Silo S1E7 Recap: “The Flamekeepers” Stirs the Embers

Juliette looks angry
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The following recap contains spoilers for Silo S1E7, “The Flamekeepers” (written by Jessica Blaire and directed by Bert & Bertie)

Silo S1E7 gives us a bit more detail on the repressive nature of life within the silo but almost no movement with regard to the question as to why this is the case.

For example, Gloria (Sophie Thompson) tells Juliette (Rebecca Ferguson) about the titular Flamekeepers who’ve tried to keep the past alive, but we’re still left to speculate as to why the powers that be want to snuff them out. Juliette’s dad, Dr. Pete Nichols (Iain Glen), pretty much confirms that he kept women from having babies, pleading that he didn’t have a choice, but there isn’t anything shocking about that if you simply believed Allison (Rashida Jones) back in Episode 1. What Pete says doesn’t really give us anything new to chew on, though I suppose the confirmation is nice.

The same goes for Gloria’s claim that they started drugging the water to make people forget, which is a new bit of information. We already know that those in charge are super serious about making people forget the past, so learning of another pernicious method by which they do so doesn’t go terribly far in terms of intrigue. And it’s hard to keep wondering why they want to erase the past when Silo is providing so little in terms of new wrinkles or suggested possibilities.

This is especially true since Gloria is clearly unreliable as a source of information. In the opening scenes of S1E7, she’s standing on a beach, but this proves to be a hallucination. And she later tells Juliette she has no idea what the ocean sounds like. So it would seem to be a totally fabricated scene, which undermines any thought that we should look for clues within it.

Gloria on a beach
Apple TV+/Screenshot

The most interesting prospect the scenes with Gloria got me thinking about has to do with the question of how much time has passed since the silo was built and since the rebellion occurred. The official line is that it has been 140 years since the latter (and an untold amount of time since the former), but Gloria’s account of things feels personal in a way that makes me wonder if it’s actually been far fewer years than that. Maybe she actually was on a beach as a child and her mind is just too scrambled for her to remember that with any confidence. Maybe the silo was built within her lifetime.

This would provide some justification for the deception enacted by those in power and the erasure of history, if they want everyone to believe that humanity has been confined to the silo for longer than they have been, or something along those lines. But even if this were true, it’s not leading me to any new thoughts about why they’d feel the need to lie to everyone. It almost seems to work in the opposite direction.

Bernard sits at his desk
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Bernard (Tim Robbins) tells Juliette he’s worried about bad things Meadows (Tanya Moodie) might do, but Meadows says she simply cannot do as Juliette asks. So everything points in the direction of Sims (Common) actually being the one who holds real power. He’s the one that the surveillance guys were waking up at the end of last week’s episode, and he’s the one giving orders in “The Flamekeepers.” He’s probably also the one who visited Regina (Sonita Henry) in the night, though there is some space to doubt that since she said that wasn’t Judicial and Sims is recognizably a part of Judicial and I think just a known person in general. Maybe when he threatens people in the darkness, they just can’t see his face. Or maybe this night visitor will turn out to be someone else.

It does seem as though something will have to start happening in next week’s episode. As S1E7 comes to a close, Juliette finds the hard drive in the vent of Gloria’s room, and Sims sends troops after her. It’s hard to see how that situation could return to the status quo.

Sims stands between two men in surveillance
Apple TV+/Screenshot

Further, Gloria asks Juliette if she knows why her mother killed herself, but we don’t get the answer. Here’s hoping it’s something intriguing and that we find out soon.

Juliette never exactly seemed to wonder why Holston (David Oyelowo) left that note about doubling the flowers in front of the mirror, but she’s figured out now that they’re spying through mirrors. I’m actually more curious about how Holston learned this than anything, but I’m not sure we’ll find that out.

The big question remains: is he dead? Is Allison dead? Was she wrong about what it’s like outside?

Either way, I feel like Silo has been treading water for five episodes and, at this point, I don’t really expect any big answers until the season finale. All I can say is that I hope it will feel like it’s been worth the wait.

Written by Caemeron Crain

Caemeron Crain is Executive Editor of TV Obsessive. He struggles with authority, including his own.

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