Prime’s newest teen drama The Wilds is back with a splash for its second season on May 6th. The series follows a group of girls—Leah, Shelby, Fatin, Toni, Dot, Rachel and Nora—who become trapped on an island after their plane crashes. When it just so happens one of the stranded is a paranoid obsessive, Leah’s otherwise catastrophic mentality is what allows her to be the only one who realizes they didn't end up on this island by accident. At the end of Season 1, we learn that not only was the plane crash staged… but the girls aren’t really marooned on an island. They’ve been unknowingly kidnapped and held hostage to participate against their will or knowledge in a social experiment with ambitions to decipher the age old question: who is better… boys or girls?
Although the trailer gave us a significant insight into the second season of The Wilds, we still have some unanswered questions about what we saw in the first. Here’s what we want to know:
How Much Do the Parents Know?
It’s clear that Gretchen convinced the parents of each girl that their kids are in good hands. We see that she she video calls them, providing updates on their children but failing to mention the details of their program. With Gretchen's considerable resources, it's easy to believe she could have her team forwarding doctored footage of the girls to their respective parents. In fact, I'd be willing to guess that Gretchen's team is even actively posting on behalf of the girls while they're gone. While their parents think the girls are surfing in Hawaii, they’re actually trapped in a sadistic experiment spearheaded by an evil genius who expertly keeps these parental figures in the dark. But how much do they really know about the program?
Sara Pidgeon as Leah Rilke in Season 2 of The Wilds
Does Nora Die Before Her Role Is Revealed?
It seems that the girls still don’t know they’re part of a twisted social experiment in the Season 2 trailer, which must mean Leah never gets the chance to confront Nora about her double-agent status (and that time Nora trapped her in a hole). We also never see Nora interact with Dr. Faber or Agent Young post-rescue. Does Nora die trying to save Rachel from the shark? Or does she die some other way? We see that Rachel blames herself for the death of one of the girls. Is she talking about her sister?
Helena Howard as Nora Reid in Season 1 of The Wilds
What’s Going On Between Leah and Shelby?
On the island they are nemeses, but in the bunker they seem to be each other’s lifelines. Shelby insists on seeing "her", even leveraging her own knowledge of the events that took place on the island as a way to bargain with Agent Young. While we all expected Shelby to have been talking about Toni, it strikes us as odd when we see her meet up with Leah. On the island, Leah makes plenty of cases to prove that Shelby isn’t to be trusted. Yet when we see them post-rescue, they are what keeps the other hanging on. Shelby secretly hides a note in Leah’s shirt reaffirming her suspicions that Dr. Faber has desperately been trying to convince her otherwise of; this is a fully functioning operation that is keeping them hostage. But what finally convinced Shelby of the truth?
Leah discovers the Twilight of Adam in the Season 1 Finale "Day Twenty-Three"
Is There a Spy In The Boys’ Group?
After the events of the Season 1 finale, we learn that Gretchen manipulates Nora’s profound feelings of loss and a loyal admiration for her sister into enlisting her to be an asset for the experiment. Definitely the oddest turn in the series, Nora’s big reveal as Gretchen's mole was one more plot twist than we needed. Including Jeannette, there were meant to be two informants on the ground fraudulently participating in the experiment. Does that mean there are informants among those in The Twilight of Adam? How many? And who?
Does Leah Break Into The Boys’ Bunker?
We all saw that shot at the end of the Season 2 trailer showing Leah with her hand over Rafael's mouth. Rafael Garcia is played by Zack Calderon, one of the boys in the group that eerily mirrors Leah's. We know they don’t meet while on the island because Leah doesn’t uncover their existence until the finale of Season 1. But does that mean the other girls in the bunker don't already know they might be sharing an island with another "control group". Do they meet after their stints on the island? Does Leah break into their bunker? Or does she break onto their island? How do these two meet?
Sarah Pidgeon and Zack Calderon as Leah Rilke and Rafael Garcia
What Girls Make It To The Bunker?
In Season 1, the only girls we see interviewed in the bunker after the island are Leah, Shelby, Rachel, Dot, Fatin and Tony. We’ve still yet to see Nora and Martha interact with Dr. Faber or Agent Young in the interrogation room or otherwise. Could it be we just haven't seen their interviews yet? Are they imprisoned in another location? Was Nora granted freedom from the experiment due to her status as Gretchen's ally? Or did neither of them make it off the island? If so, how do these two girls die?
How Much Time Has Passed Between Their Last Day On The Island And Their First Day In The Bunker?
From the events of Season 1, we know the girls have been trapped on the island for at least twenty three days... but how long after the twenty-third day are they moved to the bunker? From the state of their skin (and Rachel's fully healed arm), we know the girls are stuck on the island for a lot longer than we originally thought. But how long?
The show has often been compared to the hit series Lost, a story where its islands' inhabitants remained trapped there for six seasons, The Wilds has showed no signs of introducing elements of the supernatural or fantasy, such as time travel or smoke monsters. But that doesn't go to say that this show isn't narratively ambitious. What sort of challenges and adventures wait for the girls during their time on the island? How long before we see them move to the bunker?
Reign Edwards as Rachel Reid in Season 1 of The Wilds
Are The Girls Off The Island?
We saw all the girls (except Jeannette…) make it through their fabricated journey to the island unscathed, moved from the simulated plane crash to boats firing towards the island. We know that the boys were being transported to their island in the final episode of Season 1, since the boats were unavailable to remove Leah from the island during her meltdown. As far as they knew, the group was on their way to Hawaii. But in the bunker, Agent Young reveals to Leah that they're somewhere in Peru. Does this mean we'll see the girls being rescued, flown off the island and moved to a bunker in Peru? Or was their rescue also simulated? Did Gretchen's team move the girls underneath the island? Are they on the same island as the boys? Where are they?
Leah and Dean Young, played by Troy Winbush
What Is The Endgame Of Gretchen’s Experiment?
We know from Gretchen’s presentation (and the motivations behind her actions) that she’s passionate and intelligent. And also that time when she referred to herself as Napoleon. Gretchen is devoted to proving that femalesare the more evolved sex by putting both in the same dire situation and studying which will survive... and how. Gretchen is a modernist take on the "mad scientist" archetype and a brilliant representation on how intelligence and ambition can often cloud the lines between morals. But what is the goal of her deadly experiment?
Rachel Griffiths as sociological mastermind and villain, Gretchen Klein
Who Poisoned Shelbi?
In the last few seconds of the final season, we saw Shelby in a state of severe anaphylaxis after being given soup containing shellfish. While on the island, Shelby mentions her allergy when justifying why she isn't eating any oysters even though the group was starving. Coincidentally, Shelby wasn’t poisoned by the oysters like the others, but in the bunker we see her fighting for her life. This happens soon after Shelby stuffs a note into Leah’s shirt confirming her suspicions about the island. How does Shelbi know they were purposely put on the island? Did learning this lead to her attempted murder?
Mia Healey as Shelby Goodkind in Season 1 of The Wilds
Considering how well Gretchen cares for her subjects, it's impossible to suspect that she or any of her staff would have jeopardized the entire project by killing Shelby. Which leads us to wonder… who did? As far as we know, Leah’s the only one who got out of her cell. Did one of the other girls manage to break free from their cells to poison her? If so, why? Could one of the boys have broken into the girls’ bunker and done it? What would their motivations behind hurting Shelby be? Will both groups uncover the truth about the Twilight of Adam and Dawn of Eve? Will they begin to fight dirty in order to prevail as the winner of this battle of the sexes?