Silo Season 1 Review and Episode 1 Recap – Solid Sci-Fi That Teases an Addictive Central Mystery

By Adam Lock
Published: April 27, 2023 (Last updated: March 23, 2024)
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Silo Season 1 Review and Episode 1 Recap
Silo Season 1 (Credit - Apple TV+)


Silo is gritty sci-fi at its best, promoting cinematic visuals and elaborate world-building while creating that childlike sense of wonder that few other genres can—all this and a gutsy, complex performance from Rebecca Ferguson as well.

When faced with the apocalypse, humanity either heads to the stars or digs under the ground, hoping to avoid its inevitable demise. In Apple TV+’s dystopian series Silo, humanity escapes Armageddon by burrowing deep inside the earth.

This intriguing ten-part original, based on Hugh Howey’s Silo series of novels, follows the modern-day survivors of this apocalyptic wasteland and their unique underground society.

Silo Season 1 Review and Plot Summary

In this post-apocalyptic sci-fi series, created by Graham Yost (Justified), mankind has been whittled down to just ten thousand fortunate inhabitants. This community of hopeful survivors hides from the toxic world above, living in a fortified, gigantic silo deep under the earth’s surface.

The Silo is an autonomous society with crops, hierarchies, and rich history.

Policing this multifaceted community is the honorable Sheriff Holston Becker (David Oyelowo), who resides in the upper levels. Holston is joined by Deputy Marnes and the Silo’s Mayor Jahns.

Of course, the upper levels are prosperous and well-maintained. But as we journey down the levels, the hierarchy system starts to fall into place.

Right at the very bottom, in the Down Deep, you’ll find an entirely different world, mirroring that of Zion in The Matrix franchise. Here, we meet Juliette Nichols (Rebecca Ferguson), the engineer who keeps the Silo’s generator running, possibly the most important job in the whole community.

As the story progresses, Juliette becomes a central character. Spurred on by her lover’s death, Juliette begins to unravel a darker mystery that infiltrates every corner of this underground world.

Juliette searches for answers on the inside, while others take a leap of faith and journey into the great unknown outside.

Is Silo Season 1 Worth Watching?

Silo is a beautifully realized science fiction piece depicting an authentic and gritty society. The world-building here is phenomenal, capturing history and a community that feels entirely believable—fitted with its strange routines and rituals.

The cinematic visuals bring to mind celebrated sci-fi universes, such as Star Wars and Dune. It’s that almost cyberpunk style of aesthetics, where futuristic technology meets the archaic.

Helmed by director Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game), the series manages to depict both the grand scale and the claustrophobic nature of the Silo simultaneously.

That spellbinding cinematography allows viewers to fully immerse into this gripping world, which explores many intricate mysteries the Silo has to offer. Led by a gutsy, complex performance from Rebecca Ferguson (Dune), this mystery unfolds at a steady pace, with some shocking revelations teased along the way.

Sci-fi fans will no doubt lap this series up, enticed by the stunning visuals on display and its intricate puzzle-box mystery narrative. Others that stumble upon this series will likely stick around for the solid ensemble cast and Rebecca Ferguson’s exceptional performance.

It’s definitely worth a watch for the central mystery alone, although it may take viewers a little time to connect with initially.

Silo Season 1 Episode 1 Recap

Silo Season 1 Episode 1 (Credit – Apple TV+)

The show starts with the Silo’s resident Sheriff Holston, who questions the creators of this sanctuary and the problems of the toxic world above. The people he protects live inside a gigantic underground silo safe from the dystopian wasteland on the earth’s surface. Shockingly, he decides to venture out into this unknown.

Reverting to an earlier time, the series explores precisely what led to Holston’s suicidal conclusion. The Sheriff is seen with his wife, Allison. They have been granted clearance to try and conceive again. For Allison, this will be her third and final chance at having a baby.

A doctor operates and removes Allison’s birth control. The citizens of the Silo are hopeful that Allison will conceive. She is hounded by a fertility counselor called Gloria, who wants to assist her in this journey. Allison politely refuses on numerous occasions.

What is Freedom Day?

At work, Allison attempts to access deleted files that have been lost in the Silo’s troubled past, but she is denied permission. Meanwhile, the Mayor and Holston prepare for Freedom Day, a celebration of the Silo’s historic freedom from the rebels 140 years ago.

Allison and Holston struggle to conceive with time fast running out; they’ve been given a year to procreate. Gloria speaks privately with Allison, ranting about a conspiracy where the enforcers purposely prevent Allison from getting pregnant. Allison tries to ignore these crazed rantings the best she can.

What is on the forbidden hard drive?

On Freedom Day, Allison is taken away for work. She ventures down the Silo’s many levels to answer a request from a computer repair man called George. He’s found a hard drive from the before-time. Allison manages to unlock the files on this hard drive, unearthing numerous blueprints of the Silo. George thinks this technology comes from before the rebellion. He spots a tunnel leading out of the Silo in these blueprints.

Adjacent to this discovery, the Mayor delivers a speech, updating audiences on the Silo’s history. One hundred forty years ago, the founders of the Silo regained control and freedom from their oppressors. Unfortunately, the rebels had destroyed all files and burnt all books, totally wiping out their history.

What is in the footage of the outside world?

Allison worries they’ll be punished for finding and using this hard drive. She returns to her husband, but the drive weighs heavily on her mind. Allison decides to return to George. They find a file that shows footage of a citizen on the outside. The outside world looks safe and prosperous, with birds in the sky and plants growing on the ground.

Spurred on by Gloria’s conspiracy and George’s hard drive footage, Allison decides to question her reality. She discovers that the doctor hasn’t removed her birth control after all. Allison removes it herself. Holston finds her bleeding out in their home.

With proof that she was lied to, Allison takes this knowledge to the cafeteria. She rants about the Silo being a lie. To the onlookers, Allison looks insane. Holston tries to reason with her, but she requests to go outside. A request that cannot be undone.

As punishment for making such a request, Allison is ordered to clean the viewing screen outside the Silo. This screen is the citizens’ only glimpse of the outside world, and it has been obscured by dirt over the years. Allison tells Holston that she will only clean the screen if she is confident that the outside world is inhabitable. This is her secret signal to Holston that their world is a lie.

What happens to Allison when she goes outside?

Crowds gather to watch Allison step outside into the unknown, wearing her special sealed suit. Outside, she cleans the screen with ease and smiles at Holston before turning and walking away. Allison heads towards the brow of the hill but collapses before making it. Allison dies just like the other cleaners before her.

Silo Season 1 Episode 1 Ending Explained

After this disaster, George is found dead too. It is unclear whether he committed suicide, jumping from a great height, or if he was pushed. An engineer believes George was murdered. Holston goes to inspect the body. He then meets with the engineer who works inside the Silo’s generator. The engineer is Juliette.

In the present, Holston tells his deputy that he is going out into the unknown to find the truth and see if Allison is dead or alive. Either way, he wants to be reunited with his wife.

What did you think of Silo Season 1? Comment below.

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