Ok so the first three episodes of Raised by Wolves are now out on HBO Max and throughout this, we’re gonna be breaking down all three.
I just wanna get into this as there’s a lot to talk about but obviously there will be heavy spoilers here so if you haven’t had a chance to check them out yet then I highly recommend that you turn off now.
With that out the way, let’s get into Raised By Wolves.
Raised By Wolves Episode 1 Breakdown
Ok so firstly before talking about the episodes themselves, we have to talk about the title of the show and how it plays into them.
The phrase Raised By Wolves is an idiom that often refers to someone who is socially inept or acting in a way that doesn’t seem normal.
However, it also refers to the story of Romulus and Remus, two brothers that were, according to the legend, Raised By Wolves. The pair later founded Rome and the Roman empire and according to the myth, Romulus killed his brother.
This could hint towards how the show is going but it also provides the subtext to what is happening in it.
Predominantly the series is going to centre around two androids named mother and father who fled Earth with human embryos. On the planet of Kepler-22b the pair are attempting to raise the last surviving one of these named Campion amongst some Earth born children.
This is how the show itself ties into the title as it makes us question whether it is possible for a synthetic person to raise a human to be a human.
Sure we could potentially programme something to carry this out, however, we know that it’s far more complex than just black and white and there are many facets to our species both positive and negative.
We see the conflict this causes and it also makes us study making, seeing the faults in ourselves which caused Earth to become inhospitable.
Now on top of the Romulus and Remus metaphors, there is of course the Adam and Eve one which is too deeply rooted in Mother and Father. They are pretty much arriving on a planet after being cast out of what used to be a paradise and they have to make their way through a cold and unforgiving world.
Both were created in the image of man similar to how Adam and Eve were created in the image of God and I loved watching them arrive on the planet and walk past a rotten tree which of course was meant to be a metaphor for the tree of knowledge.
I say of course, that’s just how I interpreted it.
Kepler is a barren wasteland looking like one of the bad planets in Interstella but it’s name too holds a lot of meaning.
In science, the name Kepler comes from a German astronomer and mathematician who is considered by many as the founder of celestial mechanics. Kepler was the first person to accurately describe the elliptical orbits of Earth and the planets around the Sun and demonstrated that planets move fastest when they are closest to the big burning ball of light.
So yeah, nice they named all those planets after him.
A Campion is a flower and the character should be seen as someone that is attempting to blossom amongst the wasteland and all the issues that come with being on the planet. Campion is also named after the android’s creator. This could tease that it was this character that tried to send this arc out into space to flee the dying planet and who knows, we may get more of his backstory as the season goes on.
The show opens with the voice of a child stating that they were the first and that they were seen as pioneers. Pioneers are often described as discovering things and this has both negative and positive connotations depending on it’s usage. We see a nuke explode before Mother and Father journey in their ship to Kepler-22b and after a bumpy landing, they make the planet their home.
Our first time jump is 9 months and this of course is a play on the birth cycle of a woman.
The character really becomes attached to the children as they pretty much come from the organic fluid within her body that is used to grow them. In many ways she carried them and they are her children.
I thought this was an absolutely brilliant motif to bring across and it’s almost cyclical how man created machine and then machine created man.
Mother is clearly torn up when one of the children early on seems to die, however, they come to life and this “runt of the litter” ends up as the last surviving member of the group after the others fail either to disease or accidental death.
Now early on Mother tries to enforce the idea of Atheism into the children and it seems to be putting across the notion that it’s as damaging as enforcing strict religion is.
Growing up I was brought up to be quite religious and then I became an Atheist for a bit before settling on being an agnostic. I think because science can’t provide all the answers we have to keep an open mind about things and there are certain elements of life that can’t be explained purely by science.
There’s the famous saying facts don’t care about your feelings but juxtaposing this, it’s clear that Campions feelings don’t care about the facts and that he wishes to be spiritual even though Mother forbids this.
Feelings don’t care about your facts, I need to get that on a t-shirt.
I think that the show is saying that you have to have an open mind to discover things on your own instead of having them forced upon either rightly or wrongly. This can lead to brainwashing and it’s better to have a society that is open to discourse rather than one that shuts down all opinions in favour of one.
The synthetics lie about the dangers of the planet in order to try and keep the children safe and similar to humanity which they criticise, they use fear as a way to control the population.
Mother’s power even comes from her voice and the devastating screams that she carries out and Scott is very much lacing this with symbolism for how she lordes over people.
Mother definitely doesn’t come across as that good of a person when she’s saying all religion is bad and that you have to say how 5 relates to all manifestations of life.
This way of thinking in binary terms even begins to break Mother herself and we can clearly see that she is racked by the deaths of her children even though it should be seen as something scientific instead of something that she feels.
Alien Easter Eggs
There is a milk-like substance that drips from her nose and this did give me hope that the show could be linked in some ways to my favorite Ridley Scott Franchise, Alien.
Fox own that and they are owned by Disney whereas Warner Brothers are the ones behind the show. I think this was left in as an easter egg so fans can draw their own conclusions in their mind and both the Androids in the show do seem quite similar to the way that the synthetics and David work in that franchise.
We will of course never get it confirmed but I appreciate that Scott carried across this aesthetic.
Now father realises that there is no way to increase the human population if Campion is the only one left and thus he attempts to signal a group known as the Mythraic.
Angered by this, Mother destroys him in a milk filled rage and thus it’s just her and Campion left on the planet.
Campion himself goes to the ship and also sends out a broadcast which calls them to the planet and mother pretends to be human due to AI being viewed as objects rather than things that should be able to have input.
Juxtaposing this the Atheists clearly trust machine learning as they allowed mother and father to look after the children, whereas the Mithraic use their androids to do their dirty work.
The Mithraic are heavily religious and though it is hinted that they were the cause of the war, this opinion is likely skewed for Mother as she was of course created by the Atheists.
We see at the start of episode 2 that Mother and the synthetic family that she belonged to were some of the most devastating weapons in the war. These Necromancers were built purely to wipe out human life and the name derives from a word that describes someone who can communicate with the dead. If the Atheists were using these weapons then it’s clear that they weren’t as righteous as we’re led to believe.
They also drafted kids into their way and who knows, they may have brought on the conflict.
Anyway we learn very little about the Mithraic but I have a theory that due to the way that Earth turned, what with the rising number of dead due to the planets destabilization, that they turned to religion.
This is of course hinted at by Campion himself who too starts to turn to religion after the death of his siblings.
In the morning they attempt to take Campion to their ship, which mother protests and after a robot fight this descends into her wiping them all out except for Marcus.
Raised By Wolves Episode 1 Ending Explained
Now the first episode had been quite slow in my opinion up until the mother goes full Doctor Manhattan.
The design of this is very similar to the 1927 film Metropolis which was groundbreaking in cinema. Just as in that was the first real machine we ever saw on screen, the same idea is brought across to Mother which her being a machine for this new world.
In that film someone from a futuristic utopia travels to the slums which are a poverty-stricken wasteland. I feel like that’s been reversed here with Mother travelling from a society that’s not that well developed to one that is and similar to that film the society is brought down.
She journies to the Mythraic ship, impersonating Marcus and then kills almost all onboard with her sonic blasts.
There’s some irony to this as we find that the Marcus we see is actually someone impersonating the real Marcus and there’s a lot going on here in terms of what the truth is.
She crashes the ship and takes five of the children, leaving the others to their fate.
We also see that Mother has to remove her eyes at this point and the strobe-like light could be the key to stopping her down the line. There is a lot of things to do with eyes throughout the first three entry and it seems almost like a weakness on both sides.
I think that the Mithraic believe that if they die with their eyes open they can’t rest or may not go to the afterlife but obviously let me know your thoughts below.
We discover that they are what allow mother to weaponise and that she removes them in order to get the children to trust her.
They should call them, weapon-eyes…eh, you having that?
It seems like she wants to do the right thing but that of course goes up in the air as we get further into the three episodes.
Raised By Wolves Episode 2
Now in the second we see parts of the war firsthand and also Marcus’ transformation with his friend Mary. We discover he’s really called Caleb and both these names tie into the bible, further hammering home the religious aspects of the show.
They kill their true counterparts and we see that Marcus is willing to do anything he can to survive, even taking their child as they board an Arc headed to Kepler.
They even left the dogs behind.
You better hope John Wick isn’t on that arc because I’m not having it.
This was a ten year journey for them. Whilst in stasis their minds continued inside a simulation so that they could grow and develop. So, the kids we see are actually older mentally than their bodies which does mean that they are far more developed than Campion is.
Back on Kepler, Mother reactivates Father who isn’t too happy about getting shut down. She gifts him her eyes in order to gain his trust and this is mirrored by the Mithraic children who give Campion a mouse in order to try and get him on their side.
The leader of them, Hunter, tells her that Mother likely poisoned Campion’s siblings and I was actually in the middle of writing that I thought this would come up down the line when it started to once more. It’s revealed that it’s actually because of radiation inside Carbos which Mother and father didn’t detect. This caused the Gen ones to die and they did develop some resistance that the new children simply don’t have.
To make this worse we learn that they have gone through a lot and that one of the children, Tempest, actually views Mother as a saviour because she saved her from being abused further by a crew member that impregnated her.
She’s attacked by a group of animals, clearly after her unborn child and this sets Father out on a quest to attempt to secure one of them for study.
Across world Marcus is saved by some of the Mithraic forces that survived the crash and we journey into the third entry with Mother telling the story of the three little pigs. It’s a tale we tell children but laced in it is the idea that one must make their house strong and protected in order to remain secure. Mother is clearly showing that when the wolf’s at the door one must be ready and I do think it’s hinting at why she has kept her eyes just incase the Mithraic return. She didn’t know about the monsters on the planet so did keep them close at hand for a reason.
Marcus pleads with the Mithraic to storm the camp in order to rescue the children. I love how they became attached to their surrogate child, much in the same way that Mother did hers and it’s clear that both sides just wish to allow the human race to continue no matter the cost to their own life.
Both believe that Children are our future and if you teach them well…yada yada yada but it does go beyond that. It’s still very much the religious vs the Atheists.
I actually think that the disease which the kids fall victim to will also fall upon the adults and it is possible that it will reappear later in the season, perhaps even weaponised, similar to how smallpox was used on Native Americans.
The Pentagonal Prophecy
There’s also mention of the Pentagonal prophecy of an orphan boy named in an empty land who will lead the humans to a place in which they can build a city of peace. Though this does initially seem like it’s gonna be Campion, I think it could actually be their child who is of course an orphan himself.
Marcus’ identity is clearly going to get unearthed and the more and more people ask him personal questions, the more we start to realise it’s not gonna be long before someone asks him something that he can’t bluff his way through.
As they begin to go through the area, Mother descends upon it, destroying two fo the group’s android forces and taking their eyes. Now it is possible that the aliens come from the hole which the ship landed in and the explosion of it caused them to awaken once more. Campion is sure that Mother is tricking them and this makes him flee with the rest of the children.
Mother takes anti-biotics from the craft and Father takes these to the children.
At the camp her proves that Mother didn’t poison them and this showcases how paranoia can often get in the way of the truth. Campion is almost killed by a monster on the planet but he’s saved by father who seems pretty gutted that he betrayed him.
Mother goes looking for Paul who departed the camp and he becomes lost in the wilderness where he seemingly finds another child. Now I believe that this is Tally for the fact that he finds a doll before stumbling across the hole. Tally’s body was never found in the opening episode and she did make dolls similar to the one that we see.
It is possible that these holes lead to tunnels which pop up around the planet and that Tally emerged out the one that Paul fell into.
As she was far away from the camp with no real idea of what direction it was, she likely remained in this area and who knows the monsters may even be linked to her.
She would also not suffer the radiation poisoning that the other children did due to not being exposed to it and with the laugh that the mysterious figure gives off sounding similar, it does seem like the two are one in the same.
Now as for the show itself, I dunno if it’s because I watched the three episodes back to back but I did find it a bit slow. I’m still really engaged in it though and there’s a lot here that I wanna see.
I obviously would love to hear your thoughts and theories so make sure you comment below and let me know.