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22 July 2018 @ 03:24 pm
Lost in Space, reviewed: S01, E02 (part II)  
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Scene 35: In The Chariot, Penny grabs the radio to try to warn the other Robinsons. She tells them that she's the daughter who doesn't want to drive the Chariot over a cliff right now, and would really like them to respond. Which, they don't, to her wry look - quickly replaced by fear.

Penny eats an Oreo for moral courage, and then engages Winter Mode on The Chariot. She nods to herself in satisfaction, and tells herself it's just like bumber cars... where everybody dies, before heading down the graded cliff front.


Commentary: I am really liking the way Mina Sundwell is handling Penny's dialog. She's mildly sarcastic, without being obnoxious and I like the moment when she's being wry and self-deprecating to herself, like in this scene.


Scene 36: Meanwhile, Don and Faux with Angela are traversing in the opposite conditions than Penny.

Both are getting worn out on the treck, and Angela remains unresponsive. Faux suggests they stop for another flare launch.

They have water, and bond a bit more with Faux suggesting that they may be the only survivors. Don notes the storm is getting closer, and Faux asks how far he can get with Angela. He doesn't answer, but the idea of leaving her to her fate is clearly bothering him a lot, despite his attempts to play the Rogue.


Scene 37: Back in the deep forest, Maureen, Will and John are led by The Robot to its crash site.

Maureen is taken by the wonder of it, but John precedes her into the bowels of the wreck.


Scene 38: Outside of it, Will finds the baseball in his backpack that John slipped there and tries to play catch with The Robot. The Robot's faceplate has returned to blue lights.

As Will plays catch with The Alien Robot, John watches through a crack in the ship's hull and deals with the regrets of spending so much of his children's lives away from home.

Will, in the meantime, confides in his new pal that he'd always wanted his father to come back, but now that he's here....

He doesn't know how to relate to him as a father, and feels like he's barely had one.


Scene 39: The Robot tosses the ball wide, and it slips under a piece of wreckage. As he tries to wrest the ball from under it, The Robot pushes down on one side of it to lift the part that is trapping the ball. This had a dramatic effect on the machine, and Its face place suddenly turns an angry red.

Inside the ship, a holographic navigational console lights up, revealing a solar system to Maureen and John's sudden shock.

Somehow, The Robot's recovering memories of the time before the crash are transmitted via the alien metal into Will's mind at the same time. Will sees the Resolute from The Robot's perspective, and its targeting and shooting the humans aboard.

While Will and The Robot are having their psychic connection, Maureen recognizes a giant planetscape as the one that they've crashlanded upon. She realizes that the projection is a map that she can manipulate by 'touching' the image. By pulling the image out, Maureen and John are suddenly looking at a different galaxy entirely to their wonder. They both realize that the planet they've crash landed on is outside of the Milky Way - something that should have been impossible by any law of physics that she knows. And they have no explanation for how they could've left the galaxy without noticing.


Scene 40: Meanwhile, though, Will is being overcome with violent images of what happened aboard the Resolute.





After seeing several Resolute crew blast apart, The Robot suddenly jerks away from the ship's debris. Its face plate returns to blue, and Will jerks with horrified gasps.

Inside the ship, the display shuts off, and everything returns to a powered off state.

Will and The Robot stare at one another, before Will dashes away in terror. The Robot follows.


Scene 41: In the woods, Will confronts The Robot about what happened. He empathically realizes that The Robot's memories have again been lost to It. He tells The Robot that why ever he attacked them, he's not like that anymore. But it seems more in desperation that it be true, than actual belief.

Will gives The Robot some simple commands, which it follows without hesitation. Will orders it to turn around, and it obeys.

Will almost orders It to walk over an embankment, but can't follow through.


Commentary: Which is a real shame. I was almost ready to respect the character immensely for realizing the risk that this machine now poses and to put aside his attachment to It... but then the script, once again, went in the safe direction. Blah.


Scene 42: With Don and Faux, they locate an overhanging rock to seek shelter from the storm that has gotten too close to continue running from, burdened as they are by Angela's unconsciousness and the heavy packs that Faux is struggling to keep carrying.

Faux realizes that her necklace was dropped, and Don sighs as he races back out into the oncoming storm to find it for her. He finds it hanging on a tree branch, and rushes it back to Faux.

But Faux has been thinking. She tells Don to fix the necklace for her while she's gone. She tells Faux that he won't leave Angela because he's a good man, but they can't continue without help. She volunteers to be the one to go and find some other survivors and bring them back. She tells him that he has one flare left and to save it until he's sure it's time to use it, and she'll find them.

Faux dashes out into the storm. He turns to Angela and tells her that if she dies now, he'll be pissed.


Scene 43: In the woods, Will and The Robot return to camp to Maureen and John shouting for their son.


Scene 44: In the meantime, Penny is racing through the forest in the valley, while not keeping her eyes on the road, and fighting with the dangling radio. Meanwhile, the storm is on the other side of a lake and closing.


Scene 45: Back with the troupe, the storm has finally made it over the Robinsons. But instead of liquid water, small obsidian stones begin raining down on top of them! [Wow. If it isn't one thing....]

As they're being pelted with lethal shards, they manage to get to a rock overhang, with Maureen getting a rake across the face, and John taking one across the hand.

John and Maureen share concerned looks at the likely unsurvivable place they've found themselves in with their son. Suddenly, the broken radio call of Penny comes through Maureen's wrist communicator.

Penny isn't able to track them because of interference, but Maureen tells Penny to look for the light -- That light being The Robot using Its face plate as a lighthouse beacon.

She's able to reach the family and pile them into the Chariot, except for The Robot who won't fit. It holds onto the back and stands on the bumper as John pilots them out of the area.


Commentary: Can I just once again give a small kudo to the scripting for not making the kids worthless loads? I'm very happy that they're being treated like trained colonists who've been through disaster survival training.

And I've also been happy that despite that training, nobody is a superhero. I'm glad that Judy isn't just over her brush with suffocating, locked in the ice, from last episode. They're doing a good job of giving everyone something valuable to do, while also treating them as vulnerable people in a survival situation.

I do have some script issues, obvs, as detailed so far in commentary but I am liking the way the characters of the Robinsons are being handled.



Scene 46: Maureen reminds the kids to fasten their belts, and then John races through the woods ahead of the monster storm, whose outer edge has already inflicted injury.

In the Chariot, Maureen tells John that she was wrong to have slighted his experience and training and that she's glad that he was there today. John asks about the following day, and Maureen tells him they'll talk about it then.

Penny leans forward and asks them which one of them she has to listen to -- which is also something to talk about tomorrow.


Scene 47: With Don, he's wrapped Angela in a survival blanket as the wind whips around them.

Don looks through the monocular, and spots The Chariot racing away from the woods and into the scrublands. He grabs the flare case....


Scene 48: In the distance, Will spots the flare going off and directs John to its direction. The Robinsons are faced with continuing to head away from the storm at top speed, or making a diversion for the signaler, while possibly having the storm engulf them. John tells Maureen they can make it. She goes to argue, and he tells her not to do the math, before turning the wheel on an intercept with the fired flare.





They reach a person struggling in the storm, but only one: Faux!

She quickly is welcomed into The Chariot before she can be sliced to ribbons by the obsidian stones being carried in the wind. When asked if anyone else is with her, she answers in the negative, not bothering to mention that she left Don and Angela in need of help.


Commentary: Wow. Really liked this whole sequence. And I liked that Faux is finally showing a bit more of that sneaky backstabbing we saw aboard the Resolute. There IS only one flare and she DIDN'T leave it with Don as she told him!

Of course, I'm not sure how far they can carry this character and keep her duplicit nature hidden, or explained away without it becoming ridiculous that she isn't shunned, but that's a worry for another time. Right now, I'm liking this bit of sociopathy.



Scene 49: Back in the overhang, Don is discovering what we just realized ourselves -- Faux-Smith totally lied to his face, and fucked him and Angela over!

He quickly realizes that the necklace laying just so on the branch was a set up and that she stole the flare gun and last flare. [Okay, really? We needed a flashback to what happened to realize that Faux-Smith was a lying, theiving betrayer? We weren't smart enough to take that leap, Matt & Burke?! Really??]


Scene 50: Aboard The Chariot, Faux-Smith remarks on their bravery and thanks them all profusely for risking the rescue.


Scene 51: Back at the J14, Judy has been pacing for what must be easily over an hour if not two.

She spots the tiny Chariot over the horizon racing ahead of a wall of dark storm trying to swallow it.

John races the Chariot into the garage bay, just ahead of the advancing storm and Judy is able to seal up the craft.

Judy greets Penny and proudly tells her she did it. But Penny tells her that going off on rescues isn't her. She tells Judy that she needs to get back to being herself, so Penny can get back to being herself, too. Judy hugs her.

As everyone else unloads and happy hugs all around, Faux-Smith sees The Robot and reacts with fear. Will quickly tells her that Its not dangerous, though he doesn't sound completely confident about it. Faux stares at The Robot, having seen Its sort attacking the Resolute, something which at this time, only Will and she know.



The Good: Again, the scenery porn and the CGI landscapes and later the storm were terrifically realized. And I am still loving the set design, now including The Chariot.

I enjoyed the reaction-acting of wonder by Molly as Maureen when she's dealing with The Robot and Its ship.

I really liked the unexpected (because the script is playing things too safe otherwise) twist of Faux-Smith actually leaving Don and Angela to their fate, while she takes off to escape without bothering to inform her rescuers that she had traveling companions in need of rescue also.

I'm not sure it was really set up all that well, but I did really appreciate the moment between Penny and Judy when Penny tells Judy that she needs her to be herself, so that she can be too.


The Bad: The entire way that the show is handling the sunken Jupiter and the ease with which characters keep popping in and out of the submerged vessel is really irritating me. They need to get the ship out or abandon it, so that the 'shortcut' writing around it can stop be obnoxious.


Other Thoughts: There are still some areas that I'm feeling put off by: Parker Posey's Faux-Smith keeps feeling off in the acting, in ways that I'm not sure is deliberate. But I'm hoping that next episode will give us more background on fake-Doctor Smith that will shed some light on her weird character. Some of the pacing is also a bit off, like the writers are still writing for a show with commercial breaks, that don't exist because this is a Netflix original. I'm also annoyed by the use of flashbacks to things we just saw -- surprise, I'm not a goldfish, I do remember things that happened last episode, and earlier in the current episode just fine. And I can make my own intuitive leaps about events, Writers. Please quit treating me like I'm stupid.

I'd like a little more of a bitter edge to both Faux-Smith and Don West, with the two both feeling bonding to one another, and both unable to trust the other because they're both creeps. It feels (again) like the scripting isn't going to let that happen by trying too hard to soften Don's rough edges and keeping Faux-Smith from being too evil. I'd like more risk with these two characters in particular in the story telling.


The Score: The back quarter of the episode is really good, but the first half is drawn out and kinda dull. There are some scripting issues still with character development, but it ends on a high note:


3.50 out of 5 stars


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