Raised By Wolves Season 1, Episode 5 recap: Infected Memory

Amanda Collin in Raised By Wolves Season 1, Episode 5 - Photograph by Coco Van Oppens/HBO
Amanda Collin in Raised By Wolves Season 1, Episode 5 - Photograph by Coco Van Oppens/HBO /

In Raised By Wolves Season 1, Episode 5, the Mithraic search for the children while Mother learns more about her origins.

While Father takes the children out to learn how to hunt, Mother returns to the simulation pod in the woods. In Raised By Wolves Season 1, Episode 5, Tally appears to her the same way she did to Father and Paul in previous episodes. This time, it seems like Tally wants Mother to remember her archived memories.

Inside the simulation, Mother chases Tally into the past, during the days when war waged on Earth, and she was in her full necromancer glory, destroying everything in her past. A man named Campion Sturges (Cosmo Jarvis) stops the android from killing a young Athiest and takes her to his lab. Campion is Mother’s creator.

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He changes her wiring and core programming to turn her into a caregiver with her main goal to protect children and save humanity. It was Campion who modified Mother so she could carry the embryos to term.

The surgeries and tampering take time and result in one horrifying moment where Mother snaps the neck of a disturbing lifelike android baby. The present-Mother watches as her old self becomes attached to her creator and he to her in return.

When the time came to send Mother and Father to Kepler-22b, Mother was adamant that Campion did not leave her behind.  That is why he archived her memories, so she would not have to carry that emotional pain with her.

Considering the name of the episode is “Infected Memory,” one has to wonder if her memories are to be fully believed. Another sign they archives and sim might be more than they seem happens at the end when Campion suddenly breaks from the past to warn Mother one of the children is in trouble.

She rushes back to the campsite and, even though Father assures her all of the children are accounted for and sleeping, she checks on Tempest anyway. It’s a good thing, too, as she’d tried to commit suicide by eating some toxic plants.

Mother forces her to vomit and tries to take care of her, but Tempest doesn’t want her comfort. She accuses Mother of using her as an incubator, asserting that she only cares about her as a vessel for the baby and nothing more.

Raised By Wolves Season 1
Travis Fimmel in Raised By Wolves Season 1, Episode 5 – Photograph by Coco Van Oppens/HBO /

Raised By Wolves Season 1, Episode 5 recap: Marcus ascends the ranks.

With Ambrose dead, Marcus quickly ascends the ranks until he is declared the new Eminence. His new directive is for them to find the children. Unbeknownst to the Mithraic, the trackers have been removed by Mother. At the start of episode 5, we see an unknown presence take the trackers and move them elsewhere.

It appears that Tally is behind this, although we still know nothing about her motives or what, exactly, she is. A ghost? Something more? When the Mithraic find the location of the trackers, they’re inside a massive serpent skeleton behind some booby traps.

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There, Marcus notices a crude map composed of rocks. Whoever lured them there did so for a reason, it would seem. Now they know where the settlement is, and they get eyes on the children. But something dark is brewing for Marcus.

At the end of the episode, he and Sue have sex, and he suddenly hallucinates, seeing her covered in blood and vomiting blood. Above him, the ceiling becomes like liquid, hovering over them like a giant manta ray as it spins and swirls.

Otho, the rapist who impregnated Tempest, believes Marcus is now in touch with Sol, as he once was. Speaking of Otho, Marcus decides to save his life after the other Mithraic begin carrying out his scheduled execution. He says he wants to keep Otho to use as “cannon fodder” for the necromancer, but I wonder if he’s more curious about his ramblings of speaking with Sol.

Marcus heard voices in the previous episode, as we know, and is now trying to push past it, but it won’t be that easy for him.

Raised By Wolves Season 1
Amanda Collin in Raised By Wolves Season 1, Episode 5 – Photograph by Coco Van Oppens/HBO /

Raised By Wolves Season 1 and the lack of female character development.

The fifth episode of Raised By Wolves Season 1 was not its strongest hour. As the recapper at The AV Club pointed out, this episode highlighted some of the flaws this show has with its female characters. Each one seems to be falling into typical molds fit for women in storytelling —  the caretaker,  the devoted spouse, etc.

Marcus succeeds an elder female Mithraic cleric named Justina (Susan Danford) even though she’s more experienced. He also lets a rapist stay among their ranks without consulting the women in the group.

Yes, Sue voices her concerns, but they’re hardly attended to. I also wasn’t crazy about Mother’s origins. I guess I was hoping we would get something more interesting than another man designing his perfect female android toy. I also thought the way Sue acted toward Cassia (Loulou Taylor), a young “perky” Mithraic woman who has grown fond of Marcus, was so juvenile and stereotypical.

Then they had Sue instigate sex with Marcus out of nowhere, calling him a “good man” who she wanted to “make love to her like a great man,” it was just all very worthy of an eye roll.

“Over the past 25 years, we’ve often seen the female android reduced to a plaything for her male creator,” added The AV Club.

I admit that it was nice not to see Mother sexualized in the past, which is a marked difference from some of the other portrayals. However, it still felt like a less exciting origin story than what I  had been anticipating. Then again, we might learn more, especially if Mother’s memories are not as accurate as they appear.

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What did you think of Raised By Wolves Episode 5? What’s the deal with the voices and hallucinations Marcus is seeing? What does Tally want? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

New episodes of Raised By Wolves debut on Thursdays on HBO Max.