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'Raised by Wolves' showrunner breaks down Season 2 premiere, teases what's next on HBO Max series
Showrunner Aaron Guzikowski exclusively breaks down the Season 2 premiere.
In the Season 1 finale of Raised by Wolves two years ago, a new era was born as the androids, Mother (Amanda Collin) and Father (Abubakar Salim), survived their suicide mission to kill Mother's miraculous snake-baby as they landed safely on the planet's Tropical Zone. However, the creature was able to slink off into the wild — and that's a major problem for the Atheist Colony I residents. The new locale, that snake baby on steroids and the androids reuniting with their "kids" are major narrative and character arcs showrunner Aaron Guzikowski is exploring in Season 2.
***Spoilers below for the Raised by Wolves Season 2 episodes: "The Collective" and "Seven"***
In "The Collective," Guzikowski says he crafted the episode to move a lot of the players back into proximity with one another. With Mother and Father trying to act in unity with one another again, there are still remnants of Mother's "betrayal" that will play out in the season.
"They're back together and Father is trying to work through this," Guzikowski tells SYFY WIRE. "And now he is trying to go outside of the family to find something for himself to maybe create something important. He starts off on that journey, which will be almost as problematic, if not more so, than Mother's experiment with creation, as it were."
Also problematic is Marcus (Travis Fimmel) and his continued zealotry. Surviving his kamikaze style attack on Alpha Colony I in The Tarantula — a favorite scene of Guzikowski's this season — has only emboldened his mission which is exacerbated by his discovery of the Sol cave.
"What I think is interesting about Marcus is that we kind of understand what he's trying to do," Guzikowski says of the character's ongoing mission. "He was a child soldier, so he came from a place where he had no power to control anything, and everything was kind of horrible. He got through that by imagining a world in which he had control of everything; this peaceful world where none of these bad things existed. And now he's in a position where he feels like he can actually make that come to pass. In some strange way, he thinks he's doing right and that this is the answer."
Collecting followers like Decima (Kim Engelbrecht) and her android "daughter" in this episode to his cause makes Marcus' plan and the repercussions more problematic. "He's trying to create something more akin to a family than the way Mithricism existed, where it was more about power and corruption," Guzikowski explains. "He's trying to get to this more puritanical level of worship, and he's succeeding on some level. But the whole time, we feel that he's still working through this brokenness that he has. He wants to create this family and give love, but really, he's so desperate to get love. And he just never really gets it. He's just this broken individual and ironically, he's the one everybody's following."
By episode's end, it becomes clear the world views of Campion (Winta McGrath) and Paul (Felix Jamieson) are starting to separate in dramatic ways, with Campion still loyal to Mother and Paul eschewing his trust in them at all.
"You have these these two boys who are very close. They have this friendship, but they seem to be on these paths that look like they're going to clash at some point in the future," Guzikowski teases of their arc. "Paul is now realizing that he's an orphan and in his mind, he's remembering the prophecy, and knows that the prophet, as it were, is an orphan. Now he's starting to think of himself in those terms.
"Meanwhile, Mother is starting to push Campion to become the leader of this atheistic colony, which he's doing mostly out of guilt for Number 7, the serpent," Guzikowski continues. "So you have these two boys and both of them are becoming aware of the fact that they're being pushed in these opposite directions. They are and they are trying to deal with that. But their friendship, probably, is powerful enough to withstand those pressures. But nonetheless, it's creating quite a conflict that seems to be setting up between the two of them, as they deal with their their crumbling families, and how they are going to move into adulthood, and what directions they're going to take."
In "Seven," the fallout of Mother's grief regarding her escape snake baby finally gets a place to really express itself. With the attack on the colony, she's called to embark on a mission of annihilation that is clearly causing emotions she has no idea how to process.
"Mother keeps secret the fact that this thing came from her, but everyone knows there's this monster out there," Guzikowski says of her conundrum. "She's been put in this untenable situation where she needs to defend the colony, she needs to defend her children from this monster, while feeling all this guilt for having created it. But then she starts to realize that because it came from her—her caregiving program is assigning it a pretty high level in the hierarchy of importance—it's essentially being seen as one of her children. Now she's in this really tough spot where she has to decide between her "natural child" and her mission, which is to save humanity. But more and more, she's starting to feel like she's this servant to humanity, but is she really part of it?"
In a particularly poignant scene between Mother and Sue (Niamh Algar), the two women speak frankly about how to process the onslaught of emotion regarding loss and motherhood. "Sue is her one human friend, or her confidant, but she needs to keep it secret from Sue as well," Guzikowski says of Mother's secret. And Sue is also a woman with a lot to lose. Guzikowski says, "She loves Paul as a son even though Paul has disowned her now that he knows that she's not really his mother."
Teasing where Raised by Wolves will go in Season 2, Guzikowski offers, "It's all about Marcus' search for the Tree of Knowledge and what that ends up being. The prophecy about "all who eat from it will be made pure," and what does that mean or portend?"
Raised by Wolves Season 2 debuted on Feb. 3 on HBO Max and will release new episodes on Thursdays.