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Silo on Apple TV+ offers a master class in world-building and sci-fi storytelling

Updated Jun 30th, 2023 5:48PM EDT
Rebecca Ferguson
Image: Apple

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Not since the glory days of Lost have I been as obsessed with a small-screen drama as much as I am with the hit Apple TV+ series Silo. Like Alice falling down the rabbit hole, each successive episode of the latter has pulled me deeper and deeper into the show’s sprawling, post-apocalyptic narrative. Silo is relentlessly addictive in the way it raises new questions in your mind with each subsequent answer that’s revealed, reminiscent of how quickly fans like me got obsessed with the byzantine plot of Lost. It’s a superbly cast and overall well-done adaptation of author Hugh Howey’s Silo book series, and I’m also not surprised at all that Apple has renewed the show for a second season.

Silo on Apple TV+
Rebecca Ferguson in “Silo.” Image source: Apple

*Spoilers ahead*

In terms of where the story took us during that jaw-droppingly good finale, which is now available to stream on Apple TV+: Honestly, when Juliette was sent out to clean, I was on the edge of my seat the whole time, holding my breath and not blinking. I actually got up off of the couch, wanting to take in every detail on the TV, and I’m not sure I still 100% understand what I saw — though I am completely certain that it was a home run of a finale.

In fact, Hugh Howey must feel particularly gratified, because so many people who’ve now finished with Silo seem to be having the same post-finale reaction: Running straight to the books to continue the story and get those burning questions answered while we wait for Apple to give us Silo Season 2.

Some of those burning questions I have include:

  • At least as far as Juliette goes, now what???? The last image we see of her is of her surveying what looks like a post-apocalyptic wasteland, dotted by openings to … many, many more silos.
  • I’m also not sure I fully understand the interplay between those who are sent out to clean, their obligatory wiping off of the silo windows, the manipulated images that the windows present to silo citizens — and the fake, manipulated images that are shown in the helmets of those sent out to clean.
  • Near as I can tell, and someone please let me know if I’m wrong: The view that the silo’s citizens see through the windows is fake, because the higher-ups don’t want them to know there are more silos out “there.” I *think* the view in the cleaners’ helmets is shown to be that beautiful, colorful paradise, to then motivate them to return and “clean” the silo’s windows so everyone else can see the “paradise,” too. But then, when that person takes off their helmet thinking the world is amazing, they … breathe toxic fumes and die? (But that doesn’t explain why Juliette doesn’t see bodies all around her as she steps outside).
  • I have a million more questions. Why doesn’t anyone inside know about the other silos outside? Is Bernard a villain or one of these grey “if-you-knew-what-I-knew, I’m trying to protect you” types?

See what I mean, when I noted above how every reveal this show gives you just leads to more questions, pulling you deeper down the rabbit hole? What a fascinating, top-tier sci-fi series.

To recap: Silo tells the story of the last 10,000 people left on Earth, living in a mile-deep home that’s meant to protect them from the toxic atmosphere outside (“We do not know why everything outside the Silo is as it is. We do not know when it will be safe to go outside. We only know that day is not this day“).

To keep everyone in line, there’s a strict crackdown on anyone who gets too inquisitive about what the silo is, why it was built, and the truth of the outside world. Rebecca Ferguson both executive-produces and stars in the series as Juliette, an engineer whose search for answers about a loved one’s murder puts her at the vanguard of pretty much every mystery the silo has to offer.

Even in the last days of humanity, living in a subterranean warren of a silo, there’s also the realization that some things never change. People who live on the bottom floors, for example (“the Deep Down”), are looked down on by those above who live a more privileged existence. The silo’s IT chief knows way, way more than he probably should. And the quasi-religion of the silo’s “founders,” which includes very specific funeral rituals and quirks like “forgiveness holidays,” keeps most people docile and in line.

Tim Robbins
Tim Robbins, in “Silo.” Image source: Apple

Silo Season 1’s 10th and final episode (titled “Outside”) is now streaming on Apple TV+. Overall, I have to say it’s been a thrilling ride so far, and I can’t wait to see where the story goes next in Season 2.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.