Raised By Wolves: Season 1 – Review/ Summary (with Spoilers)

While “Raised By Wolves” starts off with so much promise, by the end of season 1, nearly every bit of its potential is lost.

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NetworkHBO Max
Creator(s)Aaron Guzikowski
Aired9/3/2020 to 10/1/2020
Genre(s)Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Noted Cast
MotherAmanda Collin
FatherAbubakar Salim
Kepler-22b CampionWinta McGrath
Earth CampionCosmo Jarvis
SueNiamh Algar
CalebJack Hawkins
MarcusTravis Fimmel
MarySienna Guillory

This content contains pertinent spoilers.

Season Summary

Originally, the focus was on two androids, Mother and Father, tasked with raising babies rescued from the Earth we know and make it so they could survive after they no longer function. However, the planet they land on, Kepler-22b, seemingly isn’t the best place for children. Hence a continuous struggle to keep the children alive. But then comes those that took part in the destruction of Earth arriving, the religious group known as the Mithraic, and so begins the unraveling of a story in more ways than one.

Review

Highlights

There Are Moments When You Think This Could Be Awesome

In the beginning, and when characters are first introduced, “Raised By Wolves” creates immense potential. You have Mother, who apparently is more than a service bot but a discovered entity by the Mithraic to turn the tides of war. Then there is all the background given to us. This includes learning about the war on Earth, how the original Campion rebelled and left his lofty position to help the Atheist that the Mithraic were at war with. Also, a glimpse into the life of the Atheist side.

And while we don’t learn a huge amount about the Atheist, beyond second-hand stories, we do follow two Atheist, Caleb, and Mary, who talk about being raised child soldiers and the torture they experienced. Also, the Mithraic culture is touched upon. Perhaps not to the degree you’d expect from a show which is an hour per episode, but when the series begins, there is so much potential built-in you expect to learn more and for the potential to be realized down the line.

Low Points

It Doesn’t Get Better As Time Goes On

However, “Raised By Wolves,” as time goes on, goes off the rails. Note: Things are good until about the midway point. However, when Caleb, who takes Marcus’s identity, begins to lose his mind since he believes the Mithraic God named Sol is speaking to him, things begin to go downhill.

Yet, even before that, you’ll start to see multiple warning signs that this show may not live up to expectations. The first sign is that, of the kids Mother and Father raise, only one survives by the end of the first two episodes. And while, yes, Mother is distraught and Father worried, your lack of connection to those kids sets the tone of death not being a serious issue. Mainly because death is treated as something that happens.

Following that, you have the issue that while Father has his charms, and Mother’s personality can come off borderline psychopathic, they don’t sell the show nor their Campion. It more so is Caleb/Marcus and his partner Mary/Sue. But as much as their point of view as Atheist masquerading as Mithraic figures beings intrigue, the show keeps clipping them at the knees. Be it killing off adversaries who could expose them, having Caleb go mad due to believing he can hear Sol, or Sue not really gaining prominence until the end of the season.

And with neither Campion nor the kids Mother steals from the Mitrharic compensating, it leaves you without a single person to invest in. Add in there is only but so many visits to the past, and each one makes you long for the before than the future, it makes the show increasingly frustrating to watch. Especially as you become more and more disappointed by narrative decisions.

Overall

Rating: Mixed (Stick Around)

I’ve learned over the years that when any movie or show has to use a famous person’s name like Ridley Scott, James Cameron, and others as the hook to get you to watch, there is a problem. Add in if that person hasn’t had a hit in a long time, or isn’t writing or directing the whole thing? There is yet another issue.

Hence “Raised By Wolves” getting a mixed rating. While it is, in the Ridley Scott directed episodes, something worth getting excited about, by the end of the season, nearly everything you were invested in loses its luster or became something akin to a bait and switch.


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