“The Janitor’s Boy”
- Creator: Graham Yost
- Starring: Rebecca Ferguson, David Oyelowo, Rashida Jones, Tim Robbins, Common, Ferdinand Kingsley, Harriet Walter, Chinaza Uche
Warning: Reviews of Silo season 1 will contain spoilers.
Well, I’ll certainly miss Will Patton’s presence on this show, and Juliette’s uneasy alliance with him was something I was looking forward to. Without him, Juliette has one less person she can trust within the sheriff’s office as she tries to navigate not only the new position but the increasingly frequent murders within the Silo. The Janitor’s Boy expands the show’s reach even more by dedicating more airtime to Common’s Sims and the conspiracy within the Judicial division.
Common is another great addition to the show, and fits in perfectly to the kind of energy that Graham Yost (who wrote this episode) is striving for. Sims has to possess equal parts friendliness and menace, and both are on full display in his scene with Trumbull (Henry Garrett). We’ve seen, through brief glimpses, that he’s a family man himself, so I’m excited to see what else the show has in store for him.
I wasn’t expecting Silo to add “conspiracy thriller” to its list of genres that it dips into, but The Janitor’s Boy shows that Yost is able to balance any number of tones. The mystery of Marnes’ murder, along with those of Jahns and George and Holston (not a murder per se, but you know what I mean) means that Juliette could be in over her head in her new position. Though her investigative skills are as sharp as anyone, as she quickly sniffs out the likeliest suspects, and lays a trap for Trumbull.
The burial scene of Marnes and Jahns was informative from a character standpoint – as we see Tim Robbins’s Bernard in his first public-facing leadership role – and from the world-building of the Silo. The question of what happens to the deceased hadn’t really crossed my mind previously, but to see it handled here added more detail to this dystopian world. That the Silo’s deceased continue to help each other in death, along with the eaten fruit of the trees, speaks to the theme of everyone helping the Silo succeed that’s been prevalent since the beginning.
One more point in this show’s favor: it’s clear that Yost intends it to last more than one season. Yes, Silo is based on the book series by Hugh Howey, but shows based on pre-existing material sometimes tend to be short-sighted in what they adapt beyond one season. (For the record, if it wasn’t evident already, I haven’t read the books yet.) The conspiracy material seems to be fruitful enough to last this season, and there’s surely more mysteries and mythology to uncover in future seasons. The main question after the events of The Janitor’s Boy going forward is how far up (no pun intended) the conspiracy goes – does it stop with Sims, or was he acting on the behalf of Judge Meadows, or someone else? And why start a conflict with the government/law enforcement? The determining factor could be hidden within George’s hard drive, or the other relics Juliette has uncovered, so it’s only a matter of time before more truths come out.