Silo S1E4: Truth

Mayor Jahns is dead. The previous episode ends with her collapsed on the bathroom floor, apparently poisoned, while Deputy Marns pleads for help. So we open on a desperate attempt to resuscitate someone, but it’s not Jahns. It’s a flashback to Juliette’s childhood, when her father revives her brother Jacob, who we have not yet seen as an adult. 

In the present, Juliette hasn’t even begun her job as sheriff when she’s called in to investigate the mayor’s murder. Marns knows it was rat poison, probably snuck into her water bottle when the two of them were traversing the middle levels of the silo. But he’s too emotional to be of much help — he clearly cared for her in a way previous episodes only hinted at. Bernard Holland, Tim Robbins’ overcautious IT director — and now interim mayor — is trying to quiet the talk of murder, not wanting to rattle the already-shaken residents of the silo. And Common’s stil-unnamed heavy just glowers silently before advising, “whatever you do, do it quietly,”

But whatever needs to be done, it’s now Juliette’s job to do it. As she settles into her new job and life on the upper levels, the episode continues to intercut Juliette’s present with her past. While her brother survived the first flashback, by the second, he and their mother are dead, and Juliettle blames her father. He’s emotionally distant, and she’s largely left to fend for herself as he goes back to work in the maternity clinic. He seems unbothered by sending their possessions off to be recycled, but it’s difficult for Juliette to let go. And now in the present, she has to do the same for Holston, as she moves into both his office and his apartment. The parallels are obvious, but the flashbacks serve to show how Juliette became the self-sufficient, isolated, resourceful adult she is.

She and Marns make a deal to help each other investigate their loved ones’ murders — which seems unnecessary, given that that’s their job, but both investigations involve asking questions someone in that job isn’t supposed to ask. So we get some old-fashioned shoe leather detective work, but we also get another appearance by Common (whose name is revealed to be Rob, less mysterious than we expected), who exerts quiet pressure on Marns to replace Juliette with I.T.’s choice for sheriff. Marns pushes back, suggesting it better to give the new hire, “some time to fail on her own,” instead of sending her back to the lower levels angry and looking to start trouble. But it’s likely that’s just a way of putting off Rob, as Marns is starting to suspect his motives aren’t entirely pure, and is starting to warm up to Juliette.

Neither of them find any answers this week. Just ever-present loss, and sense that behind the question of who murdered George and the mayor is the bigger question — who’s actually in charge of the silo, and what exactly do they want?

Stray thoughts:
• Juliette has a surprisingly sharp dry sense of humor. “I have no idea what you people eat down deep.” “Children, mostly. Sometimes each other.”

• Martha, the cranky electrical engineer, turns out to not just be Juliette’s work mentor, but her foster mother, as she took in the 13-year-old runaway when she left her father to go work in mechanical. She also makes a discovery, surrounding one of the old relics George had been hoarding, but the implications aren’t yet clear.