(Spoiler Warning for Season 1 — Obviously if writing about Season 2)
The long awaited second season of Netflix’s Lost in Space picks up seven months after the second alien attack on the Robinson’s spaceship, Jupiter 2. You may recall that at the end of season 1, the Robinson’s had once again lost contact with the fleet when there was a surprise alien attack that resulted in a huge battle between two robots –Will’s Robot and a Second Alien Robot (SAR). During that battle the Jupiter 2 was propelled out of control into space.
In the first episode of season 2, which was released on Christmas Eve, December 24, 2019, along with the other nine episodes, we find the Robinson family has crash landed on a planet that is composed mostly of water. This time the Jupiter 2 has fuel, but has not only lost power it has also lost the ability to produce it, and they can’t lift off. Seemingly stranded, the family has settled into a routine on this watery planet. With their extensive knowledge and ingenuity the Robinsons have begun to make this planet a temporary home, even growing food.
The father, John Robinson, is content with what they have and seems reluctant to make a move; his family’s safety remains his paramount concern, and in the here and now, they are surviving, making a new life on this mysterious planet. Mom, pilot and extraordinary engineer, Maureen Robinson, on the other hand after recording and studying weather patterns for 7 months believes that she can predict the next lightning storm on the far side of the planet, and has devised a risky plan for recharging the ship’s battery.
She believes that the Jupiter 2 will float and plans on maneuvering it like a watercraft through the turbulent and narrow seas, while avoiding a treacherous archipelago. She hypothesizes that she can harness the power of a lightning strike to garner enough power to fully recharge the Jupiter 2’s battery which should propel them back into space. Once in space, she plans to navigate back to the Resolute and proceed along with the other colonists to reach their destination, Alpha Centauri.
This first episode of the season also updates viewers on each of the family members. Mom and dad are fully reconciled and are very affectionate toward one another. Gone is that internal family conflict that threatened the integrity of the family unit. While still a force to be reckoned with, there is a distinct softening of Maureen Robinson’s character in season 2. She is an immensely intelligent scientist, but clearly vulnerable when it comes to her children. I didn’t really like her in season 1, but I came to admire her more and more throughout each episode of season 2.
You will be surprised to see how much Will has grown. He is still adorable but wise beyond his years. At the start of the season Will is still trying to cope with the loss of his Robot. To recognize his maturity and take his mind off the Robot, dad has gifted him a key and plans on teaching him to drive. Judy has also matured and is even more vocal at airing her frustrations. She wants mom and dad to recognize her capabilities (which are way beyond her 19 years) and increase her responsibilities on the ship. Penny has been keeping an extensive diary memorializing the family’s adventure Lost in Space. Her diary is discovered by Will, and because it’s Christmas, he gifts each member of the family a copy of her book.
While in Season 1, Penny was strong and confident, she has moved into those troublesome teen years where she struggles with her identity, her relationship with her mother, and her place in such a gifted family. Don has settled in as a welcomed and valued member of the family and therefore becomes a target for Dr. Smith. When we first see Dr. Smith, she appears under a sign that says, PEACE ON EARTH but we soon learn that she is still incarcerated by Maureen Robinson. None of the family members trust her and she is still a cunning, duplicitous manipulator.
I really liked the way the writers focused on developing this character’s story arc in Season 2. Through flashback we are introduced to more of her backstory which explains more about her intelligence, talents and motivations. One gets a sense that she is more complex than just plain evil. Throughout season 2, she is torn between the only family she has and her need to come out ahead of the fray. I expect that we will get even more of Dr. Smith in Season 3.
In the next post, next Saturday, Lady Geek, Dilsia Martinez will explore some themes and other compelling story lines from Lost in Space: Season 2.