Thursday, February 17, 2022

REVIEW: 'Raised by Wolves' - Mother Questions the Trust's Programming Given Its Recent Decisions in 'Control'

HBO Max's Raised by Wolves - Episode 2.04 "Control"

After the Trust uses the children to strike back against Marcus, Mother takes matters into her own hands, and Father has a breakthrough. 

"Control" was written by Karen Campbell and directed by Sunu Gonera

Mother can't believe that she and the Trust came from the same creator. It feels like they have such drastically different programming and instincts. She is conditioned to protect her child no matter what. Meanwhile, the Trust is designed to avoid making the mistakes humanity was perceived to have made. That doesn't make either of them perfect entities. They wield so much power and control in this world though. Mother has always been perceived as a terrifying threat because of her ability to strike as a Necromancer. That aspect of her identity was taken away. She was more vulnerable as a result. But that allowed her to focus more acutely on her core mission. Of course, that too is shrouded in secrecy. This episode can't even devote much time to Seven. Sue can hint at Mother's true connection to the creature. It's not long until the focus shifts elsewhere. All of this may further state Mother is an advanced being who has grown beyond the widest ambitions of her creator. It's also just the show confirming that so many mysteries exist in this world. No one should feel comfortable for very long. It's still tentative about changing things too drastically though. Sure, Mother and Father can conceivably die and be brought back to life. It's become a recurring element for Father. However, the show encasing Paul in a fast-moving disease is one of the biggest twists that suggests true disruption of the natural order within the family Mother and Father have cultivated. It propels so much of the action that plays out later on. It's perceived as Paul dying even though he and Marcus can relate over their shared devotion to Sol. He can forgive Marcus but not Sue because of that steadfast belief in their faith. And then, he dies. He doesn't though. Instead, he's left behind in Sue's lab as Mother looks for a cure. He can still be saved. It's a worthy mission. One that may be transformational for him. Sol didn't heal him. That could disrupt his faith at the same time as Campion believes he was saved by Sol's glorious light when he was running for his life in the woods. These role reversals are clear and apparent. They need to carry consequences as well.

The show absolutely delivers when it comes to the overwhelming plot disruption. Mother destroys the Trust. She is motivated out of rage. She can't make sense of the Trust treating a child's life so callously. That goes against her instincts. The Trust is programmed to believe that no life should matter more than another. It represents something different when age is taken into account though. Children are still expected to contribute to this society. Mother was given the task of raising those who are developing in this world. And yet, that was never what the Trust ultimately wanted to use her for. She continually has to explain to others that she isn't a monster. She doesn't seek to rule over humanity with an iron fist. She will be caring and nurturing to anyone. That's how she approaches the task of looking over the Collective with greater insight. No one seems to buy into her argument. They are too burdened by the horrors of the past. That may propel them into Marcus' arms. He too has lost his power. He was capable of defeating Father in battle because he had Mother's eyes inside him. Those objects can enhance anyone. Mother isn't the only special one. Whomever wields them can shift the balance of power in this world. Mother retrieves them. She acts how she is programmed. It's still violent and destructive. That's how this android was meant to behave. She is ashamed of herself when she has to act like that. She doesn't want her children to see it. She hopes to shield them from the brutality of her essence. And yet, they have been thrown into way more dangerous situations at this point. They can't be shielded from the truth. This isn't a family given the opportunity to grow up without fear. They have to fight to survive in a brutal world where one false move could get them killed. The family is fractured as well. That too is inspired by Marcus and his belief in Sol. People are quick to give their faith to a deity who can explain the mysteries of this planet. It harkens back to the scripture they have read. As Father reveals though, the artifacts of this planet have a connection to the programming that destroyed Earth. That needs to be fleshed out more. But now, he has given life to something as well. It too saved Campion. So he may truly be the special one who can restore order as has long been prophesied.