It’s definitely a sign of good writing when a show can drastically change your opinion on a character from one episode to the next. While the finale of season one and the first two episodes of this new season worked to showcase Mother’s “natural child,” No. 7 as a terrifying creature to be feared and hunted, episode three flops these initial prejudices on their backs, and now we can’t help but love the slithering little bastard. Well, the word “little” doesn’t really apply here as it’s the size of a small airplane at only six months old.
Lured off the top of the mountain range where it was nesting by its mother in much the same way any other child would, with the promise of treats, it’s now being held in a gated cave near the atheist camp and fed a steady stream of pumpkins. Campion notices that No. 7, which he has yet to learn is his sibling, gets a bit jealous when Mother diverts her attention from her youngest for too long but mostly describes the creature’s disposition as what he’d imagine a dog’s to be like. It cries for attention, moves slowly and sheepishly, and doesn’t seem to be interested in eating people, like anyone with eyes would have initially presumed.
Although the atheist and Mithraic camps maintain ways of living that clash in almost every way, they do have one thing in common now, and that’s No. 7. Marcus and his crew, which grows in number by the episode, set out in a tank to hunt the creature, attempting to lure it out by playing the sound of necromancer shrieks from the speaker system. Elsewhere in the tropical region, Father is using Mithraic soldiers, outfitted with solar helmets and exploding packs, as bait for No. 7. But as it often seems to be the case, Mother has the jump on them all and is keeping her slithering child safe in a cave, feeding it pumpkins, and allowing it to be tested by Sue to learn more about its species.
Sue is not too excited to be at the beck and call of the Trust at any hour of the day or night but makes her way out of her cabin to run more tests on the creature after being unable to ignore the call to duty that goes off in her room in the form of an audio prompt and a flashing red light. All corners of the tropical zone are eager to be brought up to speed on No. 7, but Sue just wants to get a decent night’s sleep and be able to self-govern in the way she was once used to. Fat chance of that now it seems, no matter what camp you’re in.
Sue’s tests determine that No. 7 is still developing and is only around six months old. Other findings reveal that it’s actually an herbivore and isn’t aquatic, which means that something else was responsible for killing all those people in the acid water in episode two. The more that’s revealed about the creature, the less dangerous it seems, but we need to keep in mind, as Father himself says in this episode, that Mother was manipulated into carrying this thing to full term in the first place. Its ability to seem “innocent” may just be part of its whole manipulation programming.
Mother’s desire to protect No. 7 is part of her own inherent programming, just as Father is hardwired to protect the family as a whole. The fact that he sees No. 7 as a threat to that family will not only drive a further wedge between him and Mother, but it might just get him killed … again. We see in this episode that he’s more vulnerable than he should be, and finds himself losing a battle against Marcus, a human, way easier than an android of his making should. But then later on, in a desperate trade for fuel blood to feed his own “baby” of sorts, a regenerating ancient skeleton, he battles a huge industrial android named Billy and wins, even though Billy has a chainsaw for one arm and a machine gun for the other.
Marcus’s power is fueled by more than the sun, or so it seems. The fact that he swallowed one of Mother’s necromancer eyeballs towards the end of season one appears to be giving him super-human strength. Enough so that he can effectively battle droids and be immune to laser blasts and other such weapons. His motivation for tracking down No. 7 is fueled by the delusion that the creature is a sword he needs to wield in order to gain even more power. What will that look like for everyone else if he succeeds?
Towards the end of this episode, Marcus and his faux son Paul make direct contact that will certainly be of interest to The Trust. Earlier on, Paul was summoned to be interviewed by The Trust, who leveraged his mouse against information pertaining to Marcus. He was able to truthfully say that he’d had no direct contact with him at that time, but that’s obviously no longer the case. This puts Paul at a crossroads in terms of deciding whether or not to turn Marcus in, knowing that The Trust has already made plans to launch a search and destroy mission against him, or join Marcus and the rest of his Mithraic cult.
Campion, similar to Paul, but on opposite ends of the spiritual spectrum, is at a crossroads of his own as he is clearly beginning to develop feelings for Vrille, the droid of Marcus’s new girlfriend, Decima, who fashioned the droid in the likeness of her dead human daughter. Vrille becomes more endearing when we find out her system reacts in “unpredictable ways” from endlessly having to emulate the human version of Vrille, who was always sad. We also learn that Decima previously broke the droid’s neck in some way terrible enough to make the relaying of the details “restricted,” which is chilling. Her immediate ability to pull Campion’s heartstrings will also, most likely, ignite his desire to stay close which, in this case, would mean either breaking off into a new camp of their own, or joining Marcus’s camp.
Little Drops Of Fuel Blood
• I had assumed that the egg that Campion breaks right before he meets No. 7 for the first time was an egg birthed by the creature itself, but it looks like that might not be the case. It most likely belonged to the bird (or a similar bird) that Mother killed and tried to offer to No. 7 before she learned that it was an herbivore. Still, a part of me still wants it to have something to do with the creature because I’d love to see how action would turn up 20 notches by there being a whole brood of them.
• “If you pretend to be something long enough, eventually you’ll no longer have to pretend.” — Campion, relaying the wise and somewhat foreshadowing wisdom of Father.
• When will we get to see Mother ride No. 7 into battle like Daenerys on one of her dragons?