Silo starts to give up its horrible secrets [Apple TV+ recap]


Avi Nash and Rebecca Ferguson in ★★★★☆
Lukas (played by Avi Nash, left) and Juliette (Rebecca Ferguson) stumble upon something strange.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ Review Silo, the hit Apple TV+ series about people dwelling in a titanic subterranean structure years after an apocalyptic event turned Earth’s air toxic, begins its final act this week.

Juliette discovers a horrible clue hidden in the memory of someone who can’t access it. And a risky mission will put her in close proximity to the one person she doesn’t want to see, but it’s now or never time in the silo.

The episode, entitled “The Flamekeepers,” is a very well-handled lynchpin episode of Silo.

Silo recap: ‘The Flamekeepers’

Season 1, episode 7: Remember Gloria (played by Sophie Thompson)? The woman who was trying to give Alison (Rashida Jones) and Sheriff Holston (David Oyelowo) advice on conceiving a child, back before they discovered the conspiracy at the heart of the silo? She’s not doing too hot these days. She’s either developed some form of dementia, or someone found out she knew something and started drugging her enough that she does now. Either way, she’s having hallucinations in her hospital room.

That’s a shame, because Sheriff Juliette Nichols (Rebecca Ferguson) needs her right now. She’s just been given an illegal relic from the past: a travel diary with three names on the front: “George,” “Anne” and “Gloria.” Somehow this diary wound up in the hands of George Wilkins (Ferdinand Kingsley), Juliette’s one-time lover.

Before George was killed by the Judicial branch of the silo’s government, he gave the book to his former girlfriend, Regina Jackson (Sonita Henry). When Juliette pressed her about George, Regina gave up the book. It brought her nothing but trouble, like all of George’s relics, so what harm will it do her to be rid of it?

Juliette goes down to the hospital, leaving deputy Paul Billings (Chinaza Uche) in charge, and finds Gloria in the middle of a hallucination. She does say something interesting, though, about “the water they don’t want us to know about.” Juliette tries to take Gloria for a walk but is told by the staff that Judge Meadows (Tanya Moodie) has given strict orders that Gloria isn’t allowed to leave.

Riot on floor 26!

Just as Juliette barges into the judge’s office without permission and is told the judge is out sick, Billings gets an emergency missive. There’s a riot on floor 26. Billings and the other deputies break it up, but he’s furious. He’s lying for her and he wants to know why. Juliette finally comes clean and tells him about her affair with George, her suspicions about Alison and Holston, and how it all connects to the murders of former Mayor Jahns (Geraldine James) and Deputy Marnes (Will Patton). Billings doesn’t love to hear it, but at least she’s being honest with him. He decides to help her.

On her way home, Juliette stops to look at the stars out of the big monitors in the dining hall and — after some abortive flirting with IT guy Lukas Kyle (Avi Nash) — she has an epiphany. In the travel book, there are pictures of constellations.

A crisis in the making

Mayor Bernard (Tim Robbins) calls Juliette into his office to discuss a threat he received from Meadows. When Bernard sided with Juliette in front of Meadows, it made Meadows nervous, so she sent Sims (Common) to say if Bernard ever tried anything like this again, they’d find a way to remove him as mayor.

Bernard pleads with Juliette to find dirt on Meadows, because if he and Juliette are removed from office, that means Judicial gets complete and unfettered control of the power grid. And that means the lower levels would go without power or water.

Juliette confronts Meadows and gets stonewalled, which she expected, but not in the way she expected. The more Juliette presses her, the more clear it becomes that Meadows isn’t calling the shots at all. Certainly, that explains why Sims is the one who’s monitoring the CCTV feed of every apartment in the upper levels.

Juliette’s dad steps up

Frustrated but uncowed, Juliette goes to the one avenue left to her: her physician father, Dr. Peter Nichols (Iain Glen). He’s horrified at the idea of breaking the law, but he hasn’t come through for his daughter — his only living relative — in years. So he relents. Together, they sneak into the hospital after hours, then take Gloria out of her room and into the nursery, the last place in the hospital that isn’t bugged.

In trying to wake up Gloria from her drug-induced stupor, they accidentally induce a seizure, but both Juliette and Peter have experience with those; her little brother used to get them all the time as a kid before he died. When Gloria wakes up, she starts accusing Peter of working for the government, and of stopping her from having a baby, so Juliette banishes him from the room.

The secret of the Flamekeepers

Gloria finally confesses about the Flamekeepers — rebels the silo’s government tried to stop. After the government quashed the rebellion, the authorities put something in the water to make people forget things faster. And they started making sure people with rebellious instincts were given birth control so they wouldn’t reproduce.

Juliette’s horrified to hear all this, not least because it means her dad’s distance all these years was because he knew he’d done the wrong things for the wrong people and wound up endangering and killing innocent people who just wanted a better life. Juliette takes Gloria back to her room and is going to leave her when she remembers something. The last time Gloria saw Holston, he put flowers in front of the window … the same flowers that were, until yesterday, blocking the mirror in Juliette’s apartment until maintenance said they broke her vase.

There are cameras in the mirrors. Juliette realizes she only has a few seconds before Judicial’s goons come bursting in the door. And that’s when Gloria tells her one final thing: Juliette’s mother killed herself.

Keep the flame alive

Iain Glen in "Silo," now streaming on Apple TV+.
Iain Glen delivers a strong performance as Juliette’s secret-keeping dad this week.
Photo: Apple TV+

Silo delivers thrilling stuff this week as the slow realization that the mission to extract information from Gloria will decide Juliette’s fate — and possibly the fate of every “free” man and woman in the silo. I love Iain Glen — an actor who’s been a golden ticket for a lot of TV shows over the years, a reason to tune in when everything else fails. So I was grateful he and a very prickly Rebecca Ferguson got some screen time opposite one another.

Using Glen to project an outward goodness that conceals a compromised morality is always the right move with the actor. His face always betrays conflict beautifully. With only three episodes left, Silo’s whole ballgame just changed. I’m quite excited to see what it looks like when Juliette goes on the run with no one in her corner (except maybe the grunts down at the mechanical level). Let’s keep this train a-rollin’.


Watch Silo on Apple TV+

New episodes of Silo arrive Fridays on Apple TV+.

Rated: TV-MA

Watch on: Apple TV+

Watch on Apple TV

Scout Tafoya is a film and TV critic, director and creator of the long-running video essay series The Unloved for He has written for The Village Voice, Film Comment, The Los Angeles Review of Books and Nylon Magazine. He is the author of Cinemaphagy: On the Psychedelic Classical Form of Tobe Hooper and But God Made Him A Poet: Watching John Ford in the 21st Century, the director of 25 feature films, and the director and editor of more than 300 video essays, which can be found at


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