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Review of 'Silo' 1.6-1.10

Truths

By Paul LevinsonPublished 11 months ago Updated 11 months ago 5 min read
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Episodes 1.6 and 1.7 of Silo are very closely related, and revolve around two themes: the book and the water.

[Spoilers ahead ... ]

Episode 1.6 has Juliette discovering and devouring a relic that provides a key piece of the hidden truth: a book, with pictures of the outside world, including, especially, the ocean. Being on Cape Cod, this immediately resonated with me. There's truth indeed in any big body of water, and especially when the reader is living in a silo. And there's a whole tradition in our off-screen world of books being conveyors of repressed truths, ranging from Station Eleven to, of course, 1984. Silo has echos of 1984 already, and you can add that great dystopian novel to Westworld (listen to the music in Silo), a dystopian television triumph, until its final season.

And in episode 1.7 Juliet briefly rescues Gloria, who gave that book to George's mother, who in turn gave it to her son. The episode is entitled "The Flamekeepers," and that's who Gloria and George's mother were. And now -- as Gloria tells Juliette -- Juliet is their standard bearer.

The heroes and villains are this story are slowly coming into focus. In addition to everyone who went outside to clean, and now Juliet, there are few others willing to buck what we would today call this fascist regime. Bernard seems to be a good guy, and by and large, even Juliet's father, at least in things concerning his daughter's wellbeing. Billings could wind up being a good guy, but that's pretty much it. Sims, wherever his ultimate loyalties may reside, is so far a reliable agent of deceptive government.

But we still know precious little about that -- who they are, and what they ultimately want.

***

And there was a stunning ending to the excellent episode 1.8 of Silo up on Apple TV+.

Ok, the question is what happens to Juliet when she jumps off the railing, in her attempt to escape Holland and Sims and their fascist goons.

Let me again say that I haven't read any of Hugh Howey's books upon which this series is based, so I honestly don't know what will happen next.

And I'll also say that, in general, I tend to believe that unless you see a character's head severed or blown off, there's alway a chance that the character survived. But ... that's what I said when Marnes was shot, and he indeed died. And I also thought that Holston and even his wife perhaps survived when they got outside, and, so far, at least, they didn't. The point here is that so far in this superb 1984-like series, people who seem close to death always have died.

But I do think Juliet is different. Also, she knows the depths of the silo like the back of her hand. And, also, she broke free of Billings precisely because she didn't want to go outside to die. So I'm betting she knows a ledge on the way down that she can get a grip on, stop her fall, and move on to safety.

Meanwhile, another thing I really liked about this episode is that it cleared her father. He didn't go to the authorities with info about what his wife, Juliet's mother, was doing. They found out what she was doing via their spying cameras. And, while we're at it, Billings seems to be a fairly good guy, too.

Which is a very good thing, because with the Mayor revealed as bad, there are some powerful forces now out to kill Juliet.

I'm glad about the news that Silo was renewed for a second season. This is powerful science fiction indeed.

***

I knew it!

I said in my review of episodes 1.1 and 1.2 of Silo (I haven't read the books) that the display of what was outside the silo might have been what we would in our world, off the streaming screen, call a deep fake. And it makes sense -- the best way of keeping people inside is to convince them that what was outside was death, almost immediate.

And this of course raises all kinds of questions. Who else is outside? Everyone else who left the silo and maybe the children of some of these escapees? Maybe also people who survived the catastrophe that led to the creation of the silo in the first place, if that's indeed the reason it was created. Not that much time has passed from when the sheriff and earlier his wife went outside. But people in the silo had been doing just that for a long time. What happened to them?

And in particular, how come they never came back to the silo, to let their loved ones know that there was a beautiful world, with birds flying, outside. I guess there's a possibility that what Juliet saw on the screen was itself a fake...

One thing is very clear. Whatever is going on outside, it hasn't resulted in the silo being liberated. Why not? That big question mark may or may not be fully answered, or answered at all, in episode 1.10, finale of this first season. But that's what second seasons are for. And I have a feeling there will be many more seasons to come in this riveting narrative.

***

Well, it's there in Silo 1.10 -- the season one finale -- but it's precious little. The truth that we see, that is.

So let me make sure I have this right. Juliet goes outside the silo, but she doesn't die, because the tape that Martha used to seal Juliet's suit sealed it from the poison gas that's just outside the silo. But it's not in the air all the time. The world outside the silo is apparently not completely barren and dead (but see the next-to-last paragraph of this review). The poison is sent outside by Bernard, to kill anyone who leaves.

But Juliet also discovers that what she's seeing outside, and what the people inside the silo are seeing outside, is an illusion. The green grass and the birds -- illusion. The former sheriff and his wife lying there, dead -- illusion. But that raises even more questions.

Did Sheriff Holston and his wife die or not? If they didn't have the protective tape that Martha provided for Juliet's suit, then, presumably they did. But if they did, then why put up a bogus image of them lying there dead on the green hill? Why not show them really dead? And if they're alive, where are they? For that matter, if they're dead, where are their bodies now?

The three truths are that Juliette is alive, the landscape is bleak, and there are many silos.

About which we'll no doubt learn much more in the next season, which I'll no doubt be watching and reviewing here.

***

See also Review of Silo 1.1-1.3 ... Review of Silo 1.4-1.5

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About the Creator

Paul Levinson

Novels The Silk Code, The Plot To Save Socrates, It's Real Life: An Alternate History of The Beatles; LPs Twice Upon A Rhyme & Welcome Up; nonfiction The Soft Edge & Digital McLuhan, translated into 15 languages. Prof, Fordham Univ.

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