Lost in Space (“Trajectory”)

Season 1, Episode 8
Date of release: April 13, 2018 (Netflix)

Things get a little hectic, now that the season finale is around the corner and the characters start fearing for their lives. I’m super glad the countdown clock started to tick in this episode, and that the characters were fighting to get back to the Resolute by the end of this hour, but in hindsight it makes the previous few episodes a little meaningless. Between the glacier episodes, during which the Robinsons had to fight for their lives, and the Jupiter 4 rising into the heavens to reach the exit ramp, a lot of things apparently happened, including June’s whole master plan of getting her own little robot, which apparently isn’t happening, because now she is a real villain who doesn’t even need a robot. This part of the episode was a little weird, even though it looks good that June is now a full-blown villain of the show and that her manipulation has reached a state in which Will finds himself taped up. Also, the cliffhanger of this episode is … I don’t know what to say about it. This is still a family show, so it’s pretty obvious that John and Don aren’t dead. Those are the two major male players of the franchise, and you don’t kill them off this way. Still, the final seconds of the episode were killer, and I’m definitely interested in seeing how the writers were solving this problem. It’s a fact though that they wanted to keep the viewers hanging during the end credits sequence, which means there is a chance that the end credits of this episode are the least-watched parts of the entire show, simply because the viewers immediately hopped to the next hour just to see how the cliffhanger was resolved.

This exercise in flying the Jupiter blind requires the feeling of pain.

The episode was still solid though, as long as June wasn’t involved in any of it (thank the heavens that she was locked up for most of it). She really became a major pain in the ass with this episode, and I became less happy about her appearances, or her decisions to manipulate her way to … I don’t even know what the hell she wants anymore and if getting safety on the Resolute is her only goal (especially now that she teased she could have screwed up the Jupiter 4, and after she knocked out Maureen). I thought she wanted the robot, but she didn’t even put him together here. I thought she wanted to take over the Resolute, but by kicking out Maureen and letting the Jupiter 4 burn to hell, she obviously wanted to stay, or at least give the survivors no hope of safety. I thought she could be a murderess and do all the bad stuff she thought she could have the robot do, but because this is still a family show, she can’t just show up with a knife and slice peoples’ throats. I’m not sure anymore if the writers knew what they really wanted to do with June in this show, and since she is now a villain between a ton of rocks and a hard place that turns out to be soft, her involvement during the next two episodes is going to produce question marks over my head, and all I want is for this whole character arc to come to and end and tell me where June really stands. Parker Posey is made for this role, and this is still a definite, but unfortunately there is something about the writing of this character that has gotten way off track within the span of two episodes.

When it comes to the rest of the episode, I was thoroughly entertained. John turned out to be an action hero in the making, when he jumped his way into the Jupiter 4 — he even reminded me of Jason Patric in SPEED 2: CRUISE CONTROL for a hot second, with the difference that John actually made it into the Jupiter 4, while Alex couldn’t get out of the Seaborne Legend and hunt down the evil Geiger who just kidnapped his girlfriend. Anyway, much love for 1997’s SPEED 2: CRUISE CONTROL, like I said previously, it’s one of my favorite trashy films, together with 1998’s LOST IN SPACE and 1999’s WILD WILD WEST. Anyway, John continued to be an action hero in the making, as he went through the montage of simulations, which were great to follow. That was one of those examples, which makes this season of television a ten-hour long movie. If you take all the life-threatening situations the characters have been in, John’s simulation sequences is just another fast-paced action scene, capable of keeping the audience engaged, because it’s both exciting and in a way even funny, as Will was simulating the G-force pressing on John, and Judy was popping him out with the help of the conveniently discovered pressure regulator on the helmet. That John would be able to solve the liftoff crisis with the addition of Don was eyesroll-worthy and ridiculous, but it was a scene that finally established Don as the pilot of something, as an action hero in his own right. Also, he finally shares a real connection with Judy. It was more than evident that the two had something of a connection, when she put on her puppy face, and he melted straight into the simulation with John, ready to take on a mission he really did not want to take on.

The kids cry goodbye to their father.

And finally, another piece of science-fiction puts its name onto the list of things LOST IN SPACE was inspired by. Making the Jupiter 4 as light as possible was a definite reminder of THE MARTIAN, and how the Ares 4 was a shell of itself for the climax of that film. I was impressed that the writers didn’t even go as far as THE MARTIAN did here, by even removing the outer hull pieces of the Jupiter (let alone show what the emptied Jupiter 4 looked like after all that shelving). I’m pretty sure Don could have removed some inner hull pieces and all the doors — that’s what I was thinking about doing, when I would have been tasked to make the Jupiter as light as it can get. You don’t need doors and walls in your ship. Those stupid things go out first.

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