Raised by Wolves: Season 1/ Episode 9 “Umbilical” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

As Sue and Marcus struggle with concealing their real identities, there is also the question of whether Marcus can hold their power and Mother keep her baby alive.

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Marcus praying.

As Sue and Marcus struggle with concealing their real identities, there is also the question of whether Marcus can hold their power and Mother keep her baby alive.

Director(s) James Hawes
Writer(s) Aaron Guzikowski
Aired (HBO Max) 9/24/2020
Introduced This Episode
Lucius Marias Varela

This content contains pertinent spoilers.


Comeback Father – Father, Marcus, Hunter

Perhaps due to his own father being dead and, similar to Paul, him finding his substitute parents better than his real parents, Hunter brings Father back. Mind you, after he gets his finger chopped off, but better late than never, right? Also, with Father back means, when Marcus goes off to the cube in the desert, Hunter has not only someone to help him catch a ride but protect him when Marcus accuses Hunter of helping the kids escape.

In fact, after trying to burn Hunter, Hunter and father abandon Marcus and the rest, which sets up Marcus’ downfall. For as Otho noted, when Sol no longer speaks to you, that absence can hit hard. What doesn’t help is Marcus’ ego making him feel and act like the chosen one, pushing Sue away, and thus making his inability to prove he is special what may end up getting him killed.

The Fall of Man – Marcus, Lucius

Lucius (Marias Varela) looking at Marcus.
Lucius (Marias Varela)

How and why? Lucius. For with forgiving Lucius’ father, yet slicing the throat of another man, Marcus becomes inconsistent, so he gets tested on his faith. Leading to, as we saw with Sue, a failure and add in Mother’s comments about who Marcus really is, and it leads to Lucius beating on Marcus and maybe killing him.

Mother to Mother – Otho, Mother, Sue, Paul, Holly, Campion, Tempest

With learning she is pregnant and believing only the plasma of animals can feed and keep her baby alive, Mother is willing to get it from anyone. Hence her not being sure if Tempest following her too closely is a good idea. After all, she feels conflicted between protecting her and feeding her baby, and the pregnant Tempest could deliver valuable nutrients.

Luckily, before Tempest possible ends up a blood bag, Otho is found, and Mother feeds off him. Which makes Sue, Paul, Campion, and the rest encountering them a bit of a mixed bag. On the one hand, like Hunter, despite the kidnapping and how strange Mother has come off, everyone defends her from Sue. This is despite Sue pointing a gun at Mother and ready to kill her, and the weirdness of a pregnant android who is taking human blood, even if Otho’s.

Yet, in time, Sue calms down and even befriends Mother. Mainly due to Sue not being able to have children and with that, alongside not having any adult friends since she has abandoned Marcus, needing someone to talk to she isn’t necessarily protecting. In fact, they grow so close that Sue gives some of her blood to Mother after Otho attempts to escape, and Holly, alongside Tempest, are forced to take him down.

Things To Note | Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. What’s up with Mother’s dream with the box, the creature, and the people praying?

Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs

When people don’t believe their luck, they have to make up a god to thank for it.
— Sue


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Sue Getting Developed More

Sue isn’t necessarily the type of character who demands your presence. She isn’t a Wonder Woman or Black Widow type. Rather, she is someone who grows on you, that does more than exist, but it is only when you aren’t distracted, you realize the value of her presence. For with the way Marcus’ story has gone, while it doesn’t feel generic, there is this certain familiarity to it that makes his potential downfall not a big deal.

However, with Sue, between learning she was tortured, yet survived, her maternal instincts, and her being as much a tomboy as a woman who wants to be loved and shown affection, you get that mixture that still is hard for many to write in action productions. Heck, I’d say is hard for most to write – period.

So in her performance, she goes from the one in the back of the class that no one took noticed of to the person who, in one moment, changes your whole perspective on them. And with this episode, it felt like we finally got to know her, and the best is yet to come.

The Fall of Marcus

There was a time we genuinely liked Marcus, but the whole Sol storyline hasn’t really done him any favors. At first, it was cool since there was learning about the life of an atheist, the ruse he and Sue were playing, but as it became clear he was getting drunk on his power, and it wouldn’t lead to a further understanding of Sol? Well, the storyline faltered. Add in he didn’t help us understand Otho’s descent to a dark and diabolical place, and it makes the possibility of his death not the worst thing.

The Potential Of The Children

We barely mentioned the kids and didn’t even plan to add Holly and Vita to the character guide[1] because they barely have storylines. Yet, with us not really learning anything about the clerics, Sue’s relationship with the kids, Mother and Father’s as well, there is hope that more can be done beyond Tempest, Paul, and Campion.

I mean, like with Hunter, he went from a brat in love with his old way of life to evolving a bit. So there is hope that the other kids can have their moment in the sun. Hopefully, beyond seeing Tally or, in Holly’s case, being a meek supporter of the child who actually has been developed.

On The Fence

Sol, The Tarots, And The Other Mythology Not Put Into Detail

One of the things we’re not fond of with “Raised By Wolves” is that it isn’t really doing much world-building, and even with its character building, it’s not top-notch. Rather, it feels very slice of life, just a bit more action than the sub-genre usually has. But, refocusing on the mythology, considering all the symbols we’ve seen, how little we know about the Mithraic, beyond the absolute minimum, it is getting frustrating. Especially considering Sol is speaking to people and, thus far, isn’t necessarily the most pure of Gods considering Otho’s claim and what they pushed Marcus to do at one time.

[1] https://wherever-i-look.com/character-guides/raised-by-wolves-character-guide

Sol, The Tarots, And The Other Mythology Not Put Into Detail - 74%
The Potential Of The Children - 80%
The Fall of Marcus - 81%
Sue Getting Developed More - 84%


With Sue's rise comes Marcus' downfall and hope for the children of the series – but the need to do some world-building and develop culture remains.

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