The closer we get to the finale of the second season of this truly wild show, the more intricately intense each episode becomes. With each installment building on the initial premise of Mother and Father raising and protecting a new colony of free-thinking, self-governing children, the show now finds itself in the middle of a battle for autonomy against an ancient oppressor that they do not yet fully understand.
In this episode, Father’s “being,” which he reanimated from skeleton form with a steady diet of fuel blood and good intentions, now has a name. When the ever-curious Campion goes into Father’s quarters to snoop around, yet again, the “being” reaches its hand out to Campion and seems to be responsive to his touch in a way we haven’t seen yet. Knowing the “being” to be ancient, Campion gives it the name Grandmother, which is, honestly, kind of rude. What if you laid dormant for thousands of years only to wake up to some kid with a ’90s-era pageboy haircut in your face calling you Grandmother. No wonder she has such extreme mood changes. Who could blame her under these conditions?
The way in which we’re being slowly given information about Grandmother with a piece here and there creates a very ominous vibe to her whole deal. We know very little, as a whole, but what we do know is enough to be scary right off the bat, without having concrete evidence pointing toward her intentions as being actually malevolent. She’s very old, older than Mother and Father by miles and miles, but has the exact same composition and dark photon processor as Mother, which sets them up perfectly for an epic fight at some point down the line. Mother, already upset and suspicious of Grandmother, who Father treats so reverently while consistently treating No. 7 like trash, swaps out her everyday eyes with her necro eyes so she can more thoroughly check out Grandmother. This very “let me take out my hoops so they don’t rip when I’m slapping the shit out of you” action paints a pretty clear picture that Mother does not trust this thing one bit.
Grandmother speaks ancient Mithraic and is obsessed with wanting to know why Father isn’t wearing his veil. Father is still stuck in “how cool” mode, while Mother is more practical, per usual, and concentrates on attempting to learn backstory from Grandmother on the ancient civilization, their connection to Earth, and how the signal that impregnated Mother with No. 7 factors into all of it.
Just as Mother and Grandmother have the exact same compositions, they also seem to share the same root interests, namely children. In a previous episode, we saw Grandmother rev up when she met Tempest, displaying a picture of her fetus on her veil after standing in front of her following their first direct interaction. In this episode, we see her have a similar reaction, minus the veil projection, when Father tells her that their colony has a new member on the way. Prior to learning this, she experiences confusion when she’s told that there are only a hundred or so humans in the colony, which leads me to believe that she’s lost in time and has been taken out of her normal life sequence by someone, or something, beyond Father himself. She finds new purpose here and now, though, and that purpose seems to be centered on Tempest’s baby.
As soon as Grandmother takes an interest in Tempest’s baby, Tempest is prompted to break free from Mother’s little prenatal holding cell, and wanders off to the acid-water beach. In a truly heartbreaking scene, she is forced to go through a self-birth on a cold and slippery rock, balanced precariously over an ocean of skin-eating water. When her baby is finally born, Tempest takes it into her arms, immediately in love, which is the opposite of what she wanted to happen. As she cries against her newborn, a sea creature rises up from the water, takes her baby, and shoves it into its chest cavity for safekeeping. In the process, the creature drips acid water onto Tempest’s arms, and she’s badly burned.
Mother, whose main deal is protecting children at all cost, berates herself and Father for failing to protect a new life. She doesn’t waste time in sadness, though, and presses on to collect information that will hopefully lead her to the recovery of Tempest’s baby. In doing this, she learns that Sue is not who she thought she was and that she’s fallen under the influence of Sol. Any opportunity to have an exchange of words with Sue about this is off the table, though because Sue is, well, Sue’s a tree now.
After Sue frees Marcus from his holding cell, the two of them, along with Paul, set out with the seeds needed to plant the tree of knowledge. At first, they’re unable to open the gold container the seeds are kept in, but while singing a Mithraic lullaby to Paul, the container magically pops open. When Sue touches the seed pod, it sets her into motion, scratching and digging at the dirt, essentially planting herself. When Paul and Marcus wake up in the morning, they see the tree of knowledge, fully grown from the body of Sue. While Paul cries out for his mom, not realizing that she’s standing there swaying in the breeze, Marcus eats the tree’s fruit, which looks like goopy brains inside of a shell.
With Sue gone, Paul will surely fall under the influence of Marcus more deeply and dangerously. But Marcus seems like a small fish compared to Grandmother and the often sidelined No. 7, who thrashed and stirred in its cave when Sue, Paul, and Marcus messed around with their seeds. These next two episodes are gonna be intense — no doubt about that.
Siri, play “Lightning Crashes”
• I need to see more No. 7. That’s it. That’s the note.
• I really thought that Lucius was gonna die in this episode, but he lives to see another day. His whole speech to Marcus about how a false prophet should suffer seemed like foreshadowing, but I’d hate to see Marcus lose to him. If anyone’s gonna kill Marcus, it should be one of the apex players like Mother, No. 7, or Grandmother.
• Maybe Mother can put a leech on the tree of knowledge and turn it back into Sue, like how Sue put a leech on a bumpy sack and turned it back into Paul. Paul sucks so bad; why does he get more screen time than No. 7?