Episode 2 of The Wilds Season 2 starts with Raf being interrogated by Leah in the present. She points out that their stories are similar and urges him not to believe those who are asking him questions. She tells him to listen, that this is a prison and that the plane crash and everything else was completely set-up.
In order for them to work together and escape this mess, Leah wants to know everything that happened on the island.
This sees us jump back to the boys, who are on Day 12. We’re not told this but judging by the episode title, it’s fair to assume this is where we are. Kirin comes out the water naked, accusing Raf of staring at his junk. Off the back of this, Raf begins to spend more and more time alone. Leah sees as a red flag for him hiding something from the group.
In reality, Raf is used to spending a lot of time on his own; lost in his own head and blinded by the metaphorical fog. The only thing that made sense in his mundane life was his girlfriend, Marisol. Essentially, he felt lost in a lost place. That’s something Leah can relate to as well, given we saw her at the end of the last episode popping pills in private.
Anyway, for Raf things go from bad to worse. Back on the island, the guys play two truths and one lie. Raf cracks a joke about Kirin, which prompts the boys to gang up on him. Eventually he has enough and walks away.
We jump back to moments before the island with Raf alongside Marisol at her place. Raf is clearly infatuated with her, as they enjoy her lavish and rich villa. Marisol’s passion lies with art but for Raf, he hasn’t figured out his “thing” yet.
Raf’s parents aren’t exactly happy about him spending so much time with Marisol. “That girl is going to forget you.” Raf’s father warns him, believing his son is getting wrapped up in a whole different world.
The catalyst for everything falling apart soon arrives. Raf runs late for an art show he agrees to attend with Marisol. While waiting at the border, he receives a call from Marisol which distracts him…and he bumps into the car in front.
This ultimately leads the pair into a scuffle, which gets the authorities involved too. Raf is arrested, kept in overnight and eventually bailed out by Marisol and her parents. She’s cold with him in the car as they drive back. Unfortunately, Raf’s visa has been revoked and it’s going to take some time before he can cross the border again.
Back on the island, Raf’s day goes from bad to worse when he’s attacked by fire ants retrieving his bracelet. Raf admits to Seth (who shows up to help), that he doesn’t know where he stands with the other guys. Seth simply tells him he needs to “put himself on the map” and the best way to do that is to establish himself as the guy who brings the snacks. “Everyone loves that guy.”
While searching around, the pair uncover a bunker. Is there a button you have to press every 4 minutes down there? A Dharma Initiative station? Nope, it’s the motherlode of food stash! Specifically, a lot of food and additional journal entries from 2006 in a big folder.
The gang make it back to the beach just in time, especially when Kirin finds Josh actually has a lighter in his bag he hasn’t told anyone about. Thankfully, the boys return with enough food to tide them over.
Interspersed around this, we jump back to see the girls, who are on day 34 right now. Leah hasn’t slept in four days and when Nora finds out, she takes her away from the group to knock some sense into her. Metaphorically speaking.
There’s not a whole lot of drama with these guys this episode, if I’m honest, but there are a few nice moments including some banter over a beach-read novel and Leah and Rachel returning to the group with a box of party supplies. Specifically, a piñata which gets Leah laughing given it reminds her of something from the past.
In the present, Leah asks Raf for him to trust her. He doesn’t have a lot of faith in her but agrees to play along, given he doesn’t have a lot of choice.
When Leah leaves Raf’s room, she heads in to see Daniel Faber and speaks to him about “a good story” she has. She talks about the two plane crashes and how she’s met Raf and they’ve been catching up. She wants to strike a deal with the authorities in charge. She’ll get them the information they want… for a price.
The Episode Review
Episode 2 switches things up as she skip across to visit the boys on the island and see more of Raf’s backstory. We’ve had two solid episodes with him now and that feels like a sufficient amount of time to understand his character and what drives him.
However, it also comes at the expense of a messy screenplay that is now juggling three or four different timelines at once. With only 8 episodes to play with, honestly this feels like it needs 24 and is designed for old-school prime-time TV to actually give everyone an adequate amount of time to grow and evolve.
There are obvious nods to how Lost set up its story – most notably that involving “the others” and the Tail section of the plane – but The Wilds doesn’t quite have the chops to actually make this story stick. Instead, everything feels both meandering and too quick, with the girls given the short end of the stick in favour of trying to get us accustomed to these new boys.
The Wilds is a messy series and despite some interesting history surrounding Raf, appears to have lost sight of the show’s most important ingredients.