Season 1, Episode 9
Date of release: April 13, 2019 (Netflix)
Damn, the robot doesn’t even know June’s real name and takes on her false moniker, which begs the question how the robot even knew the names of its saviors before. It’s imaginable that Will introduced himself to the robot, because it’s what kids do when they hope to have first contact with an alien lifeform, but why would June give her false identity to the robot, or even find the time to introduce herself to it, when she was knocked out and the robot was too busy keeping the Chariot from driving away? Why would she even introduce herself to the robot in the first place? And if that all didn’t happen, how did the robot know? The three final words of this episode, as thrilling as WTF worthy as they were, bring me to ask these questions, which means I just wasted two minutes out of my meaningless, screwed-up, anxiety-ridden and depressed life by wondering about three spoken words in this episode, and that tells you the writers haven’t taken two minutes to think about it. “Danger, Dr. Smith” is only good for one thing: To show the audience that the robot is June’s.
I was surprised that this episode didn’t even go at all into the fate of John and Don. Granted, Will got a signal from his father, but I would love to know where the hell the two guys are (in space on a lifeboat, aimlessly floating around? Somewhere on this planet fighting against monster bats as well?), and how they were able to survive the explosion in the first place. The previous episode had Don argue whether he should have removed the life support system, which means this is what must have saved the guys, per by the rules of Chekov’s Gun. Well, at least the writers didn’t pull their trick cards out of their asses to explain what really happened. Keeping John and Don out of this episode was in fact a good move to keep the story real and logical, and not have it destroyed by a ridiculous twist. It also focused the action down on the planet and on the survivors’ efforts to get the biofuel needed to conveniently save their own asses.
The way Will realized that his father was still alive though… Yeah, I was rolling some serious eye on that one. This was supposed to be A QUIET PLACE (yet another piece of fantastical fiction to take as inspiration, although it’s pretty clear that John Krasinski’s movie and this TV show did not know about each other, but it’s weird that both were released at the same time), and Will knew that he went into the cave to not make a damn sound. Yet he still had his radio with him. I instantly knew what would happen when Penny mentioned the radio, and thank the heavens it didn’t take another half an episode for the radio to make a few beeps in the cave, but boy, was this a quickly served MacGuffin. So quick in fact, I rolled my eyes a little too hard, because they crushed through the back of my skull and fell out of my head. Oh well, at least the whole cave thing really made me want to rewatch A QUIET PLACE again.
But hey, the Robinsons had a nice family moment in this episode. Their father is missing, their mother is kidnapped, so they had to make it on their own, and they decided to make it beautifully. Will got an idea, Judy decided to go after her mother, and Penny… Well, she just played with Vijay’s heart, because that is what girls do when they are not interested in a boy any longer. Although I was definitely amused when she said she was good, essentially ruining all possible chances for Judy to ever be in a romance again, which I should thank the heavens for, because romance stuff still doesn’t seem to be fitting into the narrative very well. Then again, maybe love should be part of the narrative, since it should be one of the constants of life for the survivors — if they can’t fight to survive because they don’t have the strength, maybe they could if they feel love toward another.
The ticking time bomb of these episodes is a bit weird though. It was 24 hours until the Resolute was moving on. I can’t imagine that it took the colony less than seven hours to collect all the literal shit they needed to make into fuel, because it kind of looked like they didn’t have enough time to do so, since the initial trip to the cave seemed to have lasted a lot longer than the one or two hours they may have needed in this episode. In addition, it seemed like the writers didn’t particularly care about the plot twist that was the bio fuel, because there was never really a notion of how the monster bat shit was turned into fuel or how much all the Jupiters needed to get off the planet. It seems like for the amount of Jupiters that were about to get off this planet, a ton of monster bat shit was needed, but with about 30 survivors and only a couple of hours, I don’t think the survivors neither had the man power nor the time to get all the monster bat shit in time to turn it to fuel and then use it to blast off this rock. Am I thinking too much about it right now?
Then there was June and Maureen’s trip. Getting a bit of back story was not such a shady idea, and at least you have the Resolute attack explained, but it still didn’t make June look like an intriguing villain. She started off the show in a great way, but by now she has become incredibly annoying, and I can’t figure out if she is just crazy and murderous or if her brain isn’t properly wired to differentiate between her definitions of heroes and villains and what the rest of humanity understands with those two words. Her “I’m not the villain of the story, I’m the hero” was one of the most cringeworthy lines of the entire show, because it’s supposed to make her a full-on villain, yet the writers still haven’t figured out if they want to stomp a redemption road in front of June’s feet, or leave it at that, because June looking like a fake hero would guarantee her survival on the Resolute (which she doesn’t really need the robot for, by the way). Damn, I would love to know what her story arc really is, because it seems to be fluctuating.