blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Lost in Space (2018) s03e04 – Northing Left Behind

So far, this season has had fifty-ish-minute episodes. This episode’s only forty. It’s got a couple things to do, and it does them expediently, which makes it a bridging episode of sorts.

While the kids are safely in spaceflight, thanks to Taylor Russell and Russell Hornsby, their parents—half a galaxy away or whatever—are in more danger than before because the evil robots know where they’ve got their spaceships hidden. So it’s going to be a countdown to disaster episode for Molly Parker and Toby Stephens. They’re out of time (again) and have to prepare for imminent destruction (again), but they’re going to make sure the robots can’t get to their kids (again). Or to the Alpha Centauri colony. They’ve got to destroy all their records.

It ends up being a reasonably amusing Ignacio Serricchio sequence, where he gets to pal around with former boss and now subordinate and good friend Tattiawna Jones. We also get to see some other familiar faces, though not Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, who I think got killed off offscreen so they wouldn’t have to bring him back.

Except the evil robots aren’t just satisfied destroying the adults, they want to get rid of the kids too, so when the kids get ready to fly to safety, an evil robot possesses their robot. Again, so convenient the robots have the technology to communicate across galaxies in real-time with no lag. It’d be such a pain for the narrative if they couldn’t.

But even if the kids do go save the adults, they’re still no match for the Cylon fleet, which means they’re going to need a great plan to succeed. After some character development masquerading as escalating action for Russell and Hornsby, Maxwell Jenkins takes the lead on the “saving the day” stuff. Because Jenkins isn’t just trying to save the adults, he’s also trying to figure out how he and his robot can go off on their secret mission.

Despite the stakes being weird—the adults burning documents like they’re expecting the SEC inspectors to serve them a warrant, the kids bickering like a Disney after-school special—once the episode gets going with the sci-fi action suspense, it does pretty well. Julian Holmes’s direction is outstanding on those sequences.

There are some decent reuniting moments, and the cliffhanger setup is appropriately harrowing, even if it does just get the show right back to its… end of season one ground situation? Makes you wish someone would just say, “Oh, no, we’re lost in space… again!”

Another notable item—there’s finally a gay couple in “Lost in Space.” They don’t get names, they don’t get dialogue, but they do get to embrace each other, waiting for the robots to blast them out of the sky, just like all the straights in a montage sequence.

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