Another Life season 1, episode 2 recap: Through the Valley of Shadows

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Niko has killed Ian, now she has to face the crew, but the Salvare sustains more damage. What happens when the Another Life crew lands on an unknown planet?

After almost being stabbed by former Salvare commander and mutineer Ian, Niko accidentally killed him in self-defense in the first episode of Another Life. Niko comes clean to the crew, even though they mutinied against her. For reasons that I cannot explain, Niko doesn’t mention that Ian tried to kill her, because she gets a volley of abuse from several members, especially Michelle. Maybe she is trying to be the strong Captain that doesn't have to explain herself to her crew.

Erik with the Artifact

Erik and his team have not made much progress since realizing that the Artifact responds to music. More bad news comes in the form of Erik’s boss, Dubois, informing him that they’ve lost contact with the Salvare. She insists he go and be with his daughter.

As Erik tries to communicate with Niko, Harper Glass (Selma Blair) arrives at his table. She’s a gossip columnist who apparently wrote about one of Niko’s failed missions in the past – a mission that cost the lives of 10 crewmembers. Now she wants the details about the Salvare and Erik unwittingly gives her the nuggets she needs. Harper is spreading rumours about the destruction of the Salvare, which Niko’s daughter Jana sees. Erik has to console her, but he is terrified himself.

When Erik returns to the Artifact, he unlocks another piece of the puzzle – the Artifact is replaying music but the negative patterns (the sounds that Erik and team aren’t hearing) could be pieced together to form a message.

Salvare Hierarchy

The Salvare team meeting is interrupted by one of the oxygen tanks malfunctioning. Thanks a lot, Ian! With only five hours of air left, Michelle suggests they land on the nearest oxygen-rich planet and eke out some oxygen.

William locates a planet with 10% oxygen and Niko recruits four members to investigate and get the oxygen. The only person missing is a pilot – Ian would have come in handy, but Niko has a replacement ready. Cas Isakovic (Elizabeth Faith Ludlow) was friends with Ian but she and Niko already seem tight. Though Cas has only just been awoken from Soma sleep, she has to get ready to fly.

While the landing party mine the crystals that will keep the crew alive, Michelle tries to calm Sasha down. He’s a Congressman with no astronaut or engineering training and he passed out as soon as the oxygen levels fell. He may not be useful on the ship, but he has some advice to give Michelle – Niko was in the right to get rid of Ian, which means she has the authority and ability to do it again. So, Michelle needs to be careful around her.

Niko gets a booster from Zayn who tells her that she’s going to have to confront the incident with Ian sooner rather than later. Seems like Niko can’t get rid of Ian, because she finds William replaying some kind of recording or memory of Ian saying Niko is going to kill the entire crew and doom the world. Niko seems to be getting a lot of flack from a dead guy who nearly ruined their mission.

The Landing Party

Cas picks up the first lot of crystals and finds that Petra Smith (Chanelle Peloso) and Oliver Sokolov (Alex Ozerov) are in the planet cave with their space suit visors up. The air is breathable, but since Another Life is a space show, who’s to say this isn’t a bad decision. In the meantime, Javier Almanzar (Alexander Eling) discovers his partner, Bernie Martinez (AJ Rivera), has disappeared to collect samples from the planet.

The planet has been suffering from earthquakes, but now Javier realizes why. There’s a moon orbiting it and instead of raising tides of water (like the Earth’s moon does), it’s raising magma. Cas is able to get back on the Salvare, while Bernie and Javier escape to the shuttle. That leaves Petra and Oliver – Niko believes that since they’re in the caves, they’re lower than the surface and should be safer. But William counters that if the eruptions on the planet continue, Petra and Oliver could be buried in the caves and die.

Instead of risking the lives of any of her other crew, Niko flies the shuttle herself to rescue Petra and Oliver. It’s a rough ride, but Niko gets her crew back. Is Niko finally winning the crew over?

Niko may be a hero, but she’s having a panic attack, probably from PTSD following her previous disastrous mission. With so many deaths on her conscience, she tries to ‘talk’ to Ian, asking if she had any other choice than to kill him.

The second episode of Another Life ends with Cas leading a eulogy for Ian. Apparently, they were a couple and she idolized him. Cas is certain Ian thought that what he was doing was right. Her eulogy is interrupted by Petra violently convulsing and contorting in an unknown fit, while the entire crew stand around helpless. Once again my biggest issue with this episode is how they try and make Niko’s big problem, dealing with if killing Ian was the right thing. I don’t think taking a knife in the back would have been better.

What did you think of this episode of Another Life? Let us know in the comments!