Wasting no time in keeping the Robinsons (and us viewers) in suspense, Adler explains the true history of the Christmas Star and true power behind the Resolute. Revising what we knew, the meteor that crashed to Earth was an alien ship along with its pilot. Dubbed ‘Scarecrow’, the Resolute was built around the remnants and has been propelled through hyperspace by the damaged alien robot, thanks to Adler establishing a primitive sort of communication with Scarecrow. But after the SAR taking the alien engine, Scarecrow is a key that has no engine to start. Though he assures the Robinsons that it feels no pain, there is a disconnection from it, though Will makes some sort of connection with it that, while not drastically changing its confused and semi-aggressive disposition, does give it an instinctive reason to communicate with the boy, even showing Will a clue he uses to discover that Robot is in fact on the planet where the colonists retreated to.
While not unexpected, the idea that the Robinsons were going to reunite with the other colonists was a bit disappointing, if only for the fact that it’s somewhat of a rehash of Season One. “Scarecrow” does nothing to dissuade my thoughts on the matter, tossing John, Judy, and Don back into the Resolute community with each experiencing varying degrees of tension. For John, it’s the uneasy Victor (Raza Jaffrey, Code Black, The Enemy Within), who was always a prickly sort with an inclination towards power while Don is aptly jeered (and punched) for deserting his team. But he does make amends, working with Judy to prevent an unexpected tragedy from befalling the Resolute. As would be the case on an alien planet, they come in contact with a foreign host, one that eats away at metals (even titanium) with the enthusiasm of termites to wood. Never mind the questionable reasoning for them not discovering this sooner (the excuse is that it’s because they’ve hit a certain depth on the planet’s water table) but this discovery again leads to a cascade of events, the biggest of which is John being caught in a well cave-in, trapped until the colonists can devise a means of rescue.
Being the youngest doctor in the entire camp, Judy is frustrated when her talents are wasted in being designated as the gopher. Funny enough, she’d already told her father in Episode Two how she was ready to do more. Now it’s only her to prove that to a much more experienced and diverse lot of individuals who may, for human reasons, have a slight prejudice towards her age as well as her family. But it’s a good lesson for her to learn; even if you think you’re ready, chances are you’ll have to prove it. While a frustrating idea, it’s also just the reality of how many people can be blinded by tradition or put off by someone’s perceived inexperience. However, reacting as Judy did in the beginning (before the crisis) doesn’t instill confidence; instead it plays to their concerns that she’s just not mature enough to get the job done.
Up on the Resolute, Will does all he can to help Adler and the others figure out how to re-establish communication with Scarecrow and, by that, use the alien engine that was stowed away on the Jupiter. He’s willing to take the risk but much of that lies in hopes of finding Robot. As mentioned earlier, his dedication pays off, but his arc is more than just moving along the narrative to find Robot. He has a brief but heartfelt conversation with Maureen where she tries preparing him for the worst: that they may never find Robot. It’s as important for him as it is for her because Maureen finally accepts that treating Will like a kid, not wanting her family involved in this alien business is being willfully blind and ignorant to the truth of their situation: if they expect to find the solutions to their problems, she needs to trust that the Robinsons are strong enough to face whatever awaits them. Even if it’s of unknown origins.
Reuniting the Robinsons with the other colonists may not have been a fun or unique push of the narrative, but everything involving the alien robots was a welcome change. It adds a deeper layer into the entire human space efforts and somewhat alters my view on these alien robot beings. Their reasons for attacking go beyond recovering their tech and humans using one of their own as a space-faring Uber driver muddies the waters on the ‘humans good—hyper-advanced robots bad’ motif. “Scarecrow” reminds us that while there some people’s—like Dr. Smith—whose villainy is a clear black and white, the truth usually rides a bit more in the grey.
Danger, Will Robinson
- From the start, Adler felt like someone keeping a secret. While I’m still not certain of his agenda, the blaster scarring across his torso solidifies his much deeper (and more traumatic) experience with the alien robots than he’s given away. Combined with the mysterious Hastings (Douglas Hodge, Catastrophe, Joker), there’s still more to the story yet to be revealed.
- Once more, Dr. Smith gets the short end of the credulity spectrum with her weaseling out of another pickle in a most ridiculous fashion. It’s as if the writers are trying to make us not like her for the simple fact that how they write her arc. Parker Posey can still come across as a parody of a villain, but I can deal with that; what I can’t deal with are these lazily crafted situations that draw me out of the show’s adventurous immersion.
- We only see him for a few seconds, but I am excited to get Robot back into the show. Not only are the effects that bring him to life pretty damn special, but the dynamic he shares with Will adds a greater level of charm to the show.
Lost in Space – “Scarecrow”
6.5 out of 10