With a bit of fast travel help between episodes, “Echoes” starts off with the Jupiter rendezvousing with the Resolute mothership. On approach, the Robinsons were greeted by radio static but, more ominous upon them boarding the vessel, empty corridors. The fact that the ship hasn’t made it to Alpha Centauri is worrying enough, but when they traverse the empty halls and find signs of a firefight, it all but confirms the presence of a hostile force.
Thanks to Dr. Smith’s arrival onto the Resolute —more on the insanity of that plotline soon enough — and the fire she starts to gain access to a specific section of the ship, the Robinsons end up being separated. It’s a contrived setup that seems too on the nose but the obvious narrative beat suggests that the three groups — John and Maureen, Penny and Will, with Judy holding it down solo — will all encounter something important that leads them to discern what happened to the ship.
Funny enough, Judy’s solo adventure pays the most dividends when she runs into Samantha (Nevis Unipan, Good Boys, Supernatural), a young girl who was somehow left behind during the panic of escape during the robot death battle. If her story (navigation through the walls of the ship) seems familiar, you’re not alone. So much about her paralleled the struggles of Newt from Aliens, but instead of the colonists being impregnated by alien babies, these colonists escaped the one-on-one fight between SAR (second alien robot) and Robot. Though they are no traces of either aboard the vessel, the SAR’s arm parked on the Jupiter does have a reaction which suggests maybe the SAR isn’t too far away after all.
Though John and Maureen don’t find any alien robot artifacts, they discover that the Resolute’s alien drive is missing. Combining that little nugget with the fact that a decidedly alien bot (that is NOT the SAR) is dragging itself through the empty corridors and the mystery of what exactly makes up the colony ships’ hyperdrives becomes even more curious.
The answer to that seems to close at hand when Ben Adler (JJ Feild, New Amsterdam, Ford v Ferrari), deputy director of advanced systems, and his security contingent arrive. Adler tells the Robinsons about the robot battle and ensuing evacuation to a neighboring planet while, at the very end, takes John and Maureen to the engine room where it looks like we will get a few necessary answers as to humanity’s history with these alien robots.
Something I expected more from the start of the season was a focus on the Robinsons stranded in space. “Echoes” suggests that we’ll get a bit more of what was in Season One, various states of interaction with the other colonists. It’s not bad, per se, but if Lost in Space is trying to be more than a rehash of Season One, there needs to be a deeper, underlying mystery going on.
“Echoes” does little in giving us answers to that but it does offer another fun romp that dips its toe in an unexplored tone for the show thus far with some definite beats of horror elements that, while not expertly woven into the narrative, is still a fun change of pace. But it’s the mystery of what’s to come that I find more interest in and even in the good character moments, “Echoes” isn’t quite as captivating as the two previous episodes.
Danger, Will Robinson
• I get that this is a fictional romp and that suspension of disbelief is required. But Dr. Smith gaining access to just about everything she needs to solidify her identity without a single password goes beyond the laws of credulity. Maybe it’s my negative opinion of the character from Season One, but there are so many holes in the way she’s able to change her identity that I don’t know where to start. Sadly, it doesn’t make me like her character (in the dislikable way a good villain should) any better. They need to do better by her and it’s evident that they’re trying, with her flashbacks and the revelation that the man she spaced was Samantha’s dad. It’s going to be tough to transform her into a credible antagonist that I’ll gladly love to hate.
• Penny’s conversation with Will was a good way to continue her arc and emphasize her longing to connect with her mom. Penny’s all heart and feeling while Maureen is more entwined in logic and reason. Neither really knows how to bridge that gap between them, though maybe if Maureen reads Penny’s book, it’ll be the first step towards connecting with her daughter.
Lost in Space – “Echoes”
6.5 out of 10