Raised By Wolves recap: Episode 9, ‘Umbilical’

Travis Fimmel in Raised by Wolves Season 1, Episode 1 - Photograph by Coco Van Oppens/HBO Max
Travis Fimmel in Raised by Wolves Season 1, Episode 1 - Photograph by Coco Van Oppens/HBO Max /

In Raised By Wolves episode 9, Mother worries her fetus might be at risk while the Mithraic begin to doubt Marcus.

Leaving off from the previous episode, Raised By Wolves episode 8 sees Tempest finding Otho wandering around the ark wreckage. She threatens to kill him, but Mother pulls her away to keep her safe. Otho is still trapped in his metal insta-kill helmet. He beheaded his android and keeps him inside his backpack. So long as the android is never more than ten feet away, he’s safe.

Otho proves useful to Mother, who turns him into a walking blood bag to nourish her fetus as she and Tempest search for a new place to stay. Glinting metal cards catch Mother’s eye and she takes Tempest with her to investigate. Alongside the rock bluff wall are several metal cards, similar to Tarot cards, as Tempest astutely points out.

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Not long after, Holly, Vita, Campion and Paul catch up to Tempest and Mother. However, their heartwarming reunion is short-lived as when Sue arrives, she’s quick to draw her gun on Mother. To be fair, the last time she saw Mother it wasn’t pretty. But the children are unwilling to let Sue harm the android. Sue is encouraged to use her medical training to help Mother and her baby.

That night, Mother wanders outside of the cave to examine the metal cards again. At least one of them appears to have reactive glyphs she scans with her android tech. Scanning one of the cards results in Mother accessing a weird, somber setting full of cloaked figures (similar to what we’ve seen of Tally). They surround an ornate golden dodecahedron. Sitting on top of the alien object is a grotesque, skeletal-looking head of a similar yellowish pallor. It slowly moves and growls.

Activating the card somehow results in the blood flowing between herself and Otho to reverse, draining Mother and strengthening Otho. With Mother out of commission, Otho immediately tries to kidnap Tempest. The children band together to try and fight him off. Holly distracts him, tantalizing him with the promise of a pure soul. At the same time, Tempest removes the captor droid from his backpack and tosses it far away. The distance from the droid results in his metal mechanism crushing Otho’s head and killing him instantly.

Meanwhile, Mother fears the worst when she can no longer feel her fetus. Sue gives Mother a pint of her blood to help her baby, and it works. Mother can feel the fetus moving again. It seems like Sue has come around to Mother, especially as the android is grateful to Sue for helping her. After the ruckus involving Otho, Paul starts hearing whispers — uh-oh — and creeps outside to burn the metal cards, apparently following the instructions of “Sol.”

Raised By Wolves episode 9
Travis Fimmel in Raised By Wolves episode 9 – Photograph by Coco Van Oppens/HBO /

Raised By Wolves episode 9 recap: The Mithraic begin to doubt Marcus.

Marcus is livid at the escape of his wife and Paul. He takes the Mithraic back to the temple in the hopes he can get a direct line to Sol and discover their location. Unbeknownst to Marcus, Hunter managed to revert Father’s programming back to the original, he figured out that “Sol is the light,” that Father was drumming out in Morse code, was actually the password. Finally, the Father we know and love is back!

Father tells Hunter to make sure Marcus takes him along to the temple, and they board the lander together. Arriving at the temple, Marcus becomes frustrated by Sol’s silence. He interrogates Hunter instead, demanding to know where the other children are, refusing to believe him when he says no. Marcus goes so far as to force Hunter to put his arm into a flame chute built into the temple, but Hunter comes out of it unscathed. The Mithraic assume he must be telling the truth if Sol shielded him.

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At night, Hunter and Father escape in the lander and reunite with Mother and the others. By the time they arrive, Otho is dead, and Father, Campion, and Mother share an adorable reunion scene. Father also promises to retrieve a new creature as a blood source for Mother.

Back with the Mithraic, Marcus is pissed at the night guard, Dorian, who failed to prevent Father and Hunter from leaving in the lander, essentially stranding them. Dorian voices his frustration at Marcus for dragging them all over the place to find his wife. Dorian is obviously voicing concerns from all of the Mithraic soldiers, though they might be too scared to say it out loud. As punishment for his doubt, Marcus slits his throat.

Marcus demands the others follow him, still hoping Sol speaks to him again. While walking through the endless desert landscape, Lucius makes a comment about Dorian’s impure soul. Marcus says they’ll pray for him and notes that since he is impure, that’s even more of a reason to pray.

If you’ve been paying attention, you likely realized Marcus’s error at the same time as Lucius. Mithraic are notoriously cutthroat when it comes to nonbelievers. They would never pray for someone they deemed impure. Lucius realizes Mother was right about Marcus being a fraud. Confronted, Marcus doesn’t bother denying it, saying he was led to them by Sol’s will.

Assuming Sol will shield him if that’s true, Lucius attacks him. He even takes one of Mother’s eyes out of the pouch around Marcus’s neck and shoves it down his throat. In the final stills of the episode, we see Marcus splayed across the sand, looking like he might be dead — though I doubt it.

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Odds & Ends from Raised By Wolves episode 9

  • I love the scenes with Mother and Sue together, I  hope we see more in the future. I’d love to see them form a genuine bond.
  • In last week’s episode, Karl mentioned Mother was built from dark photons, does that have something to do with Otho’s crazy power when he transfused her (and the fetus’s) blood? What will happen to Marcus now that he’s consumed one of her eyes?
  • Were the metal cards some kind of alien/Mithraic scripture linked to the weird cloaked figure cult?
  • What the HECK was that trapped alien head thing?
  • Do we all agree there is more to Mouse than meets the eye at this point?

What did you think about Raised By Wolves episode 9? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

The first nine episodes of Raised By Wolves season 1 are now streaming on HBO Max. The season finale will air next Thursday.