A Better Earth
Episode 5 of Another Life Season 2 starts with Javier’s life hanging in the balance. Niko is convinced that they’ll get through this together, doing her best to make the crew feel better.
Meanwhile, the gang down on the habitable planet decide to take off their spacesuits. Lucky the place has breathable oxygen, I guess! Apparently the planet is completely pathogen-free too. However, this is obviously not Earth and the gang don’t bother to search their perimeters properly – which is not great given there are creatures out in the woodland watching.
William is brought online with a factory reset but Niko isn’t exactly happy. She orders him to fix the FTL, intending to head back and pick up those she’s left behind on that strange planet. It doesn’t take long before they’re there, whisking the others back aboard in the blink of an eye. So much for the drama that caused during the cliffhanger then!
According to Cas, this planet is the future and could be humanity’s new home. After analyzing the claw left in the shuttle, they’re convinced that the hostile creature that attacked them is no bigger than a bear and the only apex predator on the planet (despite only seeing the equivalent of Rhode Island on a planet the size of Earth) and decide they could be the new apex predators instead. Brilliant.
According to William though, the planet is as good as it gets for colonists, if the soil and water samples are anything to go by. However, there’s still no word on poisons, animals or other creatures.
Predictably, when the humans head back down again, they walk right into a whole colony full of creatures.
With guns drawn, Cas orders them all to hold and not fire… but Paula decides to do just that. As the creature appears to be communicating, Paula pulls the trigger and shoots it. Yet, as they head back aboard the Salvare again, Paula has the audacity to tell Niko that the humans are “no threat” to these creatures and that they’re primitive at best.
Anyway, the gang agree to leave the planet for now, given it belongs to these creatures.
Back on Earth, Eric heads into the Artifact and tries to communicate with the Achaian again, desperate to find Niko and the others. Now, the Achaia want Eric to cease all exploration and never explore beyond their means again. In order to seal the deal, they hand over an orb that can allegedly heal an area that’s been ravaged by fire, famine or other incident.
As Eric heads back to see homeland security, they contemplate whether the Achaia are telling the truth and whether they can be trusted.
Back aboard the Salvare, Paula decides to sabotage the mission completely and chooses to launch the colony pods, intending to head back down to this strange planet again. However, given they need to leave right now to use a conjured wormhole – a shortcut back to Earth – Paula’s mutiny looks set to destroy everything.
Niko soon shows up to police the situation, swinging things in their favour. With little other choice, they allow Paula to head down to the planet with the colonists and fend for themselves.
Meanwhile, Iara sabotages the mission and locks Richard behind a hatch, claiming she was unable to forgive him for what happened in the past. With the wormhole not able to take all of the ship back, Niko makes a bold decision to sacrifice herself, splitting the ship in half and allowing the others to make it back home again.
The Episode Review
What is with the cheesy misplaced musical montages this season? They’re absolutely bizarre and play on emotional moments that just haven’t been earned. Even worse, it completely undermines any of the tension built up across the episode.
However, this chapter once again abandons the science as Paula and the gang head down to this planer they know nothing about and decide to just act like it’s home, removing their helmets and making fires.
They’ve literally seen a tiny fraction of this huge planet and know absolutely nothing about the ecology or what they could do the atmosphere. We’ve seen across Earth what happens if a foreign insect or animal is introduced to a new ecology and the devastating effects it could have, what’s to say Paula and the gang aren’t doing the same? And that’s the best case scenario.
At worst, they’ve naively believed that there’s only one lifeform on the planet when there could even be millions upon millions of them, all converging on their location. And these guys are supposed to be pretty intelligent? Then again, Another Life has never been the sharpest tool in the shed.
Ultimately though, Another Life has been another disappointment this year, refusing to learn the lessons of the first and delivering an underwhelming slice of sci-fi.