Geysers, Hot Tar and Broken Robots: Lost in Space’s ‘Pressurized’


In”Pressurized,” episode 7 of Netflix’s Lost in Space, we get to see hot tar, geysers, secrets, tragic loss and a potentially rekindled romance. It’s time for a recap!

Don and Judy’s June Dilemma

It’s been a rough season for Judy Robinson (Taylor Russell) and Don West (Ignacio Serricchio). In addition to life-threatening aspects of the natural environment, they must deal with dangers in their social environment.

Though the two have been at odds, they now have one thing in common: A growing suspicion about so-called “Dr. Smith” (whose real name is June Harris, played by Parker Posey).

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In the last episode of Lost in Space, Don risked his life to find concrete proof of her stolen identity. Now they must deal with it. In fact, they have an opportunity to address it straight away.

When Judy radios her mom, Maureen (Molly Parker), it’s Dr. Smith who takes the call. At this moment, we get insight into two different personalities. Judy is more governed by emotion and is ready to face things head on without considering consequences.

Don, however, is more of a strategic thinker, mindful of advantages (and not merely his own, despite his reputation). For this reason, Don actually stops Judy from revealing too much.

Sure, there is an understandable urge to say, “I’m onto you, Smith — if that’s your real name!” However, that would turn the heat up too much. Quite often in life, cooler heads prevail.

Plus, it’s just better writing sometimes, to build a bit of suspense and keep the viewers guessing a little. In any case, the warning signs are there that something big is on its way, even without the whole black hole thing.

The Gun Question

Also in the last episode, Angela (Sibongile Mlambo) had shot Will’s robot, triggering it into a berzerker rage — during which it struck and injured John Robinson (Toby Stephens).

As a result, Will instructed his bot to walk off a cliff, and he broke into pieces upon impact. Now, after Maureen learns that the robot had made it with a 3-D printer, the question is, who gave it to Angela?

True to form, Smith suggests it was Victor (Raza Jaffrey), resident politician and a contender for the planet’s biggest know-it-all. In so doing, Smith builds another layer of conflict, fragile as a stack of cards.

Although Victor is a relatively minor character by this point, there’s every indication that this bit of backstabbing will help tie every other conflict together. In fact, at the end of the episode, Victor is shown as wanting to leave already, and who can blame him?

Hot Tar and Renewed Love

While out driving around, Maureen and John happen to experience unstable ground — the ground is literally coming apart under their vehicle. Like a true pro, John puts their cruiser in reverse and steps on the gas, narrowly escaping the threat.

Unfortunately for them, he backs straight into another one: A goopy, sticky, hot pit of tar! Rather than panicking outright, the two improvise plans and also use it as an opportunity to bond. She even admits she altered their son’s test results so he could join them (hey, what’s Lost in Space without Will Robinson?)

Maureen and John. (Lost in Space, Netflix)

At one point, John offers to sacrifice himself, so she could use their only suit to safely make it out. However, Maureen comes up with a simple yet elegant solution: Use the helium weather balloon! Fortunately, it works. They are able to expand the balloon, crawl through it and get to the surface (fortunately, the tar wasn’t hot enough to melt the balloon, or strong enough to break or, or kill the couple instantaneously).

Anyway, once the two are back on land, it’s one of the strongest romantic moments of Lost in Space thus far. It’s just the sort of thing (most) viewers needed, and you can already find memes aplenty about it.

What do I like about it? It means the show won’t be absolutely cynical, as it demonstrates that people can find love again, even if adversity is required for it to happen. In a world full of negativity, I think people need that sort of thing every now and then. Found in Space?

June Finds the Scattered Robot, but How and Why?

In a fairly short scene, June goes to the memorial site, uses binoculars and happens to spot the scattered remnants of Will’s robot. When she goes down to reassemble it, she’s frustrated that it won’t automatically fuse together, as parts did for Will. When she secretly brings the parts back to the base, she does see a glimmer of life — good for her psycho tendencies, bad for everyone else.

Now, I have read skeptical opinions on these parts (and others) from the series. Some might ask, how did she know to go to the cliff? How is she masterminding things like she has? Did she plan to have Will kill the robot? Honestly, I would just say “Things like this happen in real life.”

I hate to sound like Fanny Defenderton (a fan who defends characters), but I don’t see June as a mastermind, but as a manipulator, opportunist and sadist, who has a keen sense of when to swoop in and inflict harm. Rather than controlling every situation, she sets people against each other repeatedly.

Were she an absolute mastermind, no other Lost in Space characters would suspect her of anything.

Some insight into her character happens in Pressurized. She confesses her real identity to the broken robot, which indicates that she is capable of honesty in some form. She may even feel the need to open up. However, it’s not so much to confess as it is to brag. Unfortunately, there are people like Smith in real life (not to get too dark, but Ted Bundy springs to mind rather easily as a comparison).

The Fuel Tanker Problem

Another big moment for the episode? As Don, Judy and the others transport fuel back to the spacecraft one of the fuel tankers malfunctions due to an earthquake. In a heroic moment, a fellow named Evan (Iain Belcher) exits the still-moving vehicle and fixes the problem manually.

However, another rumble of the earth tips the tanker over, and onto the poor young lad. Ouch! If that’s not enough, the tanker lands on a rock which is the only thing preventing fuel leakage. In other words, removing the tanker to save Evan will risk everyone’s ability to survive.

This produces yet another moral quandary, for fans and critics and critical fans to debate: Should Judy attempt to save one person’s life, or is the fuel more important? Some people will instantly side with the fuel, and say there’s no need for debate. Of course, these people are neither Don or Judy, who disobey Victor and attempt to save Evan (and yes, lose much of the fuel).

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Unfortunately, Evan dies anyway, which makes some people think, “Well, this means Evan died for nothing.” Like with the robot, one ponders the merits of a character’s demise. Then again, without dying characters, the stakes wouldn’t be as high.