The ones in power are often afraid of change and evolution. They think whatever system they have created will crumble if people stop believing in old ideas and traditions. That is why they banish anyone who dares to think outside the box. In Silo, the concrete structure is their sanctuary, and the pact is the order that they are sworn to protect. Anyone who questions the pact or breaks the laws mentioned in it is sent out to clean.
Ironically, cleaning can have multiple meanings in the Silo. For the general public, it is the act of cleaning the camera sensors so that they can have a better view of the eroded world outside. But if you look into the deeper conspiracy, then the cleaning suggests the rejection of the “impurities” from the sanctuary, meaning that the rebels were deemed impure. They are sent to clean, but it is they who are being “cleansed” from the face of the earth.
Book Spoilers Ahead
Why Did The Founders Create Faulty Suits?
We believe that the laws of the Silo play with one’s psyche. Any spoken request to go outside is granted. Then why doesn’t anyone want to leave the Silo even when they have the freedom to do so? It is the fear instilled in them by the founders that makes them behave. Anyone who chooses to go is dressed up in a cleaning suit designed to fail, and hence, as soon as they step out, the toxic air starts poisoning their body. The protection lasts for a few minutes, perhaps just long enough to clean the camera sensors. The founders wanted these outcasts to clean the lenses so that the image could remind people on the inside why their sanctuary is the only safe haven on earth.
The cleaners are given the faulty space suit for two particular reasons. The founders don’t want anyone to return to the Silo to tell the people that they had installed computer-generated video in the visor of their helmet to manipulate them into cleansing. So far, only Juliette has figured it out, but it is most likely that the previous outcasts may have found the truth as well. Secondly, they wanted them to die in front of the people in the cafeteria so no one else would dare go out. In this way, being sent out of the Silo turned into a death sentence for the residents. The keepers of the Silo want to manipulate the minds of the innocent residents with fear so that they remain docile and obedient and follow the pact without making any fuss.
How Did Juliette Find Out The Truth?
Since the beginning of the series, there has been an ongoing conversation regarding the stolen boxes of H57 heat tapes that were reserved for IT. It was Juliette who had taken them from the Supply because she needed them to fix a leak in the heat exchanger. In the book, Juliette found out that these tapes were reserved to be used only in the test suits—the cleaning suits that people wear when they go outside. However, the most surprising thing was that these heat tapes were engineered to fail. The IT, the Pact, and the founders never intended for anyone to survive the atmosphere outside the Silo, which was why they had created the faulty suits. They were committing murder and calling it people’s wish to choose the death sentence.
The book clearly mentions the malpractices of the ones running the Silo. One of Juliette’s close friends, Scottie, reveals to her that her suspicions regarding the heat tapes were right. The IT had intentionally been creating low-grade heat tapes, which is why Juliette found them useless when she stole them from the supply. Juliette even shares this information with Walker, and that’s how Walker connects the dots in the end. However, in the series, the entire revelation is kept ambiguous. Juliette just found out about the computer-generated video, which wasn’t even the exact truth. Like Holston and Allison, Juliette also believed that the projection in the cafeteria was a lie, but the truth was entirely different, and it was only after she went outside that she found what it was.
What Did Martha’s Cryptic Note Mean?
After the death of Juliette’s mother, Martha Walker became the maternal figure in her life and had been protecting her from all the perils that came her way. Martha never wanted Juliette to take the position of the sheriff, as she knew that Juliette would be endangering her life if she stepped out of the Mechanical. Yet, Juliette did what she wasn’t supposed to do, and in her pursuit to find out about George Wilkins’s murder, she made some enemies from whom no one could have protected her. She was being sent out of the Silo for the crimes she had never committed, and her death was inevitable. It was time for Martha to step in to save the only child she ever had. She contacted her ex-wife, Carla, who worked in the supply chain, to ask for one last favor. Martha wanted her to replace IT’s heat tape with the ones created in the Mechanical so that Juliette could survive outside the Silo. In the series, these tapes are placed in a metal box labeled “sensory wool,” which is a direct reference to the title of the book, “Wool.” The term wool in the Silo universe has a meaning of its own as it symbolizes the lies weaved by the founders to keep things in order.
During Silo‘s ending, Juliette sends her child a cryptic note that reads, “Have no fear. They’re good in Supply.” It was Martha’s way of assuring Juliette that her suit wouldn’t fail as it had been laced with better-quality heat tape. And it actually worked. Juliette survived the toxic environment outside the Silo and was able to walk without the fear of dying.
What Does Juliette’s Survival Mean For the Future Of Silo?
Juliette will surely become the first person in the history of the Silo to survive the heat and radiation of the outside world. Her survival will perhaps instill a new sense of hope among the people inside who witnessed her walking beyond the hill. But it also creates an alarming situation for Bernard Holland, who has to deal with a once-in-a-lifetime crisis. As we all know, there is more than one Silo, approximately 50, as per the book; hence, Bernard will connect with Silo 1 to seek advice on what to do next in order to curb the rebellion cooking in the hearts of men.
Juliette, on the other hand, will be able to make use of her suit to visit another Silo, the 17th one, as per the book, in order to get a roof over her head where she can plan a way to come back home. The war between Bernard and Juliette has just begun. It will be a battle against truth and widespread deception. Bernard believes that a layer of wool is necessary to maintain law and order, whereas Juliette runs by the philosophy that people have the right to know the truth. Hopefully, the next season of Silo will help us understand who is correct and who is not. And what eventually happens to them in the end.