Episode two maintains the pace of the pilot and we see the Robinson’s split up with Maureen, Will and John tasking themselves with a mission to explore the robot’s wrecked ship. Meanwhile Judy and Penny are given a list of chores, one of them being to get the ship back above the surface of the water. (Call me pedantic but I would have thought that this was a task the leadership team should be present for). Smith and the handsome guy she has hitched a lift with, carry their chicken (that’s right they have a chicken, doesn’t seem weird to me) and another survivor they find in some wreckage. Smith appears to be sympathetic and be the driving force behind saving this injured individual. Of course we shouldn’t trust her.

Team Will find Robot’s wreckage and whilst clearing up some of the debris, Robbie has a flashback and remembers killing some humans. Interestingly Will shares this flashback with Robbie, maybe because they are both in contact with the ship. Robbie’s face plate goes homicidal red but the moment passes. During this time Mum and Dad are on board the crashed robot ship and they find a map, which is displayed using some kind of advanced technology. It appears that they are in a galaxy so far away that it would defy the laws of physics to get there, according to Mrs Robinson.

Will refuses to believe that his new BFF is in fact a murderous Cylon and tests Robbie by asking him to walk off a cliff, an order that he obeys but Will stops him at the last moment. Will and Robbie are bonding and I think this is really sweetly done as the robot doesn’t say anything but their interactions and Will’s earnest desire for friendship is rather poignant, during this episode they play catch.

A Trip to Ikea

Meanwhile back on the ship, the Robinson sisters are bickering as Penny is bored with doing jobs, but having completed them she wins a reward of a pack of Oreos. Judy is suffering with flashbacks to her time in the ice and is clearly not herself. The girls see that there is a massive storm approaching the location of the away team and Penny thinks they should help and not being able to hail them on the communicators decides impetuously to speed up the ships ascent to the surface, much to the horror of straight-laced Judy. Penny then digs out the chariot (a pretty nifty dune buggy) but only after the funny revelation that there is “some self-assembly required.” So Penny gets her Ikea on and drives to the rescue. Judy cannot help as she is having anxiety attacks.

The effects in this show so far are pretty impressive, reminding me of how ambitious television now is in the age of digital programming. It is nice to look at and I am excited at what appears to be quite an ambitious attempt by the writers to build a narrative universe around this old show. Much like Star Trek Discovery the show seems to be exploring themes of identity (who is the robot?, who is Dr. Smith, what is it to be human when Earth is no longer the place you live?) and delving into mental health issues, like PTSD.

The episode is wrapped up with Smith’s first overt double cross on the planet as she abandons handsome guy, taking the only flare and then telling the Robinson’s that she is alone when they rescue her. The storm itself is epic with it culminating with the skies hailing green stones that look like they are about to do serious damage before Penny finally tracks them down. Robbie acts as a beacon and it is the most impressive visual of the episode, the robot stood on a rock, protecting the Robinson’s and shining a light out into the woods like a lighthouse signal.

The episode ends with Smith meeting Robbie (and there is possibly a flicker of recognition in Smith’s face) and Penny and Judy reconciling. There is even hope for John and Maureen’s marriage as she gives ground and admits she should have listened to him and they should work together more.

Is the Chicken OK?

So a solid episode setting up things for the future and giving us plenty of insight into each character’s motivation. The main concern going into episode three is whether the chicken is going to make it ,so join me next week to find out. Feel free to hop on over to the LIS forum if you want to give me your views on episode two and your thoughts in general.

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