Raised by Wolves is a new series on HBO Max, HBO’s new streaming service. There was a lot of hype around the show since it’s executive produced by the legend, Ridley Scott. After watching the trailer, I decided to give the show a shot. So far, there are three episodes on the streaming service, with new episodes being released every Thursday. Since I’m already literally and figuratively invested in the show, I figured I’d share my thoughts with you readers!
Warning: my recap and review will NOT be spoiler-free.
Trigger Warning: Rape is briefly discussed in this episode.
“Virtual Faith” is a great name for episode 3 of the series, because it explores not only the faith of the characters but our faith as the audience. Everyone’s faith is being tested.
We learn that ten years prior, a thousand Mithraic passengers on the ark named Heaven made a thirteen-year journey to Kepler 22b. This explains why they were in the area in episode one. During the journey, everyone was in hibernation, while their bodies were asleep, their minds were all linked up. They call this the “Sim.” In the Sim, everyone can interact with each other.
Fake Marcus and his wife, Fake Sue, are watching their son Paul play with virtual golden blocks. Sue tells Marcus that she doesn’t know how to be a mother. She also alludes to the fact that she can’t be a mother. Marcus says they have no choice and need to try. The couple tries talking to Paul but he feels uncomfortable. His real parents never talk to him. Before the fake parents can panic, Paul remembers that things are different in the Sim so he chalks up their new kindness to that. Marcus suggests that Paul play with the other kids and Paul runs off to do so.
Sue once again tells Marcus, she can’t do this. However, in the next scene, when they see the other kids won’t play with Paul, they play with him, allowing the other kids to see all the fun they are having and giving Paul his in with them.
This is all a memory/dream that Marcus is having when Sue wakes him up. Marcus is now with the remaining survivors of Heaven ark. Marcus asks Sue where Paul is and she informs him that the necromancer has him. Marcus immediately wants to go and find him. He talks to the Eminence about sending half the men to go search for them. His Holiness thinks it’s foolish to potentially sacrifice precious lives for children they don’t know are alive. Marcus tries to convince him they are alive because the necromancer has been programmed to take care of them. The Eminence isn’t buying that because the Mithraic created the necromancers to be killers. Marcus is not happy!
Speaking of children, back at the settlement, all the children but Campion are getting sick. Campion believes Mother has poisoned them as she did with the others. Mother, trying to cheer the children up, tells a horrifying rendition of the “Three Little Pigs.”
We get another flashback of Marcus’s life in the Sim. The happy family is all sitting together talking about the new city they are going to build on Kepler. This is the city the boy from the prophecy will help create and everyone will live peacefully. Marcus says that would be nice. Paul asks his father if he thinks he would be a good solider? Marcus says sure but he doesn’t have to worry about that because only the Atheists recruit children.
Then we get a flashback of a flashback. Marcus is now a young Caleb, surrounded by many kids chanting “War!” We then see Caleb sparring with another child. It’s similar to a scene from Fight Club. Then some adults give the kids these power backpacks that honestly look like kitchen fans. The backpacks give the kids a jolt of strength and now the sparring is more intense.
Cut to Caleb and his sparring partner running from Mithraic soldiers. Caleb shoots some down but his partner isn’t so lucky. The partner’s backpack gets hit, causing him to have a seizure and foam at the mouth. This is our first glimpse into what we can now say was a Holy War.
At the settlement, the kids are having dinner, but it’s not so friendly. Hunter calls Tempest lazy for not working. Mother tells Hunter she is working to nurture her growing baby. Holly reminds Hunter he didn’t do anything and Campion did everything. Father wants to break the ice with his dad jokes but Mother shuts that down quickly. Mother asks Holly to pick a polite topic for conversation. Holly asks Tempest what she will name the baby. She says she doesn’t know the sex of the baby, so she has no idea. Then Hunter decides to ignore the part where Mother mentioned “polite.” He suggests that if the baby is a boy she should name is “Othos.” Othos is the name of her rapist. The little brat also insinuates that Tempest is glad he raped her, that she was “chosen.” Tempest smacks him the face, which he rightfully deserves. So much for that polite dinner.
The next morning, Mother goes to where the surviving Mithraics are staying. Marcus and the others hide in a crack in the ground. Mother isn’t there to fight them. She’s looking for medicine to give to her sick children. At the same time, Campion tricks Father into looking for Paul’s mouse. Father is locked in the pantry and the kids all make their escape. Somehow in the time it takes for Father to break down the door, the kids ran so far that Father needs to use the ship to catch up. Father puts Carbos (what they use to light fires and fuel the ship) into the ship’s fuel line. He turns on the ship and goes to activate the fuel, but he notices something.
The kids are now running in the woods, something we didn’t know Kepler 22b had. Campion says their destination is a day away on foot. Paul gets left behind because he dropped his mouse and of course the other kids don’t hear him say “wait up!” Flashover to the ark camp and Sue can see the kids’ movement on a tracking device. When did she get that? Why didn’t she use that earlier? Anyways, this is now all the proof his Holiness needs to take everyone to find the children. Hooray!
Mother returns to find out the bad news and she is pissed at Father. However, Father knows what will cheer her up. He shows her that the Carbos cause radiation when they are heated up- she didn’t kill the children, radiation poisoning did! Yay, she’s a good parent! Father goes off to get the kids and Mother goes to find Paul. Father finds them and gives them the medicine and lets Campion know he’s disappointed in him. However, Mother can’t find Paul who is now suspended on a branch in a hole.
We got a lot of new information with Virtual Faith. We know there was a Holy War between the Mithraic and the Atheists. We know that the Mithraic created the necromancers and that the Atheists had child soldiers. Here’s the problem with Virtual Faith, is that it requires the audience to have too much blind faith. You’re telling me the kids have trackers in them the whole time! Trackers the Mithraic and Mother can see? So why didn’t the Mithraic check them before? Why can’t Mother use that to find Paul? Also, if Mother could locate the survivors of the ark, why can’t she locate the creatures on Kepler? Why did they never suspect that the Carbos were the cause of the sickness? Too many plot holes for me to just trust that the writers know what they are doing.
I give episode 3 a C+
What did you think of episode 3? Will you continue to watch? Give us your feedback in the comments and on our socials.