blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Lost in Space (2018) s03e08 – Trust

Remake show creators Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless are back with the script credit for the series finale. It’s an entirely acceptable conclusion, with competent but unambitious direction from Jabbar Raisani; most plot threads get resolved. However, the big one—Toby Stephens and Russell Hornsby playing “My Two Dads” with Taylor Russell—gets rushed through while raising the question about Hornsby’s age difference to Molly Parker. If he went into cryosleep twenty years ago and just woke up, he was in his mid-forties when he fathered Russell; Parker was in her twenties. But they already established they were in astronaut school together, so maybe she was just better at it than him?

Doesn’t matter.

There are big resolutions for Mina Sundwall, Maxwell Jenkins, and Parker Posey. Everyone else—including Russell—has smaller, mundane ones. Actually, almost entirely professional ones. Sundwall and Posey get the most character development. Jenkins gets another chance to do his messiah arc, with “Lost in Space” leaning in on as many last-minute deus ex machinas as it can fit in the episode.

It’s too bad there wasn’t more for Russell since it was her show for the first half of the season, and no one replaced her; things just got busy.

The evil robots attack, and thanks to some entirely predictable and very convenient plot developments, there’s both a full robot battle. The action focuses on the kids—Sazama and Sharpless’s recurring theme for these finales is putting as many children in immediate danger as possible—but the special effects work is all solid.

Speaking of the robots, the show cops out once and for all on the “humans enslaved intelligent beings” story thread.

It’s a better episode for Posey and Sundwall than anyone else; Posey because she gets an actual character arc, Sundwall because she gets to run the episode for a good while. They take it away from her to focus on Jenkins, having to get in a last-minute appeal to the tween male demographic.

Parker’s big moment this episode involves a continuity-lite recollection of her marriage to Stephens (forgetting she spent the first season and however much time before very angry with him). Stephens has even less, playing second-fiddle in his scenes with Hornsby.

With a stronger show bible, maybe a shorter second season, and a different male lead—sorry, out of the twenty-eight episodes, there’s probably two Stephens is good in—“Lost in Space” would’ve been more successful. As is, it’s much better than expected. Though Parker and Posey both have their moments, Russell and Ignacio Serricchio are the standout performers. And Sundwall and Jenkins are about as good as can be expected for whiney super-kids who whine they’re not super enough. They’re always sympathetic.

It’s a decent show and a nice sci-fi adventure production, albeit highly derivative.

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