Tuesday, August 6, 2013

TV Analysis: Siberia Episode 5

Well. Okay. Well.

I was expecting this episode to be pretty big, especially because I knew something was going to be happening to Irene (when you’ve got the cast throwing “Sorry Irene” hashtags around you know they’re not even trying to keep that spoiler under wraps), but I was not expecting the HSQ to be that high.

So let’s jump right into it, shall we?

New Story Threads

1. Sabina’s Cave of Wonders

This one wasn’t really too surprising in some ways. We see Sabina has the bullets (though we don’t see the gun) and some food supplies stashed in a cave.  We’ve seen her coming out of the cave and intentionally steering Daniel away from it. It does raise several questions, though: why is she hiding out in a cave alone? Where did she get the camera she’s using to film herself (and more specifically, is it the camera that “got lost in woods and no one can find?” (that should be read in a Russian accent))? And most importantly, where is she getting the supplies? This food was canned while the food in the shed seemed jarred, and there was a flashlight. Pretty sure they don’t have those.

My guess at this point is that she’s been special ops-ing it away from production, since I don’t see where else it could have come from. Her motivations, though, are still a mystery.

2. Miljans of Voices in my Head

I keep reading comments about how there’s something off about Miljan, and I keep using the “he’s just a goofball with an unusual sense of humor” rebuttal. This episode, I’m forced to agree with them. There is definitely something off about Miljan. Irene found him staring at—not speaking to—Ogdee, and he cut a tattoo into his arm (which we didn’t get to see) when Irene got hurt. He’s also been hiding the diary, but that can easily be chalked up to Miljan’s tendancy to not tell anyone else about potentially vital information.

Right now, I’m thinking that something is affecting his mind. I’ve read/watched/written enough fiction in the Slender Man Mythos to pick up on the symptoms of supernatural forces working on one’s mind. Miljan’s not just going crazy—something’s driving him crazy, and he doesn’t even notice it.

Also I am so very, very sorry for that atrocious pun in the section title.

3. Children of the Corn Woods

Irene hears what sounds like a child laughing, then again from the other direction. Later, Sabina hears the laughter, and an offscreen comment from Miljan implies he’s heard it too.

There’s a good chance this is related to the blonde girl (see #5), and the appearance of children rather than adults is pretty significant, but I’m not quite ready to commit to that link. Of course, that means that I don’t have any other ideas as to what it could be. Probably the ghosts of those who’ve died on the island? Augh, why is it so easy to draw LOST parallels?

4. It’s a Trap!

Ah, this is the big event of the episode. This is where all the #SorryIrene and #NotSorryWeSpoiledThisLOL comes from. Irene is hunting Deer when Miljan shows her to where a deer (head) is. She then triggers a spiked trap when she approaches, and one of the spikes goes through her leg. Then that kicks off a whole bunch of drama and leads into some other plot points, but we’ll get to those. Let’s talk about the trap for a second.

First of all, the fact that Miljan led her to the exact location of a deer is a bit suspicious. “Oh yeah, I totally know a stationary place where you can find an moving creature.” I’ve got a feeling that while he didn’t know about the trap (since he took off to legitimately help her), the voices in his head did. Second, the trap is clearly man-made, and most likely by the Spearmen. This is evidence towards the Spearmen being hostile instead of benevolent. Thought they might be helpful, but no such luck! Now the contestants have (probably) at least three factions after them!

5. Children of the Woods II: The Little Blonde-haired Girl

So Sabina runs into a blonde girl, who I’d give an estimate as being about twelve to seventeen years old. She hears something and turns around, and when she turns around, the girl is already gone. Here’s the girl, by the way:

Thanks, official Siberia Tumblr!

Anyway, it’s likely that it’s linked to the laughing, and that both of them are linked to the Spearmen, but I’m not 100% on that.

6. Sabina’s Feeling Quite Beside Herself

While chasing the little girl (see #5, i.e., what you probably just read), Sabina quite literally stumbles across something. It’s a locket identical to hers. Okay, that’s weird, and it’s attached to AUGH WHAT IS THAT A SKELETON? It’s…it’s okay, they probably just have matching the image inside is exactly the same okay wait.

Okay, in all honesty, the skeleton didn’t freak me out quite that much, though this whole thing has me going WHAT? pretty hard. Naturally, the body’s been there a while, as it’s decayed to bones. But who was it? And how did they manage to have an exact replica of Sabina’s locket? At this point, my best guess is that there’s a big ol’ wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey ball of…stuff that’s going on, and that it’s Sabina’s own skeleton that she found. Maybe they end up getting sent back in time to 1908? Wouldn’t that be cool if that’s why Sam’s bracelet is significant? If it’s because he had been the previous owner and the bracelet just appeared to create a stable time loop?

7. Gunshots

I dunno, I’ve got nothing clever for the title of this one. Anyway, this is a brief so it’s easy to miss: Sabina hears gunshots in the distance while she’s out in the woods. Does someone have the gun? If so, where did they get the bullets, since we see that Sabina’s not the one firing? Is it a different gun? Why were they shooting? So many questions, no answers for any of them. Everyone else is unaccounted for, so it’s either production (possible), the Spearmen (unlikely, since spears are their weapon of choice), or Natalie. Natalie? Wait a minute, Andy, whaaaaaaaaaaaa—?

8. Hello? Anybody Home?

When Irene gets injured, Esther goes to push the button to get help for her. Except that it turns out the button is just a prop and Esther didn’t actually do that in the first place anyway. After a bit of a spat with the cameramen (who apparently know just about as much as they do) and an inability to contact anyone on the radio, Johnny, Carolina, and Daniel head to the producers’ base camp. When the get there, they find a bunch of deserted tents. The place is desolate. Dun dun duuuuuuuun~!

The question now is whether they left intentionally or whether something made them leave? The sub-question to the former question is “why, and why now?” The sub-question to the latter is simply “what?” Either way, things don’t bode well for our protagonists.

9. Big Red Button (and Where Exactly is Natalie?)

In the episode, we’re told that Natalie is gone. She couldn’t put up with it and quit. Left Annie all alone, went back to her ex-boyfriend because she didn’t really need the money.

Except that that’s crap.

See, we’re never actually shown Natalie leaving. We just get a note from someone (I’m sure everyone’s so familiar with each other’s handwriting) that says that she left. There’s no footage of her leaving the show, because I don’t think such footage exists. There’s also the fact that the button’s not hooked up to consider. When did that happen? Did the button ever work? We know that George left, but we never see any of the other contestants take off in the helichopper.

The button could have been disconnected after Natalie left, but since we don’t see any footage of her leaving, I don’t think she ever did in the first place. Had she tried and failed, she would have told the camp. So where did she go?

This also raises the question as to whether any of the other contestants were truly free of the show. Did Berglind and Harpeet (they weren’t important enough for me to check if I got their names right) make it off? George left (remember George? It’s okay, nobody does), but where was he taken? Did Victoria get out?

Either way, the button being disconnected puts emphasis on Victoria’s prophecy of their deaths. They can’t just opt out anymore. It’s not “whoever stay’s is going to die.” No, now that they can’t leave, they’re all gonna die.

Character Arcs

Not as much to go off of this time, since the characters remained mostly static this episode. There are a few notable things, though:

Daniel and Sam really seem to have formed a tight bond. They’ve got a lot of good dialogue together. Nothing too important there, but it’s really fun to watch. Sam’s gone from a pretty stereotypical roughneck to one of the most well-rounded, deep characters on the show. Daniel kind of remains a nerd stereotype, but hey, you know.

Carolina’s decided she’s had it with the producers and ragequits their games. Most people still don’t trust her, unfortunately. Even more unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like she knows much more than the rest of them. Also HAHAHA HER REAL NAME IS JOYCE JUST LIKE HER ACTRESS I TOTALLY CALLED THAT.

We finally got to learn a little bit about Sabina this episode. Specifically, what she’s doing in the woods (hiding supplies in a cave) and a bit of who she is. That locket around her neck (which is not, as I had thought, identical to Sam’s bracelet) has a photo of…someone inside. Someone young-looking. Who that is isn’t explicitly stated, nor is whether he’s alive or dead, but he’s probably a relative or at very least someone close to her.

Irene’s still alive, though she’s not really in good condition. She’s looking better at the end of the episode, but she’s still pretty seriously wounded. Miljan, meanwhile, is slowly going totes cray-cray, though I pretty much said everything I needed to about that back in #2 above. He also tried to steal both a peek at Sabina bathing and her locket, though he kind of got his comeuppance for that pretty quickly

Thanks again, official Siberia Tumblr!

Neeko decided to talk to Johnny, having come to the conclusion that he seriously didn’t know what happened to Carolina. He tries to make amends, and Johnny seems to accept the apology. D’aww! It’s a shame that Neeko’s probably still doomed, though.

And then, of course, there’s Esther, who after attempting to seduce Johnny after Carolina betrays him, seems to do a 180 when Irene gets seriously hurt. Turns out that the only 180 she did was at the disqualification line. In terms of her personality, it was more like a 360. She got five people “out of the game” (for all the good that’s worth at this point) in one fell swoop. She and Miljan are locked in a very close race to see who can be the biggest villain. I mean, really, no one else seems to be trying.

Everyone’s Prospects

Yeah, sure, might as well give this its own section. Here’s a vague likelihood of everyone’s prospects for surviving the series. This now discounts leaving, considering that doesn’t seem to be much of an option anymore.

Johnny and Carolina are both pretty important characters at this point, as they’re getting the most screentime. They’ll probably be around for a good long while. Sabina is also going to be around for a while, since there are still a lot of unanswered questions surrounding her, even more so after this past episode.

Daniel and Sam are a bit less prominent. Daniel’s sort of dropped into the background now that other people are actually bothering to investigate, and Sam’s not doing much apart from translating Russian.

Esther and Miljan both have pretty prominent roles as the two primary villains. They’ve both also got some pretty notable story arcs going on. After this episode, I’m pretty sure I have an idea where Miljan’s is going to go (watch as he goes ax crazy), but it’s thrown Esther’s role from this point on into confusion, since the rules have changed and I’m not sure just how far she’s willing to go now that it’s not a game. Either way, that comeuppance is going to come for both of them eventually. I just don’t know when.

Things aren’t looking great for Annie or Natalie, though Annie is still in good condition and there’s going to be more going on with Natalie. Annie’s still just pretty expendable, and Natalie’s fate is just too unclear to make a judgment call on. If she’s gone, she’s gone. If not, she’ll probably end up being really, really important. Now, I’ve seen a few people disagreeing with me (or just not wanting to agree with me) on how well either will fare, but I feel justified putting them this low at this moment. I want to see more of them as much as the next person, and they’re only this low because they’re just not as important as the other characters. Annie because she’s still had very little presence, and Natalie because, well, we’re already being told she’s out. Keep that in mind: Natalie’s actually “gone” and I’m still putting her above 2 other people ;)

Neeko and Irene, though, aren’t looking so good. I’m still convinced Neeko’s going to fall, and his (potentially last-minute) reconciliation with Johnny isn’t helping things. Irene, meanwhile, is pretty badly injured and can’t do too much of anything at this point. She could recover, sure, but it’s not looking great for her.

Lingering Questions

Okay, let’s go through what we’ve learned some more about!

1. What the Heck is Going On?

…One step forward, two steps back….

-sigh- Okay. So there are children in the woods (or something) that are probably linked to the Spearmen and/or the 1908 settlers. And the Creature’s still around somewhere in this. But the real question is the production team. We know plenty about what they’re doing, and this episode gave us a bit more information. The only problem is that we’re no closer to figuring out their motivations than we were in the first episode.

2. How Much Does the Production Team Know?

I guess now we’re wondering whether we’re talking about production as a whole, or just the cameramen. Who’s running this show (in both a figurative and literal sense)? Why did they suddenly pull out? Did it have something to do with Carolina’s decision to come clean? This is becoming and increasingly big question, and an increasingly frustrating one, too.

3. What’s in the Woods?

The laughter and little girl are prooooooobably linked to the Spearmen? The 1908 settlers are a possibility, too, I guess. Also the Creature’s still out there probably.

4. Who has the Gun?

We know Sabina has the bullets, but what about the gun? We heard gunfire, but it wasn’t Sabina firing. Is that the same gun or a different one? Right now, I’m thinking it might maybe be Natalie? Though that makes no sense in retrospect, since we don’t know how she got it. I’ve honestly got no clue on this one.

5. What is Sabina Hiding?

Apparently a secret stash of stuff. But most of us kinda figured that out already. Still plenty of secrets, though.

6.What Happened to Johnny and Carolina?

This should have been an easy question to answer. Just check the camera. Oh wait, no, “camera got lost in woods and no one can find.” Sure, whatever you say. You’re totally lying, but hey, sure, whatever.

7. What’s Up with the Diary? The Symbol?

Miljan’s still trying to read a diary that he doesn’t know how to read. Is that what’s subliminally driving him crazy? I dunno. Worth noting is that the symbol that both led to the diary and appears in it is practically identical to the one on Wikipedia’s page for Anu. a Sumerian sky-god. It’s the cuneiform for his name or something? I’m not exactly sure. Probably a link there, though. Strikes me as more than coincidence. Thanks for “Thorn” for pointing this out, though!

8. Who the Hell is Editing This, Anyway?

An even bigger question, now that everyone at the base camp has taken off and the cameramen apparently don’t know anything. What exactly is the goal of the production team?


Okay, so now that I’m done with all that, it’s crackpot theory time: the Slender Man is behind all of this. Subtle descents into insanity? Journals full of strange writing? People mysteriously disappearing? The association with forests? It all seems to line up. The only thing that doesn’t is the Spearmen and the Creature and actually quite a few things, really. But hey, that’s why it’s a crackpot theory! Still, it’s astounding how well the Slender Man would work in the story.

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got for this episode. I’m looking forward to seeing where they’re going with all this next episode. And now, a few links to other people whose work you should check out. And I’m not linking any posts since they don’t have anything from this episode up yet because I’M FIRST HAHAHA

First, Shayla Heavner’s NBC by skh blog has plenty of great theories on what’s going on. That’s one worth checking out.

Second, NouveauPoor has some amusing recaps on trashtalkTV.com.

Third, the show has an official Tumblr that I already linked that you should check out if you like Tumblr sort of stuff.

And finally, this isn’t a blog or anything, but pretty much the entire cast is on Twitter. You should check them out (look ‘em up, I’m not linking all of them), because they’re all cool people who care about the show.

Oh, yeah, also check out the show itself because it’s available for free streaming on Hulu and NBC’s website, but if you’ve read this far, you’ve probably already seen it so that’s kind of a given.

Well, I’ll see you all next week! Hopefully we get some more answers, though I’m sure they’ll only raise further questions!


  1. Really great summary. I hope Esther sticks around for a while. She and Daniel are my faves.

  2. I'm adding all kinds of clicks to your counter, sorry had to refresh, re-click etc...

    While I don't believe Natalie is gone either, it is possible that the button worked before the production team cleared out, or whatever they did.

    Also, we see that Miljan carves the compass symbol into his arm.

    I noticed right away the girls resemblance to Natalie, or possibly now thinking about it Berglind. I made a comment in my first post about not actually seeing anyone leave and I have been wondering ever since what really happened to them.

    I have lots of comments to reply to so I got to get to work, plus I'm updating my theories post and adding a poll so check it out, I should have it up tonight. Check out my theories & I have a few disagreements but I need to recheck the TV before I open my big mouth!

    Nice Job once again and I added a link to your blog on my post. Congratulations about getting yours out first, but I have pneumonia you jerk! I still got it out pretty fast! :D
    Take Care