Season 1, Episode 7
Date of release: April 13, 2019 (Netflix)
This show definitely loves to put its characters into some serious and life-threatening peril, just to have them figure out a way out of it and then get into the next hazardous situation, all while dealing with each other during said peril situation. It’s a cheap way of writing this show, because it glosses over the fact that there is barely any story the writers were working with, but the episodic difficult situations kind of work for me, especially when they give the characters a convenient opportunity to talk about certain things that have been bothering them. But I do have a bit of a problem with the way those perilous situations happen to be repetitive with each episode. So, the Chariot with John and Maureen is sinking into tar? Well, now they have a story to compare with Judy, who was stuck in ice during the premiere episode, compared to the entire family who was stuck in a glacier in the second episode. At least that story didn’t end with a robotic deus ex machina, although I was ready to roll some serious eye, when Maureen mentioned the helium, which was on board the entire time. I have to say though, the way the two escaped the Chariot was damn cool. And their funny helium-related moment at the shore was even cooler. That’s how I want to see my married couple on scripted television, who are going through something of a rough patch in their marriage. Who knows, maybe the story was the perfect plot device for John and Maureen to get closer to each other again and be a family. Maybe it’s the way to showcase that even the kids, who were previously indifferent about the separation of their parents, will have something to say or feel about this newfound love of their parents. But yeah, I think the writers have played out all their “characters are stuck in something” cards this season.
The other hazardous situation was the one on the field of eruptions. I loved the little Chariot race, and it was to be expected that something would go horribly wrong, and that Eric, the surfer, might not survive this little experience, when he decided to climb out and reattach the cable (and smile at Judy like a winner after he reattached the cable, which was a dead giveaway of him dying later), but I still liked the moment of craziness an suspense, when the Chariots were still on their way, and time was running out. With Evan’s death, LOST IN SPACE proved there had to be some serious deaths in this show sooner or later, although I was expecting for Victor and his family to kiss their asses goodbye first, as they could have been hit by one of the eruptions, simply just so that Penny can cry a tear for her lost love she just discovered an episode ago. But Evan’s death did quite a lot for Judy’s arc. Not only was she asked to perform a medical miracle on him, but she also failed to do so, after being confronted about her limited medical knowledge and experience for the first time. It’s like this episode gave Judy the first-ever chance for her to come over as an actual doctor of the surviving colony, and to live through all the good and bad things a doctor can live through, including saving someone’s life and being unable to save someone’s life. In addition, Don was the first one who called her Dr. Robinson in the show. It’s meaningful, because it does establish Judy as a doctor, besides those words establishing Don’s respect for her, and finally developing enough humanity to not just take everything as joke value. It also helps to portray him less as the asshole he has been and more as the serious person he maybe should be in these situations.
Meanwhile, there is a chance that Victor might turn out to become the villain for the season finale, if the writers decided not to have June go cray-cray with her robot. It was to be expected that Victor is a man who wants to take matters into his own hands, and who thinks he has the right to do what he is about to do, because he thinks the right was given to him after he was being lied to about the robot and about the planet’s fate. Now it looks like I get my Jupiter 2 versus other random Jupiter plot after all, because I’m pretty sure John will have a few words with Victor. If it’s a fight of life and death, I will take it, because I’m in a need of a bit of ringside action.
Will and Penny’s story was okay. It was meaningless for the story, but it was meaningful for the characters, as both finally had time to deal with the stuff they have been going through, as well as spending some brother/sister time with each other, which is something I would love to see more of, even if I know that it mostly won’t be useful for the greater narrative. It’s something that has been missing on LOST IN SPACE so far, which is a surprise, considering this is still a family show, or at least wants to be one. I liked seeing Penny have fun watching Will have fun – I want more of those moments. A siblings bond that grows with each episode. So much in fact that Will would take a bullet for his middle sister. Maybe.
And then there is June. I finally started to figure out what her longterm goal was, although I still think that a lot of coincidences had to go her way. If she planned to get the robot on her side from the beginning, by manipulating someone into shooting the robot, so Will can be manipulated into letting the robot walk to its death… Damn, that is a Helmut Zemo/Lex Luthor-kinda bullshit plan. But here she is, having the robot, about to assemble it. Now I can only hope that the robot will actually remember what happened last time and not just follow around June like a puppy, although that is the story which needs to happen now, because it’s the only one making sense. If the robot would still remember and go back to Will, then all this was for nothing. If the robot doesn’t remember and sees June as its new protégée, then there is at least tension in the story, and June finally gets the chance to be a real villain.