Well, it looks like Raised by Wolves threw me another curveball that I wasn’t expecting. The Season 1 finale left me entranced from beginning to end. But once again, my predictions for what was going to happen fell flat. But that’s a good problem to have.
Of course, this review will have major spoilers for the finale of Season 1 of Raised by Wolves.
There is so much of this series that I absolutely love, and I am expecting great things in the future. The multiple plotlines and rich main characters help paint a beautiful, alien world. We’re essentially following the storyline of an alternate Earth where a different religion rose to prominence. This one, called Mithraic, is based around the Romulus-Remus mythos. The religion is richly drawn out in the series, and I believe there is much left to learn about it. It seems to have some smatterings of Christianity mixed into it, but it’s taken off into something completely different. There’s a prophecy about an orphan, which multiple characters could fit once we reach Kepler-22B.
We’re left tantalizing clues about the planet, but with little knowledge of its true history. Large skeletons and unearthly huge tunnels that go right to the planet’s core decorate the landscape. There is little indication of life on this planet — no birds, no animals. All that we see are these skeleton-like humanoid creatures that are apparently safe to eat.
By the way, this comment from Reddit sums up the series nicely:
Neanderthals and Cannibals
In the finale, we learn a confusing story about who those humanoid creatures are, based on a more evolved creature that tried to kill Mother. They are Neanderthal, but they originated from Kepler-22B, not Earth. So they’re human and yet not human. Mother does not want to let the children know of their true origin, lest they realize they were basically being cannibals when they ate them.
So how did that all work out? We’re left with the theory that Sol seeded Earth and other planets with the creatures on Kepler 22-B. Or that at some point they traveled on their own to Earth, bringing their religion with them (which eventually became the Mithraic religion.) If they truly have “devolved,” then they were likely highly technologically advanced in the distant past.
There’s also the possibility that Neanderthals traveled from Earth to Kepler-22B at some point, but Mother and Father seem to be quite clear that this creature is completely Kepler-bound in its history. So either they were seeded or they were once a space-faring civilization themselves who partly colonized Earth.
Interestingly, that creature that tried to kill Mother looked a lot like an Alien engineer. But we already know this show does NOT take place in the alien universe. I’m guessing it knew she was going to give birth to a snake creature and was trying to stop it.
Marcus Is Crazy
Marcus, meanwhile, has gone completely crazy. He started out as a protagonist that we could root for, but then he somehow became “infected” by Sol and now he’s just doing whatever Sol tells him without hesitation — including not killing Mother in an earlier episode.
He’s basically worshipping Sol, just like those misguided hooded figures from Mother’s vision.
My hope is that just like some broke free and apparently passed that information along through the generations to the creature who tried to kill Mother, Marcus too will one day break free of the brainwashing.
It’s Easy to Forget Who Mother Is
Which brings me to another strange twist this series managed to play. Mother is a Necromancer, created by the Mithraic society and reprogrammed by OG Campion, a member of the Atheist culture. Mother destroyed the Mithraics’ ark, including all the plant life and people who were supposed to populate this world. Yet, once she loses her eye weapons, it’s easy to forget just who she really is and what she really did. The children certainly seem to have forgotten (perhaps due to a form of Stockholm Syndrome.) But we, as viewers, are sometimes tempted to forget her atrocities too. Of course, that snake creature is a far greater danger than Mother-No-Eyes, so I was rooting for her over it. But still… She killed most of the humans. She’s just as dangerous, ultimately.
This leads me to my theory that there are rival factions on this planet. Sol worshippers built the Necromancers as birthing chambers for snake babies. But maybe another faction reprogrammed them (just like OG Campion) and they were the key to killing the snake babies the first time around. (Which is why we’ve only seen skeletons until Mother gave birth to one.)
Also in the finale, Mother realized that her flashback vision was real. She found the strange alien in her vision and it turned out to be another necromancer, just like her. (At least, that’s the prevailing theory right now, which you can read about more in my story here.)
And then we have this strange interplay of Father actually being in love with Mother and feeling jealous of her “affair” with Not!OG Campion (likely Sol.) I’d love to see what memories OG Campion archived of his. I’m going to assume he has a storyline with OG Campion too, just one that Sol-Campion wouldn’t reveal to Mother.
Everyone’s Infected by Sol, It Seems
Paul, meanwhile, is also infected by Sol somehow and tried to kill Sue (aka Mary) when Sol revealed that Sue’s not his real mother. This was apparently all part of a plan to not stop Mother from going to the cave where she found the Necromancer-in-a-box, so that she could give birth while isolated from everyone else. Poor Sue has now lost her husband and her “son” to Sol.
Then in true Ridley Scott fashion, Mother ended up having a violent birth that resulted in an insane, flying serpent monster. She and Father tried to kill it, but instead ended up on the other side of the planet, releasing a giant serpent monster onto that unsuspecting side of the world. There were HUGE callbacks to Adam and Eve in those scenes, with the clear implication being that the snake baby is Satan, basically. Mother and Father are now in a lush land on the other side of the planet (an area that was off limits and, as Paul said, where she should NOT give birth.) The snake is there too, ready to “contaminate” what might be a pure side of the world. And the snake fell from the sky into a fiery pit, so there’s that parallel too.
Aaron Guzikowski said in an interview with Newsweek about Mother’s baby: “Well, I call it a serpent, but that is not a technical moniker. It is definitely of the same ilk as the serpents whose bones they found in the fields, and all around the planet—these sorts of dinosaurs, these extinct giant snake-like creatures… All I can say beyond that would be that this one in particular may take on some of its mother’s attributes. So, it may have a few abilities that some of its ancestors did not have… It is wise, and if it is something else, that is definitely trouble.”
So this serpent is WISE and intelligent. Yet another callback to the Satan mythology. Interesting.
An Atheist Ship Landed
And at the same time, as if all of this isn’t enough, an Atheist ark has landed on Kepler-22B and is coming face-to-face with Marcus. It was thought that the Atheists wouldn’t have time to build an ark themselves. But it seems that they did. I’m going to just guess that OG Campion reprogrammed one of those too and maybe, just maybe, is on that ship.
I can’t wait for Season 2.
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