Breakdown and review of Silo season 1, episode 3: Machines

Silo. Image courtesy Apple TV+
Silo. Image courtesy Apple TV+ /

In the third episode of Silo, a dystopian sci-fi series from AppleTV+, Mayor Ruth Jahns and Deputy Sam Marnes make the long trek down 140 plus levels to scope out Juliette and why she was picked to be the next sheriff.

Problems with the main generator come to ahead and climax in one of the most thrilling mechanical repair scenes in TV history. What consequences lie in store for Holston’s pick of the new sheriff?

Juliette is literally hanging by a rope. The last time we saw her, she was trying to find the secret entrance detailed in her dead parnter’s notes.

It would be somewhere in the shadow of the colossus drill, but she screwed it up and almost fell into the water at the base. It makes perfect sense that none of the silo people can swim.

I haven’t seen a bathtub in anyone’s apartment yet, but safe to say that any one of them can probably drown in a few feet of water. I can just imagine Juliette’s panic when she loses her grip and almost falls into the dark abyss inside a secret chamber, where nobody knows she’s been living.

She climbs her way up with great difficulty and takes some time to decompress, for her shakes to go away.

Tim Robbins plays IT head Bernard Holland in Silo.
Silo. Image courtesy Apple TV+ /

Silo season 1, episode 3: Buddy walk down 144 levels

Mayor Jahns and Deputy Marnes gear up for their long trek down to see Juliette and tell her she’s been recommended as the next sheriff. This is a walk that will take a few days to accomplish.

Maybe longer, since the two aren’t exactly spring chickens. I wonder just how good the cardio and stamina of the average silo citizen is, considering there haven’t been any elevators or escalators shown so far?

I mean, if walking the big central staircase is the only option to move between floors, I can’t imagine anyone with a movement disability or injury getting anywhere with ease. As they go down, one of the habits of those in a tandem-walk is to take the water bottle of your companion, since their backpack is easier to reach than yours.

Marnes comments that Jahn’s water is significantly less than his. Looks like her bottle has a small leak.

They pass by Judicial. Marnes asks the mayor if she wants to pay a courtesy call to the silo judge.

She pooh poohs this by not answering and giving him a “meh, nah” look.

Silo season 1, episode 3: The fix is failing

Meantime Shirley and Juliette have a heart-to-heart talk on why she’s been acting up so much. Their bonding moment is interrupted by some heavy ground shaking, or in the silo’s case, just an everywhere shaking, like a quake but all over.

Shirley jumps off her chair and runs to mechanical, cursing that her “fix is failing.” By the time they arrive at the generator, the whole thing is like magnitude 6.

Juliette sees her apprentice Cooper tinkering with the generator. She panics and decks him when he reasons that he’s just trying to learn.

Great mentoring, ma’am. She gets an earful from Knox, her supervisor, but they both end up just debating on empty terms.

The generator rotors are in bad shape and all they’re doing is delaying the inevitable collapse. They need a real fix, or the power will fail all over the silo.

The thing that gets Jules to finally go home is Knox’s order to bathe. Everybody’s been telling her she smells like puke and she must reek something horrible for sure.

Silo season 1, episode 3: Silo-style politics

Mayor Jahns and Deputy Marnes haven’t been idle, they’re been playing politics while they’ve been walking the levels. The snub to Judicial and her old enemy Judge Meadows were intentional.

So was the trip to IT and its head, Bernard Holland. She brought him brandy, so I guess politics in the silo is still the same from when folks lived on the surface.

There’s also a meet-and-greet with the people along the mid-levels to boost morale. It all goes pretty well and restores the faith of the midders in their government up top.

She even pops in to see the nursery and the new babies. In actuality it’s a ploy to talk to Dr. Pete Nichols, the mids’ obstetrician and also father of Juliette.

He confesses they’ve been estranged since she was a tween when her mother died. That was when she, a daughter of the mid-levels and effectively upper class, packed up and came to live in the Down Deep.

Nothing much going on there. Dr Nichols is played by Iain Glenn.

It’s pretty nice to see him in another prestige series after Game of Thrones. Later, when they’re chilling at the park, they’re paid a visit by Rob Sims, the unofficial enforcer for Judicial and Judge Meadows’ thug, who came with a pie of strawberries and some suggestions for the new sheriff position.

Rebecca Ferguson plays heroic mechanic Juliette in AppleTV+ original Silo.
Silo. Image courtesy Apple TV+ /

Silo season 1, episode 3: Job offer to Jules

Martha Walker runs a mechanical workshop in the Down Deep and she’s like Juliette’s surrogate mother. They both have words about why Jules punched her apprentice, but it ends in a stalemate and Juliette stalking out.

I guess this discussion took place after Juliette took a bath, because Martha never mentioned her smell at all. All of that is just a lead-up and a set dressing to the real meat of this episode, which is the meeting between Mayor Jahns and Juliette.

Our heroic mechanic is presented with the job offer to be the new sheriff. She’s given Holston’s old badge, as per his request.

She takes the badge but refuses the position. She doesn’t want it.

The mayor and Manes leave. It looks like that’s that.

Examining Holston Becker’s badge and finding “Truth” carved on it, Juliette has an epiphany. She relents and accepts, chasing after the mayor and deputy.

But she has one condition; before she leaves for the tippity top levels, she wants to have a more permanent fix for the ailing generator rotors.

Silo season 1, episode 3: A most intense mechanical repair scene

It’s hard to really describe how intense and exciting it is to watch the repair scene to fix the colossal generator that runs the whole silo. There’s certainly a great ceremony about it that affects the whole silo, since they need to turn off the power for everyone for a bit.

By a bit we mean, 8 hours. I guess this series could technically be called steampunk too since the generator apparently runs on it.

In any case, getting the generator fixed required great team effort from everyone in Mechanical and certainly took some sacrifice from Jules herself. Our heroic mechanic almost drowned.

Her apprentice, Cooper stepped up though. And the day was saved by the greasy grunts who populate the Down Deep.

They now have the mayor in their debt. The whole sequence had me at the edge of my seat, rooting for the mechanics to be victorious in restoring their power grid.

I’ve never felt like that about people basically repairing a complex machine on TV. Maybe ever.

What I loved about this episode is that, as much of a game-changer repairing the generator was, it was still just an event that would be exploited by the deep and greater politicians in control of the community.

Silo. Image courtesy Apple TV+ /

Silo season 1, episode 3: Who killed the mayor?

Of course, there would be repercussions from many parties in power who had trouble with Mayor Jahn’s choice to offer Juliette the sheriff position. And now that she’s going to be the new sheriff, there’s going to be consequences.

The most unexpected one is the assassination of Mayor Jahns. But there’s also the fact that, when they shut down the power, the screens flickered and showed the outside of the silo very briefly, displaying the outside that is not a blasted earth.

It was green and verdant! Just like what Holston and his wife saw.

But nobody noticed. Or if they did, they all thought they were just seeing a glitch.

As Jules is saying her goodbyes up top, Marnes and Jahns are all set to celebrate their rekindled romance. Apparently, they were a bit of an item back in the day.

But then the mayor excuses herself to go to the toilet. When she doesn’t answer the deputy, he breaks down the door.

He finds her convulsing on the bathroom floor. There’s way too much blood coming out of her mouth.

Who poisoned the mayor? What a cliffhanger and what an excellent episode letting us peek into the dark side of the silo.

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You can stream episodes of Silo on Apple TV+.