Silo, TV Shows

In AppleTV’s Silo Episode Five, Answers Provide Only More Questions

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Episode Five (“The Janitor’s Boy”) of AppleTV’s Silo answers some questions but raises even more.

This is a recap and review of Silo episode 5. Spoilers to follow! 

Credit: AppleTV+

Silo Episode 5 Recap and Review

The episode begins with Jules’ examination of George’s citizen record, which includes interviews about relics. While Jules is reading the documents, a porter shows up with a note saying that Marnes was murdered. When she arrives at the mayor’s office, the man who was to be sheriff, Billings, is also there as he’s to be her deputy. Before the medical team enters, Juliette takes a minute to investigate the room and Marnes’ body. She finds a note listing murder suspects and it appears somebody ripped a piece of paper off his wall. 

When she meets the others in Bernard’s office, he explains he’ll only be interim mayor for a few months, and they discuss what to do about the deaths. Bernard wants to make it seems like forbidden or late-life love to distract people from the mystery behind their deaths. He also wants to do a “foot race” in Jahns’ honor. He then tells Jules, separately, that it’s an unspoken rule that she bow to Judicial’s wishes. 

They have a joint funeral, where Bernard, awkwardly, talks about how great a leader Jahns was. Juliette makes a small speech about Marnes, turning it into a silo-unification message. 

Everyone at the funeral takes a bite of a fruit and throws it into the grave, perhaps to start the composition process or to show respect.

Silo Episode 5
Credit: AppleTV+

Hank is waiting for Jules in the sheriff’s office. He tells her that the silo is at a boiling point and people are scared, but he also offers assistance to her should she need it. 

After he leaves, Sandy enters and makes an offer: Jules needs to find out who killed Marnes, and Sandy will, in turn, help her do her job and find out who killed George.

Jules and Billings go investigating, but she soon dismisses him. Alone, she heads to Patrick Kennedy’s house, uses her badge to pick the lock, and looks through his stuff. She finds a can of rat poison and a drawing of the Sheriff that Marnes had hung in his house. She undercovers a pretty nefarious plot in her discovery. 

Billings heads to Sims, whom he finds talking with Doug Trumbell (Henry Garett), the man whom we know killed Marnes. 

After leaving his place, Jules finds Kennedy painting the walls. After what he says to her, she walks away with him, telling him she’s taking him somewhere safe.  

Later, Billings tells Jules that Sims is doing his own investigation with a spy group called “Friends of the Silo,” who report to Judicial. He reveals they are suggesting a man named Ralph Malby was the killer. 

Jules tells Sandy that Judicial is setting up Kennedy to make Jules look incompetent at her job. She decides to catch judicial at Kennedy’s, where Trumbell does indeed show up. She tries to arrest him, and he takes off. 

Meanwhile, the Race to the Top leaves one staircase abandoned. After a scuffle, Trumbull tries to throw Jules off the railing, but a small child sees and points it out to the crowd. When Trumbull tries to pry off Jules’ fingers, she breaks one of his and tries to climb up after he escapes. The people run to help her. 

Trumbull heads to a door called “Janitorial” and meets Sims, who won’t tell him what the door is truly for (as, given Sims’ role and, even more, his snazzy clothes, it’s odd he would be hanging around in that area). Trumbull gives Sims a note. Sims explains that his father was a janitor and that people looked down on him for it. Sims eventually finds out that his father, whom he thought was a weak man, was actually part of Judicial and a group that, he claims, keeps the silo alive. He swears Trumbull in as his shadow, but it’s just a ruse to distract him before shoving him over the rail. 

The next day, in a meeting with Judge Meadows, Jules explains that, based on the suicide note Trumbull carried, he killed himself because he knew he would get caught for the murders of Jahns and Marnes. She admits to not believing this. Meadows tells her to let it go. 

Jules finds out that Sandy has been reassigned to another station by request. Sandy says she feels she’s being watched up here, but not by who or how.

Bernard admits to Jules that he thinks she’s a good sheriff. She asks for two days off to say goodbye to people in Mechanical, given she’s going to be keeping the job up top. 

On the way, she runs into Lukas in the cafeteria again. She asks him what he’s doing. He’s looking at the stars – neither of them has any inkling of what they are. It’s pretty wild to think that they are living a fairly high-tech life but have no idea what stars are or what the world outside is like. And we all know what happened to Galileo when he started questioning too deeply. 

Jules explains to Marty about the lights Lukas is examining, but she’s more interested in imparting a warning to Jules. She hands back Jules’ pocketknife and warns her of rebellion. Upon showing Jules the camera, she claims there are two rules she never understood about the Pact (the silo’s list of rules): 1) they can’t mechanize the way they go up and down the silo, and 2) no magnification is allowed beyond a certain power.   

The wiring of the camera is so small it contravenes the Pact, so she’s unsure who made it or what it does. 

Thinking of the Pact, Jules says she has to obtain some bait to lure Judicial out in order to ascertain what happened to George. She heads to the Digger and opens the lock box containing the Pez dispenser, suggesting she will be venturing into the water next episode.  


Overall Thoughts 

As someone who read the books, I love the differences that are forming in the show. It’s making the story almost new to me, and at this point, I’m unsure of what direction it’s going. There are major scenes or twists in the books I’m wondering will be left out or modified, and that’s really fun. I’m never a purist when it comes to adaptations – in fact, I prefer them to take some liberties or make changes as I’d rather not know how everything will turn out.

One thing this episode brought up in passing was something called “the syndrome,” which made an older man’s hands shake and wasn’t explained. Given I can’t recall this from the books, I wonder what brings on this illness and if it’s some sort of poisoning? Like the silo itself, the show has so many layers, but luckily for us, we don’t have to walk up any flights to uncover them. 

The next episode airs on June 2nd on AppleTV+. 

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    T. S. Beier is obsessed with science fiction, the ruins of industry, and Fallout. She is the author of What Branches Grow, a post-apocalyptic novel (which was a Top 5 Finalist in the 2020 Kindle Book Awards and a semi-finalist in the 2021 Self-Published Science Fiction Competition) and the Burnt Ship Trilogy (space opera). She is a book reviewer, editor, and freelance writer. She currently lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband, two feral children, and a Shepherd-Mastiff.

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