Television Reviews

REVIEW: Lost in Space – Season 1, Episodes 3 and 4 “Infestation” and “The Robinsons Were Here”

*Spoilers*

“Infestation” opens with Dr. Smith arguing with her sister, who is set to go into space. She offers Dr. Smith – whose real name is June Harris – her house and car, but Smith has already drugged her and she passes out. June removes a chip from her sister’s arm and leaves her tied up in her house to take her place on the ship. In the present, Maureen is brainstorming ideas on how to get attention and be rescued, but John and the kids say they need rest so she offers to wake them up after the storm passes. Dr. Smith talks to Maureen about dysfunctional families and therapy, then spies on the sleeping Robinson children. The glacier that the ship is stuck in becomes unstable and everyone springs into action to get the ship free. Dr. Smith goes into the storage closet and starts stashing supplies in her bag. Meanwhile, the ship’s fuel tank is getting low fast, and John discovers that there are eels in the basement eating it. Three days earlier, Dr. Smith is found out by her sister’s husband so she traps him in an escape pod and expels it into space. In the present, the Robinsons get the ship operational, but are forced to expel the fuel remaining in the tank to eliminate the eels. They manage to coast on fumes and break out of the ice. Back in the past, Dr. Smith is interrogated by an official on the mothership who saw her kill the man, but the complications that lead to the initial crash appear to start and she is able to slip away.

In “The Robinsons Were Here,” efforts are focused on getting the ship going again. Although John initially refuses, Will’s robot helps him build a protective fence around the ship. John, Maureen and Penny go to another Jupiter to meet the family, as well as Don and Angela. John and Maureen go to investigate another blip on the radar and Don insists on coming along. Back on the other family’s Jupiter, Angela tells Judy that the Resolute, the main ship, wasn’t malfunctioning; it was attacked. Apparently armed with the knowledge that it was Will’s robot that attacked, she heads out for her family’s Jupiter, confronts Will about it and, discovering that he already knew, attempts to contact their parents. Will and the robot leave the Jupiter, and Will tells Judy he wants to hide the robot and tell John himself what happened on the Resolute. John, Maureen and Don find wreckage that seems to be from Earth. Judy tells Penny  that she intends to tell John where the robot is as soon as they hide it. The robot proves itself by killing an alien creature that’s pursuing them, but Judy is unmoved. Maureen finds a box of whiskey and Don admits to being a smuggler. They find a broken satellite, evidently the reason nobody has been receiving the family’s broadcasts. The kids see another group of humans, and one of the others – a boy – sees their robot. Judy takes an envelope from the other boy and says he can’t have it back if he tells his father about the robot. They arrive at the cave, and Maureen calls them to let them know she and John won’t be home until the next day. The kids decide to stay in the cave overnight. Maureen and John are bickering about why she’s mad at him when they get buried under the satellite; she tells him that years ago she had found a letter indicating that he went back to war by choice and was not under orders. Don manages to blow a hole into the satellite to free them. Will orders the robot to stay in the cave and the kids head home. John and Maureen arrive to the Jupiter just as the kids sneak back in. Judy tells her parents the robot wandered off, and they decide someone has to find him. Dr. Smith enters the robot’s cave and says she wants the robot’s help getting back to the Resolute. The episode ends with her telling the robot that everyone, even Will Robinson, will turn on him eventually.

Jessica Harris, Lost in Space, "Infestation," "The Robinsons Were Here"

Quite a lot happens in these episodes. I’m loving Dr. Smith’s backstory, although I think she should have killed her sister instead of just knocking her out. First of all, doing all this and leaving her alive is a terrible idea; secondly if they’re trying to show how evil she is, she should do something truly unforgivable. I’m also curious about her relationship to the robot. How does she expect to be able to control it? I’m not sure it believes that Will is going to betray it. I really liked her line about how she is similar to the robot; I was thinking how ironic it is that they’re all worried about the robot but willing to welcome Smith with open arms, when the viewer knows it should be the other way around. Hopefully in the coming episodes they explain a little more of the robot’s motivation, and why it attacked the Resolute.

One of my favorite scenes is when Maureen and John are trapped under the satellite. They finally speak to each other openly, and we get to see why Maureen is this way towards him. I honestly still don’t find her very likable; she’s too disagreeable and isn’t open to other people’s ideas, although she does seem to be adapting slowly. I’m really getting sick of all the “dysfunctional family” stuff, and I think it’s safe to say these two are going to work it out and reconcile. I just wish it would happen sooner rather than later as I’m a little tired of the bickering couple trope TV seems to love so much. I’m glad they worked Don and Angela back into the story so quickly, and I’m genuinely excited to see what happens when they come back into contact with Dr. Smith. The Robinsons, particularly Will and Maureen, will have to confront what a terrible person their new friend is.

I also really loved Don’s conversation with John and Maureen and the scene in the cave with the kids. Don tells the parents that people leave Earth to run away from their problems, but they just end up bringing all their baggage with them anyway. They look at each other knowingly, and you just know they’re thinking about all their family problems. In the cave the kids write “The Robinsons Were Here” on the wall and press their handprints across it. The robot sees this, and when everyone is asleep he does the same. I so love how they humanize the robot in these two episodes, and even though Judy is right to feel the way she does it really stinks for him. It feels like Will is right and the robot is a new person, so to speak. I’m sure in an episode or two they’ll reunite with the robot, and I hope everyone can see how human he’s becoming.

Will and the Robot, Lost in Space, "Infestation" and "The Robinsons Were Here"

Lost in Space is always gorgeous, but “The Robinsons Were Here” really stepped it up. There’s a scene where the night sky lights up in a purplish hue and you see some type of creatures floating around. It’s beautiful, and provides a quiet moment in an otherwise very busy episode. I think quieter moments are underused a lot of the time; it can be extremely beneficial to stop the plot for a moment and let the characters simply breathe, in this case in awe of the night sky.

I very much enjoyed these two episodes of Lost in Space, particularly “The Robinsons Were Here”. I love how all the characters are playing off each other, and that some things are finally being explained. The music and visuals are spectacular and the story is kicking into gear. I can’t wait to see what happens going forward, and hope to see the family get closer.  

Lost in Space - "Infestation" and "The Robinsons Were Here"

Plot - 8.5
Acting - 8.5
Progression - 9
Production Design - 10
Creativity - 9

9

Great

I very much enjoyed these two episodes of Lost in Space, particularly “The Robinsons Were Here”. I love how all the characters are playing off each other, and that some things are finally being explained.

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