‘Siberia’ 1.06 Recap: “Behavior Reward Simulator – Test Group C”

Hey, what do you know? After last week’s recap, it appears that I’m not the only one out here in the TV wilderness watching NBC’s ‘Siberia’. At least a couple of our readers are still intrigued by the series too. It’s nice to have company. Did you realize that the actors have been using their actual names all along, as if they were really contestants on a genuine Reality show? Neeko is really a guy named Neeko. Esther is Esther, Miljan is Miljan, and Joyce is Carolina. (That last one makes sense if you’ve been watching.) I think that level of commitment to the concept is pretty cool.

In this week’s episode, ‘Out of the Frying Pan’, all of our characters finally realize just how screwed they are. While scavenging the producers’ abandoned base camp, Johnny, Daniel and Joyce (née Carolina) find blood – lots of blood – all over some of the tents and the control trailer. They also run into Sabina there, claiming to have come upon the place on her own. (Sabina seems to know more than she lets on.) There’s a Ham radio in the trailer, but it isn’t working. Sabina says that the signal is being jammed. Who or what would do this?

After they rejoin the rest of the group back at the cabins, Sam insists that the camera people should keep recording as if the show were still going on, because he believes that having a record of what’s happening to them will be their only form of protection. This provides a convenient excuse to explain why all this found-footage of them exists after their Reality show has fallen apart.

From out of nowhere, the Revealer cabinet sounds its alarm and opens to deliver a gas mask – one single gas mask. Everyone freaks out about this. Are the producers still playing games with them after everything that’s happened? Will they be gassed? Johnny goes ballistic, knocks the cabinet over and tears open a panel on the back. Inside are gears and mechanical workings. The device appears to be fully automated on a timer. No one is controlling it.

As the implications of their situation settle in, the group debates whether they should stay at the cabins or leave and search for civilization. Annie suggests building a giant signal fire and hoping that someone sees it and sends help. After the others put in a lot of effort collecting tree limbs and building a bonfire, Sabina puts it out as soon as it starts. She warns them that a fire could also attract whomever or whatever apparently attacked (and killed?) the producers. It might have been nice if she could have said something before they made all that effort. What a bitch.

While searching for wood, Daniel spots a radio tower off in the distance, somewhere between 10 to 18 miles away. As the infection in Irene’s leg spreads and it’s clear that her condition is dire, a decision is made: Johnny, Daniel, Sam and Joyce will hike to that tower, hoping to find help and return in a few days. Everyone else will stay behind with Irene at the camp.

Miljan, meanwhile, is really losing his shit and acting creepier than ever. At one point, he sneaks into the cabin while Irene is sleeping and covers up the camera there. What he does, if anything, we don’t know. Miljan also gets really pissy and whiny when Sam finds his mysterious Russian journal. Sam is able to translate some of it. Written in 1927, the journal talks about a dangerous nomadic tribe called “the Valleymen.” Neeko thinks that it’s just a prop that the producers left for them to find.

As the episode ends, Johnny and his group reach the crest of a hill and find beyond it what looks to be a massive crater. What could have caused this? A meteor? Aliens? Some natural phenomenon?

I liked this episode, and I think the show is building toward something potentially interesting. However, while we get an answer this week as to why the camera guys would continue to film (and thus how we can be seeing what’s happening to these people), this doesn’t explain who’s editing or adding a musical score to the footage. Some of the scenes in this particular episode are downright artful. Is that intentional, or are we just supposed to suspend disbelief and not ask questions like that?


  1. matt

    The crater almost certainly points towards the Tunguska Event. There are a ton of theories as to what actually happened in 1908, but my suspicion is that some sort of black hole or portal collided with the earth (this is an actual, real-life scientific theory, though not a popular one) that has caused the contestants and the original settlers to get stuck in a time loop along with some kind of creature. I think Sabina found herself and that the other people in the woods (Valleymen) are either the original settlers or the current contestants from the future (and their descendants). But obviously that’s just pie-in-the-sky speculation.

  2. Brandon Erwin

    Just finished number 7. Man is this show improving fast. There were quite a few beautiful camera angles and shots in this episode. All around, the cinematography and score have made leaps and bounds in the past two weeks. I feel like for the most part, they’ve abandoned the idea of actual camera men documenting this experience, and in my opinion that was an excellent yet sloppy move. Yes, there are a few times were the camera is dropped, pushed, or stared at-But unless each group is being followed by at least five or six guys, there isn’t a possible explanation for who’s doing the filming in certain scenes. A few “twists” make this last one interesting, but after looking back, it doesn’t feel like we’ve made much progress. I don’t think theres any question whether or not this show will return for a season 2 (ex.”The River”), so I’m really hoping answers start crawling out of the woodwork. All in all, acting has improved, visually the show is prettier, and I even had some feels at a moment towards the end. No tears of course…My eyes were just dry. Siberia, you better not disappoint!

  3. Sean

    Great review! This show is just good enough to keep me coming back for more. I too hope it doesn’t disappoint. And I agree, if this is found footage the added score and slow motion effects don’t really make sense. The producers should have gone in one direction or the other, show the found footage without score/edits or dump the found footage premise altogether. And where exactly are the cameramen sleeping and getting food?

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