The 10 most memorable moments in Raised by Wolves
HBO’s dystopian space opera has made waves with its bold vision and sweeping visuals of desolate alien landscapes, all filmed in Cape Town. But it’s not only the gorgeous cinematography, typical of anything Ridley Scott, that’s had fans gripped, eagerly following each episode. The series follows two androids, Mother and Father, as they raise human children on planet Kepler 22-b after the destruction of Earth.
What would a dystopian futuristic series be if our planet wasn’t blown up or left uninhabitable?! In this instance, it’s a religious war between the Mithraic and atheists that has resulted in Earth not being able to support life.
Mother (Amanda Collin) and Father (Abubakar Salim) have been programmed as caregivers and sent to settle a new world with 12 frozen human embryos as humanity’s last hope. But not everything is as it seems, and nothing goes smoothly in their new home. There are so many moments that you just don’t see coming, leaving you as shook as GoT did way back in 2019.
Here are the most unforgettable, riveting, WTAF-shocking moments from the first season.
Major, major spoilers ahead! Stream all 10 episodes before reading.
Father’s deactivation: episode 1
After 12 years on Kepler 22-b, only one child, Campion, survives. Father, a service android with an enviable internal catalogue of the best/worst dad jokes, is trying everything possible to ensure Campion survives and grows into a decent well-rounded adult.
This sees him trying to contact one of the Mithraic arks, reasoning that it would be better for the child to be with other humans. Mother does not like this. Not one bit.
The docile-seeming Mother sees this as a threat to her child. A child she’s been programmed at all costs to protect. She does what any self-respecting caregiving android would and plunges her fist into Father’s chest, ripping out his processing unit, deactivating (essentially, killing) him.
The slaughter of the landing party: episode 1
You’d expect the deactivation of Father to be the last shocking thing episode 1 would traumatise you with, right? You sweet summer child, if only that was the case. The Mithraic receive Campion and Father’s signal and send a scouting party to investigate. Mother, who’s already proven that she’ll do anything to protect her child, kills the party after they try to take Campion away.
Up until this point it’s believed that Mother is a standard service android. When she emits a banshee-like scream that strips the flesh off the humans, there’s no denying she’s something (someone?) more.
The destruction of Heaven: episode 1
Yup. We’re still on episode 1, folks. Strap yourselves in, things are about to get even more intense! After slaughtering the scouting party, Mother realises that the Mithraic pose a real threat to Campion. A threat she eliminates.
How? By stealing the scouting party’s lander and crashing the Mithraic ark (called Heaven), but not before kidnapping more children and using her banshee scream to blow up some humans. She returns to the colony on Kepler 22-b with five of the children. The rest? They die when the ark is destroyed.
Caleb and Mary’s massive con: episode 2
We return to Earth. The year is 2145 (13 years before the events on Kepler 22-b), and the destruction of war is evident everywhere. That siren, banshee scream (like Mother’s) is everywhere. Two atheist soldiers, Caleb and Mary, are desperate to survive, and they’ll go to any lengths to get off Earth. To stay behind will mean certain death. But the atheists don’t have the technology to leave.
Their solution? Stealing the identities of two Mithraic members by forcing a medic android to perform plastic surgery on them. They then shoot the original Marcus and Sue, take their passes, and discover they now have a son.
When we find out what Mother really is: episode 2
You mean she’s not a typical service android?! You could have guessed as much at the end of episode 1 when she destroys the ark. But it’s when Hunter is talking to Campion that it’s confirmed that Mother is something different. Something dangerous. Mother is a class of android called a necromancer – built for mass destruction.
That’s not all, though. There’s the possibility that she’s the one that killed the original first generation of human children. We’ve seen how she’ll go to great lengths to protect her children: the revelation that she could be responsible for their deaths is a shock.
Tempest’s pregnancy: episode 2
One of the Mithraic children is called away from the others by Mother. She’s put in separate housing, where she’d be more comfortable in her condition. What condition is that? Well, Tempest (who’s in her teens) is pregnant. The circumstances around the pregnancy are equal parts sad and rage-inducing. Tempest was in hibernation on the ark, with the other Mithraic humans, during their long journey to Kepler 22-b.
During the journey, one of the men was able to wake himself up from hibernation. He took full advantage of some of the sleeping girls and women, assaulting them when they couldn’t fight back.
Marcus finds Sol: episode 4
After growing increasingly frustrated with Ambrose’s lack of will to rescue the Mithraic children, Marcus and Sue begin planning their own rescue mission to get Paul back. Ambrose seems intent on staying near the mysterious relic they’ve stumbled on, even at the risk of the few human survivors freezing.
There’s the added complication that Ambrose now suspects that Marcus and Sue aren’t really, well, Marcus and Sue. After hearing a mysterious voice, Marcus kills Ambrose by pushing his face into the relic, setting him on fire. The atheist (or new convert to Sol?) now leads the Mithraic survivors.
Mother’s blood-thirsty foetus: episode 8
Mother’s secret trysts in the sim with her creator, Campion Sturges (not to be confused with her child: it’s not that kind of show!), have a rather unexpected and surprising result. Mother is pregnant. The growing foetus is not only draining other androids of their fuel blood but is demanding actual blood.
To feed the foetus mother uses human blood. From which human? Otho. The vile human that assaulted Tempest somehow survived the crash of the ark as well as the attack on Mother is an earlier episode. Things just get weirder and more shocking from this point on.
The mysterious origins of the creatures: episode 10
Quick recap: The arrival of the mysterious alien creatures happens at an almost fortuitous moment. Father discovers that it’s the food that they’ve been feeding the children that’s been killing them. But, not to worry – they can just eat the creatures. So, the children do.
It’s while they’re waiting for the birth of Mother’s baby that a cloaked figure approaches Mother. It gets taken care of rather efficiently – Mother’s an android built for mass-murder, remember? Father and Mother then make the discovery that the cloaked figure is humanoid. Are the creatures evolving?!
Nope. It’s worse than that. Humans appear to have made it to Kepler 22-b before and are devolving into the creatures. Which means the children were eating humans (well, kind of).
The birth: episode 10
Just when we got to thinking that an android pregnancy was as strange as things could get, Mother gives birth. Is it a strange human-android hybrid that’ll save the new settlers and restore the hope of humanity’s survival?
It’s a snake-creature. One that’s pretty similar to the remains found by the colony earlier on in the season. Is this a re-introduction of an extinct species? How is it that the snake-baby survived the crash after Mother and Father set out to destroy it? I have so many questions.
Luckily, HBO has confirmed that there’ll be a second season. Hopefully we won’t have to wait too long to get the answers to all of the questions (there are so many questions!) that this first season raised. In the meantime, stream the entire first season now on Showmax.