and expresses human emotions. That too has caused its fair share of problems. But this still feels like a revelation that could have been exposed earlier. It fits into the overall idea that everyone on the ship is replaceable. That extends to William as well. But it's mostly just the crew having to deal with the failings of those who prepared the ship for this mission. The engineers were on a time crunch. William was the more reliable service. Gabriel was too erratic and didn't always see the value of protecting human life no matter what. Iara picks up on that deceit quickly. She can sense that he has nothing but disdain for humans. She has already felt torn between two worlds that don't want her. She is trying to earn trust on the Salvare. She is still accused of this heinous crime that may throw the stability of the universe into turmoil. She ultimately saves the day. It just comes at the expense of William. A clean slate for this character should invite new drama into the proceedings. His story arc seemingly had a complete journey. And now, the show gets to play this as a tragic loss that hits a core character without actually having to lose them. It's manipulative in a way where it's not suppose to be the point. Manipulation has been at the core of the Achaian presence. The audience should have picked up on that. With this William twist, it plays incredibly like the show wanting to throw out a twist to produce drama that also delays progress in the core journey back to Earth.