Episode 1 of The Wilds Season 2 starts with all the girls reflecting on the horrific ordeal they endured on the island. Specifically, what happened to Nora on the beach. As they all discuss how bad things got, we jump back to see things from the boys’ perspective.
We’ve got all the clichés here, and a video montage of the kids before heading across on this “retreat” only reinforces that. Gretchen watches her “control group” and revels over how the girls lasted longer than the guys did – 34 days to 50.
Daniel and Dean resume their interrogation duties, this time questioning Rafael, or Raf as he likes to be called. He takes us back to the first day on the retreat and what happened to them. We’re post-crash though, with the boys all on the beach.
Josh is struggling to hold it together, crying on the beach. Lacrosse dude Kirin is not happy and doesn’t think they should be sitting around doing nothing. Instead, he splits everyone up to go in search of the perfect hotel he believes is just around the corner.
Kirin takes half the group in one direction while the rest band together and trek across the beach in the opposite direction. One of the boys, DJ, ends up slowing them down so he decides to give up, wishing them luck.
With the recon mission a failure on both sides of the island, the boys reconvene later on and find the mutilated body of DJ. He’s been completely torn apart, with his face ripped off. The boys have no idea what happened to him.
Interweaving around this day 1 timeline is that involving the girls, who reflect on time after Nora as they’re up to day 30. It’s been tough for everyone. Shelby admits she hasn’t been doing a whole lot of praying right now while Rachel is in danger of flying completely off the handle. She clings to Toni though, who’s her rock through all of this. The pair continue kissing.
While Dot and Fatin set up a large SOS sign on the beach again, each of the girls deal with their own drama and also remain worried about Rachel, given what happened to Nora.
Leah sits with Rachel and tells her that she thinks of Nora every day. However, she wants to know how Nora found out about the island and the retreat. Leah presses her on finding out details about the retreat, but Rachel is a woman possessed. She screams at Leah, telling her that her sister is gone and she (Rachel) is to blame.
While most of the girls head into the woods for their new camp, Dot stays with Rachel, admitting to her that she’s going to feel awful for a while. Dot doesn’t BS her friend and points out that grief is awful to try and get through. For now, she’s going to stay with her.
Back with the boys, Raf ends up befriending Seth. The latter constantly checks in with him, as the pair admit they’re not doing well. For Raf, he’s still not much better in the present either, as he tells Young and Faber in his interview that he’s still struggling to this day.
Raf goes on to admit some of the boys were turning into monsters, alone in the wild. It’s your classic Lord of the Flies scenario. Anyway, when Raf heads back to his room, Leah pops up behind him and tells him not to scream.
Remember DJ? Well, the end of The Wilds jumps back to day 1 with the boys as it turns out he’s absolutely fine… and also Gretchen’s son. He’s not happy about her destroying the lives of these kids, calling her a psychopath.
The Episode Review
The Wilds is back and messier than ever. Not just narratively, but also with its editing too. The title of this episode is evidence enough that we’re going to be jumping to different time periods between the two sets of characters but in doing so, it’s stretching everyone incredibly thin.
So far all the boys we’ve met are walking clichés, and the jumps between day 1, the present and day 30 are in danger of really starting to muddy together and give this a much less cohesive feel than the first season.
For those who followed by recaps the first time around, you’ll know I’m not a big fan of this show but I always like being proved wrong and for shows to come out swinging and nail a KO on this doubting critic.
Season 2 though staggers out the corner with very little to offer. In fact, the arrival of the boys has a detrimental effect on the rest of the show, as one can’t help but want to spend more time with the girls instead.
Hopefully the rest of the season can improve but aside from a couple of nice twists, this show feels like t’s losing sight of what reeled people in in the first place.