With Succession, Ted Lasso and Barry wrapping up their series and Yellowjackets wrapping up season two, the internet is in search of a new series to talk about together. Early signs are pointing to Max’s “The Idol,” for better or worse (definitely worse), and there’s not much competition for the rest of June. The Bear, Black Mirror, and Witcher are out this month, but they’re all just binge dumps so they don’t get a chance. Secret Invasion will almost certainly draw some attention, but Marvel fatigue has also set in.
So there’s not much left for the rest of the month, although ‘Platonic’ on Apple TV is currently the best comedy on TV next to ‘The Other Two’ (or ‘Primo’, which was another binge dump). Can we silo it, at least until it finishes its run at the end of the month? Because it’s the most intriguing series on the air right now, one of the best sci-fi series in a long time, and reportedly garnering huge streaming numbers.
There aren’t many online conversations about it, despite it’s becoming the second-most-watched series on Apple TV (after Ted Lasso) since its debut, while other streaming television-tracking services have consistently ranked in the top three shows streaming right now .
The audience is there. Let us talk about it. If you’re not watching, here’s a quick rundown: 10,000 people live in an underground silo. Nobody goes outside, and if they do, they can’t come back. Based on video camera footage, it is believed that those who leave the country end up dying because the air is too toxic to breathe.
A series of connected murders took place inside the silo, seemingly intended to prevent anyone from learning the history of the silo before the last uprising 140 years ago. Possession of pre-rebellion information — so-called relics — is illegal, and those in power are also selective about who they allow children to have. In short: there is a mystery as to what is outside the silo, but inside the silo there is an even greater mystery as to why people are murdered and by whom.
I’m also fascinated by the opening credits, in which the actors mentioned change frequently. Five or six cast members are featured each week, and while Rebecca Ferguson – the new sheriff – and Tim Robbins, the mayor, are regularly featured in the opening credits, the other spots rotate (although Common is now a regular feature).
This week the other two were Chinaze Uche, who plays new deputy Billings, and Avi Nash, who plays an IT guy who has a crush on Sheriff Juliette Nichols. And what did we learn this week?
Sheriff Nichols’ case accelerates when she uncovers new information, most notably from Gloria Hildebrandt (Sophie Thomas), an elderly woman who was drugged to make her forget her past. We find out about her – after Juliette and her estranged father, Dr. Nichols (Iain Glen), have undone Gloria’s tranquilizers – of the Flamekeepers’ existence. The Flame Wardens always asked questions – they were curious about the past and the outside – and so they were killed by the powers that be, drugged or – in the case of Juliette’s mother – driven to suicide. Gloria also reveals that those in power have also tried to pique popular curiosity – the Flame Wardens and people like them are being denied childbirth (thanks to Dr. Nichols working under duress).
We also learn that the “ruler” isn’t the mayor – Bernard Holland (Tim Robbins) has remained silent to protect his life, although I suspect he’s the next to go – and the judge (Tanya Moodie) it is also controlled. In fact, she is hiding in her apartment with a “cold”. It should be noted that we can’t rule Bernard out as the higher power – he could just be pretending to be on the sheriff’s side. I also very much doubt it’s Lukas Kyle, but maybe he’s a reticent mastermind.
Of course Robert Sims (Common) is in charge, but I suspect he also has a boss. In both cases, Sims and his men close in on Sheriff Nichols when she finds a hard drive that her predecessor, Sheriff Holston (David Oyelowo), hid in an air vent in Gloria’s room before going outside. With three episodes left this season, there isn’t much time for the sheriff to find out the contents of the hard drive and thereby reveal that IT or the judiciary are behind the murders.
Conversely, if those in power get too close, the sheriff might also choose to leave the silo, hoping that her successor, the straight-forward Billings, can pick up where he left off.
Header image source: Apple TV+