Sunday, October 17, 2021

REVIEW: 'Another Life' - Niko and Richard Fight to Survive While Abandoned in Space in 'Never Gonna Give You Up'

Netflix's Another Life - Episode 2.07 "Never Gonna Give You Up"

Giving up isn't an option: Niko hatches a plan and spars with Richard. The chase is on when the crew tries to stand strong, and noises rattle nerves.

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.

"Never Gonna Give You Up" was written by Aaron Martin and directed by Avi Youabian

All hope is lost. That's the emotion that this episode delves into. Cas and the Salvare crew had a plan to keep secret the weapon they could use against the Achaia. They stood united not knowing what they would be dealing with upon their return to Earth. They are celebrated as heroes. They reunited with their loved ones. And then, they were held prisoner and interrogated for information. That's entirely led by Seth and the implant that dictates knowing every last detail. It's not two civilizations on different sides of a conflict. Humanity's leadership has already been corrupted. Some may see the benefit of having an easy channel of communication with the Achaia. And yet, Seth is still given authority in this system. He is the one calling the shots. His autonomy is gone though. The Achaia control his actions. They want to know the secrets from the crew just so they can stop the truth from getting out there. The crew could hold strong for awhile. It still leads to all of them losing their memories from that specific moment in time. It was traumatic for the crew. They all had severe reactions to what was done to Javier. They trusted Cas' decision. But Zayn seems to break here. Seth enters the room promising to heal his mother of her terminal illness. She is running out of time and Zayn can't see her unless he shares this information. Of course, it's withheld from the audience whether or not Zayn accepted that offer. Seth notes that he could just forcibly find this information. He does dig around in the brains of the crew after all. Erik makes that determination when he is finally given a private moment with Cas. He knows that she is keeping something secret. When it's time to finally share, she is lost. She recognizes that parts of her memory have been taken from her. That's the only reason she is free. It leaves the audience feeling hopeless because humanity has lost the potential to defend themselves from this threat. Of course, William still exists. He has access to this knowledge as well. He's attached to a ship that's being decommissioned. As such, he doesn't have the proper resources to experiment with this technology. He believes he has to merge with all the code that he's broken off across the series in order to become more whole. Only then can he prevail in this endeavor. It's the show operating mostly by visual cues. It means Iara is probably gone. That sacrifice mostly just seems cast aside despite her prominence throughout the season. William may still deal with the instability in the code that she had. This doesn't immediately seem like a genius idea that will offer salvation to everyone. The only other potential comes from rescuing Niko and Richard in space. The action spends more time with them here. Niko declared her thoughts on potentially surviving after being abandoned in space. She has the resources to chart a path back to the colony. If their friends don't find them at their last location, that should then be the next place they look. It's a long journey. The two may not have the oxygen to survive. Plus, they are dealing with a toxic leak that is making them both lose their minds. Now, Richard's suicidal thoughts come naturally from the situation. They don't need to be amplified or blamed on some attack on their ecosystem. It seems rational to both of them at the end of this ordeal. They are willing to accept that they won't ever return to Earth. And then, a ship appears. They don't quite know what to expect. It provides them with options. They were willing to give up and accept their fates. Their contributions to the mission have ended. Humanity's path with the Achaia will be determined by others. It's hopeless to expect for more. It's brutal and tough. But it's hollow as well. It's a lot of narrative trickery to make the audience go along with a lot. It showcases how easy it is to break these characters despite what they have gone through together. That's the strength the Achaia have. They still have to present as dominant above all else. That may be true to a fault because it presents no complexity to the adversary they face. The depth comes from Niko and Richard fighting to survive. In doing so, the show undercuts its power by creating a distraction instead of revealing its worth. That makes the plot seem padded out and meant to follow basic rhythms instead of feeling driven by the characters and the actions they take.