The ending of the season 1 TV series, Silo does not seem to make any sense.

What we learn: the outside world is indeed toxic and hostile to human life. So, apparently, there is no conspiracy: things are truly as they are shown on the cafeteria display.

What would be an obvious thing to do: if someone doubts that outside is inhospitable, lend this person a suit and have them go outside and see by themselves. And hey, in the process they can also clean the camera lens before coming back.

Yet, the whole society seems to be organized with the purpose of supporting a conspiracy, with secret cameras, secret power plays, secret video rooms, and so forth. For protecting what? That the official version is the truth?

Instead, they created a video that seems to indicate that the truth is not the truth (i.e. that outside is beautiful and full of life) and put it as overlay for the suit's helmet. In short, they create a conspiracy that has no purpose, and then spend a lot of effort covering this artificial conspiracy. What could be the objective? I read everywhere it's "so that people clean". Why not send someone out once a year with a good suit to clean, then have this person come back to confirm to everybody that, yes, it sucks to be outside.

Did I miss anything that would hint that any of this makes sense?

  • 3
    I expect that this would be explained in the later seasons.
    – F1Krazy
    Commented Jul 3, 2023 at 10:24
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    In the book series we learn that the outside world isn't immediately toxic and hostile to life. The suits are designed to suffocate the user to death and to give the impression that the outside world is impossibly unsafe.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jul 3, 2023 at 11:41
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    This is part of the problem of the series basically only showing the first half of the first of 3 books. There's a lot to come that people who've read the books already know - so, if you haven't read them, do you really want spoilers for season 2?
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jul 3, 2023 at 13:43
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    @Valorum - I haven't read the books, but it seemed to me that the secret is all the other silos out there, not that it's non-toxic. I don't know if it's non-toxic or not; it might just be uninhabitable. The suits don't suffocate them. They are gassed, which causes their deaths. The tape that they wrapped her wrists with is a better quality tape that didn't permit any gas to enter her suit, which is why she doesn't die "on schedule." Commented Jul 5, 2023 at 21:46
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    @Valorum - Fair enough, but I don't see deep rabbit holes, just a lot of deep silos... :) Commented Jul 5, 2023 at 21:50

1 Answer 1


"Why overlay the helmet with VR?"

In short, it's so that people are compelled to clean.

Allison answers this question in S01E01:

I think people clean because they hope somehow that they can show people the truth that that is a lie. When I get out there, if that's what it's really like, I won't clean. I'll wave goodbye, because I would have made the biggest mistake of my life. But if I'm right... and it's green and lush and beautiful, I'll pull out my wool and I'll start to clean.

Bernard also gives a subtle answer to the question in S01E10:

Juliet: I won't clean.

Bernard: Nobody intends to, but they always do. As the Founders, in their wisdom, knew they would.

As for the rest of your question involving the purpose of the conspiracy and cleaning, I will only say this:

"The founders left us with many mysteries," all of which will be answered in future seasons. Thus, I will refrain from spoiling them until future seasons are released.

  • 1
    "it's so that people are compelled to clean". But why not having someone in a functional suit (i.e. "sealed with good tape") go out, clean, and come back in ?
    – Vince
    Commented Aug 24, 2023 at 16:24
  • @Vince To put it simply: if the silo dwellers knew that it's possible to leave the silo without certain death, it would lead to a rebellion. It's a bit more complicated than that, but I can't explain further without major spoilers. Commented Sep 2, 2023 at 15:59
  • @LordElrond why do cleaners feel compelled to clean even after they've seen every other cleaner before them fail to show a "green" world through the lens? Are they not thinking straight, do they believe every cleaner before them didn't try hard enough or was incompetent? Is this answered in the books?
    – Andres F.
    Commented Sep 4, 2023 at 3:24

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