If there’s a common idea to Lost in Space, it’s that the general decency of the Robinson family and their earnestness makes other people they encounter want to be better people. It’s worked on just about everybody so far, including generally odious people like Dr. Smith and perhaps Adler.
That said, not everyone is susceptible to the family’s overall charms.
Yes, someone is going to start nasty and stay that way. And it isn’t Smith. Smith isn’t all the way there yet, and John is a bit too harsh with her by episode’s end, but she isn’t the bad guy this time around.
No, that would be Hastings. Maureen has a plan to purify enough water for everyone to move on to Alpha Centauri rather than let the powers-that-be which includes Hastings just leave before the alien fleet arrives, stranding hundreds of people on the planet below. Because, you see, Hastings is a dick.
Now, the captain of the Resolute, who does eventually succumb to the Robinsons’ do-the-right-thing philosophy once Maureen’s attempted mutiny gets the Resolute somewhere that can filter the water quickly, makes a point about how there are who-knows-how-many people back on Earth who need the mission to succeed, so it’s more of a utilitarian philosophy of helping the most people and not just the most immediate. The thing is, Maureen’s plan will do the same without abandoning a few hundred people below.
It’s just, Hastings doesn’t care. He even tries blackmail by opening an airlock, one that could lead to the deaths of Don and his supervisor if not for some quick thinking. But then we do get some backstory for Hastings and find out he was a rather shifty character all along since, way back in season one, he was the unseen person Maureen essentially cut a deal with to get permission to take Will with them. All she needed to do was share her passwords, something any idiot would tell you is a bad idea, and he sets things up. That also allows him to take control of the Resolute back from Maureen.
Of course, the Robot could have saved Don. But it doesn’t, despite Will asking or telling him to. Instead, he wanders off to save his friend–Scarecrow–during which he ends up telling Will “no” for the first time on his own accord and not because Smith told the Robot to disobey Will.
You know, maybe not treating the Robot like a tool would be a good thing for everyone to remember. Will seemed a wee bit guilty of that here, but he may get it in the end since he was the first to figure it out in the first place.