Lost in Space (“Echoes”)

Season 2, Episode 3
Date of release: December 24, 2019 (Netflix)

In which the series delivered a ghost ship episode. It was to be presumed right after the Jupiter 2 was unable to radio the Resolute, and that the writers decided to depict no scenes from inside the Resolute about how its crew was anticipating the return of the Robinsons, and when I realized that this episode would be about the Robinsons walking through a ghost ship in the search for clues about what happened, I was hoping to get a bit of horror and thrill with the premise. Then I realized that LOST IN SPACE is still a family show and that there will probably never be a scene that goes full-on horror. But at least this episode tried to be suspenseful, making me remember the good and creepy parts about movies like EVENT HORIZON or the first ALIEN. Hallways that are dark or have flickering lights, monsters that could be behind every corner (it’s a good thing that the second alien robot, also known by its initials SAR, had a red face and illuminated most of the dark ship, which made it easily trackable from the cockpit of the Jupiter 2), and random stuff that seems to always appear in these kind of horror stories, in this case a horse.

A pretty picture for a fake identity.

It was a solid episode, although a little less intriguing than the previous two outings. This is chapter four of Penny’s second book she will hopefully write, and chapter four barely had anything to do with the first three chapters. The writers essentially figured they could do with a ghost ship premise (every science fiction show that has spaceships in it needs to have one of these, it’s an easy episode to write) and when they were done with it, move on to the next part of the Robinson journey, making this hour something of a filler episode. The only parts that seemed necessary for the greater story arc were the knowledge of two monsters wreaking havoc on the Resolute, with Will’s robot turning out to be the hero (hence the scavenger hunt that was teased by the end of the episode) and the tease of something greater behind the “looking glass,” which for some reason was offered to Maureen and John like they were immediately becoming part of the SWAT team of colonists, ready to find out which secrets the executives of this colonization mission has been kept from humanity. Of course it helps that Maureen and John are being included like this, since it hinders the writers from creating mystery storylines and the viewers asking themselves questions, but I would have figured that the people running the Resolute were still interested keeping “executive things” to the characters who are “executives,” and the Robinsons are just civilians.

The story of SAR creeping closer on the Robinsons for destruction and murder was okay. I laughed a little that the robot was still considered freaking dangerous, even if it was only crawling the entire time (apparently it was crawling faster than the Robinsons were running, which I can’t quite believe), but it was a solid-enough “monster in the dark” premise that led to some fine character moments between Judy and Samantha, as well as Penny and Will. I love it when the kids have screentime together and go for their own adventure, and I even liked that Judy was the most mature she has ever been while watching out for Samantha’s safety. It’s almost like the writers were intending towards maturing all the Robinson children, which Judy becoming a mother figure to someone else (only Samantha has her own mother to run towards), Penny becoming a horse wrangler, and Will becoming the connector to his robot, which would also mean he is the connector between the robot race and humanity (does that make him the leader of the robot race in future seasons?). Anyway, SAR wasn’t doing much that is considered horrific and thrilling, begging the question why anyone else on the Resolute, before the evacuation, wasn’t able to trap it like the Robinsons did.

Red light means danger, Will Robinson.

Meanwhile, Smith was doing her own thing, and I guess it was a nice way to really make her “Zoe Smith” instead of June Harris. This way the characters won’t call her by her real name and the show can continue to carry the “Smith legacy” of LOST IN SPACE, even giving the show’s reviewers ample opportunity to forget all about where Smith really came from and what her real name is. After all, she behaves like a Dr. Smith, so she can be called that way. I just found her story a bit alienating — as the Robinsons were dealing with crap that could have killed them, Smith was able to just walk around the Resolute like it’s nobody’s business, enter and exit rooms she should not have access to, delete security footage she shouldn’t have access to, just so a narrative of “Zoe Smith” can be built. This may manifest her as that false persona, but what it did to the narrative of the show and her character wasn’t much. In a way she was established as a con artist, which is actually helpful (as long as we forgot all about her killing people, which this episode reminded us of multiple times) because that way she isn’t just a psychopathic and manipulative bitch, but all she did in this episode was removing herself from the place of danger and death, even though she was physically in the place of danger and death, doing her own thing rather than getting involved in the premise of the episode. It’s like she was her own ghost during this ghost ship hour.

Lost in Space (“Precipice”)

Season 2, Episode 2
Date of release: December 24, 2019 (Netflix)

If this season continues to be released in the way of “chapters,” then I will be happy. The previous episode, after about 25 minutes of rehashing the family dynamic of the characters and getting back into the show’s business, was all about sailing and getting to a certain point on the planet, and this episode was all about getting what they came for and flying off this useless-for-humans rock. So far, the two episodes are essentially three chapters of Penny’s upcoming book and I would love it if the show continues its narrative like this and prove that television can be written in a way of chapters and does not necessarily have to branch off into various subplots that are just there to fill time or give purpose to grow the show’s universe by constantly adding new characters. THE MANDALORIAN is pretty good at that, and if LOST IN SPACE also follows this formula over the course of the season, there is a chance that it might focus a lot more on the family bond between the Robinsons (which was broken up middle of the first season due to various subplots), but because this episode ended with the close proximity of the Resolute, it means the characters of that ship will rejoin the Robinsons, and suddenly there are a bunch of characters with side quests in the show again.

It was still an entertaining hour of television, thanks to its focus on the Robinsons (and Smith, and Don West) and none of the minutes being wasted with a story that would not make sense within the premise of the episode. Not unlike the episode with the fuel eels, the characters were dealing with life that was giving them a little hardship, and not unlike the first three episodes of the previous seasons, the Jupiter 2 was very much on the literal brink of destruction, with its passengers about to feel the kiss of death as well. Time was running out for the characters and they had to race to get to their next destination, which is essentially the whole show in a nutshell, even if the middle part of the first season spent some time with those beloved subplots. But in the case of this episode, I was actually quite impressed by how one of the stories turned out.

Mother/daughter time has to wait until rescue comes.

I’m talking about Penny and Maureen here and how they were facing mortality on top of a potential spaceship hiding inside a planet (kind of like Starkiller Base from STAR WARS: EPISODE VII – THE FORCE AWAKENS). They were hoping to get rescued or find a way back into the Jupiter 2 immediately, but with each minute, that hope was fleeting away, and with each minute the thunderstorm grew closer, the two women realized that they can only get bitchy at each other so much. I actually loved Penny’s anger of her mother not having read her book, especially since it seemed quite obvious that Maureen didn’t really have time to read a book when she was busy trying to forge a path through the ocean for a spaceship-turned-sailboat. It was a cliche that Penny would be angry about her mother’s disinterest, but it happened to be realistic in the portrayal of a family that spends a lot of time with each other, with the parental units being work horses and the kids not knowing what good they are for in this kind of life. In this very moment, Penny found something she could do and if she were living a better and more regulated life, she could make something out of it, but the one person whose opinion she regards disappoints her with the notion of not giving a crap about Penny’s newfound talent. Of course it hurts for the teenager, and what makes the story so great is that it depicts Penny as said teenager, and not a young woman who is waiting for the writers to give her an action beat, to save her parents from certain doom, to stop the bomb from exploding, et cetera. Penny is still a developing teenager, and her existence is being defined by what she thinks about her parents right now. I would love some of that family dynamic to recur throughout the season. Besides that, Penny and Maureen embracing each other in the face of the flashes was also a great scene: In absolute despair and in front of death, they know they love each other and they can bury the hatchet. That better not happen as often throughout the season though, as it will get repetitive and annoying.

Meanwhile, back on the Jupiter 2, Smith continued her manipulative ways, although this time around I was slightly bored by what she was hoping would happen when she gets back to the Resolute. First of all, I don’t even know if Don can even be considered a criminal with his smuggling operation having gone on under the radar of the colony transportations, because I can imagine this not being such a heavy crime, especially when only products were smuggled, and not actual living beings (or did he also smuggle the chickens and I forgot all about it?). Secondly, it should be easy for the Resolute to figure out that Smith isn’t who she says she is, and that her secrets are a little more questionable for those who would like to be the lawmen on the Resolute. But I was amused by the image of immobile Don and smiling Smith “holding hands,” as if the writers intentionally threw it into this episode to tease a hate/hate romance.

This is not a love story, but I’m sure Tumblr ships it anyway.

Whether Smith stays interesting as a character or falls flat in a few episodes hangs in the balance though, and it all comes with what she is all about in the long run. She essentially told Maureen with her “How could I have gotten these burns” speech from the previous episode that she manipulated the greenhouse, and with the discovery of the robot’s hand, Smith may have found a way to do that from the inside of her improvised cell, but the question still remains what her endgame is, and whether she is a real villain, trying to sabotage the entire colonization to Alpha Centauri, or if she is just a crazy wacko person not able to learn the difference between good and bad. The former would make for stereotypical storytelling, and the latter would maybe bring the show into the realm of mental illness and psychopathic behaviors, which is the approach I would favor.

By the way, the producers and CGI animators of LOST IN SPACE should be careful where to place their effects in future episodes: The pieces of the sail of the Jupiter 2 were already visible on the surface of the mysterious metal when John was looking down to Maureen and Penny, trying to find a way to get down to them, even though the kite and the sail have not been broken off the Jupiter 2 yet. Although that might have just been a mistake in the editing room, unnoticed by the people responsible for the additional voiceover recording.

Lost in Space (“Shipwrecked”)

Season 2, Episode 1
Date of release: December 24, 2019 (Netflix)

In which the season starts on high sea and the family of spacemen and women become sailors. I always like it when a television show with a simple, but explicit, premise decides to circle it around and deliver something entirely else for an episode and maybe even an entire story arc. LOST IN SPACE becomes “Lost on Sea” and this science-fiction space family show became an oceanic adventure, during which the characters had to face storms, monsoons and rocks in the water to get to the desired place of hope and rescue. And besides that, this episode was like its counterpart, the series premiere: The characters and the Jupiter 2 have crash-landed on a planet and they can’t really just fly off of it. They have to use their wits and talents as a team of family members to figure out a solution and get off this rock, and this time around they don’t even have the help of the robot to free a trapped Judy Robinson. And if this season really wants to mirror the previous season, then it will take the Robinsons, Don West and Dr. Smith three episodes to get off of it and towards their new adventure, because a season ago it took the Robinsons three episodes to finally find their way to the other survivors and hope for a life on a planet that was counting down to its final minutes.

Now that the book is out, it’s time to adapt it into a screenplay.

I also loved how streamlined this episode was. One half of the episode was a good-old family life on a probably deserted planet with no oxygen to breathe and no H2O to drink (so, what was the water made out of if not oxygen and hydrogen?), the other half was a sailing adventure with threats coming at the characters from left, right, in front, behind and above — they could almost count themselves lucky that there weren’t any big and hungry beasts in the water or otherwise the threats would also have come from below and this episode would have turned into the LOST IN SPACE version of EUROPA REPORT (which I can recommend, by the way, it’s a nice little sci-fi mystery shocker with some nice-looking CGI). One half was about reminding the audience that this is still an adventure show for the entire family, the other was here to give us an example of how exciting the show can be when it decides to fill our minds with fun action and excitement. The first half served the family aspects of the premise, in focusing on how the Robinsons are now a team of survivors and experts in living a life on a planet that doesn’t support human life, and the second half went back to what the reimagining of LOST IN SPACE really is about. In a way, nothing this episode did was wrong and to a fault and everything it did was fun entertainment for the entire family. The question is now if the entire season can keep it up like this or if there will be episodes that drag the survival aspect to the final episodes of the season, while the writers put the characters into a more emotional turmoil.

This episode was also clearly a season premiere, since none of the characters had issues with one another. The series premiere started off with a troubled marriage and a difficult relationship between John and his kids, due to the back story delivered in flashbacks over the course of the following episodes. But this season starts off with a clean slate, in which the Robinsons have buried all their conflicts, in which John and Maureen are back to being a solid married couple who take care of their kids and who just want to get back to being a normal family in normal circumstances. The kids don’t hate each other, which you think might be the case after spending seven months together on a tiny strip of beach while waiting to find out how to get the hell off this planet — in fact, Will did not get an angry fist in his face after he decided to give Penny the Christmas gift of her memoir being read out loud, which I would have thought was an invasion of her privacy. Who knows if Penny really wanted to write a memoir about her experiences as a member of the Robinson family lost in space, but maybe what Will actually “published” was her diary. For a quick second I found it a little weird that Penny unexpectedly and surprisingly heard her work being handed around like it’s the beginning of a wonderful career as a writer. But then again, this might give Penny an edge as a character — as a documentarian, she could become more interesting, as it’s a premise that hasn’t been depicted in adventure stories.

The ship has sailed to its resting place for the day.

Then there are Don West and Smith, with one maybe having an agenda and the other just talking to non-human objects and subjects all the time and voluntarily giving away his last bottle of whiskey (which is so shocking that I would call it a misrepresentation of Don’s character, but who knows what happens in the previous seven months). Smith leveled up as an intriguing character in this episode, as she doesn’t have to be just a villain now. She can be disturbed, evil and help the Robinsons survive, all while the writers can slowly figure out what her deal is and what she really wants. Yes, maybe she did contaminate the greenhouse to force the Robinsons to make the decision to leave this place and maybe Smith did it to just kill everyone and be known as the evil monster who doesn’t care about everyone. But that’s a question I find interesting about her at this moment, because the opportunity to plant the character on a path to redemption is there, all while she could also continue to manipulate the Robinsons and break them apart (as evident through Penny, who listened to Smith and not her mother) for whatever reason. Parker Posey is still perfect for the role, and here is to hoping the writers knew what they were doing with the character and planned ahead with her story. The first season had her hiding from the impromptu law, which is why she lied and cheated her way through the survivors, but now that all her darkest secrets are out in the open, there shouldn’t be a reason for her to still be evil. Which is why she must just be nuts — certifiably so.

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.