Juliette is on the lam this week in the penultimate installment of Silo’s first season. The Apple TV+ sci-fi show, about the woman who discovers a massive conspiracy in the equally massive underground bunker containing the last dregs of humanity, finds Juliette looking for help and hope in all the strangest places.
Sims, Bernard and Billings all sweat her escape and what it might mean for the future of the silo in a white-knuckle episode entitled “The Getaway.”
Silo recap: ‘The Getaway’
Season 1, episode 9: Silo sheriff Juliette Nichols (played by Rebecca Ferguson) has made a desperate escape. While in the custody of Deputy Paul Billings (Chinaza Uche) and Justice Sims (Common), under the orders of Mayor Bernard (Tim Robbins), she took advantage of Paul’s weakened state (he’s ill with a disease he’s kept secret from the government, which is illegal), grabbed a contraband hard drive and leaped several stories to safety.
Billings is inconsolable, despite his wife Kathleen’s (Caitlin Zoz) protestations. She suggests he give up the deputy gig and go back to his desk job at Judicial. He says he wants to disclose his illness. She says he’d better imagine their newborn baby growing up without a father. The last sheriff, Holston (David Oyelowo) was sent outside to die. Why would Billings be an exception, kid or not?
Billings resolves to fix his mistake, to find Juliette before anyone else does. He waits for Judicial to conclude their search of Juliette’s apartment, then breaks in to look for clues himself. Eventually, he finds the travel diary that former rebel Gloria (Sophie Thompson) left behind for Juliette’s ex-lover George Wilkins (Ferdinand Kingsley), who was murdered for having it and other such contraband relics of life before the silo. Billings burns the book — but keeps one page.
Searching the silo for Juliette
The deputies on the other levels are all mobilized to find Juliette. When the mechanical floor’s Deputy Hank (Billy Postlethwaite) shows up at Juliette’s friend Martha Walker’s (Harriet Walter) door, it’s with a look of apology in his eyes. But he also knows Martha isn’t dumb enough to be caught, so he doesn’t feel too badly about letting them in to search her apartment.
Meanwhile, Sims goes to Juliette’s dad Peter (Iain Glen) to try to coerce him into giving her up, but he’s steadfast for the first time in his life. He and Juliette just reconciled a life of distance and regret — he’s not gonna give that up, even in the face of his own potential death and ruin. Peter asks Sims if he would help the people hunting his child when they already hounded his wife to suicide? Sims answers yes, because no one is more important than 10,000 people … which is handy, because when Sim’s wife Camille (Alexandria Riley) and son Anthony (Oscar Coleman) get home that day, they find someone has broken into their house.
Juliette gets the drop on Camille, handcuffs her to a heating pipe, and uses Sims’ computer to try and boot up the contraband hard drive. They try mind games on one another, each using the other’s blind spots and weaknesses to try and crack their resolve. Anthony watches all this from the crack in his bedroom door, knowing only that something bad is happening but not what or why.
Eventually, Juliette gets into the hard drive and is so transfixed by all the data she doesn’t notice Camille getting her keys out of her pocket and freeing herself from her handcuffs.
The display is a lie
Bernard tries to interrogate Lukas Kyle (Avi Nash), knowing that Juliette brought the I.T. grunt to her apartment before escaping. Bernard knows Juliette showed Lukas the hard drive. He also knows that Lukas didn’t report it, choosing instead to slip out of the apartment quietly to avoid arrest. This means Bernard’s got Lukas over a barrel.
Panicked, Lukas gives Bernard the only information he has about the hard drive, specifically a number. Bernard jails Lukas and gives the number to I.T. And it doesn’t take them long to discover that the hard drive is plugged into a computer on level 17, where Sims lives. When Sims hears this, he sprints down to his apartment with a bunch of raiders in tow. But by the time they get there, Juliette is gone. Camille won’t say so but it’s because she helped her escape, recognizing at last that Juliette isn’t the villain.
Juliette goes to the last guy she thinks she can trust, former criminal reprobate Patrick Kennedy (Rick Gomez). And he in turn calls the best hacker he knows (Will Merrick) to crack the drive again and make it look like it’s being opened on the 98th floor. Then they watch a video message from George saying that the drive contains all the proof they need that the government is lying to the people. They have a live feed from the helmet of someone sent out into the wasteland. Of course, it’s not a wasteland. It’s beautiful and birds are flying. The big monitors that displays the outside world that everyone sees in the mess halls on every floor is a lie.
With Silo season finale coming, the show kicks into overdrive
You know a show is working when individual moments or elements don’t jump out because you’re too actively invested in the plot. Admittedly, this means that the craft isn’t super-compelling beyond a Tab A into Slot B sort of “this is how you put together an action sequence” thing, but whatever … I’ll take it. If the engine is working, the whole machine is working.
With just one episode of Silo left this season, I’m very, very curious how things will shake out, enough that I’m psyched there’s going to be a second season.
Watch Silo on Apple TV+
New episodes of Silo arrive Fridays 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 RogerEbert.com. 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 Patreon.com/honorszombie.