“You should not seek out the Achaia. You should hide from them.”
Niko leads an away team down to the planet orbiting Pi Canis Majoris in an attempt to contact the Achaia, the progenitors of the Artifact, while Erik must decide what he’s willing to sacrifice in order to save his dying daughter. Let our recap of Netflix’s ‘Another Life’ Season 1 finale begin…
Fresh from regaining control of the Salvare and pulling up to the doorstep of apparent origin of the Artifact, Niko, Cas, and Oliver head down to the planet’s surface. When they have their first real alien encounter they learn, thanks to a conveniently placed AI system, this planet is not home to the Achaia. They have landed on Zakir, a planet like so many others, devastated by the Achaians. More than that, the convenient AI espouses on the dreadful truth: the Achaians are conquerors who drop these Artifacts on unsuspecting planets as a precursor to dominating the sentient species of those worlds. Though not quite the out-of-this-world twist I expected, this revelation completely rewrites the narrative going forward. Niko knows the Salvare needs to return to Earth to warn their fellow humans of the threat but first, the offer the Zakirans to blow the Artifact to bits using the Operation Brimstone weapon. Mission accomplished, Niko readies the ship for a return course to Earth when the already bad situation gets infinitely worse.
Evidently alerted to the destruction of their Artifact, several of the Mobius-strip shaped Achaian ships head to Zakir. Niko and the other can only watch in horror as the armada annihilate Zakir, as the Death Star once did Alderaan. This escalated response makes things even more dicey for Earth as the Salvare crew now knows it won’t be as simple as destroying the Artifact. And with the Achaians superior technology, it’s an almost hopeless proposition to fight them head-on. Especially now that the devious Achaians have created a brilliant foothold on Earth, using Harper Glass and her mammoth influence to be their mouthpiece.
“They want to be our friends,” she proclaims to the world after escaping her military prison in part due to Erik’s interference. Should she begin peddling out “miracles” in the Achaians’ name, bettering the lives of humanity, it will be difficult for Niko and the crew to convince the world the Achaians have no intentions of peacefully existing with another alien race.
Though there are several smaller plot lines going on in “Hello”, the massive takeaway is the discovery of the Achaians true motivations. Should Another Life receive a second season, the narrative will likely focus on how humanity will approach the front of stopping this superior threat and the consequences Erik will face as he takes Jana into the Artifact in the hopes of healing her. In all, “Hello” was a satisfactory ending to a freshman season that had some good, a bit of bad, and a handful of ugly. Let’s hope that the talent behind this series learns from their season one mistakes and tightens up the narrative.
- I’ve had my issues with William and Niko’s schism these past couple episodes but “Hello” does a decent job putting a stamp on their relationship. William creating an avatar of Niko to work through his emotional scars was effective, though I must say that his idea to use the “scrubbed” Achaian coding to do so was genuinely irresponsible. What makes him think that, even as an overly sophisticated AI, that he was able to remove every bit of malevolent coding and that Achaian coding tech doesn’t have some sort of Trojan horse protocol? The consequences of his actions spawn a completely unique AI entity (Jessica Sipos, Chesapeake Shores, Dark Matter). Proclaiming him to be her mother, this new entity may quicken humanity’s downfall or, more likely, be the one thing humanity can use to fight the Achaians.
- Nitpick number 15 of the season: after William’s proclamation the entire crew was sterilized due to Sirius B’s gamma burst, no one thought to perform a complete medical check of every single person?! This massive oversight spawns another subplot—August pregnant with either Oliver or Javier’s baby. This is another example of one of those technological inconsistencies that hampers the show’s immersion. They still use freaking mouth thermometers to gauge someone’s temperature, for crying out loud!
- Maybe the most exciting prospect for a potential season 2 is whether humanity will reach out to the 336 other affected alien races and create a coalition to combat the Achaian scourge. If so, I really hope the brains behind the series really tap into their creative side and give us aliens that are as alien as anything on television, not just bipedal organisms with large eyes and wings.
‘Another Life’ – “Hello”:
‘Another Life’ Season One: