The Lottery episode two is still scary and feels very real. The idea that in the near future women lose the ability to naturally have children has that sort of science fiction that could be science fact ring to it. While there are those who think that the premise is ridiculous, it only takes a moment of reflection to remember just how much women will spend and just how far they will go to have children now. Certainly these numbers are in the minority, but what if they were not? This is the question raised by The Lottery and the answers are disturbing.
In last week’s episode, Dr. Lennon (Marley Shelton) fertilized 100 eggs and was promptly fired after this accomplishment. She then stole an egg and was hunted down by the man, and his agents, who was responsible for firing her, Darius Hayes (Martin Donovan). Kyle Walker had to kidnap his own son Elvis and he is on the run from, seemingly, the entire country.
Lennon is run down by Hayes’ men and after her incarceration, they begin to question her in a manner more suited to Guantanamo Bay than the futuristic offices of the American government. Apart from further establishing Hayes as the despicable bad guy who bears watching, it shows just how much his faction want to control the fertilized eggs.
As Kyle runs for the U.S./Canadian border, he stops to visit a friend who has another of the remaining children in the world. While the two youngsters play, they have never seen other children before, Elvis’ insulin capsules are broken and his father must get some more.
The moment in The Lottery, episode two where Kyle has to risk everything to save his son again is not so much scary as tense and nail biting stuff. There is still a certain fear factor, but the real feeling of suspense, not only of being caught getting the insulin but his friend’s wavering about calling 911, is almost unbearable.
The bigger picture, continues to show just what it would really be like if this scenario were real. A television reporter interviews two different women who represent two factions. One woman has volunteered to become one of the lottery hopefuls and another is protesting the fact that the fertilized eggs are not being given back to the donors.
The president is upset that his Chief of Staff’s plan has not increased his popularity and goes to rescue Dr. Lennon from her torture sessions. Lennon is to “be the face” of the lottery. After she gives up the embryo, the doctor is then forced to lie to the public in order to placate them. Hayes makes sure that Lennon knows he did not agree to let her go free.
While the story moves between Lennon and Walker, Vanessa’s lover and fellow governmental member of staff, is kidnapped along with other officials. The ransom demanded is a fertilized egg for each person being held. This latest issue is on top of other governments in the world demanding that they get a fair share of embryos.
It has to be pointed out that Michael Graziadei as Kyle Walker bears more than a passing resemblance to a young Robert Patrick. Michael even sounds similar to Patrick when he talks. This works in his character’s favor in that he feels familiar from the very start.
Marley Shelton proves that she can do more than comedic roles and that those acting chops can deliver drama brilliantly. Martin Donovan is more than menacing in his role as the “Big Bad” and Athena Karkanis is convincing as the government official who dares to dream outside the box.
The Lottery, episode two is still scary and feels very, very real. It seems to say that those base fears of the government taking over instead of caring for the public in a world crisis are not misplaced. That the military is willing to control everyone and that despite the best efforts of those in charge, it is a constant battle to maintain freedom. Regardless of whether the crisis is a world shortage of children or not, the show says the government will look out for itself first and the population second. The Lottery airs on Sunday nights.
By Michael Smith