As episode 10 of The Wilds begins we learn that our hidden operative is on the island as a fail-safe; someone Gretchen and the team can reach out to in an emergency.
We begin with a brief catch-up, as we see Nora learn that it’s just her on the island now following Jeanette’s death. As the sole operative she’s been concerned about Leah, specifically, and has made it her mission to keep the girl quiet and in the dark over what’s been happening.
Back in the present, Shelby is shy and unable to talk about her sexuality with Toni just yet. Instead, they concoct a story about where they were that night. A bloodstained Martha meanwhile stumbles back to camp and informs them about the sheep.
Leah awakens to find Nora sitting alongside her. Leah claims she doesn’t really remember anything aside from vague memories about swimming and heading into the woods for a walk. When Nora leaves, it’s clear Leah is pretending as she clearly distrusts the girl. Nora exhibits the same concerns too, scribbling in her notebook and holding it up to a camera that seems to be over her shoulder…somewhere.
In the future interview timeline, Shelby’s hug to Leah last episode transferred a note with the words “You were right.” This seems to hint toward them realizing Nora is the mole and concocting a story to potentially escape.
That mole in question is the focus of our flashbacks this time around as we cut back to university where Nora happens to be with the other students. Among them is a shy and eccentrically weird kid called Quinn. As they get talking, the pair immediately start hitting it off.
Quinn is clearly a little too eccentric while meeting Rachel, who worries that because of how weird-weird he is, he’s not the right fit for Nora. Wanting to make her sister happy, Nora decides against getting involved with Quinn.
The boy is clearly crushed and takes his disappointment out on Rachel. Nora sticks up for her sister but Quinn hits back and tells her she always takes her sister’s word over her own. Just before leaving though, Quinn warmly hugs her.
It’s obvious Nora regrets her decision and messages Quinn…only to find out his phone is no longer accepting messages. As she heads online, she learns with horror that Quinn has died in a hazing accident not long after them parting ways.
Nora heads into prison to confront Devon, the boy who killed Quinn during the hazing accident. Sitting in the waiting room at the jail, Gretchen happens to be there too. As fate would have it, she happens to be Devon’s Mother.
Nora hands over a picture of Quinn as Gretchen struggles to keep it together. Eventually she agrees to hear Nora out as they head out for a drink. Gretchen reveals that Nora has acute anxiety and Quinn happened to have been the only one that helped her cope with it.
Gretchen’s hostilities and issues stem from the beta club her son was a part of and their “toxic male bullshit.” She believes Devon isn’t cut out for prison and bitterly resents the hazing rituals – and the patriarchy in general.
Gretchen believes her project can help instigate change and break this “culture created by men”, making a world of their own. This sales pitch seems to work pretty well as it encourages Nora to help.
Back in the present and on the island, the group begin cooking. Only, hunter Shelby now comes out of her shell 23 days later and discusses the best way of cooking this includes gutting the animal first.
Leah retreats away from the group and remains determined to try and find the tree Nora was talking to the night before. Nora obviously follows in hot pursuit as Leah removes her shoes and falls in a large hole.
Nora stops by and tells her she’s safe before calling Gretchen and the others and asking for “subject 4” to be extracted. Gretchen brushes it off, telling Nora she’s “already contained and she’ll make a decision in 3 hours. After all, it’s only the fate of the entire experiment in jeopardy for her!
Off the island and in the future, Leah starts breathing heavily in her cell as Dean Young arrives and lets her out to cool off. Agent Young sits with her in the courtyard where he lets his guard down momentarily as she tries to get his map app up. She wants to know exactly where they are.
Eventually Dean admits that they’re “150 miles east from where they were stranded and 800 miles west of Cusco, Peru.” Now just to interject here, the kids managed to call home from the US so we’re led to assume they got on a plane in America, were drugged and shipped onto speedboats, whizzed down to the pacific ocean 800 miles out, dumped in the ocean and left there while these boats sped back.
Anyway, Dean promises Leah that things won’t stay like this for long and tells her to hang tightly; answers are coming. Only, he clearly didn’t check things properly as the door isn’t shut and Leah manages to break out of her room.
Back on the island, Leah pleads for her life while Nora heads back to the beach. There, Nora and Rachel start to patch up their differences properly. This culminates in Rachel deciding to face the water again and head in for a swim.
Shelby talks to Toni and comments on how calm she is. Shelby is worried about their future and starts going through a possible list of “what-if” scenarios about what go wrong. As she does, Toni throws in some home truths of her own about their plane crash and how the impossible has already come to pass.
Leah stumbles back to the beach and screams Nora’s name. As she does, everyone else begins panicking as a shark approaches Rachel who’s out at sea. We end the island shenanigans on a big cliffhanger ready for an undecided second season at the time of writing this.
Meanwhile, back in our future timeline Leah manages to break free from her room as a “Code Purple” is issued. The security guard is caught off-guard and as he and Gretchen scramble to Shelby’s cell. Leah manages to get away for now while Shelby seems to have gone into anaphylactic shock.
Leah makes it to a security room that holds numerous monitors of a different island – this one holding all boys. On the table is a folder with the name “The Twilight Of Adam Project.” As Leah breaks the fourth wall and looks directly at the camera she curses.
The Episode Review
The Wilds comes to a close with a “wild” set of cliffhangers at the end. So when it comes to Rachel it seems likely that the shark will probably bite her hand off after reaching for Nora; backing up her story in the earlier interview. We could even see Nora possibly die here too given it’s unknown whether she’s alive or not.
If Dot isn’t one of the operatives planted on the island then what did she agree to when she met Gretchen? How did Gretchen get funding and international clearance for this big project?
I guessed originally that this was all taking place in America because of the cell phone call but obviously the show has taken liberties with this completely and clearly hoping those who make it this far don’t notice the plot holes – of which there are a lot.
So it appears like this project is to determine which is the more successful or integrated sex, males or females. This actually opens up an intriguing possibility for the future if this series is renewed.
But just what is Gretchen’s plan exactly? So she wants to empower these kids to take the fight to the patriarchy by stranding them on an island, hoping they don’t die and giving them the confidence to go back into every day life. Maybe I’m missing something but surely a better plan would involve riling up mobs across the globe to overthrow the current establishment.
The ending also banks on a second season being greenlit and while I appreciate the show is tailored specifically for females, it still doesn’t excuse the bad writing.
I’ve said it before but the interview flashes forward do this show no favours and despite the implied cliffhanger with Rachel, we know she survives. Imagine if this show took all the interview segments out?
Instead, replaced with more urgency on the island as the group decide to build a raft and try to leave. As they do, the group stumble upon this Adam project on an adjacent island.
The mystery would be excellent and the reveal at the end would send the internet into a tail spin trying to figure everything out. What we get instead then is a blank paint-by-numbers canvas as we watch each square filled in to catch us up to what we already know.
The reaction to this show will be split and the majority of people making it this far will be fans of the series and certainly not like the critiques I’m making about The Wilds.
To be fair though, there are glimmers of brilliance here but they’re drowned out by overwhelming mediocrity and enormous plot holes and contrivances that are difficult to ignore. As The Wilds bows out, we’re left with one final question – will this be renewed for season 2 or not?