Now that Succession, Ted Lasso, and Barry have completed their series and Yellowjackets has completed its second season, the Internet is in search of a new series to collectively talk about. Early signs point to Max’s The Idol, for better or worse (definitely worse), and there isn’t a lot of competition for the rest of June. The Bear, Black Mirror, and Witcher arrive this month, but they’re all binge-dumps so they won’t get an opportunity. Secret Invasion will almost certainly soak up some attention, but Marvel fatigue has also set in.
That doesn’t leave a lot for the rest of the month, although Platonic on Apple TV is the best comedy on TV right now this side of The Other Two (or Primo, which was another binge-dump). Can we make it Silo, at least until it finishes its run at the end of the month? Because it’s the most intriguing series airing at the moment, one of the best sci-fi series to come around in a while, and it’s allegedly getting huge streaming numbers.
There isn’t a lot of online conversation surrounding it, despite the fact that it’s been the second-most watched series on Apple TV (after Ted Lasso) since it debuted, while other services that track streaming television have consistently placed among the top three shows on streaming right now.
The audience is there. Let’s talk about it. If you’re not watching, here’s a quick overview: There are 10,000 people living in an underground silo. No one goes outside, and if they do, they cannot return. It is thought — based on the view from a video camera — that those who do leave end up dying because the air is too poisonous to breathe.
Inside the silo, there have been a series of connected murders seemingly designed to prevent anyone from finding out about the history of the silo prior to the last rebellion, 140 years ago. Possessing information — called relics — prior to the rebellion is illegal, and the powers that be are also selective about who they allow to have children. In a nutshell: There’s a mystery about what’s outside of the silo, but there’s an even bigger mystery inside the silo about why people are being murdered and by whom.
I’m also intrigued by the opening credits, in which the named cast members frequently change. Five or six cast members are listed each week, and while Rebecca Ferguson — the new sheriff — and Tim Robbins, the mayor, are consistently listed in the opening credits, the other slots rotate (although Common is now a regular presence).
This week, the other two were Chinaze Uche, who plays the new deputy, Billings, and Avi Nash, who plays an IT guy with a crush on Sheriff Juliette Nichols. And what did we learn this week?
Sheriff Nichols’ case is picking up steam as she gains new information, primarily from Gloria Hildebrandt (Sophie Thomas), an older woman who has been drugged up to make her forget about her past. We learn from her — after Juliette and her estranged father, Dr. Nichols (Iain Glen), reverse Gloria’s sedative — of the existence of The Flamekeepers. The Flamekeepers used to ask questions — they were curious about the past and the outside — and so the powers that be killed them, drugged them, or — in the case of Juliette’s mother — drove them to suicide. Gloria also reveals that the powers-that-be have also been trying to breed curiosity out of the population — The Flamekeepers and people like them are prevented from having children (thanks to Dr. Nichols, working under duress).
We also learn that the “powers that be” is not the mayor — Bernard Holland (Tim Robbins) has kept quiet to protect his life, although I have a sneaking suspicion he’s the next to go — and the Judge (Tanya Moodie) is being controlled, as well. In fact, she’s been hiding out in her apartment with a “cold.” It should be worth noting that we can’t rule out Bernard as the higher power — he could just be pretending to be on the Sheriff’s side. I very much doubt that it is Lukas Kyle, either, but perhaps he’s some low-key mastermind.
Of course, Robert Sims (Common) is calling all the shots, but I suspect he has a boss, too. In either respect, Sims and his people close in on Sheriff Nichols just as she finds a hard drive stashed away in an air vent in Gloria’s room by her predecessor, Sheriff Holston (David Oyelowo), before he went outside. There are three episodes left this season, which doesn’t leave the Sheriff a lot of time to figure out the contents of the hard drive and use them to reveal that IT or Judicial has been behind the murders.
Conversely, if the powers that be get too close, the Sheriff may choose to leave the silo, too, and hope that her replacement, the straight-laced Billings, can pick up where she left off.