We begin episode 5 of The Wilds with a look at Gretchen, the woman in charge of this task. She submerges herself in a tranquil pool of water and screams to the heavens. As she does, interspersed around this is classical music played by Fatin in an orchestra.
Back on the island, the girls all decide to make fun of Fatin and do impressions while she’s not there. Leah goes one step too far though while Dot admits that she’s lost her lighter. Ah so that’s how they’re making the fire! Anyway, on the back of this the girls start to lose control and fighting amongst themselves over how to keep the fire going.
Off the island, things are stressful and tense in the office. Gretchen is not happy that Alex is there, someone she clearly holds a grudge with. It turns out they’ve had some camera outages on the island and this causes him to exhibit concerns over finding Fatin who they’ve lost sight of.
Flashbacks show Fatin annoyed with her parents pushing her to keep playing the cello. Eventually her father gives a bit of leeway and allows a curfew of 11.30. This heady blend of playing cello and partying hard continues through a solid montage of quick cuts between the two lifestyles.
Tellingly, Amazon features a “field note” here in its general trivia informing us that Fatin only hooks up with college guys as high school kids can’t be trusted if they don’t have monthly expenses.
Anyway, back at home Fatin checks her Father’s tablet and finds numerous messages he’s been sending to different girls. To get back at him, she decides to send a picture of her own to everyone on her Father’s contact list. This sets off a chain reaction of bad fortune for the family, eventually leading to her parents crushed over finding out she was the one to send the pictures.
On the back of this, they decide to send her away on the retreat to help respect people other than herself. While packing her things, Fatin greets her brother and embraces him warmly just before she leaves.
Back on the island, the kids decide to try and find Fatin. On the way, they run into a ferret but instead of trying to catch it to eat, they just let it leave and continue their search. Rachel and Leah continue to come to blows.
The kids eventually find Fatin after a short quick-sand incident and find her using nail polish to show the way to… fresh water! NOW we find this in the form of a waterfall and a stream. How did Rachel not see this way up from atop the highest peak on the island? The waterfall is pretty big and the lake large enough with little trees around to show from an aerial view.
Dot thanks Fatin for marking the way as the kids head back to the beach again, boiling away the microbes from the water to make it safe to drink.
Off the island, Gretchen approaches Alex and tells him to throw a drink in her face as a release for his anger. After doing just that, Gretchen tasks him with working hard to make sure nothing goes awry again.
Back on the island, Leah gives up her book for tinder to the fire while Fatin changes her tact and starts to open up to the others. As night draws in, the girls decide to dig up Jeanette and take her away from camp given predators are fast approaching. As they begin digging, the girls find the body gone. I wonder what shady agency watching their every move and with operatives in the area did this?
The Episode Review
While watching I can’t help but feel how much more mysterious and suspenseful this show would be without the flashes forward. We know Fatin, Leah, Rachel and Dot have all survived so there’s absolutely no tension in any of their scenes on the island.
Jeanette’s body being dug up is so obviously Gretchen and the others but yet it’s being made out to be a mystery. Imagine if we hadn’t seen Gretchen and those moments off the island at this point? What a great twist this would be. Instead, it flatlines into predictable mediocrity.
However, the biggest sin in this series is just how unlikable a lot of these girls are. I get that teenage girls are hormonal and will be pushed to their extremes in this environment but outside of perhaps Dot and Nora there aren’t really any likable characters to root for.
Fatin’s past doesn’t reveal that much either, although her being the one to find fresh water is a nice touch to the episode. It also avoids the issue of explaining how the girls are constantly drinking cans all this time.
As we cross the halfway point of this Amazon Original, this series has been just an average-at-best watch after a disastrous pilot episode. With fresh water now found, hopefully we’ll start to shift the focus to the different girls we haven’t seen yet and learn more about them.