Thursday, March 17, 2022

REVIEW: 'Raised by Wolves' - Suppressing Emotions Helps Mother With One Threat While Blinding Her to Another in 'Happiness'

HBO Max's Raised by Wolves - Episode 2.08 "Happiness"

Grandmother reveals her own agenda, Marcus seeks revenge, and Mother sets out to neutralize the serpent - but is leveled by the fallout.

"Happiness" was written by Aaron Guzikowski and directed by Lukas Ettlin

Everything on Kepler-22b is dangerous. That was the lesson the story gave early on. As such, it's shocking when people still forget it. So much has happened since humans landed on this planet. They can't be protected from all of the threats either. Mother needs Grandmother's veil in order to suppress her emotions and kill Seven. However, that veil then prevents her from displaying the necessary concern to protect her children from the new threat that has invaded their lives. It serves as a lesson about the power of recognizing emotions and knowing how to best utilize them in everyday life. It serves no one to repress these feelings. Mother sees that benefit. She is a slayer of monsters. She can take Seven beyond the atmosphere and send it crashing back down to the planet. She no longer shows any concern for protecting Campion from the brutality she can display. She has always wanted him to turn away when she had her eyes. And now, the veil makes it so she doesn't care. Her core objective is the same. She recognizes Father as her partner and protecting the human children as crucial. However, that's broken down to dealing with the physical threats. Seven exists solely as that. It came from her. And now, she destroys it. Of course, it's never quite as simple as that. Marcus learns that after being nailed to the tree that grows from the remains to bleed out slowly. He may be gifted with powers as a result of how fertile this land can be. The inhabitants of this planet see the magical and powerful qualities of life. Humans are accustomed to life a certain way. Any perceived difference is seen as a threat. The two civilizations certainly share a lot of similarities. It makes it easier to manipulate their emotions. But again, that's much harder to recognize than the flying creature that has become even more dangerous. That was the result of Marcus, Sue and Paul's hard work. They were fooled. They lost Sue as a result. She died in an absolutely brutal way to contribute to this transformation. It was a necessary loss to begin this rebirth of the planet. It ensures every relic beneath the surface can turn deadly at any moment. No one can be protected from those threats. It's easy to recognize now because it has risen once and Mother found a way to defeat it. And yet, that's not all that this world hopes to manipulate in pursuit of hurting humanity. In that regard, Mother is in the dark as she represses her emotions while hiding behind several artificial screens.

Grandmother comes alive upon removal of the veil. A world of emotions is suddenly available. It's uncomfortable but tolerable. She can endure it so long as she is helpful to Mother's mission. She trusts the leadership at the center of this new civilization. She is grateful to Father for helping her grow once more. But again, she comes from this planet. Her pieces were unearthed from the ground and put back together. As such, she can never be fully trusted. The children perceive her as a replacement for Mother. She is the new guardian in the house. She is the partner to Father now. She even presents as a more fitting match. She fixes what has been broken. She enjoys Father's jokes. She creates a peaceful and loving atmosphere. Everything is done with the purpose of transitioning humanity to the creatures at sea. That metamorphosis has already begun. The change in weather doesn't alter the acidic water. The environment evolves rapidly. Everyone has to adjust. New expectations are thrust upon them. However, they believe they can cope with it all because the most grueling threat has already been dealt with. That's not true. They are still operating in the dark about the civilization that existed on this planet. More people are susceptible to the Signal. It's perceived as the voice of a higher power. Lucius is the latest person to hear the voice and follow it devoutly. He is motivated out of revenge. In reality, he may simply lead Marcus to the next stage of his own personal evolution. He wants to return to the temple and complete his journey underground. That's where all the true mysteries lie. He only made it halfway the last time he ventured into the great unknown. He is much clearer with his ambitions now. He will never lose focus again. He has too much to lose. Paul has already lost one of his parents. It seems inevitable that Paul will be orphaned once more. He has stability amongst the other children Mother and Father care for. Marcus may only be able to provide so much comfort. The world seemingly always has other plans for him. That threatens to take him far away from whatever once mattered. He can get caught up in that delusion. It's easy to twist the minds of humans too. Grandmother follows that path. She removes Mother from the picture entirely. Mother was distracted, which made her vulnerable. She is taken offline much like the Trust was earlier. The roles have been reversed and everyone is in even more danger now. All Mother can do is lay motionless while screaming on the inside.