‘Raised by Wolves’ tells a layered tale of opposing forces: man v/s machine, religion v/s atheism, and nature v/s nurture. Conceived by Aaron Guzikowski and starring the phenomenal Amanda Collin, Abubakar Salim, and Winta McGrath, the HBO Max original has all the key ingredients of a sci-fi classic and then some. ‘Raised by Wolves’ follows a pair of androids, Mother and Father, deployed to Kepler 22-b to renew hope for humanity by raising a tribe of atheistic children. Before you delve deep into the article, gentle reminder that you’ll find SPOILERS AHEAD.
Raised by Wolves Episode 6 Recap
The 6th installment of the series, ‘Lost Paradise’, begins with trouble in Campion and Paul’s mini-paradise. The two ‘siblings’ find themselves at odds with one another over what it means to have a soul – intense topic for the likes of young adults. Here, Campion utters what is possibly the most compelling line of the series yet – ‘I believe everything has a soul’ – implying that Mother and Father, too, are not unlike humans in their ability to feel and think for themselves. And feel they do.
Mother, for instance, is dead set on excavating her past and reliving a tender moment with her creator, Campion Sturges. When Mother plugs herself into the ‘sim’ for what seems like the hundredth time, she discovers that Campion has supposedly programmed his consciousness to live on long after his physical being and is himself present (in real-time) in the sim. In what can be taken as iron-clad proof of her sentience, Mother, for the first time, diverges from her mission’s objectives and gives in to her own wants. Mother and Campion Sturges (or, at least, his simulation) have sex, during which she experiences a feverish dream of white liquid raining down on them.
Meanwhile, the Mithraic have set an elaborate plan in motion to capture and destroy Mother at her most vulnerable – in the pod. They succeed in incapacitating her as she lies motionless in the sim. But Mother transforms her Achilles’ heel into a strength – despite being pinned down by the Mithraic, she uses her telekinetic prowess to wreak havoc on the believers and escape. But the Mithraic threat hasn’t been thwarted in full – Sue and the rest of the believers have made their way to the settlement and are waiting to pounce on Father and the children. Mother’s longing for the past, eventually, leads to the unraveling of her present.
At the settlement, despite Sue’s repeated attempts to reach Marcus, her only response is static. Driven by her maternal instinct, she takes matters into her own hands and sets out to rescue Paul. The Mithraic have no option but to follow. While Sue manages to reunite with Paul, Father succeeds in stowing away the rest of the children, but himself perishes at the hands of the Mithraic. Mother arrives, blowing a Mithraic soldier to kingdom come. She attempts to tend to Father’s nearly fatal wounds.
Raised by Wolves Episode 6 Ending, Explained
‘Lost Paradise’ is quite possibly the pinnacle of achievement in Raised by Wolves’ already impressive portfolio of episodes. Just when you assume the bloodshed is over, the episode brings it back, harsher, and gloomier than before. Marcus, after reuniting with Paul and Sue, thrusts aside the last of his fatherly instincts and asks Paul to infiltrate the settlement to steal Mother’s source of power, her eyes. To everyone’s astonishment, Paul pulls it off. As Paul makes off with Mother’s eyes and Mother gives him fervent chase, Marcus emerges and sinks an ax into Mother, crippling her already diminished abilities. As Marcus proceeds to kill her, the persistent voice in his head (that he suspects is Sol) cautions him against finishing the deed. Marcus obeys.
When the voices compel Marcus to refrain from striking the killing blow, one thing becomes apparent: Marcus has begun to believe and obey the voices within him with almost religious fervor. Marcus stops short of killing Mother and we are witness to his conversion from disbeliever to one of the faithful. A strange dichotomy has emerged: Marcus, the leader of the devout Mithraic was once an unwavering atheist. Meanwhile, Mother, a Mithraic Necromancer who once snapped necks upon hearing the word ‘atheism’, is now a matriarch raising her children to be atheists. How ‘Raised by Wolves’ will play off of these contradictions will make for interesting television.
What precisely is the true nature of Marcus’ voices is still a mystery. Could the planet, or something within it, be inducing hallucinations, conjuring voices, and making up ghostly figures? Or do real ghosts lurk in its dark shadows? Kepler 22-b is a planet barely explored, with its exact extent of technological advancement still unknown. As creator Guzikowski says, Kepler 22-b is not unlike a ‘haunted house’, with its many hidden mysteries.
Paul and Campion’s Animosity
Paul and Campion’s budding camaraderie falls apart at the seams in ‘Lost Paradise’. Paul’s newfound status as the Einstein of the group leaves Campion feeling envious and alienated. The Mithraic boy’s pivot from vegetarian to ingenious hunter-gatherer further angers Campion to the point of physical vengeance against him. We begin to see Campion use Mother’s violence against his fellow human beings to excuse his own. Needless to say, Paul’s attempt to make away with Mother’s prime source of power will only add fuel to the fire.
While the Paul-Campion equation could serve as a subplot that the series’ creators use for better cinematic effect, it could also be a chilling motif of something more. The myth of Romulus and Remus – on which the show’s title is predicated – begins with the twin brothers founding the city of Rome and ends with Romulus murdering his sibling over a bitter dispute and intense rivalry. Campion and Paul’s growing discord could be an omen of a tragedy yet to strike.
Kepler 22-b has a strange pattern of turning moments of pure ecstasy into that of unbridled horror. First, Marcus, smack dab in the midst of having sex with his wife, hallucinates a vision of him murdering her in cold blood. Now, Mother’s simulation transforms from dream to nightmare in the blink of an eye. As she and Campion Sturges make blissful love to another, Mother hallucinates a white liquid seeping through the ceiling and drenching them.
This can be interpreted as Mother conjuring up her own death. We already know: humans bleed red; androids bleed white. The white liquid symbolizes Mother’s milky-white blood and her eventual death. Whether her hallucination is an offshoot of Mother sensing the threat to her life or if the same entity causing Marcus’ hallucinations has also found its way into Mother’s head, is yet to be unraveled.
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