When we last traveled Kepler-22b with Mother (Amanda Collin), Father (Abubakar Salim), and their brood of problematically obtained children, it was the fall of 2020, which seems like a dozen lifetimes ago. Mother, a droid and necromancer reprogrammed to raise a new atheistic society of children, and Father, a service android tasked to protect their new colony, had completed their core task with little success and had plenty of Ridley Scott’s trademark milk-seeping wounds to show for their efforts. Out of the six embryos they transported from a religious, war-ravaged Earth, only one survived, the others having died from eating toxic foods. And Mother’s surprising pregnancy, which she idealized as being the love-child of her creator, Campion Sturges (Cosmo Jarvis), turned out to be a supercharged flying eel that was at one time native to Kepler-22b and brought back from extinction via a cosmic troll of epic proportions.
Mother and Father’s overall plan of a new atheist society free from the combative nature of being governed by a spiritual leader is in perfect opposition of the Mithraics, who worship the Roman god of supreme light, Sol. When the Mithraics made their way to Kepler-22b in season one, they were initially only interested in dipping into their resources, but when Mother abducted a number of their children, including Paul (Felix Jamieson), the son of faux Mithraics Marcus (Travis Fimmel) and Sue (Niamh Algar), atheist soldiers who went through a droid-conducted procedure to take on the appearances of Mithraics in order to gain entry to the ark fleeing Earth, the collective hope of a fresh start went up in flames. Going into season two, our own hope is that we’ll learn more about the mysterious influence that is causing visual and auditory hallucinations in both the Mithraic and atheist camps and, most importantly, just how big Mother’s baby has become, and who it’s gonna eat first.
With this new season, we’re given a new location, the tropical zone, where atheist colony 1 has set up camp surrounding a hijacked Mithraic ark. The atheists come across the zonked-out bodies of Mother, whose non-mother name is Lamia, and Father on opposite ends of the zone where they were flung from their crashed lander. The atheists have plenty of droids of their own, but haul these two into their ship anyway, primarily out of curiosity. They make an attempt to download their memories but while digging around in Mother to locate her processor, the atheist doing the digging blows up like a burnt marshmallow on the end of a campfire stick. Quick to bounce back, Mother is still not one to be fiddled around with. She surveys her new surroundings and sees that the atheists seem to be governed by a highly intelligent computerized force and asks to be taken to it. Standing before what looks like a dark smoky bong inside a lava lamp, Mother learns that the force governing the atheists is a quantum computer called The Trust made by Campion Sturges, which makes them siblings, in a sense. For as much as the atheists are repulsed by the Mithraic way of believing in what cannot be seen, the idea of them putting all their faith in a pushy machine seems pretty ironic. But the need to seek out a larger meaning to life, in one way or another, is almost impossible to avoid whether you’re religious, an atheist, or even a droid.
Mother is having human-esque reactions to things now like love, desire, and shame. She lies to her son Campion, named after her creator, and the others about the fate of her baby, saying that it died immediately after being born. And she seems elated to be put to work by the new atheist colony as the caregiver for their youngest children. While watching over their classroom, she gives them eggs to color, and when one little boy starts coloring a bright green snake on his egg she tells him not to make it scary, clearly triggered by the idea of her slithering spawn out there somewhere wiggling its way towards their colony. “It’s not scary; it’s beautiful. All living things are beautiful,” the child responds. Clearly he’s never met this particular butthole-mouthed living thing.
The reunited family structure of Mother, Father, Campion, Paul, Hunter (Ethan Hazzard), Holly (Aasiya Shah), Vita (Ivy Wong), Tempest (Jordan Loughran), and Sue take pleasure in the pleasant air, bright sun, and fancy amenities of atheist colony 1, but we can already tell that they won’t be able to enjoy it for very long. While they’re luxuriating in the working kitchen, cozy bedrooms, and congregational areas equipped with hologames called Necro Slayer!, Marcus, their one remaining Mithraic threat, is making his way toward them. After shooting down an atheist bomber, he hijacks it and has no trouble locating their new camp. The Trust spots him before he lands, and takes over control of the bomber, but a crash landing into acid water isn’t even enough to slow him down. He uses a ray gun to anchor his ship and pull it close enough to land so he can jump out, and then rewards himself with cactus fruit. While navigating his way through the new zone, he comes in contact with a mother and her droid daughter who are fleeing the perimeter. They’re wearing explosive vests set to detonate if they stray too far away, but Marcus uses a pin from the droid’s shoulder to pry them open. He learns that the mother is a Mithraic quantum gravity engineer named Decima (Kim Engelbrecht) who spent her life’s work making the ark that the atheists stole to get there, and was able to keep her droid daughter, Vrille (Morgan Santo), in exchange for working on the ark and keeping it in good running order. Marcus is quick to put all of this knowledge to use and makes plans to start a Mithraic congregation in the new tropical zone by converting the rest of the atheists one by one. So here, in one episode, we have the basis for enough conflict to easily fuel the season.
A disgruntled atheist leaves a message for Mother, Father, and the rest of the new colony in the form of a blazing sun symbol on the ground, right outside of their ark. Paul, who was recently quarantined for believing that Sol is speaking to him and leaving him little gifts here and there, will take a great deal away from this, to be sure. Toward the end of season one, Paul and Marcus, who he says Sol revealed to not be his real dad, were on the outs after Marcus’s violent outbursts, but when he hears of Marcus’s plans to start a new church, that might change. If Marcus is able to lure Paul away from the atheists, that’ll set him against his friend Campion who, as far as I can see, is just out here trying to hatch eggs to make pets and mind his business, so we’ll see what happens there.
Let The Sol Shine In
• “It’s not very realistic, is it?” — Mother when she sees the Necro Slayer! game.
• “This side of the planet seems less intent on killing our children.” — Father, ever the optimist.
• Campion needs some conditioner.
• I have a feeling that the Dungeons & Dragons relic that Paul found and the egg that Campion brought back to the colony are both going to end up being terrifying things.