“Day Sixteen” brings a story about a girl who is in the closet and is cruelly defined by religious pressure
This recap of Amazon Original series The Wilds season 1, episode 8, “Day Sixteen” contains significant spoilers.
We recapped every episode — check out the archive.
“Day Sixteen” opens up with the women on This Morning America; they are being celebrated for surviving a plane crash. However, the women were daydreaming this interview; they are excited at getting rescued after they presume a plane saw them. “Day Sixteen” sees Gretchen’s project in jeopardy after a random plane saw the women on the island, which means contingency plans.
Shelby looks different
The chapter is mostly about Shelby. Daniel marks that Shelby has socio-dependencies. When she enters the interview room, Shelby is completely bald. She explains that she crashed once they realized that they were getting rescued. She blames it on the comedown from adrenaline, but as the audience, you get the sense there is something deeper at play here; the island represented escapism for Shelby, and we learn the reason why in this chapter.
Gretchen is frustrated that a plane saw the women. She wants to have “phase two” ready in case the pilot of the plane initiates a rescue. They need to locate the pilot. Gretchen visits Alice for lunch — Alice appears to be the financier for Gretchen’s project. Gretchen tells Alice that she will never be giving up the project.
Shelby wants new teeth
On the island, because the women think they will be rescued, they are eating their rations. A flashback shows Shelby spying on her father doing a sermon with a group of men. She’s in a highly religious family. The father seems to be very controlling in what the family eats, throwing away sugary cereal. Shelby brings up getting permanent teeth for the pageant circuit, but her parents do not appear to endorse it. On the island, Shelby gets drunk and laughs to herself, but it’s the kind of laugh where she looks like she’s about to cry.
Post-island talk and celebrations
The women talk about life post-island. Dot and Fatin half-organize living together. Shelby is steaming from the alcohol and suggests that they play games. Feeling the freedom, all the women jump into the water. You can sense the tragedy of the situation with the likeliness of no rescue coming.
Helping out a friend
A flashback shows a snippet of Shelby’s social life. She goes bowling with her friend Becca. Suddenly, Becca’s step-brother shows up, and Becca is on edge. She explains to Shelby that she had a crush on her step-brother and one day it started getting sexual — she was 13-years old when this happened and the brother was 17. Becca starts getting teary; she wasn’t expecting his presence to impact her. She also feels guilty for betraying God. Shelby highlights the age difference and the illegal actions and tells her friend that he took advantage of her. The two friends proceed to vandalize the man’s car; Becca takes it too far and pours soda in the fuel tank. “Day Sixteen” presents two best friends who seem to support each other, but also feel pressured by their beliefs.
I know who I am
On the island, Shelby talks to Toni; she’s paranoid that Toni has spoken to Martha about their kiss. Toni tells Shelby that her hateful Church sh*t is not going to help her figure out herself. Shelby grabs Toni and tells her she knows who she is.
Kissing a best friend
Another flashback ensues; Shelby shows Becca her latest pageant outfits. Her friend keeps on encouraging her, and they play fight. Shelby randomly kisses Becca but then before they can talk about it, her father walks in and initiates dinner. The father explains to Shelby that she cannot eat the meatballs. Based on this flashback, Shelby has been closeted for a long time due to religious pressure.
Praying for everyone
In a flashback, Shelby’s father talks to Becca’s parents. They reveal that Shelby kissed Becca. Afterward, Shelby tries speaking to her father. The father states he prays for everyone even if they cannot be saved. Shelby insists she is not “like that” and accuses Becca of kissing her. The father claims he saw the kiss. Shelby swears to God that it did not happen and that it will never happen again.
In the forest, Martha believes she sees someone while drunk — it was Alex. Gretchen is told that Martha had seen Alex while laying down in the forest. She’s furious. Meanwhile, Martha tells the others that she believes she has seen Marcus and that he was alive — Marcus (Alex) was on the plane. The women mock her because they believe she was hallucinating.
Shelby is in denial
In a flashback, Becca tries explaining herself to Shelby, but she doesn’t want to listen. Shelby tells her that they are no longer friends and tells her that she believes she came on to her stepbrother. Shelby gets really mean in the conversation, but you can tell she doesn’t mean it. Becca reminds her that she kissed her and that she will not judge. This is such a sad storyline; two girls who have feelings for each other have to act differently due to the environment they are in.
On the island, Shelby has hit a low, so Fatin tries to talk to her. She gives her a brush. She starts using her brush aggressively and suddenly panics because it is stuck. Shelby gets some scissors and starts cutting off her hair. She’s broken down, and we could all see this coming; the weight of the world on her. She doesn’t want to return home.
The death of a friend
In a flashback, before a pageant competition, Shelby finds out her best friend Becca had died in a car — it’s implied it was suicide. She still walks on to the stage for the competition; she begins to sing, but then she is overwhelmed by emotion and starts crying as she gets through the song. Regardless, the crowd seems to enjoy it, but her father looks on. Shelby has lost a friend who was a victim of extremist religious beliefs.
A turning point
At home, her father asks Shelby if she’s okay as she seems upset. Her father then changes his mind about her teeth. He suggests that they go through the permanent teeth procedure — it’s almost suggested that the father knows nothing about Becca’s death, which does not seem realistic in a close-knit church community. Shelby tells Daniel and his colleague that this was a turning point in her life as, after this, everything started to deteriorate. Suddenly, Shelby is done talking until she gets to see Leah.
On the island, Leah sits next to Shelby and apologizes for all the accusations she’s aimed at her. Leah tells her to go easy on herself. Shelby thanks her for the kind words — they both agree they are trainwrecks.
Gretchen learns that no-one believed Martha that she saw Alex because at the time she was on THC. Thom and Susan explain to her that the pilot situation has been solved. They ask her if she had the pilot killed; Gretchen is dismayed at the idea and states she got someone to hack the GPS, so the pilot goes to the wrong location. Gretchen is adamant that she’s a researcher, that’s all.
Daniel and his acquaintance take Shelby to Leah, and they immediately hug. Shelby puts a note down Leah’s back.
The Wilds season 1, episode 8 brings a story about a girl who is in the closet and is cruelly defined by religious pressure. As for the island itself, the series keeps teasing viewers about how all this is going to end. At this stage, The Wilds could end on a whimper, or stamp itself as a credible, imaginative YA series.
- On the island, Rachel tells Nora that she might call quits on her swimming. Nora encourages her and states that she has a whole new life out there.