Raised by Wolves: should we “trust” A.I.?

As a good science fiction series, Raised by Wolves is full of twists and special effects and at the heart of the story is a single question: whom should we believe? Machines or “God”?

Having Faith, as we see it, is inherent to human beings. Whether you believe in Science or “something bigger”, it doesn’t matter. We have the androids, Mother and Father, both built to help “their” children develop, prioritizing logical thinking. The paradox is that, even though they are machines, they are the most empathetic beings in the entire series.

We also follow the turn of Marcus (Travis Fimmell) from good guy to possible villain. An atheist who murdered and stole someone else’s identity in order to survive is a different man now. Or maybe, he always was. Because unlike other atheists, who blindly believe in the machine ironically called TRUST, Marcus/Caleb had always distrusted it. His plan was always to be away from both sides.

Through the evolution (or destruction) of Marcus’ character, we also learn that atheists believe in violence to maintain order, harbor hatred for those who have faith in something other than machines and – to achieve the goal of dominance – recruit children and treat everyone as expendable for the Cause. Marcus, who had his childhood destroyed by this, with deep resentment, still have his aversion to androids yet to be properly explained.

A rational man at first, he was quickly converted when he was on a mission to recover children kidnapped by Mother (Amanda Collin). Among them was “his son”, Paul, but Marcus starts to “hear voices” and embraces the Mithraic faith he so abhorred before. This distances him from his wife, Sue (Niamh Algar), the only one who remains skeptical and balanced. The only thing they have in common now is their love for their (fake) son, who is devoted to the Mithraic religion too.

At the end of last season, Marcus’ true identity was discovered by the Mithraics who abandoned him for dead. The captain resurfaced in Season 2 as the “terrorist”, with powers now (due to swalling Mother’s eyes) and eventually gaining followers. However, Mother and Marcus face each other yet again, it seems that since the pilot these two go out in violence when they meet, but the android has the advantage this time. She retrieves her eyes, which are her weapon (another metaphor), and takes Paul to be saved by TRUST. Faith or no faith, Marcus is adept at lying to survive and he withholds from his followers that he has now returned to being an ordinary man. He should have learned his lesson by now.

As it became obvious in Episode 3 (except for Paul and Campion), TRUST was manipulating the kids to attack “the terrorist”. The Artificial Intelligence was fully aware that Paul would try to prevent his father to die, and bingo, as atheists do, they turned children into weapon. Worst, it doesn’t act immediately, it gives Paul and Marcus time to reconcile in a rare frank and very touching conversation. Paul is upset with Sue, not because he murdered his real mother, but because she didn’t convert to the Faith like Marcus did. To our surprise, Marcus apologizes for being aggressive in the past and defends Sue, encouraging his son to hope for a change in the future. The duality of a complicated character!

No time to bond, though, when the biological virus affects Paul directly, Marcus despairs. He blames TRUST for his son’s likely death and prays to Sol for a miracle, but, when this comes through Mother coming back, things get sour.

Despite Marcus’ initial resistance, Mother manages to take the boy (and her eyes) back. Although the android and the captain have something in common now – distrust in TRUST –they remain antagonistic. I bet Marcus will do anything to get the eyes back.

Mother rebels against TRUST and confronts the Artificial Intelligence for what she did to Paul. The logical explanations are chilling and the most impactful line of dialogue between the two is when Mother asks them how they can come from the same creative mind, but act so differently. “How can a mind betray itself?” she asks. “I can’t make special considerations”, explains TRUST, “My algorithm is fixed. All members of the collective must be treated equally, I cannot rewrite that what I am”, he says.

WOW.

The discussion proposed in Raised by Wolves is extremely urgent. Machines do not individualize, they do not have feelings or exceptions. They follow the implanted line, without the right to evolution. On the other hand, Mother, an android, is programmed to care, but visibly with some sort of implanted feeling, which brings the question if she is the advancement of technology. After all, she has empathy, but maintains practicality. Will it always be like this?


If it wasn’t enough to have the Mitharic’s distrust, she now has a new enemy, the leader of the atheists (Peter Christoffersen), who was devoted to TRUST and knows that Mother destroyed the computer. Mother is now the great leader of the Collective, to see if this power destroys a machine as it destroyed a human (Marcus).

At the same time, Father inadvertently gave birth (literally) to a being who appears to be the only one who might have the strength to fight Mother. We still don’t see its complete figure, would it be the mixture of Faith and Science?

Cannot wait!!!

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