Smoke and Mirrors
Episode 2 of Another Life Season 2 begins with Niko heading aboard the Achaian ship. With communications severed with The Salvare, the crew contemplate whether this is an aggressive stance and decide to fortify their shields while they wait.
With Cas taking charge, she decides to finish what August and Oliver started, heading outside the ship to patch up the damage. In her absence, Richard speaks to Bernie, expressing his concerns given how closely tied Cas and Niko are. As he so eloquently puts it “they’ve fought in the trenches together.” If this mission goes sideways, Cas is going to have to make some difficult choices and Richard’s not sure she’ll have the stomach for it.
Anyway, Cas soon heads back in and loses her patience, deciding to send Iara aboard the ship to retrieve Niko and bring her back. Once aboard though, Iara decides to hack the ship and retrieve intel from the computers. Bearing in mind this is a peace negotiation and she’s essentially conducting intergalactic espionage.
Unbeknownst to Niko though, she follows the light and finds strange firefly like creatures swirling around her. This light eventually strips off her suit, unveiling a vision of Jana. Only this isn’t a vision, she’s really there. She seems to have been inexplicably transported from the Artifact back on Earth. Niko hands over her ring and promises they’ll see each other again in the future.
After hugging goodbye, Jana comes charging out the Artifact and back into Eric’s arms. Niko hears Eric and tries to follow… but instead ends up in a lush garden with her mother. Now, the Achaian have taken her mother’s (Ava) form to talk about peace.
According to the Achaians, they actually healed Jana and stopped her from being sick. After transporting her back to Earth, they suggest Niko and her crew can also be sent back home with their families too. In return though they need Niko and the crew to spread a message – the Achaians come in peace. Pretty simple right?
As they continue on, Ava reveals that the Achaians weren’t the aggressors before. The Zakir were the ones who struck first and actually the graveyard and devastation they found was as a result of a civil war the Achaia had no part of. After Niko and her crew blew up the Artifact and killed thousands of Achaians in the process, these aliens decided to retaliate – hence the attack.
Only, Iara suddenly shows up as the Achaia realize that she’s been gathering intel against them. Ava grabs her by the throat, throwing her back aboard The Salvare. Iara feeds back what happened to Cas, who decides to jump over to the ship herself, emotionally driven by her actions (despite claiming not to be.)
In a move that can only be described as absolutely hilarious and completely ridiculous, Cas dons her spacesuit and uses her thrust propulsion to fly toward the Achaian ship.
In Iara’s absence, Niko tries to talk down the Achaia’s anger. Apparently all these aliens want are peace but as Niko pries further, the mood – and setting – changes as Niko is transported across to a graveyard. It’s too much for Niko, who’s approached by Eric (or the Achaian taking his form anyway) resulting in the pair duking it out.
When Niko finally awakens, Cas is there after having somehow managed to make it onto the ship. After Niko kills one of the Achaian spiders, four vessels hone in on the ship. With Niko and Cas stranded aboard this Achaian ship, the rest of the crew fly toward them… and then make the jump to hyperspace.
The Episode Review
Another Life rolls round with another chapter that defies any sort of logical scientific rationale. It’s a common theme with this show, but this chapter shows that a single woman wearing a spacesuit is as quick and accurate as a spaceship flying toward the Achaian ship. It’s completely immersion breaking and worse, it’s not helped by the characters.
All these emotionally driven characters are actually frustrating to watch. Niko’s negotiations were actually going okay until Cas and Iara jumped in and messed the whole thing up. Cas’s weak explanation that Niko should be saved because she’s “the highest ranking officer on the ship” is pointless when the mission is obviously bigger than all of them.
However, the intriguing idea that the Achaian aren’t actually the bad guys and that Niko and the others just stumbled into the middle of this and messed everything up, is quite befitting for how bumbling this misfit group actually are. Still, it remains to be seen if they’re actually telling the truth.
For now though, Another Life hasn’t done anything to reel in those dissuaded by the first season but there’s enough for die-hard fans to remain invested for the time being.