“Raised by Wolves” 2×8 Review: Happiness

happiness raised by wolves season 2 episode 8 review
Grandmother explains her plan to Lamia in ‘Happiness’ (Screengrab: Raised by Wolves Season 2 Episode 8)

Raised by Wolves season 2 episode 8, titled ‘Happiness’, offered an enjoyable season finale even though it ended on a cliffhanger. I can’t wait to see what will happen next. Fingers crossed the show gets picked up for a third outing!

I’m not the biggest fan of sci-fi out there, specifically the type of sci-fi that features androids and aliens. However, Raised by Wolves has got me invested in the kind of story it’s telling. Similar to the first season, the sophomore installment continued to mix science, magic (?), and religion as the humans on Kepler-22b tried to survive.

Realizing that she had no other choice, ‘Happiness’ had Mother/Lamia make the decision to wear Grandmother’s veil to inhibit her emotions so she could be prepared to kill Seven. The second season focused a lot on Lamia’s inner conflict regarding Seven. She gave birth to the serpent-like creature. However, Seven was clearly a threat to humanity after it got infected in the previous episode.

I liked how Seven tried to make Lamia feed it, but then instantly recoiled when it realized something was different about her. Lamia didn’t even hesitate to plunge her arm into Seven’s eyeball to kill it. The entire sequence was handled well. I felt for Lamia, but Seven needed to go. There was no helping such a creature after the corruption it had undergone.

Once the battle was over, Campion confronted Lamia over how he had figured out she had given birth to Seven. I liked how the emotion-inhibiting veil made Lamia not understand why Campion would fall in love with an android named Vrille. Even though I’d been rolling my eyes whenever Campion talked about androids being “real” during season 2, having such a notion made sense for a character like Campion. He had been raised by Lamia and Father. Of course, the kid was going to grow up thinking that androids had souls.

As for Grandmother and her mysterious veil, I think the entire fandom felt there was something suspicious about the ancient android, that Father secretly repaired, the moment she appeared onscreen. I won’t say Grandmother’s an outright villain. But she’s definitely dangerous. Grandmother, Father, and Lamia were created to ensure humanity’s survival. However, Grandmother’s definition of their collective mission was a bit… loose.

According to her, survival meant adapting to one’s environment. With the current human colony staying in a place with an acidic ocean and being manipulated via signals from the Entity, Grandmother concluded that the best path forward was changing the current humans into sea creatures resistant to acidic water. I mean, I knew something wasn’t right with Grandmother, but I wasn’t expecting that!

I wonder if Grandmother would have come to such a “logical” plan if she hadn’t given her veil to Lamia. It could be that feeling “emotions” for the first time, and not being able to cope with them properly, made Grandmother decide to take such drastic measures to ensure humanity’s survival? Hmmm.

Taking Lamia off the board and forcing her into hibernation was definitely a choice. Grandmother better be ready to defend herself because there’s no way Lamia’s going to let such type of betrayal slide when the show returns for a third season. And I highly doubt Father won’t put up a fight after he realizes what Grandmother had done.

The two were already at odds over how to help humanity. Father’s into allowing humans to be curious and making their own decisions (to an extent) to develop their minds, while Grandmother was into keeping certain types of knowledge secret to safeguard humanity.

Coming to the rest of the developments that occurred in ‘Happiness’, talking to Paul (who had been going over Sue’s research) helped Marcus realize that the Entity’s signal was coming from underground. However, before he could make the trip into the core of the planet, he got shot and kidnapped by Lucius. I don’t know about you, but I was sad to see Lucius succumbing to the Entity’s signal. I liked Lucius as a character and the last thing I wanted was for him to become the Entity’s pawn. The same goes for Sue. Sigh! I wanted Sue to stay around for a bit longer.

The season 2 finale ended on a cliffhanger featuring a “dead” Marcus hovering upsidedown near the tree that erupted from Seven’s dead body (why the heck didn’t Lamia burn Seven’s body?) while Lucius tried to make sense of what was happening.

Frankly, I’m on the same boat as Lucius. I didn’t completely understand what happened back in season one, and I won’t pretend to completely understand what transpired in season 2. Regardless, Raised by Wolves is definitely a show that’s got me hooked!

If I were to theorize, I think that Marcus got possessed by the Entity. Grandmother did tell him that the Entity always found its way to the most fertile ground even if Marcus didn’t believe in Sol anymore. Due to being possessed, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a zombie-like Marcus walking around doing the Entity’s bidding in season 3.

Due to the show featuring religious themes, the upsidedown Marcus reminded me of an upsidedown Cross, kind of like the opposite of Lamia’s Necromancer form. So, I guess we should look forward to a Marcus vs Lamia showdown in the next season?

‘Happiness’ also had some of the humans thinking of Lamia as their new God after she killed Seven and saved everyone. As Grandmother put it, certain atheists were prone to creating false Gods in their time of need to seek some kind of comfort. However, according to Grandmother, their cries for help would never be answered.

It will be very interesting to see what Lamia thinks once she escapes from forced hibernation. As an android, she’s been very vocal about shepherding humans toward atheism. But how can she effectively do that when the humans she’s supposed to maneuver have made her into their God?

There are a lot of religious themes at play in Raised by Wolves as the narrative explores what it means to be human. I’m not an expert in religious themes to offer a valuable opinion about how everything’s been handled up to this point. But I will say that I have enjoyed watching what the writing team has done.

My only gripe would be Tempest’s character arc. Having her give birth to a baby girl after everything she’s been through could have been handled a lot better, in my opinion. There were numerous instances where Tempest’s feelings were ignored because the main goal was to ensure humanity’s survival.

All in all, if you haven’t been watching Raised by Wolves yet, I urge that you rectify that as soon as possible.

You can watch my recap and review videos of the second season over at The Geekiary’s YouTube channel. Here’s the playlist!

What did you think of ‘Happiness’?

Let us know.

Author: Farid-ul-Haq

Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.

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