blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Silo (2023) s01e10 – Outside

 “Silo” ends its first season on a massive cliffhanger. Massive in terms of physical scale. In many ways, it’s a soft cliffhanger. People may be in immediate danger, but it’s unclear how much they know about it. The show also manages to low-key tie into the Apple Vision Pro, which is kind of cool, though the future tech is decidedly non-Apple. The first scene has Rebecca Ferguson still hanging out with hacker Will Merrick and ne’er-do-well Rick Gomez and they’re watching stuff on square monitors. Merrick and Gomez quickly disappear from the episode, which then becomes all about how Ferguson’s going to reveal what happened to Rashida Jones and David Oyelowo.

Except not really. I mean, we do find out what happened to them, but Ferguson doesn’t. We, the audience, have a better handle on some of the reveals than she can because, well, her understanding of reality is minimal. We do find out how some of the more active deceptions are taking place; it’s a great episode for Tim Robbins. “Silo” has had a full cast with folks who never really got to shine—Gomez, for instance, has been regular in most of the opening titles and hasn’t had squat. Avi Nash seems to have been red herring. At least Chinaza Uche gets some more to do—with promises for next season—but he’s left mostly unresolved. The episode juggles perspectives—Ferguson, Uche, Robbins—before settling on Ferguson and Robbins.

Harriet Walter and Ferguson’s original supporting cast shows up for a bit. They get some okay character arcs for the episode, with Walter getting a huge arc but not actually much to do onscreen because it’s got to all be about the final reveals. There’s a really nice small part for Clare Perkins as one of Walter’s old pals; hopefully, they get to do more next season, but at this point… it’s impossible to know. Next season can go all of the ways.

Iain Glen shows up for a scene, and while it’s nice he and Ferguson get to play reunited dad and daughter, he’s still got that terrible accent.

Common has an okay episode, though all of last episode’s character development implications get paused here. Even when he’s interacting with Uche, separate from pursuing Ferguson, we’re not getting the character stuff.

There’s just too much going on and not a lot of time to do it. Outside runs around forty-five minutes, so short even for a “Silo,” and the last five to ten are all about the reveals and next season hints. There are numerous chase sequences through the episode and full-on action set pieces—director Adam Bernstein does a fine job; I was thrilled to see his credit in the titles. He’s got an unfair advantage in being the most recent director, but he’s “Silo”’s all-around strongest director. He gets Ferguson not to fall into accent hijinks when Glen and Walter tempt her.

Ferguson gets a fairly nice arc for the season, too, especially considering she didn’t take over the show until episode three, and even then, there was major sharing for a while.

“Silo” has worked out. The overall structure could be better (those first two episodes centering on other characters never paid off long-term)–especially since Bernstein approaches it as a noir, where they could’ve done a flashback thing throughout better–but it’s definitely worked out. And the stakes have been reset for next time, so the wait for season two’s should be bearable.

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