“Day Twenty-Three” is a satisfactory ending. However, it purposefully keeps many answers at bay, teasing the audience to return for a second season.
This recap of Amazon Original series The Wilds season 1, episode 10, “Day Twenty-Three” — the ending explained — contains significant spoilers.
We recapped every episode — check out the archive.
“Day Twenty-Three” opens up with Nora secretly messaging Gretchen’s team — she and Jeanette were the operatives. She’s on her own on this mission, feeding information back to Gretchen. A montage of scenes shows Nora working as the mole. Her main concern is Leah. Nora turned out to be the dark horse of the story; but looking back, it’s hardly surprising Gretchen picked her — she’s extremely analytical and perceptive.
Morning after sex
The morning after, Shelby is shy after her hook up with Toni — she confirms that she liked her first true experience with a woman and wants to get the story right to the rest of the group. She claims she isn’t ashamed. Shelby has her first true test to be true to her words in the ending of The Wilds season 1. Meanwhile, Martha returns to the beach, and she’s soaked in blood after she killed a goat. She struggled to carry the animal so asks for help.
Leah apparently cannot remember much from the night before, and Nora is relieved. Leah is embarrassed because she was extremely drunk. However, when Nora walks off, Leah’s face says it all — she remembers seeing Nora talk to a camera in the tree from the night before. Nora communicates with Gretchen’s team and claims Leah doesn’t remember but wonders if she is telling the truth. In the present day, Leah reads the note from Shelby. It says, “You were right”. The Wilds season 1, episode 10 doesn’t confirm why Shelby ended up completely bald — maybe this is an answer for the second season if there is one.
In a flashback, “Day Twenty-Three” shows Nora in a science lecture. She seems to take an interest in another student boy in the class who nervously answers a teacher’s question. Nora smiles at his answers. His way of speaking is obviously relatable to her. She speaks similarly to him.
After class, the boy talks to her about science as they walk, and the pair bounce off each other’s energy straight away. Nora compliments his coat but asks why he is wearing it in the hot weather. He calls it “his blanket”. They introduce each other formally — his name is Quinn. They shake hands, and then Quinn runs off and asks if she’s joining. They run together, and then a montage of scenes show them both bonding quickly. With their romance brewing, the pair lose their virginity to each other. This is probably the most relaxed we’ve ever seen Nora in the entire series; it’s evident she loved this boy.
Where’s the journal?
On the island, Leah asks Nora where her journal is. Shelby and Toni return with loads of fruit — Shelby struggles to come up with a story, but Toni covers it by saying they just camped because it got dark. What a difference three episodes make and something fans will love.
An introduction to Quinn
In a flashback, Nora introduces Quinn to Rachel. Quinn calls Rachel brave for the diving and gives statistics and probabilities of making it to the Olympics. He then plays an instrument for them — he’s trying way too hard to host. When Quinn goes to the bathroom, Rachel tells Nora that she likes him and that he’s interesting. Nora isn’t satisfied with that answer and wants the truth — Rachel changes her answer and believes Quinn is “weird, weird” and refuses to make eye contact.
Nora rejects Quinn
The next day, Quinn asks Nora if they can be in a relationship. She tells him that he always talks over people and she doesn’t want the long-distance after summer is over. Quinn senses that her sister didn’t like him — he criticizes her, and it upsets Nora. Quinn wonders if Nora defended him to her sister and he’s not taking the rejection well at all. He walks off, and Nora has a look of regret on her face. This is a heartwrenching moment because Nora decided to take her sister’s opinion rather than her own; she succumbed to judgment, rather than confirming her feelings.
Later on, Nora messages Quinn and tells him she misses her. However, when she looks at his social media, she learns Quinn died in a hazing incident carried out by other students. When she sees the news article, she bursts into tears. Nora has experienced a tragic event, and it explains why she ended up on the island.
On the island, Leah heads to the woods to check out the tree Nora was talking to. As she checks out possible trees, she sees Nora in the forest and follows her. Leah ends up walking into a trap created by Nora — it’s a deep hole, and Leah struggles to get out, and she’s furious at Nora. Nora walks away from the hole and leaves Leah inside.
Gretchen is alerted that Nora wants Leah removed. The ending of The Wilds season 1 is a dramatic one. That’s what finales are for!
In a flashback, Nora wants to see someone named Devon in prison. While in the waiting room, Nora ends up talking to Gretchen — Devon is her son. Nora explains that her son killed her friend and wants to show him the life he took as it was “a beautiful one”. Nora shows Gretchen the photo of Quinn. Gretchen tells Nora that it is unlikely that she will see Devon due to the bureaucracy of the prison system. Both women go for pancakes. Gretchen asks Nora about her romance with Quinn. Nora explains how it was excruciating for her to be around people, but with Quinn, it was easy. This was a sad statement from Nora — the tone of her voice suggests that it is very rare for her to connect with people and that Quinn was “one of a kind”.
Are we thriving?
Gretchen talks about how Devon was victimized by patriarchy and institutions that turned him into who he was. She’s not deflecting guilt, but she’s talking about the allure of a cult. Gretchen asks Nora if she and her sister are thriving — “Are my fellow young women thriving in a world created by men?”. She talks about breaking free and living in an environment where they can truly be themselves without the influence of men. Gretchen’s plans all seem to lead to a new world where men are not in control at all. While it sounds like she is carrying out villainous plans, it’s her logic that is intriguing. Theoretically, she is voicing something that will resonate with female audiences.
A little information
In the present, Leah begs Kevin if she can go outside for some fresh air. He allows her to go to the enclosed garden. Leah tells Kevin that she’s tired of feeling lost and having no information. Kevin tells her they are on a small landmass near Peru in the Pacific Ocean. He promises her that it will be over soon and tells her to stay safe — “The answers, they’re coming”. As she returns to her room, Leah manages to keep her door ajar.
On the island, Leah is desperately trying to escape the hole but keeps on failing.
Let’s not be scared
Shelby asks Toni how she’s so calm after a night of passion. Toni says she trusts her because she saved her life. Shelby is scared of hurting her. Toni is much more philosophical about it, with statements of “the worst has already happened”. She isn’t scared. The pair kiss and confirm that they are more than just a hookup. They are potentially an item. Shelby seems prepared to give up control of her religious institutions to pursue what she really wants.
In another flashback, Nora meets Gretchen again. She tells her that she wants to help her sister. She doesn’t want to be afraid to fall in love, and she wants to find her people, and find her strength. Gretchen promises her everything she wants, but Nora has one condition — her sister needs to be on the island. On the island, Rachel heads into the water after finding her confidence.
Suddenly, Leah returns after escaping the hole — she looks outraged, and she’s shouting for Nora. Meanwhile, there’s a shark in the ocean and Rachel is unaware. Nora runs into the sea. This must be how Rachel lost her arm.
As the ending draws nearer to the end, Leah escapes her room, and the alarms go off. Gretchen and Kevin look for who has escaped. Leah manages to find a passageway, but then the lights turn off, and she sees torches; she manages to hide. Gretchen then heads to Shelby’s room, and a nurse is giving her an injection — she’s suffering from anaphylactic shock.
Leah ends up in a room with CCTV. On the cameras, there’s a group of men on an island — it’s the same concept but with men. When she looks down she sees a file that says “Control Group: The Twilight of Adam” and the organization is called “Dawn of Eve”. Leah says to herself “what the f*ck”. The audience will be saying the same thing — this cliffhanger will be frustrating for many, and we will all be crying for a second season. If YA fans embrace the story, I’m sure Amazon will commission a second installment.
The Wilds season 1, episode 10 is a satisfactory ending. However, it purposefully keeps many answers at bay, teasing the audience to return for a second season. Despite the answers, audiences will not feel fulfilled. However, from a character standpoint, the Amazon series is addictive.