Raised by Wolves S2E7: “Feeding”

Raised by Wolves S2E7 - Mother, looking weary and charred, holds up a metalic artifact card in front of her

The following contains spoilers through Raised by Wolves S2E7 “Feeding” (written by Aaron Guzikowski and directed by Lukas Ettlin).

Welcome back, dear reader, as we continue to review the HBO Max series Raised by Wolves with the Season 2 Episode 7, “Feeding.” And quite the feast it was. Everybody just can’t get enough from Paul’s mobile brain fruit stand. They’re even willing to incur Mother’s wrath to snatch one. The serpent has quite a hankering for them too.

This episode brings us monster babies with mommy issues and monster mommies with baby issues. The kidnapping of Tempest’s baby turns out to have nothing to do with the interplanetary-scale machinations of Sol. Whereas Mother’s baby turns out to be the lynchpin upon which all his evil plans rest. I guess being an herbivore was a bad thing after all.

Raised by Wolves S2E7 - Paul looks on unhappily at someone standing blurry in the foreground
Paul reluctantly carries out his mission

Paul and Marcus

Once again, Marcus uses his own child soldier to conduct operations against the enemy. Paul looks ill at ease about this plan, as he drags the bins full of fruit into the Atheist encampment. Could be discomfort with having to lie about the fruit being tested, but more likely it’s letting everyone eat his mom that’s not sitting too well with him.

Paul hangs back for a moment when he hears Campion rounding up the troops. Campion is really learning the intricacies of being a leader, offering “premium supplies” to whomever finds Tempest’s baby. He’s drawn over to the commotion, picks up one of the fruits and thinks about, but then puts it back down. Perhaps as the sole surviving “native” Keplerian, he can sense that there’s something wrong with it?

Marcus is also having doubts about their plan, but for different reasons. So many losses have piled up against him, rattling his once firm belief. The loss of Sue, the loss of his power, and the loss of the rest of his “family” out at the broken Temple. Marcus tells Paul that “maybe Sol is the darkness; maybe Sol, he doesn’t care about us at all.”

Father and Tempest stand at the rocky shore of the acid sea looking outwards
Searching for Tempest’s baby


Father takes the rest of the kids for a family outing to the acid sea, hunting for the creature that stole Tempest’s baby. Turns out I was wrong about it being a matter of evolved versus devolved aquatic humanoids. That one was just a female, maybe even some sort of queen. Judging by the sheer size difference between her and a “well-fed” male, they must be a matriarchal species. Interesting.

The first cave they investigate is a false lead. There’s a baby in there, but it’s not human. It’s a dead aquatic humanoid baby. While Father and Hunter walk away from it, Tempest takes the time to cover the baby back up again. She’s starting to put together the big picture.

At the second cave, they find the female creature, cradling Tempest’s baby and nursing it. It’s now clear that this is the mother of the dead baby they found in the other cave. She has replaced her baby with Tempest’s baby. She continues to just sit there, defenseless, as Father levels his gun at it and prepares Hunter and Tempest to rush in and grab the baby. Seeing it care for her baby in a way she can never see herself doing, Tempest stops Father and insists they just leave.

Strangely, Father just agrees that it’s Tempest’s decision and walks out of the cave with her. Hunter isn’t having it though. He goes back in and kills the creature with a single shot to the head. He brings the baby out and holds her up to Tempest, hoping to rekindle Tempest’s motherly instincts, but this time it doesn’t work. Turns out that Tempest’s teasing admonishment of Hunter back in Episode 4, asking him if he was going to raise the baby, might just come true.

Father looks down, brow furrowed, lost in thought
Father ponders the error of his ways


Along their trek, Father has two enlightening discussions with his children. First, Hunter lays into Father for not being around, hiding out in his shed “playing Frankenstein.” Father tries to justify his little pet project, but the truth is that he’s been acting upon his jealousy of Mother all season long. Neither one of them is being the parent their children deserve, as he commented in Episode 5. Hunter points out the first rule of parenting: just be there. Father could have steered Campion, Tempest—and even himself—right.

Later, Campion wants to know how Father can treat Vrille, one of his own kind, like a mere machine that can just be deactivated once they become inconvenient. Once again, Father downplays his importance. “Humans are the point,” he answers. Androids are only stewards, ultimately disposable when they cease to be of benefit. Campion doesn’t believe that, and he doesn’t think Father believes that either. Even if Father was a mere steward at one point, that is no longer true. His happiness matters too.

Mother, weaponized, floats in front of the massive serpent-turned-beast
Mother faces off against the beast


While Father searches for Tempest’s baby, Mother searches for Sue. She finds the Tree of Knowledge and immediately understands what has happened. Lamenting the loss of her friend, she returns to the Collective to find the colonists eating the fruit from the Tree. Even though it looks disgusting, the fruit must taste unbelievable, because the colonists are even willing to incur Mother’s wrath to snatch more of them while her back is turned. Ultimately, she has to drag the sled away with her to investigate what’s going on with the serpent.

The serpent is going crazy, trying to batter its way out of the cave. At first Mother is hurt that Number Seven is doing this to her right when she has all of these other crises to deal with. Then it dawns on her. Sol tricked her into creating the serpent, Sol tricked Sue into becoming the Tree, and now the serpent is trying to get to the fruit from that tree. She’s been played again. Before she can act though, the serpent bowls her over, snarfs up the fruit bin and all, and flies off towards the source.

Back at the Tree, a dead comm unit comes to life with Sue’s strained voice, imploring Marcus and Paul to burn her. Marcus makes an attempt to kindle something at her base, but it’s too little, too late. Reacting to the serpent’s impending presence, the Tree had pulled in all of its branches. Now the serpent dives straight down onto it, engulfing the entire thing and swallowing it whole. The biotech and botanitech combine to metamorphize the serpent into a Cthulhu-esque monstrosity, with lightning crackling and tentacles waving all around it.

Mother arrives and attempts to take on the beast head on, but her siren’s call gets sucked back in by her care giving program. The beast, however, has no such compunctions. It blasts her out of the sky and departs to go find its brother. Marcus and Paul come to Mother’s aid and whisk her away to the Tarantula for reprogramming by Grandmother.

Raised by Wolves S2E7 - Close up on Grandmother's veil, glowing tubes connecting to her from the ceiling
Grandmother has a possible solution


And with that, we get the big payoff of the season: the ancient android exposition dump. This is (hopefully) just the tip of the iceberg, but already we have so many juicy tidbits. Here are the highlights:

  • They too had a war, between the Technocrats and the Believers
  • The Technocrats made Grandmother and the metallic cards
  • Grandmother is a type of android called a Shepherd
  • The Shepherds’ priority is “ensuring the everlasting life of human beings”
  • The Entity wants the destroy the planet
  • The limits of their own rationality made it impossible for the ancient humans to know why (i.e. she deems the Entity to be irrational)
  • The veil is a sensory filter that allows Shepherds to “make the best decisions for humans”

So, it would seem that Grandmother is going to continue to be a benevolent presence after all. Although the Trust was also trying to be an impartial utilitarian decision maker for all of humanity, and he turned out to be a bit of a baddy as a result. For now though, instead of the Mother versus Grandmother battle royale we expected, we’re going to get a Mother-Grandmother team up. Along with the equally unexpected Mother-Marcus team up.

To be honest, now that Grandmother has delivered this little exposition dump, I’m a little worried for her safety going into the season finale. In the big picture 5-season arc, this feels like it might be a little early to unlock all of the secrets of Kepler-22b’s past. My only hope there is that we also haven’t found out what purpose the unknown parts of her architecture fulfill.

Vrille writes on a piece of wood


Vrille reappears in this episode, looking a like a cross between Jason Voorhees and Tom Hanks’ inflatable companion in Cast Away. Everyone just kind of ignores Holly’s rant against her, but Holly is absolutely right. Vrille’s concept of “delayed self-defense” is what the rest of us would just call revenge. She claims to be too damaged for combat, yet she was remarkably spry while running around murdering all of the Mithraic back at the broken temple. She even point-blank lies to Campion about the reason they took her face, because she doesn’t want him to have negative thoughts towards her.

Nonetheless, when she bolts, Campion chases after her. They end up pinned down by the beast in a burned-out tank. Talking through what they just experienced, they come to the conclusion that the serpent must have come from Mother, meaning Mother has been lying to Campion. Vrille confesses that her real-life counterpart committed suicide to punish her mother when she discovered her dark secret. Luckily Campion doesn’t think that way. They also surmise that the beast is targeting Campion specifically, so he resolves to lead it away from the colony.

Running through the forest, Vrille suddenly comes to a stop and tells Campion that she is about to shut down permanently. She weirdly decides that she needs to transcribe as much of the real Vrille’s diaries as possible to preserve “the good parts” so that “it wasn’t all for nothing.” In the Crazed by Wolves podcast interview, Guzikowski said that “there’s some more backstory stuff…that we’ll get into hopefully in Season 3 with Vrille and how that kind of relates to…the central mysteries of the planet and mythology and stuff like that.” Guess this will be the key to opening that door.

Raised by Wolves S2E7 - Holly looks fiercely determined
No one listens to Holly

Quick Takes

A couple of quick takes on the rest of the episode and other tangentially related things:

  • The first colonist to come up to Paul and try one of the fruits from his sled was the woman from Episode 1 who was ordered by the Trust to express remorse for threatening a fellow colonist.
  • The fruit from the Tree of Knowledge does not, in fact, impart any special knowledge on the person eating it. Nor belief. Well, that’s disappointing.
  • If the aquatic humanoids are indeed matriarchal, I wonder if that is true also of the land-based humanoids? Have we perhaps only seen males so far, and there’s an impressively scary looking female of that species waiting to be revealed?
  • When Father first hears the baby crying, he thinks his sensors are malfunctioning. Exactly as Vrille did.
  • Grandmother’s veil enables her to make the best decisions for humans. The Technocrats figured out a way to overcome the problem Mother and Father are facing now, becoming human from their exposure to humans, thus rendering them less capable of serving humans.
  • Vrille is going to go radioactive, but apparently Campion is impervious to radioactivity (remember the carbos from Season 1?), so not so much a big deal that he just lays there holding her for a while.
  • There’s an interesting theme of defenseless mothers, with the aquatic humanoid mother sitting defenseless as Father aims at her and Mother floating defenseless before the beast. Maybe include the Sue tree being unable to defend itself against the serpent.
  • How is Mother supposed to use her siren call through Grandmother’s veil? How is that going to work?
  • If the Pentagonal Prophecy is from the Mithraic scriptures, will Sol intervene to prevent the serpent from killing Campion? Despite Paul and Marcos’ claims to the title of “an orphan boy” (along with every ex-atheist soldier on the Tarantula, mind you), Campion sure seems like he is headed towards being the fulfillment of the Prophecy. But then again, is that all to be considered a lie now? Grandmother said that Sol wants to destroy the planet. How can the Prophet to build a city of peace upon a destroyed planet?
  • The people in the tank were splattered, in the same way that Mother’s siren call explodes humans.
  • I love the hopeful tone to Grandmother’s declaration, “My veil!”
  • Did Hunter call his android “Vic?”
  • Sol’s Evil Plan: Sol directs Mother to birth the Necro-Serpent, Sol directs Sue to grow/become the Tree, Necro-Serpent eats Tree to become Cthulu-Serpent, and Cthulu-Serpent destroys the planet. Mwah ha ha.
  • With Mother’s secret now out in the open, even if she wins, she’s already lost.
  • What happened to Den, the other guy who was hit by the Mouse bio-bomb and left behind in the cave? Shouldn’t he be emerging from his cocoon about now?
  • Just to toot my own horn a little bit, here’s a song I made up for Sue after the last episode. I hope you enjoy it.
Raised by Wolves S2E7 - Hunter's headless robot sits on a rock, giving Father the finger
Hunter’s android manages to communicate without a head

Best lines of the episode:

  • “You should be resting.” “Would you be resting, Father?”
  • “Sue. Why did you listen to it?”
  • “I’m afraid my face is no longer presentable. But this morph repair plastic I found will keep it hidden, I promise. No need to dispose of me.”
  • “I wanted so bad for Sol to be the answer. A way out of the darkness. But maybe Sol is the darkness. Maybe Sol, he doesn’t care about us at all.”
  • “Wow, what a compelling bunch of Android bullsh*t.”
  • “According to you, the medallion was useless.” “Yes, but it didn’t require maintenance to be useless.”
  • “Whatever. Look around. You got Campion crushing on a murder machine. Tempest’s baby’s gone. You could have steered them right. What the hell happened to you?”
  • “It’s Number Seven.” “What’s a number seven?” “My child.” “Of course.”
  • “Whatever it takes to destroy that thing, I’m all in.”
  • “Humans are the point, Campion. We’re only stewards, and when we cease to be of benefit…”
  • “Home, sweet home.”
  • “You really are the toughest service model ever built.”
  • “Everyone has to prove themselves, Campion. Sooner or later.”
Raised by Wolves S2E7 - Marcus, Paul and Mother walk through the crowded bay of the Tarantula while Mother's assistant walks along side her
Mother gets debriefed back at the Tarantula


Since this is the penultimate episode of the season, rather than my usual section on news items related to Raised by Wolves, I thought it’d be fun to stick my neck out here and make a few predictions for the finale. As I’ve said before, trying to predict where this show is going to go is a fool’s errand. We’ll see how I do next time:

  • We find out from Vita in the med lab that the fruit is transforming humans in some bad manner (it is from Sol, after all). Grandmother’s hidden functions are able to heal / reverse the process. Vita, Marcus and Paul (at least) are healed. Maybe Grandmother has to sacrifice herself in order to perform the healing? Maybe that is how she will be removed from giving any further answers.
  • While Mother is getting help from Grandmother, Marcus visits Cleaver again. Cleaver’s fractured mind is somehow healed and together they mount a parallel assault on the serpent with Mother.
  • Cleaver turns out to be…well, I’m not sure. There’s definitely a hint in Mother’s assessment that the real Cleaver probably couldn’t have protected the Trust. Maybe Cleaver will turn out to be some high-ranking Mithraic? Someone they turned via reprogramming, in a manner similar to how Mother was reprogrammed to switch sides. That would be an interesting dynamic to explore next season.
  • Here’s my big one. We end with the arrival of a third Ark ship, this time manned by the androids that were left behind on Earth, including some number of necromancers. Bonus points: maybe they have a captive Campion Sturges with them.

That’s all for this week. Please let me know your thoughts and feelings about this week’s episode, 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. I’ve been wondering about “Sol the Sun God”. “Sol” is the name of our sun here in OUR solar system. Various religions have worshiped “Sol” through the ages. However, the humans on Kepler-22b are still worshipping “Sol”. Are they still worshipping OUR sun “Sol” or are they worshipping “Kepler-22” or do they somehow believe they are one in the same?

    • They probably believe that Earth’s Sun and Kepler-22b’s Sun, Kepler-22, are one in the same — which would seem to utilize the same heuristics as the Trinity concept.

  2. This line from your song needs to be sung the loudest (and without SPOILER curtain): “This show is fucking bonkers…”

    Great job with your on-key summation and bonus sing-a-long.

  3. There are few things to consider:

    1. I’m pretty sure I remember father saying while putting Grandmother’s skeleton together that they were a billion years old. So the Technocrats are very old

    2. If the war on K22B was between the Technocrats (possibly athiests) and Believers (Solist), then Technocrats made the metallic cards but on Earth they were hijacked by the Mithraic. That is why the Mithraic built the Necros when they decoded it from their religious book (the dying android tells Mother in season 1). If that is the case that’s cool twist

    3. Th e conversation between Mother and Grandmother is ominous. Mother is far too emotional and is not thinking correctly it appears – to me at least – that Grandmother wants the veil removed so she is not restricted to do what she wants (to go by her emotions) and she wants those restrictions placed on Mother. Especially when she remarks about wearing the mask

    • Yeah, that’s a good call about the veil. Definitely an ambiguity she’s going to play on with how she answered the question. She wasn’t super happy about the answer as to how many humans were on the planet last week or whenever that was exactly, so maybe she’ll expel everyone back to Earth or something. It’s hard to rule anything out given how crazy this show can be

  4. > If the aquatic humanoids are indeed matriarchal, I wonder if that is true also of the land-based humanoids? Have we perhaps only seen males so far, and there’s an impressively scary looking female of that species waiting to be revealed?

    No; remember the one that they locked up in the granary and killed was pregnant. It was a whole thing for Tempest.

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