Breakdown and review of Silo season 1, episode 5: The Janitor’s Boy

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

In the third episode of Silo, a dystopian sci-fi series from Apple TV+ starring Rebecca Ferguson, Juliette’s problems have just been compounded by Marnes’s murder and an obvious spy for Judicial placed in her office. Meantime, the mystery of the “lights” in the sky at night continues to intrigue the new sheriff.

With the finding of the file on her murdered ex-boyfriend George Wilkins, Juliette finally gains some insight into the details of his body and his history. Then she gets a message from a porter and its news of Marnes’ death.

At the crime scene, she finds Robert Sims and Paul Billings examining the body. It looks like Marnes’s skull was crushed by the butt of a shotgun.

Boy, death by your own shotgun sure takes the tragicomic cake. New Mayor Holland steps in and surveys the damage, asking if they can keep a lid on what really happened.

After some arguing about procedurals, the mortuary team arrives, and they all depart. Except for Jules, who tells them she needs a minute to say goodbye.

Instead, she does a quick survey of Marnes’ place and notices that the artist’s sketch of former Mayor Jahns is missing from the wall, ripped from one of the tacks that held it up. Searching the body, she also finds a suspects list with Doris Kennedy marked by a pencil.

In Silo, the murder of the mayor elevates Tim Robbins' Bernard Holland, the head of IT.
Silo. Image courtesy Apple TV+ /

Silo season 1, episode 5: Tell the people they were in love

At Interim, Mayor Holland’s new-ish office, he confesses that he wants to drink as much of the ex-mayor’s liquor as he can before the elections are held in a few months and he’s demoted back to IT. Despite some resistance, Holland pushes that Marnes and Jahns should be buried together.

They should push the official message that they were in love. Anything to distract folks from talking about possible murder.

Add to that, they’ll have a Race to the Top, a marathon whose winner will be awarded the Jahn’s trophy. Both moves should keep the issues tamped down and keep public interest occupied.

“People love an excuse to drink beer and yell,” Holland declares while holding a glass half full of whiskey. At the burial in the apple orchard, Holland gives an impassioned speech about how several generations of silo citizens only knew Ruth Jahns as a mayor from birth to death.

When it’s Jules’s time to talk, she’s less charming and fumbles. At the end, everyone takes a bite from an apple and then throws it into the hole with the bodies.

Good composting technique. Also, a very picturesque ritual.

Silo season 1, episode 5: Legalities of the Pact

Back in her office, Juliette finds her old friend Hank waiting for her. Aside from an almost empty can of hush puppies, Hank has been sent to advise Jules that the temperature all over the silo is on the verge of terrified.

Hank’s cousin asked him if it was safe to send the kids to school. But he assures her that he’s on hand if she needs any help.

Then the office assistant Sandy comes in and asks Juliette to solve Marnes’ murder rather than just caving into who Judicial wants and pins it on. Apparently Judge Meadows has a tendency to prize order above actual crime solving.

So, Juliette goes out and takes Billings with her, since he knows the legalities under the Pact, and they proceed to talk to suspects and knock on doors. At one point she asks Billings to get some lunch and when she loses him, she heads to Patrick Kennedy’s apartment.

This is the same guy who punched Marnes in the previous episode and gave him a bloody nose. When she finds the door locked, she just picks the lock.

Must be great to have a fix-it background and not have things like doors hold you back. Illegal entry, though, which is why she kicked off Billings.

Inside the apartment, Juliette finds a can of rat poison and the sketch portrait of Ruth Jahns that was ripped from the wall of Marnes’s apartment. How convenient.

Kennedy is definitely the fall guy she was looking for.

Silo season 1, episode 5: Stashing the alleged killer

When she finally tracks down Kennedy, she stashes him somewhere safe so they can’t pin the murders on him. Judicial is the likely force that set it all up.

Speaking of Judicial though, Billings doesn’t go home for lunch but instead meets with Sims. He finds Doug Trumbull at Sims’ office.

Then when he gets back to the sheriff’s office, he tells Juliette that he met with Sims so she can gain her trust. So he suggests they arrest Ralf Melby, one of the names on Marnes’s list of suspects.

But Jules knows better, so she asks Sandy to request a warrant from Judicial for Kennedy first. When Sandy runs after her to ask why, Jules explains that Judicial wants her to waste her time with Melby, when they really want to pin the crimes on Kennedy.

The resulting brouhaha will make her look incompetent so she’s going for Kennedy first. Mostly because she knows what they’ll find at Kennedy’s apartment and since she’s the only one who knows where he is currently located.

Silo. Image courtesy Apple TV+ /

Silo season 1, episode 5: Chasing Doug

Sure enough, Doug Trumbull of Judicial rushes to Kennedy’s apartment. Fortunately, the Race to the Top is starting and he encounters plenty of racers going the other way, slowing his pace down.

Jules is at Kennedy’s apartment when Trumbull finally shows up. She confronts him about planting evidence.

When it’s clear he’s going to be arrested, he runs. It’s an exhilarating chase, seeing whose cardio is better.

They bump against people in crowded corridors and against racers rushing to the finish line Up Top. It ends with Doug ambushing her and throwing her over the stairs.

Jules is barely able to hold on to the railing. The crowd finally notices her holding on for dear life and some good-hearted racers pull her up.

All Jules got for her troubles was being able to break one of Doug’s fingers. She also lost her precious multi-tool.

I mean, with all the things that go over the stairs, not to mention the number of falling people, drunk or not, you’d think they’d put up some kind of safety net on there. But nope.

Silo season 1, episode 5: A parable for those in service of the silo

Meantime Doug Trumbull has headed over to a narrow alley and he knocks on a door labelled JANITORIAL. Out comes Sims.

Sims tells him that the Janitorial door is for the folks who do the really important work for the silo, except that it’s usually the people who are most invisible. In the case of Sims, people looked down on his father, a janitor, and in turn their family.

Sims was bullied but then the family of his tormentor was suddenly, mysteriously reassigned. After Sims dangles the carrot of Doug likely being able to shadow, he throws Doug over the railing.

That’s the janitor’s boy getting things done and cleaning up any mess the silo needs done. This revelation actually lines up with what Billings told Jules, regarding the invisible people who don’t officially exist.

The euphemism for them is Friends of the Silo. Must be a spy network for the folks pulling the strings.

In the aftermath, Juliette and Billings report to Judge Meadows. She sums up the case that Doug Trumbull jumped and took his own life, rather than face the inevitability of arrest.

There was even a note in Doug’s pocket saying it to that effect. But we know that it’s something that Sims had Doug write to be planted on Kennedy.

Silo season 1, episode 5: Two murders solved?

Judge Meadows rules that, with the death of Trumbull, the suspect in the deaths of Marnes and Jahn is now dead, and the case is neatly closed. She orders Jules to cease looking into it.

And publicly all the rumors and conspiracy theories should be laid to rest as well. When Juliette gets back to the office, Sandy tells her that she had herself reassigned to level 105.

She did it because Jules solved the case and that she’s tired of feeling like she’s being watched. Watched by who?

She doesn’t know. Again, this is the Friends of the Silo for sure.

Juliette gets some sweet affirmation and even an apology from Interim Mayor Holland at their after-action meeting. He grants her a two-day leave to go back to the Down Deep and pick up more of her stuff and to say goodbye to folks she wasn’t able to when she left.

But the most important revelation doesn’t come to her at any of the official office but rather from Lukas, an itinerant illustrator who hangs out at the cafeteria in front of her office.

Silo. Image courtesy Apple TV+ /

Silo season 1, episode 5: Mystery of the lights in the sky and relic bait

He shows her what he’s working on: a cataloguing of the “lights in the sky” and the movement pattern they make. Like a big circle.

He tracks them down and draws them. “What are they?” asks Jules.

No idea. Of course, none of the silo people know these lights are stars.

So what’s up with those weird lights, huh? I guess just another mystery of that surface world up top they never get to see.

Speaking of more mysteries, when Jules gets back down her mentor, Martha Walker brings up two items in the Pact that’s always baffled her. First is that it’s stated that there must be no lifts or pulleys, they can’t mechanize going up or down the silo.

Second, you can’t make magnification beyond a certain power. With the second item Walker believes it’s because of something written very small, in very fine print on one of the camcorders that Jules found among George’s belongings.

Walker urges her to resign before the relics they’re studying land them cleaning outside the silo. Jules refuses, saying she’s already gained their trust and she just needs the right kind of bait so she can reopen George’s case.

She goes back down to the secret chamber with the giant digger and unearths the pez dispenser with a duck head from among George’s things. Perfect relic bait.

What a thrilling episode with plenty of twists and deaths. We even saw that Jules had the balls to go up against the mystery forces in the silo and win.

Or at least survive. Can’t wait to see if the secret society that keeps order will take Jules’s bait or just heads her off.

Next. HBO’s Succession series finale recap: With Open Eyes. dark

You can stream episodes of Silo on Apple TV+.