Episode Seven (“The Flamekeepers”) of AppleTV’s Silo further deepens the conspiracy. This is a recap and a review of the episode.
Spoilers to follow!
The episode begins with Gloria, from the first episode, as she stands on the beach watching her family play. A nurse wakes her from a stupor, revealing it was a daydream or hallucination, and then gives her a needle to calm her down.
Upon looking more at the book, Jules discovers the book was Gloria’s. Seeking her out, Jules finds she’s in long-term care. She heads out to see her, much to Billings’ frustration.
At the hospital, Jules is brought to Gloria, whom they claim has dementia. She finds out from the nurse that Meadows is ordering her to be kept in the room. She heads to Judicial to find that Meadows is “out with a cold.”
Billings’ wife and baby show up to visit him, but an emergency interrupts them: a brawl in the street. The cops subdue everyone. When Jules finally shows up back at the station, she learns a bar was trashed, and a fight broke out in response. Billings tears into her, explaining all he’s done for her that day and earlier, and she finally admits the truth about her search into George and the conspiracy.
Billings, exasperated but intrigued, determines a loophole in the Pact that will allow Jules to re-open George’s case. She asks where Meadows lives, and he reluctantly tells her.
On the way, she meets Lukas at the cafeteria, and we find out he’s a System Analyst. They see the lights in the sky, the constellations. He describes witnessing a comet outside once and then he moves in for a kiss. Jules initially responds positively but then freaks out, overwhelmed, likely with thoughts of George.
Or perhaps not. She rushes back to her room to look at a page in her book that explains the constellations.
She meets with Bernard, who seems much more amiable than previously. He tells her that Meadows can fire him if he does something she doesn’t like and that this would mean a power shift in the silo. He explains that IT controls all the systems in the silo, like irrigation, lights and etcetera. While the generator is important, without IT, the power wouldn’t be connected to anything; he’s essentially telling her they need to be a united front against Judicial to keep them from taking control of everything.
Jules visits Meadows’ house and asks about taking Gloria for a few hours. Meadows initially plays obtuse but soon breaks down and says she can’t let Jules take Gloria because “they” don’t want her to. Jules accuses her of accepting favours if she keeps quiet about the mysterious “they.”
Meanwhile, the men in the tv room watch her, including Sims. Is this Judicial, or is Sims working outside even that department?
Jules goes to her dad’s house. He wants to reconcile, and Jules says, instead, she needs him to help Gloria. She throws their bad relationship in his face to convince him. He sneaks into the hospital and wakes Gloria. He tells her they’re going to see the babies in the nursery, a place he knows is safe. Jules convinces Pete to give Gloria a drug to reverse the sedation effects, despite risks to her health. She has a seizure, sending Jules into a flashback about her brother. The seizure fades, and Gloria drifts to sleep.
Sims notices that Jules has escaped the video feeds. The crew in the room explain, for our benefit, about the gaps in their view that are blocked by items in the silo.
When Gloria wakes, she sees Pete and declares that he works for the people who made her infertile. She’s paranoid and frantic until Jules shows her the book. She calms down and then claims she’s part of a group called the Flamekeepers, who fought to retain knowledge about the past, despite outright attempts to snuff them out. She explains that both she and Allison were subjected to fake removal of birth control. She reveals that George’s mom was a Flamekeeper and Gloria had given the book to her. Gloria asks to hold one of the babies, then says Jules’ mom was a Flamekeeper too.
All of this makes sense, except for how none of those newborns cried the entire time Jules was in the nursery. Also, if Pete is off-duty, who is watching them? The hospital was deserted, so they just let the new babies lie there all night without supervision or feeding?
Jules calls her dad out on the birth control conspiracy. He says it’s done as a genetic thing to weed out diseases. She asks about the morals behind giving the would-be parents false hope and leaves.
Jules takes Gloria back to her room and lets her hold the book again. She then recalls the note Holsten left about putting flowers in front of the mirror. Jules realizes they might be watched. She covers up the mirror, which sends Sims, watching in “janitorial,” after her. Gloria tells her to save the knowledge and pass it on, then admits that Jules’ mom killed herself.
The episode ends as the judicial guards break in.
As usual, the episode starts with a mystery we think we’re beginning to understand, then broadens. One of the great things about the show is how it feels like a classic conspiracy mystery from the 60s and 70s (e.g. Soylent Green, All the President’s Men). Conspiracy shows in this vein have taken a backseat recently, probably due to the rampantness of various theories on the internet that make the concept hit a little close to home (and how we’ve all pretty much accepted that Google is spying on us all the time via our devices). As such, it’s fun to have one that, while it does touch on issues in real life today here and there, brings that escapism feel.
The next episode airs on June 16th on AppleTV+.