Silo S1E8 Recap: “Hanna” Clarifies the Power Dynamics

Juliette looks stunned as Sims is behind her in a field of corn
Apple TV+/Screenshot

The following recap contains spoilers for Silo S1E8, “Hanna” (written by Jeffery Wang & Ingrid Escajeda and directed by Adam Bernstein)

Perhaps the biggest stumbling block to my enjoyment of Silo has been the repeated feeling that various characters are very stupid. And I don’t mean because they don’t know simple things that you and I know—that fits with the premise of growing up in the silo, how it operates, and so on—but in a way where their motivations just don’t make sense.

Some of this we clearly just have to look past, if we can, like when a pair of raiders fail to find Juliette (Rebecca Ferguson) in the nursery in S1E8 because one of them says they aren’t looking for a baby. So they don’t even go into the room she’s in, which also happens to be a room that isn’t under video surveillance, and thus one of the rooms they definitely should be searching if they had their act together at all.

Honestly, coming out of last week’s episode, I figured Juliette would be caught immediately because it really wasn’t plausible for her to elude the units Sims (Common) had sent after her, and yet she does because that’s what the plot calls for. We just have to accept that. And some other things, like Hanna (Sienna Guillory) not turning over the rabbit in the flashbacks that punctuate this episode, though I suppose we can chalk that up to excessive sentimentality.

Hanna looks over at a young Juliette as she prepares to use her microscope
Apple TV+/Screenshot

We learn in “Hanna” that Juliette’s dad (Iain Glen) didn’t rat her mom out when Juliette was a child. I never really thought he did, but now Juliette knows he didn’t and they reconcile in the present. So that’s nice.

Also in the present, Juliette is on a tear trying to find out what’s on the hard drive. As she harasses Lukas (Avi Nash), who’s just informed her that he can’t get into the hard drive and also that she could if she just took it to her work computer, she smashes a mirror and rips a camera out of the wall. And I continue to not respect her whole deal.

I guess Juliette is operating under the bad assumptions that she can neutralize Sims by putting him in custody and that Bernard (Tim Robbins) is on her side, or at least on her side enough to ultimately help her navigate through this particular problem.

Bernard stands in a cornfield looking at Juliette
Apple TV+/Screenshot

The reveal that Bernard is very much not on Juliette’s side isn’t terribly surprising, but it is illuminating with regard to the machinations that we’ve been seeing unfold over the course of the season. For example, it seems clear at this point that Mayor Jahns (Geraldine James) was killed so that Bernard could take over her position, and not directly because she appointed Juliette.

Equally, Marnes (Will Patton) was making it clear that he wasn’t going to play ball, so they had to get him out of the way. Instead of also killing Juliette, Bernard thought that he could use her as a pawn against Meadows (Tanya Moodie), or otherwise dupe her to keep her from being a real problem so that they didn’t have to do another murder.

It’s maybe not the best plan, but we can at least reconstruct something like that to explain why they didn’t just kill Juliette right away, though they do appear to be trying to do that now. Bernard and Sims are testifying that Juliette asked to go outside even though she didn’t. So it seems likely that, as Silo Season 1 comes to an end, we’ll finally get back to where we started.

Perhaps the plan was to use Juliette to help locate the hard drive, if they already knew about the hard drive, or more generally to help them get to what it was George (Ferdinand Kingsley) had found. Back in “The Janitor’s Boy,” Sims told Trumbull (Henry Garrett) he’d made a mistake in killing George, and it would make sense if he was referring to leaving this kind of loose end. The most important thing wasn’t getting rid of George; it was neutralizing the information he’d discovered.

At the same time, though, if I’m right about why they killed Jahns, this implies that there is a power play going on that doesn’t have much to do with George, unless they were worried that public servants operating in good faith were going to discover the truth because of this situation and wreck everything because they don’t know why it’s important to lie to everyone in the silo.

Bernard knows, or says he knows, and given that I may like him more than I like Juliette, I’m nice and primed to hear an explanation that might sway me into backing the putative bad guys in this story.

But everything continues to point in the direction of it actually being safe outside. Allison’s (Rashida Jones) hypothesis still feels like it makes the most sense, and it’s hard to come up with other possibilities that don’t strain logic.

I hope that Silo has a possibility like that in store for us in Season 2, and that this becomes clear as the season comes to a close.

See you next week.

Written by Caemeron Crain

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

Caesar non est supra grammaticos

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