Just A Rat In The Cage
Episode 8 of Another Life Season 2 begins with Niko and Richard waking up aboard an alien ship, succumbing to painful experiments. Their insides are ripped open, screams are muffled and as Niko gasps for air, Richard finds his chest ripped wide open as Niko leans over and asks if he’s okay. Does he look okay?!
Anyway, we then skip forward to both Richard and Niko waking up absolutely fine. They’re both naked and hurriedly scramble to put their clothes back on. There’s no trace of what happened to either of them, save for a wristband attached to them, and no visible scars either. A camera in the corner though watches them, a glowing red eye unblinking as the pair move about the room.
It appears as if these aliens are testing the duo, seeing what their limits are both biologically and psychologically. The pair decide against niceties and decide they should just head in and attack them full force.
Hey, remember when Richard mentioned they should “understand who they’re fighting and why” before striking? Yeah, me too. Funny that.
Anyway, Richard and Niko are led toward a strange room with a contraption that appears to hold a power core to the ship. When Niko touches it, she experiences strange flashes. Richard however, does not.
Well, when a door opens Niko just willingly exposes herself as she’s dropped into a strange snowy area below. It’s freezing outside but she seeks refuge in an abandoned ship nearby – which also happens to hold a weapon and extra clothes.
It turns out Paula is actually on this ship. The creatures happen to be called the Decuma and they landed a week after the Salvare left them, slaughtering most of the colonists. It seems Paula is the last one left alive. I hate to say I told you so comes to mind here.
Anyway, it turns out severed limbs of these creatures help to unlock their bio-scan systems on the ship. With bits of these creatures just lying about, Niko grabs a severed hand and manages to turn the shup’s power back on. She also finds a power core too, which she hurriedly grabs, realizing this will come in handy later on down the line.
When Niko speaks to Paula again, she confirms that when their wristbands turn red, they begin to turn into one of the Decuma. With black goo over Paula’s face, she pleads for mercy, which Niko obliges too by killing her.
Niko manages to switch the power back on and finds a contraption able to remove her and Richard’s wristbands too. When she makes it back on the ship with Richard, the pair remove their wristbands and keep the power core to hand – along with a gun- as they remain determined to confront and kill the Decuma.
When Niko threatens the destroy the power core, it brings this strange creature out of hiding. It charges up to Niko and grabs her round the throat, pinning her against the way. Richard quickly uses the console to freeze the creature, watching as it shatters into pieces.
However, Richard has already begun to turn into one of the Decuma, with his arm blackened and hardening. Niko decides to cut his arm clean off (off-screen with a laser or something I’m guessing) before dropping him in the strange tank of orange goo to help him heal up.
When Richard comes back out again, his arm is re-attached too and he’s in good spirits.
Back on Earth, Eric gathers the crew together and find out they’ve all been brainwiped. The gang deduce that they need to bring William back in to this again, given he’s the only one who can help fill in the blanks. However, William is busy checking through the logs on the ship and dealing with Seth. Together though, they decide to enlist Eric’s help to pass clearance and break into the base.
Back aboard the Decuma ship – which is basically just a plot device to move Niko and Richard around – they figure out that these aliens have been monitoring the Achaia all this time. In fact, their map shows a whole bunch of Artifacts all over the galaxy. Looks like this is their ticket home!
The Episode Review
Another Life messily scrambles to tie up loose ends, with a haphazard story about these Decuma and how they slaughtered the colonists, including Paula. But yet, why is there only one on this ship? Where are the rest of them? Why are they turning Paula and the others into Decuma? And why did they pick up Richard and Niko from their ship? How does that work? What are their origins? Ah, there’s no time for that, we’ve got people to save!
Ultimately, this entire episode serves as a convenient stop-gap for Niko and Richard to recover their health, stock up and prepare to travel back to Earth. And what are the odds of this ship finding Niko and Richard alone on this vessel, experimenting on them and also monitoring the Achaian? Yeah, it’s quite a stretch.
This season has been pretty poor and this chapter only accentuates the problems this show has in abundance. Out of all the chapters, this one is by far the most egregious and hardest to forgive for its sins. Still, we’ve got two more episodes to go and I’m sure everything will be wrapped up by the end… right?