A harrowing Raised By Wolves Season 2 Episode 5 is a complete departure from past episodes full of horrifying images and lots of blood.
HBO Max’s sci-fi series has been many things. It has been a gorgeous reimagining of life on another planet. It’s also been a full bonkers sci-fantasy complete with androids birthing serpents conceived in immaculate conception. There have been reflective elements on what it means to be human and have emotion. A rich religious undercurrent is beating just below the surface, waiting to consume everything. What it has not been, though, is scary. That is until Raised By Wolves Season 2 Episode 5.
Easily the best episode in both seasons; everything we came to love about the series combined with truly terrifying sequences to create a sense of otherwordly urgency. Gone are the days of theoretical threats and possible dangers. There is just as much mystery as danger in Raised By Wolves Season 2 Episode 5, and more than a few people felt Sol’s wrath. Chilling robot children with destroyed faces reminiscent of 1988’s They Live kill with calculated precision while begging for their mother in a small child’s voice and bug phobias are exploited. There is also a fair amount of creature work that answers as many questions as it asks.
Marcus and his group find another temple, and Marcus descends into the ground as part of some trial he thinks is prophesized. He finds a desiccated humanoid deep in the bowels of the temple, and Holly’s Mithraic relic emitted a strange mist that reanimated it. Marcus managed to retrieve an undamaged data card and shoot the creature in the head, but why was it there, and why did it look human before the transformation? Considering Lucius and Father are now taking him back to camp, some of those questions should get answers.
By the end of Raised By Wolves Season 2, Episode 5, nearly all of the new cast members have been killed by Vrille, and Father has Marcus. Father convinced Lucius not to kill him in front of Holly, and the small group headed back to camp to find Mother. Marcus has certainly seemed to have divine help up until now, but he may be on his last life.
Mother and Father continue to be troubling. Their collective behavior is worrisome for everyone on the planet. Her coup last week scattered the settlers, and Mother continues to be coldly detached from her charges. Additionally, she is torturing Cleaver, one of The Trust officers. There was a time not long ago when that would have been abhorrent to her. Now, she talks about the brainwashing and programming of human brains as if it is an inevitability. It is almost as if she thinks every human has been programmed one way or another. That is horrifying for the human settlers as that means she has no faith in their decision-making or self-determinism. Only Campion seems to be completely safe from this, though.
Father is also changing, but he, at least, seems to be aware of the change. After Mother finds Holly’s message, she orders Father to track her down but bring someone with him and belittles him. She is becoming cruel and dismissive, making him more desperate to matter. Mother’s treatment of him may be the thing that causes the most danger to her family. The being Father resurrected can sense things as witnessed by it showing Tempest her unborn baby. If Sue is correct and the entity on Kepler-22b is not Sol but an advanced alien lifeform, it likely has an agenda of its own.
Niamh Algar(Sue) is fantastic this week. Her emotional pleas for Paul’s life are heartwrenching. Whether her leach visions result from a spiritual awakening or an exhausted mind, we don’t know. But, we know she is willing to do whatever it takes to keep Paul safe now that he is healthy again.
What is God? Is it a spiritual being that can’t be understood, only worshipped? Is it an alien lifeform so advanced it seems godlike in its power? Ancient Aliens has undoubtedly made a case that aliens were here on Earth and have posited that they helped us build the Pyramids, Mayan temples, and a gaggle of other structures. But, if that is true, did our ancient humans think they were aliens simply because we couldn’t understand their capabilities? Does it even matter?
That’s the funny thing about faith; it can be many different things to many different people. It provides solace when we are scared, wisdom when we lack it, and resolve when desperate. For Hunter and Tempest, it represents comfort for the way things were in their youth. It is innocence. For Paul, it is proof that he is special. Sue, who has been an atheist, now finds possible answers. She isn’t ready to say there is a higher power, just a higher lifeform. But, like most mothers, she is willing to do whatever she needs to in order to keep her child safe. Find all our Raised By Wolves coverage here.
Cauls- Father’s android being has a caul over its face. Birth cauls are rare, with only one in eighty thousand babies born with one. A birth caul is a piece of the amniotic sac that covers the child’s face during birth. Also called born with a veil, It is completely harmless, but there are many superstitions surrounding them due to the rarity. Cauls were regularly thought to be lucky and provide immunity to illness to those who possessed them.
Considering the androids caul was almost lifted by Tempest, I wonder what will happen when it is invariably pulled aside. Does the caul provide protection for the android or from others who come into contact with the android? Although the bible doesn’t reference a birth caul, it does say veils symbolize ignorance or lack of understanding. This could be true of everyone in Raised By Wolves to some degree.
As the Managing Editor for Signal Horizon, I love watching and writing about genre entertainment. I grew up with old-school slashers, but my real passion is television and all things weird and ambiguous. My work can be found here and Travel Weird, where I am the Editor in Chief.