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‘Raised by Wolves’ Is Back, As Unapologetically Weird As Ever

In the Season 1 finale of Raised by Wolves, a cloaked figure attempts to assassinate Mother (played by Amanda Collin), an android from Earth who has been mysteriously impregnated on the alien planet Kepler-22b. Mother easily dispatches the attacker before fellow android Father (Abubakar Salim) arrives on the scene. The androids remove the assailant’s veil and make a startling discovery: a new species, one that will also ring alarm bells for audiences. The creature doesn’t just appear somewhat human—it looks like it could be related to the Engineers, a species first introduced in Ridley Scott’s Prometheus as the architects of humanity.

HBO Max Watch Guide | Raised by Wolves

Seeing as Scott serves as an executive producer and sometimes director of the sci-fi series in which androids bleed a milky white substance instead of blood, the connection between Raised by Wolves and the Alien franchise certainly seemed substantial. By the end of the finale, when Mother gave birth in a stomach-turning sequence in which a serpent-like creature—one that also bore a resemblance to a terrifying creation from Prometheus—violently expelled itself from her mouth, the allusions to Scott’s iconic franchise were overwhelming. In what’s become a recurring theme for the show, these moments lent themselves to a buzzy theory: Did HBO Max actually green-light an Alien TV show right under our noses?

Unfortunately, practical considerations ensure that Raised by Wolves isn’t Alien canon: The franchise is now under the ownership of Disney, which is planning its own Alien series from Noah Hawley. (As creator Aaron Guzikowski told Deadline after the finale aired, Raised by Wolves is best appreciated as a “close cousin” to Alien.) But despite not being part of an interconnected Alien universe, Raised by Wolves has posed questions that Scott also explored in Prometheus and Alien: Covenant about the limitations of artificial intelligence and humanity’s place in the universe. However, whereas Scott struggled at times to fit his philosophical ponderings into a franchise originally centered on gnarly aliens with acid for blood, Raised by Wolves is freed from any preconceived notions about what it should be—giving the show license to get unapologetically weird and profound as it embraces mystery-box storytelling.

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