Lost In Space, Season 2 review. In the future smart women still scare men

I just watched Lost in Space season 2. My take away is in the future smart, competent women still scare people. Huh. I guess the good news is we have come far enough that they exist and are part of the world, but they make people uncomfortable. To be okay with her successes people needed to take her down a few pegs. 

A smart woman solves the problem again! Now let’s focus on what’s wrong with her!

In this season multiple characters, both men and women, point out that Maureen Robinson is “calculating” and “focused” and not a perfect person, especially toward her children.

The show does attempt to show that there are other intelligences other than scientific intelligence. Why? To make people feel good about their own skills? To show that you need a variety of skills to survive? 
I like the problem solving nature of the show. Someone described each episode as “an escape room they have to get out of in under an hour” but what I found interesting was how much push back and resentment certain characters had toward the mother and her science-based solutions. Would they had the same attitude toward a man?

In Stargate SG-1 there was someone from the military (Jack), a scientist (Samatha) a cultural linguist expert (Daniel) and a powerful alien who knew enemy ( Teal’c) .

SG-1 was a great show. “No matter how dense.”

The solution to the problems could come from any of them, but leader was the military. He considered the options and decided what to do. He often went first with the military solution (because of the command structure) but was convinced over time that science solutions and knowing the other cultures in order to work with them is usually the better solution.
In Lost in Space, the father John is the military, the mom Maureen is the Scientist, and the powerful alien who knew the enemy and left them to join the team is the Robot. The person who tries to understand the aliens is Will.
The leader in the family is the Scientist, who considers the options and decides what to do. The scientist solution is often first, but not always. As the show goes on she is convinced of the need to trust other types of solutions.
It looks like understanding other cultures and the power of cooperating will become one of the key themes.

If you kids don’t be quiet I’m going to turn this space car around and go home!

One of the  beauties of SG1 was they could show (with multiple episodes and realities) how each solution could play out. Military, science, or cooperation. Sometimes a combination of all three was best. But to my mind the best answers were based on understanding and cooperation, with the ability to have some force as leverage if necessary.
One of the premises of Lost in Space is that the Earth has become uninhabitable because of a climate crisis (something hit it and sent up a huge dust cloud) So the colonists go to another star system. They are forced to do this by an external event. Unlike our climate change, they can blame it on something external.
Some people truly believe their type of solution is right for everyone. But other people know their solution is only good for a small number of people and don’t care. We judge them based on the scope of their answer. We also judge them differently when we see their solution isn’t in good faith, but just a way to block people from helping everyone.

What if the answer to a problem demands sacrificing others? It matters if the sacrifice is for someone’s personal self interest vs. for the self-interest of a larger group. But is it just about the size of the group? Who we see ourselves part of matters.  

In both SG1 and Lost In Space there are external threats as well as internal ones. We know how to rally against an outside threat, it’s harder when it’s an internal one. If we tear ourselves apart from inside we have a harder time solving problems that need cooperation and multiple skills from various groups.
The writers of Lost In Space know that competence is importance, but so is working together and seeing the value of all our skills. We have big problems to solve as a species. No matter what gender, tribe or nation you are from we need people who can lead us to solve our problems.  If you like science fiction that illustrates this, you might like Lost in Space.

Comments are closed.