This article contains major spoilers for Raised by Wolves season 2.
Through two seasons the show created by Aaron Guzikowski has been set on an intensely alien world with all sorts of unfamiliar creatures, environments, and concepts. Just about every episode is as shocking as a series finale with installments this season alone featuring a merman-like sea creature that steals a teenage mother’s baby, a murderous android child with no face, and of course: a main character turning into a tree.
Still, season finales hold a special place in Raised by Wolves’ heart. Last season’s finale set a pretty bonkers precedent with lead android Lamia a.k.a. Mother (Amanda Collin) giving birth to her seventh child, an enormous space serpent. That would be hard to top, and yet the Raised by Wolves season 2 finale has absolutely no problem doing so.
Obviously it’s all quite a bit confusing so we watched it twice so you don’t have to (though please still do if that sounds like fun). Here is the ending of Raised by Wolves season 2, explained.
What Happens to Vrille?
First, a bit of housekeeping. Vrille (Morgan Santo) was one of the most fascinating characters introduced in season 2. An android built to resemble the daughter of Decima (Kim Engelbrecht), all Vrille wanted to be was a real girl. Unfortunately, Decima and the Mithraiks she hung out with would never see her that way so Vrille killed them all.
The android girl with no face would go on to befriend Campion (Winta McGrath), who is quickly becoming a staunch advocate for android rights. Unfortunately, Vrille was destroyed by Mother’s alien serpent baby, Number Seven, in the season’s penultimate episode. Campion finds a nice spot to bury Vrille. He also takes the time to transcribe some of the real Vrille’s diary. When Paul (Felix Jamieson) later translates it, he declares it’s just “dopey Earth stuff” but we find that hard to believe.
It’s also notable that Vrille is “destroyed” and not “killed.” For as Mother tells Campion later, androids can always be rebuilt. Expect exactly that to happen to Vrille in season 3.
Mother v. Number Seven
The main thrust of this season finale involves Mother finally deciding to take down her powerful spawn, the necro-serpent Seven. The only issue, however, is that Seven emerged from Mother’s womb and her programming therefore forbids her from harming it.
To work around that robot logic, Mother borrows the “hood” of the newly refurbished android named Grandmother. Grandmother is the android that Father (Abubakar Salim) has been working on fixing all season and we finally get to see her in all her striking gray-eyed glory in this finale, played by Selina Jones.
With Grandmother’s hood atop her head, Mother’s caregiving protocols are overridden and she is able to confront Seven in a righteous outer space battle, though Seven consuming the Sue tree (this show is weird) did allow it to puncture the EMF field about the human camp. Unfortunately, however, wearing Grandmother’s hood also leads to some additional complications for Mother…
While Raised by Wolves doesn’t necessarily have villains per se, it is fair to call Grandmother the show’s new antagonist going forward. That’s because this older android model has a much different outlook on how to take care of humanity than the newer Mother and Father.
Father, Mother, and Grandmother’s programming is all the same: protect humanity at all costs. Grandmother’s code just happens to be a bit more literal. We get our first sense of this when Father and Grandmother have a brief conversation about the human settlers of Kepler 22b.
“I’ve always believed it is happiness and not knowledge that is most important to a human life,” Grandmother says.
That’s a nice sentiment but also an ominous one. For, as Mother discovers when spying on Mother, Grandmother, and the children, Grandmother plans on forcefully devolving the human beings into much more primitive versions of themselves. This way they will be easier to keep track of and all Grandmother will have to do is make sure their basic needs are met.
We know that androids have the power to transform human DNA in some capacity after seeing what the supercomputer The Trust did to Paul earlier in the season. Now we see that a similar process has begun with the children with Campion complaining about some dry skin on his hand. They all assume it’s due to the EMF field above them breaking down and becoming more exposed to harsh weather but in reality it’s from the primitive video game that Grandmother had them play.
Now the rest of the colonists are eagerly set to play this new video game as “Necro Slayer” has grown boring. Mother is no longer around to help them either as Grandmother has her locked away in virtual reality.
What is the Entity?
Several times throughout this episode Mother, Father, and Marcus (Travis Fimmel) refer to an unknown force they call “The Entity.” What is the Entity, exactly? Well, no one really knows but it’s definitely something. Hope that helps!
But seriously: you may have noticed that something weird is happening on Kepler 22b. Colonists and androids alike are consistently subjected to radical visions and voices in their heads. The Mithraik on the planet have often interpreted these voices and visions as coming from Sol, their religion’s god. And why wouldn’t they? Oftentimes these directions are very helpful. Sue’s divine inspiration allows her to save Paul. Marcus’s divine inspiration brings him many devoted followers.
The issue, however, is that these voices and visions usually come with a severe downside. Sue turns into a tree. Marcus loses everything. Even Mother is tricked into giving birth to Seven. Rather than attributing all of this chaos to Sol, the atheistic Mother has started attributing it to the unknown Entity, something that Marcus has come to agree with her on.
The Entity’s ultimate plans are unknown but they seem to be long and circuitous. It’s not enough to just have Seven born or turn Sue into a tree. Seven then has to actually eat the Sue tree to break the EMF field. It’s all very complicated and we will certainly learn more about The Entity in seasons to come.
Marcus: Sol’s Favorite Son
Remember how Marcus just accepted that Sol isn’t giving him divine visions? Well…maybe we spoke too soon on that. For something seemingly miraculous happens to the former Mithraik leader in this season finale.
Fellow follower of the Mithraik Mysteries, Lucius (Matias Varela), breaks into the atheist camp midway through “Happiness” to steal the punisher helmet that is used to decapacitate and punish prisoners. Later on, when Marcus heads off to a hole in the ground to try to find The Entity, Lucius is right there waiting and shoots Marcus in the stomach.
Lucius knew Marcus was going to be there because “Sol” told him so. Now it’s up to Lucius to kill Marcus in a remarkably cruel way. He places the punisher helmet upon Marcus’s head and then hangs him upside-down from a tree in a reverse crucifixion pose. Satisfied that enough blood has rushed to Marcus’s head to kill him, Lucius goes to remove Marcus’s body. But Marcus’s body isn’t there! The final moments of the season feature a barely conscious Marcus floating in mid-air like an upside-down Christ (the upside-down cross is also known as St. Peter’s cross). Creepy.
We previously discussed how The Entity’s plans are often long and complicated. How exactly does turning Marcus into a messianic figure once again factor into those plans? Well, that remains to be seen. And perhaps this one wasn’t The Entity at all, but Sol himself.
All eight episodes of Raised by Wolves season 2 are available to stream on HBO Max now.