The Wilds season 1, episode 1 recap – the opening chapter explained

By Daniel Hart
Published: December 11, 2020 (Last updated: February 9, 2024)
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Amazon Original series The Wilds season 1, episode 1 - Day One


“Day One” is an intriguing pilot, introducing one of the lead characters while giving slight hints about the others.

This recap of Amazon Original series The Wilds season 1, episode 1, “Day One” contains significant spoilers.

We recapped every episode — check out the archive.

The opening

Hello folks — I bet when you read the premise for The Wilds, you believed you were about to embark on a similar plot to LOST. Episode 1, “Day One”, proves how wrong I was. While the pilot is still bedding in, it will be interesting to where this story goes since it is deep in conspiracies.

“Day One” opens up with two investigators talking to a character named Leah, who is the focal point of the pilot. She is experiencing memories from the island — she tells the two men that what happened to her was traumatic, but it also made her think that her life wasn’t great before. “Day One” then shows the lives of the other women; feeling unwanted and the expectations they felt every single day. As Leah narrates, it’s clear that her experiences have given her perspective — she thinks being a girl in America is the “real living hell.”

Leah finds no comfort from the plane crash

“Day One” then flits to Leah in the ocean, and there’s plane wreckage around her; she’s screaming for help. Leah narrates again; her parents suggested she went to a retreat on an island to help her recover from a devastating breakup. This is a character that is lost and feeling in limbo. On the plane on the way to the retreat, the women attempted to get to know each other; however, Leah didn’t want to get involved — some of the women already know each other from their social circles. In the present day, she tells the investigators that when the plane was about to crash, she took no comfort. The scene then flits; Leah attends an author’s conference — Jeffrey Galanis; she has a crush on him. “Day One” presents a lost teenager — one who is heartbroken and numb and feels betrayed.

No memories

Leah claims that once the plane went down, all the women do not remember much, but the investigators are skeptical. “Day One” then moves back to the island; Rachel is continuously throwing up, and she argues with her sister Nora. Fatin is in shock. Shelby helps out Martha with her leg. This feels like a classic tale of the start of island survival. However, considering the circumstances, you’d think the women would be more panicked.

Leah had an intense crush

Episode 1 then flits to Leah who is with the author Jeffrey; she’s giving him a ride after the book conference. The pair spend more of the evening together and discuss the author’s book. In the present day, Leah tells the investigators about the crush she had on Jeffrey — she describes how she remembered his phone number by heart. One day Jeffrey tells her that he wants to kiss her and she shyly tells him that she will be 18 soon. Leah is being groomed.

They all knew CPR

On the island, one of the women needed CPR, but what was strange is how all the women knew the technique; this wasn’t a coincidence. Jeanette was resuscitated, and she hugs Leah. The women then regroup and start talking about survival until they are saved. With things settling down, Leah started to notice the habits and mannerisms of the others — she felt at peace. That’s until Nora found Jeffrey’s book.

A special time for Leah

After she turned 18, Leah and Jeffrey met at a hotel. Leah narrates that she lost her virginity to this man. Jeffrey annotated the book for her. They end up talking about feelings for each other. Later on, Jeffrey learns that Leah turned 17, not 18, and he is panicked. He is being blackmailed by someone who has sent him her birth certificate. Jeffrey asks Leah to get out of his car.

An early funeral

The women on the island have a phone, and they all decide who they should ring but none of the numbers work. Suddenly, Jeannette starts bleeding from the mouth, and she collapses. Leah tries to help her, but she’s dead. The women decide to bury Jeanette temporarily to keep the animals away. Leah starts singing Pink songs because Jeanette liked the singer. The others join in. “Day One” brings death to the series quickly — it wouldn’t have made sense otherwise; they have crashed on an island after all.

Never Have I Ever

In the evening, the women play “Never Have I Ever” so they can get to know each other next to the campfire. Fatin asks Leah who she slept with; she shows her the book with Jeffrey’s name and face on it.

The ending

Leah tells the investigators that on the first night on the island, she heard ringing from Jeanette’s grave; she was the only one who had heard it. She grabbed the phone and rang Jeffrey — he puts the phone down on her. Leah never told the others that she made a call — she implies that she felt ashamed that out of everyone she rang in a desperate situation, she rang a man who did not want to hear from her. Leah breaks down in front of the investigators and wonders if Jeffrey tried helping once the news broke out about their disappearance. She tells the investigators that there’s only “crazy and damage” amongst them all and the island will get them nowhere. Leah is suggesting that plenty of tragic things occurred in this scene.

“Day One” ends with Thom looking panicky while speaking to Gretchen — he’s been trying to contact her. Gretchen is the woman from the retreat videos. He gives her a “Code X” and says “Jeanette”. Thom tells her the possibility of having no assistance on the ground. Gretchen looks at the CCTV of Jeanette’s funeral, and she looks concerned.

The Wilds season 1, episode 1 is an intriguing pilot, introducing one of the lead characters while giving slight hints about the others. There’s clearly a conspiracy at stake, but the Amazon series is keeping it at bay by only feeding certain information. The story hasn’t bedded in yet, with the characters finding their feet and some of the dialogue is a little watery, but there’s promise that hopefully carries into the rest of the series.

Additional points
  • Shelby has fake teeth which may be from an accident.

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