Raised by Wolves Premiere Review: Mother Knows Best

Television

While there are fewer TV shows on the air than usual thanks to COVID-19, Raised by Wolves is here. 

It makes zero sense then that HBO Max dropped three episodes on day one of this series, but here we are. 

Raised by Wolves Season 1 Episode 1, Raised by Wolves Season 1 Episode 2, and Raised by Wolves Season 1 Episode 3 had a big task:

They had to introduce us to a vast new world and keep us entertained. In some respects, they were successful, but in others, they failed miserably. 

Mother is a complicated character in that she seems determined to follow the rules until the going gets tough. Then, all bets are off, and she’ll light up the planet with fire. 

She has an ice-cold gaze that would make her nearest and dearest scared, but maybe that’s because she’s an Android determined to keep the kids she’s raising safe. 

What hit me the most in the first three episodes about her was the way she reacted when she thought she was killing the children. 

Belief in the unreal can comfort the human mind, but it also weakens it.

Mother

She was the only character who showed emotion in those episodes, and that highlights a larger problem when you consider that she’s an Android. 

I’m guessing it comes down to the way she’s been programmed, but that could also signal there will be problems down the line with the character. 

Projects featuring robots can be very hit and miss, and while Mother was put through a lot in those initial episodes, she’s also very unpredictable. 

Her mission is to keep the kids safe, but she lacks in common sense. Going guns blazing into battle against people who could have a big army is not a good look. 

Indeed, she wanted to save those she was looking after, but some of these impulsive decisions could render her an issue. 

The eyes allowing her to become a killing machine was a nice touch, but they also brought a lot of predictability to the storyline. 

These children are the future of humanity.

Marcus

It was obvious Campion was going to steal them. The youngster was terrified because of Mother’s outbursts, so taking them felt too convenient. 

Sure, the stakes were high, but did I really think more of the kids were going to die? No. There had already been too much death up until that point. 

Another big issue was the way children were getting sick. I didn’t mind learning that Mother was not as much as a villain as people were thinking, but I wish the radiation storyline was handled better. 

The aim was to show that Mother could emote, I get that, but her learning the truth could have been much more impactful had there been a better reason for the kids getting sick. 

Initially, I figured that Marcus was going to be the disruptor in the narrative, but it became clear quickly that Campion is the person who is going to be causing much of the problems. 

You will raise these children to be Atheists.

Man

Granted, he’s going to feel bad for the way he acted when he learns that Mother was not making the other kids sick. 

That being said, a hero arc is brewing for Campion. He beat the odds at birth and I dare say he will continue to beat the odds as he grows up and chooses which path he wants to take in life. 

Marcus is going to be a prominent figure, but he was a difficult character to get a read on early on, and that’s probably because he’s playing a role. 

He and Sue stole the likeness of two people, and they inherited a son as a result. They’re playing the ultimate game of make-believe, and it’s going to come back to bite them. 

Marcus has already upset the leader, and that’s why he was forced to do the heavy lifting instead of the Android. 

And should the Mythraik arc ever arrive here, we will not listen to their words. They believe that allowing Androids to raise children is a sin.

Mother

Marcus and Sue, however, have grown close to Paul, and the kid clearly recognized there was something amiss during the first meeting. 

Even though they aren’t his biological parents, Marcus and Sue seem ready to fight with Mother and her minions to get the kids back. 

A war between two factions over kids seems to be brewing, and I could get on board with that if the show had been more transparent from the beginning. 

The space travel in the opening episodes was light, so it would be nice to get some more in future episodes. 

There are a lot of possibilities on Raised by Wolves, but the show is holding the cards to close to its chest, leaving the show with no sense of direction. 

We must rescue our stolen children.

Marcus

We learned a lot of details about the mythology, but it’s difficult to care about the stakes.

Whether this will change in future episodes, I don’t know, but for now, it feels like a muddled sci-fi drama with religion thrown in for good measure. 

The characters lack depth, and while a lot were introduced, the only real development was for Mother. If that changes quickly, there may be a show worth watching.

Father is a bit more open, and does not want Campion to be the sole human on the planet, because there will come a time when the Androids die out. For that reason alone, his story is more exciting.

Only time will tell. 

Are you buying that Mother did not poison the children? What do you think of Marcus? 

Hit the comments below. 

Raised by Wolves will drop another two episodes Thursday, September 10 on HBO Max. 

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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