As is the way since, what, “The Shield” in 2002, “Silo” changes its opening titles to adjust for last episode’s big “surprises” as far as lead actor deaths. Also in this episode’s titles is Harriet Walter, which made me happy. I couldn’t wait until Harriet Walter showed up.
And I’m glad she’s getting work other than her standard British lady stuff. Maybe someday it’ll even be a good part. And, maybe someday, her director will tell her—and her British costars—to work on their freaking accents. It wasn’t until Walter shows up I realized… none of the British cast members in “Soil” can hold their accents. Now, “Silo” takes place in an unknown future location. There’s no reason to think it’s not in the UK. Maybe it’s just a Brexit thing.
But neither Walter, Rebecca Ferguson (who’s Swedish, sorry; director Morten Tyldum doesn’t care either), David Oyelowo (who has more to do in this episode than last, even though he’s dying in the present), nor Geraldine James (as the mayor) can do normal sounding accents. They all sound like they just remembered they’re supposed to be doing American and did anyone notice they weren’t. Except Walter. Walter’s doing a voice out of a fantasy cartoon.
This episode opens with Oyelowo walking outside the “Silo,” presumably to his death—only, as all the people inside the silo watch, it’s obvious they’re not going to reveal it right away at the start of the episode. “Silo,” the previous episode established, is all about leaning in on the timeline manipulation. Like in this episode, which establishes Oyelowo is walking out three months after he met Ferguson last episode and had his “connection” with her, or whatever Will Patton called it.
Except as we find out later on in the episode, not only is calling it a “connection” tenuous, they only meet the one time. Oyelowo’s just a special guest star. They have a relatively eventful first meeting—including Ferguson revealing she and Ferdinand Kingsley are lovers and have been exploring the history of the silo—the forbidden history. Also, they’re forbidden lovers. Kingsley’s an amateur archeologist, which is super-illegal, and he doesn’t want to put a ring on it because then Ferguson would be liable for his crimes or something.
This episode also introduces Common—who may have been in a crowd shot last time—as one of the future KGB guys or whatever. They all dress in black, and they make people disappear and whatnot. It’s pointless because the show’s obviously waiting to explain it for emphasis later, not just telling the audience what they need to know. Then, the content might have to be interesting rather than its presentation.
But it’s 2023, and presentation over content is how streaming prestige series roll.
Director Tyldum failed some very basic sci-fi imagery last episode and continues to do so here, except this episode’s also where AppleTV+ apparently told “Silo” to cut back on the CGI a bit (not a good sign telling them to cut back on episode two, obviously). The composites are particularly poorly lighted, but since Tyldum’s not interested in making it visually engaging or compelling… it doesn’t matter?
They promise things will get interesting next episode—unraveling conspiracies and solving murderers interesting—but it’s also their TV show. They could’ve just made it interesting from the start.
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