blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Lost in Space (2018) s01e10 – Danger, Will Robinson

If it weren’t for remake creators Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless getting the script credit, I would’ve thought there’d been a producer change in this season. This episode caps a maybe five-episode arc where they’re racing to get off the planet as fast as possible because it’s breaking apart, and their mothership can’t stay looking for them either. It’s one calamity after another; again, not having seen the original series—but knowing it was Irwin Allen—was it an “everything goes wrong” disaster movie too?

Also, this episode’s got David Nutter directing, presumably because he’s finally got good notices for genre projects. Unfortunately, he brings nothing to it. Every other episode of “Lost in Space” has had directorial enthusiasm. Nutter’s mechanical and competent.

Unless it was his idea to have the now evil robot walk like RoboCop. That moment was about the only personality in the direction. It was probably the effects people.

The episode opens with Maxwell Jenkins sitting in the space-camper watching his old TikToks of him and the robot. He knows dad Toby Stephens is alive, but he doesn’t know Parker Posey has resurrected the robot, turned it evil, and captured mom Molly Parker and sister Taylor Russell. Jenkins and Sundwall are just hanging out waiting for Parker to get home so they can take off and rescue Stephens. They watch the other survivors’ space-campers all taking off, establishing they were supposed to go with Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa but snuck off his ship because Robinsons stick together.

Stephens and Ignacio Serricchio are orbiting the planet on a section of their ship from a couple episodes ago. Luckily the space suits in “Lost in Space” have multiple episodes worth of oxygen. They spend the episode bonding and bickering. It’s the most they’ve had to do together, and it’s okay. Butch and Sundance, they ain’t. The show also feels the need to have Stephens specify he loves Russell even though she’s not his biological daughter, which is uncool. They’d already addressed her genetics better.

After the episode establishes they’re fine—can they go to the bathroom in the suits like Dune?—Parker and Russell get back to the space-camper. Except Posey’s along with the now evil robot. So there’s Parker and Posey fighting about whether they can go save Stephens. There’s only so much time before they can rendezvous with the mothership. Posey says they can, but most of the angst will be worrying she’s lying about it.

Jenkins tries to be friends with the robot again, only it’s bad now, so Jenkins is sad.

Things get worse, and situations change along the way, leading to some quick and detailed thinking from Parker to save the day and get the episode in a good spot for a season finale cliffhanger. While I didn’t have the finale predicted and thought they’d go effects heavier with the space-camper—they basically end it like Lost in Space: The Movie, getting everyone lost in space and ready for adventure.

It’s a jam-packed episode, but you’re basically just terrifying kids and parents over and over without much risk. I think they’ve lost two named characters this season? Not including flashbacks. If you’ve got lines, you’re safe.

The season cliffhanger also tries too hard to include a callback hook and not just let it be about the cast, who have finally settled in and found the show normal.

But it’s all right. “Battlestar Lost in Space” works.

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