Lost in Space (“Danger, Will Robinson”)

Season 1, Episode 10
Date of release: April 13, 2019 (Netflix)

There has been some lazy convenience in this show. Beginning with how the robot decided to be friends with Will again; going over to how John and Don were able to survive the way they did; continuing with June, for no reason at all other than screwing with our minds, shooting the harpoon again; and we’re not stopping with the Resolute waiting for the Robinsons, even though they really had no reason to wait (besides, why was Victor taking over command of the Resolute, when the spaceship should probably have been captioned by someone who wasn’t voted into the colony representative position?); and finally ending with my realization that everyone else forgot that the mini engine was on the Jupiter 2. Granted, the characters could have missed that something fell off the Chariot, and that something was a blue-shining egg the robots were about to grab, but I thought it highly convenient that this huge piece of alien tech was on board the Jupiter 2 and no one either bothered to notice or mention it, let alone ask what the thing is, especially since Judy and Penny were almost blasted out of the Chariot for it. Maureen saw what the engine looked like, and she even should have felt the electromagnetic energy all around her (the other characters also should have felt something going on), since the engine was right beside them. Yet nothing. While I found it cool that the engine connected to the Jupiter 2 (in fact, that might serve well in a potential second season, since being on an alien ship can fill your mind with so many stories to write down), the fact that it happened without anyone’s knowledge is… Ah, whatever, it served well as a season cliffhanger. At least now the Jupiter 2 is able to open wormholes and jump from one galaxy to another. In case the writers want to remake the BATTLESTAR GALACTICA episode “33” at one point. Because it’s clear the robots still want their engine back.

It’s a perfect boxing match-up: Robot/Smith versus Unbreakable Glass.

I’m actually glad the Robinsons went off the planet quickly and the climax was happening in the orbit of the planet, even if I was not that excited about June’s involvement here. Damn, she didn’t even have time to be a villain in this episode, because all she did was reading the manual and screw with our minds, while her robot was doing the big job for her. Great, now we have a villain who reads a manual for a change, but that doesn’t mean she suddenly got a whole lot more interesting. The way the show has been set up now for future seasons, and the Robinsons being on their own for real, with June in captivity and Don finally having tome to get closer to Judy might have been pretty cool in hindsight (so, the entire season was just a prequel of real LOST IN SPACE-y things to come?), but the whole thing didn’t help making me warm up to June as a villain. Like I said before, she started off in an intriguing fashion, but now she is just boring. Logically speaking, she doesn’t even have a reason to be evil any longer. All she wanted was to get on the Resolute with her evil robot, but now the Resolute and the robot are gone, so all June can do now is … be more friendly to the Robinsons? Maybe even help them to survive out in this new universe they were transported to?

I mostly didn’t care for John and Don in this episode, since they were talking, moving wires, and crying all episode long, and maybe even saving a kid’s life somewhere at the end, but it was nice to see that Don can also be a character for a change, and doesn’t just have to be an asshole to be intriguing as the current Don West of the franchise. What I noticed the writers did during this episode though is making sure that John and Maureen are full-on together again. They were kissing each other when trapped in the tar, they were making out in fear of not seeing each other ever again, before John lifted off from the planet, and now they embraced each other after falling in each other’s arms. Kids, the separation is a thing of the past now, which is kind of a shame, because the separation has been an interesting aspect of the Robinson family dynamic. Now the kids can’t be indifferent about it any longer. They probably don’t have time to be indifferent about it, considering how much danger awaits them where they are now. And damn, where they are now, it looks like an unhealthy binary star system. Or those are literally just hot gas planets having stopped crashing into each other, which happen to function as stars for the five planets (or moons) around it. Oh well, it looked cool, and the only thing I can hope is that LOST IN SPACE season two will come quickly, so that I can know what this is all about, and if the show really goes down the route of the Robinsons lost in space, and forgets all about the Resolute. Even if it would mean that the show only has half a dozen (plus one) characters.

Literally lost in literal space.

The action in this episode was solid. Maureen smashing the robot with another robot was pretty awesome to look at, besides metaphorical of things that were literally happening on screen, and the robot versus robot fight to save Will and his family looked golden, too, even if there maybe were a little too many molten blood thingy moments happening, reminding me of the Terminator franchise at times and making me wonder why none of the Jupiter 2 was damaged because of the bloody stuff the evil robot lost during the battle. I have no clue of the other robot was in fact bleeding, or what the blood even was, because it looked like it should have burned a whole in the ground of the Jupiter’s basement. Remember though that the robot sacrificed itself to save Will. And as long as the writers don’t pull the move James Cameron did in ALIENS, there is no way the robot will ever return, and the rest of the show will go on without Will’s new old friend. Except of course the writers will pull the ALIENS move, and the robot was somehow clinging onto the Jupiter 2 after throwing itself out, getting into the ship unnoticed, about to surprise everyone in the second season premiere. Me included, even after writing it down like this. It would be one hell of an idiotic twist.

Lost in Space (“Resurrection”)

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.

A living villain and a dead robot on a dying planet.

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.

It’s monster time in the cave!

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.

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.

Lost in Space (“Pressurized”)

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.

Surfing on tar is the new sports on this planet.

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.

It’s beautiful planet, but you can’t enjoy this view when you’re dealing with death all around you.

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.

Lost in Space (“Eulogy”)

Season 1, Episode 6
Date of release: April 13, 2019 (Netflix)

I’m having a hard time not to try and figure out why some episodes have flashbacks, and why other episodes have the opening credit sequence. So far, the flashbacks have been in uneven-numbered episodes, and if the ninth episode of the season has the opening credits (after the third and this sixth episode), at least someone can say that the producers were having a blast with number sequences in this show, but it’s not like numbers are part of the general premise of this show. When you look at BLINDSPOT and their episode-naming conventions, it at least makes sense and in a way it’s a way to keep the fans engaged beyond the TV show, but in LOST IN SPACE, nothing really does make sense, when it comes to the writers choosing when to do flashbacks, and when the producers choose to put the opening credit sequence in episodes.

3D-printed guns grow in this mysterious and dangerous forest.

This hour and four minutes were okay. Very slow and sometimes boring at times, as if the writers were putting the break on the narrative, or trying to keep the budget of the show down, as it essentially only had one action set piece (the Jupiter falling over the cliff). It was nothing I would consider spectacular or interesting, but it was an hour that looked a tad bit different from the mainstream rest of the show, as the writers tried hard to make sure that Angela’s story and the robot’s fate are connected, as evident during the scene in which June and Angela had their session, while John thought it was a splendid idea to show Will the meaning of responsibility through placing a bunch of heavy little rocks on a much bigger rock. I would have loved to get some symbolism out of this intercutting of sequences, as Angela was telling her story and Will put the rocks together for an impromptu memorial, but I was unable to do so, since I got where the story was heading pretty much since June “manipulated” Angela into finding the gun, and the only thing that mattered was where the story would end and how many people would get hurt in the process. In a way, there wasn’t a need for going extra symbolic and special during these scenes, although I appreciated that June thought her mega awesome master plan is going to work. And it looks like it does, even though I would love to know why she thought she could still have the robot all to herself, now that it took a step towards death.

I mean, she was hoping for Angela to find the gun, and she was hoping for Angela to be disturbed as hell, so she would shoot down a robot, and then she had to hope that the robot would go mean again and that Will wouldn’t be able to stop it. Granted, she even planned to get Will out of the Jupiter 2, so the robot has free reign for murder and destruction, but June really had to hope for luck and even more luck for her entire plan to work smoothly. But what I really don’t understand is why she wanted the robot to be evil in the first place. I have no idea why she wants to cause mistrust among the survivors, and what her ultimate goal is. Yes, she said two episodes ago that she would love to have the robot as her sidekick when getting back onto the Resolute, but making the robot seem villainous beforehand is making me feel like June didn’t think that much ahead, as a villainous machine at her side wouldn’t help her at all — it would make the survivors even more angry and threatening towards the robot and anyone who is o its side, which means June is basically planning to risk her own life just for protection on the Resolute.

One small step for a machine, one giant leap into death and destruction.

So, this entire episode was basically here for that ending, and I rather would have had another A story in its place. Judy and Don and the other folks going for the fuel of original Dr. Smith’s Jupiter was a nice little story and brought some little excitement when the Jupiter was about to fall over the cliff (there was another THE LOST WORLD: JURASSIC PARK moment here, and now I’m counting two back-to-back), as well as some entertainment when it comes to Don and Judy’s story (it would be weird if they started making out — a) they have no chemistry, and b) she is 18 years old). Even Penny’s story was okay, although I really wasn’t in it for the love story of it all, despite the fact that the poem actually led very nicely to that kiss (I was touched by the “no girl broke this heart” line). But what I really wanted to see more of became the most minor plot of the episode: The eventual death of the planet they are all on. But for some reason the writers figured this episode was as good as any to put a little bit of romance into the show and make Don as much of an asshole as possible, just to stand there at the end like he has been the hero all this time. I don’t like the guy.

Anyway, the writers just created a ticking time bomb with the planet’s fate, which by itself is a nice new element to the narrative. Maybe they could have teased it a little bit during Maureen’s trip to the upper atmosphere in the previous episode, because I did not get the existence of a black hole out of it (all I thought was that some really major solar flare activity was about to rain down onto the planet and radiate everyone to death), but it’s an exciting enough story for it to have been the major pull in this one, or certainly in the next four episodes. And I generally don’t like the idea that one or two characters know about the end of the world, while everyone else is living their life like a dream, having fun, thinking about the future and such. Seriously, the characters are on a dying planet — they should be fearful of it and strategizing their exodus. But no, the season finale is still three episodes away, so the secret needs to be kept for the sake of being a secret. That’s pretty idiotic, and besides me hating Don, I also hate Maureen for wanting to keep that secret.

Lost in Space (“Transmission”)

Season 1, Episode 5
Date of release: April 13, 2018 (Netflix)

Those episodes keep reminding me of other works of science-fiction. The robot does THE IRON GIANT pretty good, while June could be a pretty solid Gaius Baltar, if she would decide to be a little more conflicted about what she is doing, instead of looking on and hoping that her manipulative behavior works, turning her into an upright villain, who can be nothing else than being the villain. This episode made sure that I was constantly reminded by EARTH 2, as the survivors finally banded together and made it their mission to be seen by the Resolute. Besides that, the show is pretty much the family business from TERRA NOVA stuck in the potential of THE 100, being chased by monsters from THE LOST WORLD: JURASSIC PARK (Penny being sniffed out by the dinosaur-like moth monster very much reminded me of that movie, when the T-Rex was sniffing out Julianne Moore’s character in the tent), but never reaching full potential, because all of these previous science-fiction works meddle together to form an incoherent something that wants to be all of it. Granted, LOST IN SPACE is still fun to watch and it has its tense and action-packed moments, and while it has a clear focus of the narrative and its main characters, it’s also noticeable that the family business is keeping the show down, and that the producers only wanted one thing: to appease entire families. It partially works, but it also hinders the story from going full-on nuts in certain places, when the science-fiction genre calls for it. But in hindsight, it turns out that LOST IN SPACE is missing its uniqueness, as it makes sure the audience knows it has been gifted with life thanks to the previous works of science-fiction, both in television and in film. But hey, this show makes me want to rewatch EARTH 2, and that is definitely not a bad thing to do.

A trip through the purple grass field makes your bruises shine brighter.

This episode might have been the one with the most bullshit yet. I have no idea what June was doing most of the time, and I have no idea if she was happy about what she saw, or if she was disappointed, because things didn’t work out quite as she hoped. I guess shutting off the perimeter fence was the first step to bringing the robot back into play, and she has definitely understood that Will’s state of emotion is connected to the robot (so, pushing a ton of fear into him might have brought back the robot, which is a success for her), but I don’t know why June figured she needed the robot to be common knowledge among the survivors. If she wanted to use it to get back to the Resolute, maybe it could have been kept secret like the weapon she stole from Will (by the way, he hasn’t noticed yet?). I don’t know if there is a narrative connection between June manipulating the robot back into action, and playing a rift between John and Will, when the only thing that should happen from here on is that Will’s connection to the robot has been made public with the other survivors, and the robot is therefore more trusted. Wouldn’t that mean June has failed in her plan to manipulate the robot and Will, or is it all part to make sure the robot is accepted by the survivors, so June won’t look as dangerous and murderous when she gets back to the Resolute? Maybe she even has a bunch of contingency plans, in case some of them don’t work out. I guess her mission in this episode was to bring the robot back to play — but how will her masterplan look like in retrospect, when things have played out? Will this episode make sense then?

Maureen’s adventure was cool though. It had a bit of VERTICAL LIMIT in it (well, “Horizontal Limit”, to be precise), when she was dragged almost down a cliff by the balloon, because there can never be another Hollywood movie or TV show this show reminds me of, and I was quite impressed by the fact that she made it into the upper atmosphere and was able to check out the sun and the problem the survivors are facing. In addition to that, problems coming with the sun’s radiation are a nice way to make sure that some of the problems that will beleaguer the survivors aren’t monster-related and the writers can bring in some science, which is always a great thing to do. Sometimes it’s just universal nature that gives you the boot from life.

There are dinosaurs this planet!

Then there was also this thing about the episode that turned out to be a little smelly, as Judy and Penny were thrusted into individual storylines — one that didn’t have an outcome in this episode, and the other that is TERRA NOVA’s Maddie, only a bit better, because it was written by Netflix show writers, who seem to care a little more about their characters, as they aren’t being clogged down by network notes this much. I really hated Maddie’s romance plot in TERRA NOVA and now it looks like I’m about to get something similar in LOST IN SPACE. Please, get me away from this nightmare, because I can’t handle teenage romance in science-fiction stories. I can only hope a couple more monsters will attack in the season finale and eat some people. It might help to make the Robinsons sole survivors again, even if that won’t make a show. I was a bit more interested in Judy developing mistrust of June, but the story was pretty much forgotten midway through. At least tell us whether Judy believed June’s lies, or if Judy started believing something is fishy in the state of Denmark. She could have at least conversed with Don about how weird and mysterious and how much of a liar June could be, which would spell out “danger.”

But hey, as long as there is a robot fighting two monsters… I could see that the writers wanted to work towards that cool-looking moment, but I’m already over it. Technically and visually it looked pretty stunning (of course it happened during darkness, because if you light that stuff out a little more, it gets expensive producing the effects), but that’s not why I decided to watch the show. I can watch PACIFIC RIM for that. I want a little more of the Robinsons, who may have gotten through some of that solid family drama stuff in the previous episode, but as long as that family drama stuff remains mainstream, it will continue to be boring, like it was in this episode, when John and Will attempted a father/son conversation and horribly failed doing so.

Lost in Space (“The Robinsons Were Here”)

Season 1, Episode 4
Date of release: April 13, 2018 (Netflix)

Damn, the robot gets all the character development it needs to be a full-fledged character in this show. It’s kind of interesting how you can get a lot out of its “facial movements” during the final third of the episode, when it put its hand print onto the cave to signal his belonging to the Robinson family, and finally, when June used her manipulative words to even twist the mind of an artificial intelligence, almost making me feel sorry for the robot, because he got to hear that he did not belong (to the Robinsons), but was still belonging (to June). With this episode I was starting to focus on the stream of dots in the robot’s face, trying to figure out if the special effects department cared enough to change the way of the dotting stream whenever the robot feels certain kind of feelings. Like, when it’s happy to do something, the dots move in an infinite-symbol kinda fashion; when it’s just being there and listen, the dot would move slower; and obviously, when there is danger, the colors change and the dots should move faster. That kind of thing. But I haven’t figured it out yet, because the dots definitely should have moved differently, when it listened to June. Then again, the field of dots seemed a lot brighter when the Robinsons put their handprints on the cave wall, while the dots were a little more scarce and therefore the field of dots a bit darker, when June had words with the robot.

No touchdown has been scored, but a tree has been brought down to its knees, which is equally satisfactory.

This episode also reminded me a lot of THE IRON GIANT. That robot changed face and color when it became scared and started to be evil, and I was thinking hat the same could happen with the robot here, especially when it and the Robinson kids were being stalked by that animal in the woods. Right now I don’t think there is anything the robot is scared enough of to turn evil again, but there is also the chance that the robot has a childish mind, which is probably why it bonded with Will so quickly and why it decided to do nothing when June came with her manipulative words. Turns out that the robot is the most interesting character of the show so far. Although it’s not really much of an interesting character, because the robot is being treated by the writers like a human character. The difference here is that the character happens to be a robot, which can only speak three words, and that’s the major point here. If the robot were human, it would be a weird character, but the robot is a robot, so it’s a fascinating character. It’s all about race after all. By the way, what will be the fourth word the robot uses later in the show?

So, this is another very procedural-ish episode, as the kids got out of their habitat and went on a hike, and the parents decided to meet a few survivors and establish a circle of contact. First of all, I’m happy to see that the writers weren’t interested in the fact that the Jupiter 2 is the only ship capable of flight, as it seems, so there is definitely no “survivor versus survivor” thing going on. Secondly, the idea of the survivors connecting with each other and probably building a colony on their own, albeit individually, is intriguing. This way you don’t even have to force yourself into putting the characters back onto the Alpha Centauri trip, when they will get to learn to love it more on this planet. But at the end of the day, it has become noticeable that the show really became TERRA NOVA on another planet, as the family is going through one adventure after another in each episode, with the parents and kids mostly separated into their own little adventures. Thank the heavens that there is no boyfriend material in this show.

Don is interrupting the possibility of a reunion In the darkness.

At least not yet. I rolled my eyes a bit when Penny was painting little red hearts in her mind after seeing one of the boys in the caravan of young people having a hike by themselves. I don’t want to see that crap, but then again, teenagers can only go through storylines when they are realistic, and considering they sort of behave realistic, it would only be natural when either Penny or Judy fall in love with a guy on their adventure on a strange planet. Judy already met Don West, so there is a future there, but Penny can still date around and fool around and collect first experiences. I don’t even mind that as a potential story, but dammit Jim, LOST IN SPACE is a science-fiction show and not a teen soap opera. By the way, why is everyone finding survivors right now, and why is no one a little more excited about it? Maureen and John hugged the Asian survivors, but other than that there didn’t seem any major hoorays when the kids stumbled upon a few more kids, realizing that some of the survivors from the Resolute are pretty much nearby.

Meanwhile, the writers didn’t forget to include a little bit of the mythology. Like the symbol the robot drew in the sand – talk about how it has memories about what might have happened to it before the attack on the Resolute. Like the fact that the Resolute can’t receive signals from the survivors, because maybe the ship is super damaged, and the Captain upstairs decided to lie about it. I wouldn’t be surprised if the sow pulls a THE 100 and the space station crashes on the planet as well. The writers also didn’t forget Don West, and he even showed up at the site of the Jupiter 11. It’s also a good thing that Don is an ass, because every show needs that human asshole to make things a little more interesting. Well, as long as Don can shut up when it counts, I can accept his dick-ish attitude, although it would mean we will never be friends.