Raised by Wolves Season 2 Premiere: S2E1 “The Collective” and S2E2 “Seven”

Raised by Wolves S2E1 - Mother, Father, Sure and five of the children are silhouetted against the bright landscape standing at a large hangar door

The following contains spoilers for Raised by Wolves S2E1, “The Collective” and S2E2, “Seven” (written by Aaron Guzikowski and directed by Ernest R. Dickerson)

Welcome back, dear reader, as we continue to review the HBO Max series Raised by Wolves with the Season 2 premiere of Episode 1, “The Collective,” and Episode 2, “Seven.” It is so good to be back on Keppler-22B with Mother, Father and their children. I didn’t realize how much I missed this show and how immersive the experience of it was. With these first two episodes, Raised by Wolves is back in fine form, and perhaps even a little better in its sophomore season, I might dare to add.

A few months have passed since the events of last season that left the cast literally scattered across the globe. By the end of S2E2 though, everyone has been gathered back together (more or less) and we’re introduced to a whole new array of supporting characters with this new Atheist colony they have been brought to. The bounty of the tropical zone setting allows the narrative to be much less focused on mere survival this go around. Though I suspect Father’s declaration that this side of the planet is less intent on killing their children is going to pan out as untrue in the end.

Mother stands beside the children in line, everyone is looking at a sad looking colonist standing to the right
Violence is pain, pain is violence

The Collective

Where the Mithraic sent their elites aboard the Ark of Heaven, the Atheist survivors of the Collective were on the other end of that spectrum. No intellectuals, philosophers or artists here. These are the scrappy survivors. The child soldiers who have known nothing but violence their whole lives.

These Atheists might look down on Sue as a “turncoat” for having embedded herself among the Mithraic to survive, but there’s no doubt that each and every one of them would have done exactly the same. They were just not gifted with the tremendous luck that Marcus and Sue had to stumble on two believers they could change places with.

The Trust is probably quite correct to not pass the baton to these folks just yet. Just like the Mithraic colonists, the Atheists are reenacting all the same pettiness and tribalism that culminated with the destruction of life on Earth. The Trust seems to be trying to mold the colonists. The punishment for even making the threat of violence against another colonist is swift, harsh and public. “Violence is pain. Pain is violence.”

However, the Trust’s cold “quantification of data” approach is causing dissention in the human ranks. The colonists are lined up every morning to receive their work assignments in a manner that resembles a communist work camp more so than the utopian future they might have been dreaming of. While some, like Cleaver, would be happy to take orders for the rest of their lives, per Tamerlan there are lots of them who are tired of having to ask permission for every move they make.

Tamerlan sits beside Marcus, looking at him skeptically
Tamerlan likes what he hears from Marcus


In an interesting little bit of role reversal, Raised by Wolves Season 2 gives us a human mother (Decima) raising an android daughter (Vrille). Well, sort of. The human daughter of Decima died—committed suicide apparently (per interviews)—and Decima replaced her with this service model android. Vrille is a memory frozen in time. Marcus suggests that Decima should erase Vrille’s memory, but claims (for now) that he’s not going to pressure her.

Marcus wants to build a new family. A real family, that loves and takes care of each other. He tells both Decima and Tamerlan at various times that he doesn’t really care about the religious trappings. He still believes he is enacting Sol’s will, so presumably Sol doesn’t care about all that stuff either. Marcus now sees his mission as to convert the Atheists one at a time, no longer acting as a lone terrorist harassing the Collective from afar. Decima was already a believer, and it seems like Tamerlan is coming around, willing to put himself in harm’s way to take out the tank for their cause.

Mother silhouettted as she walks up to an enormous pillar of light in a large chamber
Mother approaches the Trust


Mother expands her family with the addition of a sibling, the incorruptible Quantum Six, a.k.a. the Trust. He immediately greets her as “sister” upon their face-to-face meeting, and promises to keep her and her children safe in the Collective. This is wildly appealing to her, and even later to Father as well. But it’s not all sunshine and moonbeams.

The Trust, an organic computer, might not be 100% above human emotion. It uses Lamia to punish Tamerlan, who was bad-mouthing the Trust quite vocally with Cleaver. This is a notable divergence from the normal policy of not letting the victim be the punisher. Is he using his sibling as an extension of himself in this case? The Trust might not hate the humans, as Tamerlan accuses, but maybe he does have it in for this particular one, just a little bit.

Mother is clearly disturbed by the act of violence her brother made her perform. Once again, she’s feeling shame and wants to keep her role in the task from the children. The Trust might also be subtly separating Mother from her family in other ways. He has her referred to by the rest of the Collective as Lamia, not Mother. She is also given a different assignment than the rest of her family, teaching the colonists’ children.

Raised by Wolves S2E2 - Close up of Seven's reptilian eye
Seven has deep, soulful eyes for a monster


Of course, there is one last member of Lamia’s family to be addressed, Number Seven. In her shame, she has either directly told everyone that Seven died after birth, or happily allowed them to assume such. Certainly no one suspects that the giant flying snake is the baby she gave birth to at the end of last season. So far, only Father knows the truth, but you can see the tension building, which will no doubt be released in a reveal that will blow up Mother’s life on Kepler-22B yet again.

Coming to terms with her creation seems like it is going to be one of the major themes for this season. She initially hopes that Seven is dead, killed in the lander crash, but deep down she knows better. Thoughts of Seven are scary to her, but she is reminded by one of her new wards that “all living things are beautiful.” Yet when she perceives (incorrectly) that Seven threatened her other son, Campion, her conclusion is that it is only deserving of death. We’ll see how this internal conflict plays out in the episodes ahead.

Father is dealing with his feelings over Mother’s betrayal last season with a little side project of his own. He and Vita stumble across pieces of an ancient robot, which he brings back to their barracks to tinker with. He’s fascinated with the little radioactive berries that popped up on it when it was exposed to sunlight. That seems totally normal, what could go wrong?

Sue and Cleaver talking face-to-face, Sue looking a little angry
You really shouldn’t piss off someone about to give you a shot

Quick Takes

A couple of quick takes on the rest of S2E1 and S2E2, and other tangentially related things:

  • Episode 1 credits begin with “In loving memory of Tanna Young.”
  • Episode 2 credits begin with “In loving memory of Rodney Agulhas.”
  • Since we undoubtedly have new viewers along for the ride this season, let’s get one thing out of the way. This show is not connected to the Alien / Prometheus cinematic universe. Nor is it connected to Blade Runner or any other thing Ridley Scott has done. Ridley Scott is only a producer and occasional director on this show. The creator, showrunner and primary writer is Aaron Guzikowski. It’s his creation, not Scott’s. Both of them made this crystal clear in interviews last season. So just stop, don’t even go there, OK?
  • The HBO Go Asia Twitter account posted a new teaser trailer with a few new scenes not shown in previous trailers / teasers. If you like spoilers, you should give it a watch. [Source: u/zalexis on r/raisedbywolves]
  • With her “mom” being a technician of Decima’s apparent capability, one wonders if Vrille really is just a harmless service model, or if she hasn’t maybe been given a few upgrades.
  • There are whirlpools in the sea, presumably from more holes leading down into subterranean artery system. Perhaps a cooling system for a planetary supercomputer?
  • Along those lines, how does an acid sea come to be on an otherwise hospitable planet?
  • Mother tells Sue that she plans to remain exclusively in the real, avoiding virtual space and any potential vulnerability to the signal. There’s a Chekhov’s Gun if I ever heard one.
  • Sue lost both her husband (Marcus) and son (Paul) to “a voice in his head.”
  • It looks like Marcus is not completely over Sue, as he sees a beatific image of her overlaid in place of Decima as she is singing a hymn to Vrille.
  • I love the new dynamic between Sue and Mother. In the official podcast, they’re referring to it as a kind of “moms’ club” thing that they have going. Nice.
  • Father tells Vita that she needn’t fear the Atheist colonists. “They’re too stupid to be dangerous.” Current events would say that he could not be more wrong.
  • Decima gives us a great explanation why the hijacked Atheist ark ship arrived so much later than the Mithraic one.
  • Just by way of reminder, Paul gives us the Pentagonal Prophecy once again, though with a few more details this season: An orphan boy in an empty land will wield the sword forged in Sol’s light. With it, he will lead his people to the Tree of Knowledge. All who eat from it will be made pure. There they will build a city of peace, and the prophet will be made its king.
  • Decima feels Sol’s light burning in Marcus, but let’s face it, that’s probably just radiation.
  • The punisher helmet that was found on the hijacked ark ship has a kind of veiny look that is not too dissimilar from Marcus’ current look.
  • There’s a crazy amount of Mithraic artifacts just lying around all over in the tropical zone.
  • Certainly Mother’s body seems to be urging her to take on a nurturing role with Seven, as she starts to lactate merely from standing in its presence. Wow.
  • Nice to see Lucius and the rest of the Mithraic ark ship survivors are still around. For how long though, we’ll see.
Mother holds an elaborately decorated egg and a paintbrush, looking down at something to her side
Mother has mad egg decorating skills

Best lines of S2E1:

  • “I feel things. Impulses. And one of those impulses is to conceal the parts of myself that displease me.”
  • “This side of the planet seems less intent on killing our children.”
  • “Though I am not, as Campion would say, the old me, nor am I completely indifferent to our partnership continuing.”
  • “You’re too old to be playing with dolls, lady.”
  • “I wouldn’t hold out too much hope for inspiring personalities. The kind of people who survive the end of the world, well, we weren’t the best of them, that’s for sure.”
  • “Why are we standing here?” “It’s called waiting in line. Welcome to the future, idiot.”
  • “And I hope this doesn’t need pointing out, but you’re not scum.”
  • “It didn’t violate our agreement, I did.”
  • “Boy Campion, you sure sound like you’re ready to lead the Atheists.”

Best lines of S2E2:

  • “To them we’re just a bunch of freeloading descendants of mass murders.”
  • “My caregiving protocols are being satisfied at higher levels than ever before.”
  • “You stupid machine! How do you know what’s good for me? You kidnap me, kill my people. I hate you! I hate you!”
  • “Look who it is. The service model with nine lives.”
  • “I don’t think you fully comprehend the situation. You are the weapons.”
  • “You know, you better be careful. You’re still a mother of six.”
  • “It’s up to you. You make your own choices now.”
  • “You’re not a child. You’re a killer of children. You deserve no sympathy. You deserve only death.”
Raised by Wolves S2E1 - Mother and Father hold their working assignment balls, Mother is about to pop hers in her mouth
Who needs pockets?

In The News

Here I try to point you to a few of the more interesting and informative news items over the last week related to Raised by Wolves:

  • If you’re looking to get caught up on where we left off things with our heroes (and villains), there have been “Character Recap” videos posted in the last few weeks to the official HBO Max YouTube channel. The recaps included Mother, Father, Marcus, Sue, Campion and Paul. And of course, there is also the official teaser and official trailer for Season 2 if you’re more interested in leaning forward into what is to come.
  • HBO Max has also already posted the first Behind the Scenes clip about filming the tropical zone.
  • I normally like to link out to individual interviews or behind the scenes articles in this section, but u/zalexis of r/raisedbywolves has done such an amazing job compiling the first round of Season 2 press junket interviews, that I’m better off just pointing you to their post.

The official podcast is also back up and running, and the first guest is showrunner Aaron Guzikowski. This is always must-listen content, but in case you are not into podcasts, here’s some of the more interesting highlights:

  • Marcus will be looking for the Tree of Knowledge this season, and will find that it hasn’t been grown yet. However, someone else found the seeds early on. (This would almost certainly have to be Paul with the artifact he found in S2E1, since one of his speculations was that it contained seeds of the Tree. Though his artifact was theoretically turned over to the Collective by Mother.)
  • What matters about what we place our faith in (a god, a machine, other people) is not picking a winner, but that it unites us and causes us to work together.
  • Pushing Campion to become the leader of the Atheists comes from Mother’s shame over Seven and her desire to reverse her neglect from last season.
  • They confirm this season will be eight episodes.
  • Where this season ends up, the “big twist,” is laid out from the very beginning. So pay attention.
Raised by Wolves S2E2 - Campion stands in the foreground, with Vrille leaning up against a tree in the fuzzy background
Campion chooses to help the android girl


This show is so amazing and original, I cannot wait to see where they take us in the next six weeks. So far, the writing feels a lot better this season. The world building around the new characters and new setting has been so effortless, it’s really made “our new home” seem like our old home.

That’s all for this week. Please let me know your thoughts and feelings about this week’s episodes, and any theories you have on what’s to come, in the comments below. Remember that 25YL will provide continuing coverage of Raised by Wolves throughout Season 2 and beyond.

All images courtesy of HBO Max

Written by Brien Allen

Brien Allen is the last of the original crazy people who responded to this nutjob on Facebook wanting to start an online blog prior to Twin Peaks S3. Some of his other favorite shows have been Vr.5, Buffy, Lost, Stargate: Universe, The OA, and Counterpart. He's an OG BBSer, Trekkie, Blue Blaze Irregular, and former semi-professional improviser. He is also a staunch defender of putting two spaces after a period, but has been told to shut up and color.


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  1. Raised by Wolves seasons 2 has been phenomenal so far. The first episode was pretty slow but from there it has really picked up steam.

    I had no issues with the writing in season 1.

    Season 2 is just as strange and oddly satisfying as the first season. All the main characters have a secret and it almost always feels like they start doing something that another is going to disapprove of.

    I can’t wait to see what happens with Father’s science project. I have no clue what’s gonna come of that.

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