Thursday, February 3, 2022

REVIEW: 'Raised by Wolves' - Mother and Father Reunite Their Family With a New Home in the Tropical Zone in 'The Collective'

HBO Max's Raised by Wolves - Episode 2.01 "The Collective"

While Mother, Father and the children face hostility from their new atheist collective, Marcus sets out to fill the walls of an ancient church with Sol's worshippers.

"The Collective" was written by Aaron Guzikowski and directed by Ernest Dickerson

This show started in a weird and peculiar place. It only got more weird and strange as it went along. That become a core part of its text. The audience had to vibe at that specific frequency in order to appreciate what it was doing. It offered no easy answers either. That could be frustrating as some of the central weirdness wasn't adequately resolved by the end of the season. It's still a mystery how humans and androids alike heard voices in their heads and saw hallucinations. Those weren't just arbitrary details either. They were informed by people who have existed in this space before. All of this could highlight Mother and Father as not being all that curious about the world they are raising their children in. The harshness of surviving on Kepler-22b was always on display. And now, this premiere states that life would have been so much easier if the various colonies landed in the tropical zone of the planet. That area was frequently mentioned but never seen in the first season. It was the prosperity that everyone held onto in order to survive the perils they endured. Mother and Father's family does get to celebrate in this place now. They are reunited as a family. But again, so much of this planet has the potential to be perilous. The tropical zone actually has acid water. When Marcus crashes into it, everyone just assumes that he dies. People have made that mistake countless times though. He has proven himself as a survivor. Even in the most impossible circumstances where he is left behind for dead, he manages to survive. He makes it to the new location of drama quicker than anyone else from the Mithraic community. In fact, he is plotting out a new scheme altogether after being shunned from his flock. He is quickly able to pick up and rebuild. He has a new follower in Decima. Sure, he's unnerved by Vrille's presence as he doesn't like androids. But he only gets more and more confirmation that Sol has placed him on a righteous path. It's his job to convert the community of atheists before him. That may take an individual touch. But these are also survivors of the war who have sharp feelings about the people on the other side. Mother and Father's family feels that scorn by the end of this premiere. The Trust welcomes them into the Collective. That too proves how the battle of beliefs is actually driven by the same idea. It's all about the various sides fighting over who to give control of their lives to. The Mithraic see purpose in praying to Sol. He is the mysterious and all-knowing creator who works in mysterious ways. He speaks to people and works through him. He also punishes those who go against his will. People have to be pure in order to be given his rewards. That sets up the stakes of people judging others for their behavior. It doesn't have to be a bombastic clash all the time. Campion and Paul are friends despite their opposing beliefs. They survive together. That remains a constant for them. In the Collective though, it's all about leaving the individual behind in order to serve the greater good. It's the concept that Mother and Father raised their children to believe. And now, they have a community of like-minded individuals to help guide them on that path. They see it all as the grand plan coming to fruition in a way that is tangible and can be understood. Mother actually meets the Trust. It's still an all-seeing entity dictating what behavior any given person can do in a day. It's still a society built on removing free will. These people proclaim to be without religion. They still worship a deity. They figure it must be different though. It's not. Mother and Father aren't entirely equipped to handle that debate. That's especially true once they lie about what happened to the baby. The audience knows the serpent is still growing out there on the planet. It can't be forgotten about. This premiere simply wants to establish the new status quo while also reminding everyone just how weird this entire narrative can be. It's more populated now as well. That too likely invites more complications into the proceedings while the audience should probably question the various devotions these characters preach along the way.