Raised by Wolves Season 1 Recap: A Necessary Refresher

With Raised by Wolves season 2 about to start, many will need a reminder about what exactly was going on last year and where things left off.

Mother in a shelter in Raised by Wolves
Photo: Coco Van Oppens / HBO Max

This articles contains spoilers for Raised by Wolves season 1.

It’s been over a year since the season one finale of Raised by Wolves aired on HBO Max, but even if the hiatus had been much shorter, the audience would likely need to be reminded about all the weirdness they witnessed during the opening run. Once season 2 kicks off on February 3, 2022, viewers will be anxious to find out what happens to all of the scattered characters who will likely have a lot of adjusting to do — almost as much reacclimation as the viewers themselves need.

Everyone probably remembers the basic premise of Raised by Wolves: two androids were sent to Kepler-22b to care for a new generation of humans raised from embryos. They escaped the dying Earth during a religious war between the atheists and the zealous Mithraics that destroyed the Earth. Mother, a reprogrammed “necromancer” war machine, protected the young children along with Father, a service model, for a difficult decade before a new colony ship of Mithraics arrived.

Raised by Wolves season 1 centered on many unseen dangers, including the sparse, poisonous food that killed many of the children, mysterious native creatures they must eat or be eaten by, and inner voices that seemed to haunt several characters, including the increasingly emotional Mother. The show also played with the idea of faith and prophecy not just among the Mithraics but among the atheists and androids as well, many of whom ascribed great power and importance to hallucinations they saw as sacred visions.

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Going into Raised by Wolves season 2, viewers will continue wondering about the source of this mental manipulation, especially given that Mother’s pregnancy unexpectedly resulted in the birth of a giant serpent native to the planet which has somehow inherited the android’s powers of flight. The new season will have to address Mother’s reaction to having been duped and perhaps hint at consequences for her possibly resurrecting a very dangerous extinct species, given all the bones lying about.

The journey Mother and Father took through the planet to try and rid themselves of the baby took them to the more hospitable temperate zone, which is also where Mary and the children are likely headed. But now that Paul, who also heard voices, knows that Mary is not his mother and shot her for it, things could be a little tense among that company. Will the children look instead to Campion, who increasingly acts like the orphan in the Mithraic prophecy about a great leader to come?

Will Marcus also head to the temperate zone? Not only is the former atheist increasingly erratic, his belief in his own holy importance has left him all alone, possibly forever transformed by the forced ingestion of Mother’s necromancer eyeballs. The question Raised by Wolves season 2 will have to answer is this: if Marcus is also being manipulated by unseen forces the way Mother was, what purpose is he being steered towards that might not be what he — or the audience — expects?

Or perhaps that mystery will be held as an essential part of the ongoing mythology of Raised by Wolves. Similarly, the question of humanity’s origins are in play as well. Kepler-22b appears to have been inhabited by early humans who painted the cave walls with depictions of an ancient journey to Earth not unlike the one that brought humans back in some sort of massive historical cycle. And let’s not forget that half of the technology that got them here comes from secret formulas embedded in Mithraic scripture. What’s up with that?

And the big factor that will completely reframe Raised by Wolves season 2 is the presence of a whole new population of colonists. Remember, the Mithraics lost their mothership and a majority of its crew, but the ship seen in the sky at the end of last year’s finale could contain thousands of atheists besides the ones we saw. Chances are that either Marcus, Mother and Father, or the kids will encounter this new group, and fireworks are likely to fly whether they’re treated as allies or enemies.

The Raised by Wolves season 2 trailer provides some clues as to where the story is headed, but it’s important to remember where things stood when season 1 ended back in October of 2020. On paper, the show sounds insane with its pregnant androids, giant flying serpents, and devolving Neanderthals. Being prepared to watch the next season isn’t just about long term memory; it’s also about keeping all of the crazy mysteries straight. But of course, that’s half the fun.

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