Thursday, August 15, 2013

TV Analysis: Siberia Episode 6

Hey, everyone! Andy here again, to overanalyze the best show you’re not watching (unless you actually are). This past week, I’ve discovered that three of my cousins are watching Siberia, and between us, we may have converted a mutual friend as well. Huzzah!

So last week was what’s described as a “Wham Episode,” an episode in which something really, really shocking and important that drastically changes the direction of things happens. Episode 6 was more of a “Breather Episode,” though it was more “let the action cool down so the audience can catch their breath” than “lighthearted episode to calm the audience down after a drastic turn of events.” Episode 6 was largely devoted to tying up some loose story threads a little better, meaning that it was probably a more important episode for the sort of people who don’t write out

Oh, by the way, enjoy spending the rest of the day stuck at TV Tropes.


New Story Threads

There really weren’t too many new story threads this week, but there were a few.

1. Test Group C

When Sam and Johnny push over the Revealer (which is apparently more rectangular prism and less cube than I thought), they’re able to get a look inside, revealing (no pun intended) that it’s on a set timer and that no one’s controlling it. But more importantly, a Russian note describes the device as a “Behavior Reward Simulator” for “test group C.” I want to say that “behavior reward simulator” gives me Pavlov vibes, but on second thought, that was classical conditioning and this sounds like operant conditioning (i.e., carrot and stick as opposed to stimulus and response. Or something. It’s been too long since I’ve taken an actual psychology class). Either way, there’s obviously some science experiment going on. The question is, who were test groups A and B? They probably exist in separate locations, but the Revealer could have been changed between groups. So do test groups A and B exist at the same time? Did they exist previously? What exactly was the experiment, and who was carrying it out? Why aren’t we seeing these other test groups being videotaped?

2. Get to the Tower

Last week’s theory about the Slender Man isn’t looking so crazy anymore, is it? So while Daniel is in the woods, he sees this light. It looks to be like it’s from some sort of radio tower, and at the end of the episode, he, Sam, Johnny, and Carolina take off to try to see what’s there and attempt to get Irene help. We don’t get much of anything to go off of this episode, though, because of….

3. The Crater

This one should not be a shock to any viewers who know about the Tunguska event. I’m sure that everyone who does not know about the Tunguska event, however, is scratching their heads. Those who do not know about the Tunguska event should click that little red link that says “Tunguska event” so that they can read about the Tunguska event and be enlightened.

4. The Stark Words

This isn’t really a big one. It’s just more apparent that it’s getting colder and colder. That’s right, everyone: winter is coming.

And with that taken care of (told you there wasn’t much), let’s move on to….

Character Arcs

We got some pretty good development from Esther, who’s finally (maybe) starting to turn things around after some advice from Sam, who’s been stepping more and more into the “father” role of the group. Esther apologizes to Irene, though Irene just sort of turns away.

Daniel also gets some decent development when we hear about his backstory. He’s incredibly torn up right now because he and his old girlfriend were jumped in the city. He ran, and she got stabbed six times, killing her. So basically, he hates himself for his cowardice and is terrified of something happening to Irene.

As we see more and more of Sabina, she actually seems more and more normal. She’s just a survivalist. Of course, there are still plenty of questions about her, though. I’m expecting to see more of her in the future.

It’s Miljan who really gets the development, though. He enters the cabin where Irene is sleeping alone, and covers the camera with his jacket, preventing us from seeing what exactly he did to her (rape? physical assault? forcible tattooing?). He later attempts to physically assault Sam when Sam discovers the journal. He’s really gone off the deep end now.

Things have remained mostly static for all the other characters, though, which is less and less good for Annie, who doesn’t seem to have much of any sort of character arc yet. At least she’s getting screentime, though.

Everyone’s Prospects

After four episodes with no deaths and one disappearance, I’m not about to start putting anyone into “won’t die,” “might die,” and especially not “will die” categories, and I’m definitely not going to go with some sort of elimination order.

But that doesn’t mean that I can’t still try to calculate everyone’s chances!

We’ve gotten some pretty good reaffirmation that Daniel, Joyce, Johnny, and Sam are sort of our protagonists, since they’re the ones who tried getting Irene to the helicopter and the ones who took off for the tower. They have active roles and are consciously driving the plot.

Miljan is probably going to be around for a while, though I’m pretty sure there’ll be a climatic battle against him where he’ll be killed. I’m also sure Sabina will be around for a while to clear up all the lingering questions about her, though I’m not sure what her chances of surviving the series are.

Natalie is a pretty sure bet to at least reappear, though I don’t know whether she’ll be alive or dead. The only other option I can think of for the purpose of her sudden disappearance was that she and the someone on the show had some sort of falling out, and judging by her positive response to the show on Twitter, that seems unlikely. So yeah, we’ll probably at least see something of her again.

And at this point, Neeko, Irene, Annie, and Esther could go either way in terms of living or surviving. Neeko and Annie because they don’t presently have any noticeable arcs, Irene because a good part of the current plot is the question of whether she’ll get help before she dies, and Esther because, now that the game is over and she has no “player” arc, the only route her character can go is the redemption route, and that often ends in death (and here you thought you had escaped TV Tropes!). I think that Esther is guaranteed at least just a little time for us to see a noticeable, genuine turnaround, though pretty much everyone else could go at any time and it’d work with the narrative.

Okay, now for the big one. The

Lingering Questions

Lots of good stuff this week, as we’re getting some good follow-up and exposition.

1. What happened to the base camp?

I was apparently incorrect in thinking that production just jumped ship and took off because “screw the contestants,” considering that they find blood (but no bodies). There’s not a ton of blood, so I’m thinking no everyone died, but it’s likely that those are where the gunshots came from. As for where they went—I’m not sure. But I think the Evenki were maybe responsible? I’m gonna go with “not Sabina” since we see her when the gunshots are going off elsewhere.

2. The Jounral

Sam gets his hands on Miljan’s journal (which is how he finds out about the Evenki), and the first thing he reads in it is that the first entry is signed by someone called Kulik. More real-world history! Cool! Anyway, Leonid Kulik lead the first research expedition to check out that Tunguska Event thing. So the journal was not from 1908 but 1921 (when Kulik’s expedition took place). That still leaves several questions, of course: who buried it? Why was it buried? Is it what’s driving Miljan insane, and if so, why?

3. Miljan’s Gone Crazy

Speaking of Miljan, if he went off the deep end last episode, he’s continued swimming downward in this one. He physically assaults Sam when he finds out the man found the journal, and he places his coat over the camera when he’s alone with Irene. In addition, the symbol is more clearly revealed to be the Anu symbol (which we apparently saw last episode but I didn’t notice). Also, by this point, I’m pretty sure that he did intentionally lead Irene into that trap, since not only did he know where to find a perfectly stationary deer, but he does something™ to Irene afterwards, gets his Anu Tattoo (hehehe—it rhymes) in tribute to her, and decides to “definitely stay” with Irene instead of going to the tower. So why exactly is this guy not setting off red flags for everyone everywhere again?

But let’s get off of Miljan again and back to the stuff we found out from Kulik’s Journal.

3. The Spearmen Evenki

No longer will I be calling these folks the Spearmen, as they’re probably the Evenki (and/or the Valleymen, though what they are isn’t quite clear yet). Sam helpfully informs us that they’re probably responsible for the spear that was left outside their door and the trap that got Irene. A quick browsing of the Wikipedia article, however, says that the Evenki tend to be against defiling killed animals, and sticking a deer head on a stake sounds fairly defile-ish to me. Artistic license, or foreshadowing? I dunno (I’m leaning towards the former but I might be wrong), though I’m sure we’ll find out eventually. And if we don’t, it’s definitely the former. Also, I’m pretty sure at this point that the little girl Sabina encountered is an Evenki girl. As sure as fellow Siberia blogger Shayla Heavner is that she’s got some connection to Berglind or Natalie due to her appearance, but I’m still rooted firmly in the “coincidence” camp on that matter. Guess we’ll find out who’s right eventually.

4. Who has the gun?

Well, Janie’s got a we still have no answer, but the answer is “not Sabina.” We’ve gone through most everyone else, so the only real options at this point are Natalie (unlikely), someone who left (possibly including Natalie and also unlikely), or, most likely, none of the cast members.

That’s all I can think of that was directly touched upon, but I’m going to lay down a few

Random Thoughts

as well. Some are theories, some are random tidbits, some are important information, but they don’t really fit anywhere else.

Anu’s Symbol and Ogdy

The compass thing that Miljan found carved on the trees and later found carved in his arm (by himself) appears to be ancient Sumerian cuneiform for “Dingir,” or “An,” which I think is another name for sky-god Anu (Wikipedia: scholarly source of champions!). Of course, since the latter page was pointed out to me first, I’m gonna call it Anu’s Symbol. Anyway, the point being made here is that there’s an association between it and the sky. A link to the Green Sky? The real question is this: what does Sumerian cuneiform have to do with Siberia and the Tunguska event?

Also, Hulu’s subtitles have informed me that Ogdee’s name is spelled Ogdee. Other sources have informed me that it’s most likely spelled Ogdy. Whoops! Ogdy is ALSO a god, one whose face the Evenki apparently carve into trees.

So basically there’s a chance that some gods are involved in this—or at least some things mistaken as gods.

That Show

Daniel and Carolina once more have a brief discussion about “that show” that Carolina was on, where she played “that character.” I just find it hilarious that, since the show most probably doesn’t exist, they’re going out of their way to avoid naming it. In fact, I’m going to assume that the show is actually called “That Show.”

Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey

So there’s some indications that some weird time stuff is going on in the Siberian wilderness. Like Sabina’s necklace on some skeleton. That’s a theory I put forth last time and other people have as well. It’s a possibility.

Send in the Clones

That’s the other idea I’ve got for Sabina’s necklace on the skeleton: clones. This theory is based more around the “Test Group C” bit. Perhaps they retain some memories of the “originals’” lives? I dunno. But if you’re doing test groups, you’d try to keep the constants as, well, constant as possible. Perhaps Carolina was just the variable in the experiment? The questions then are how and why.

Well, that’s all I’ve got for this episode. Hopefully things pick back up some more next week now that we’ve all had time to breathe! Again, check out Trash Talk TV for some amusing recaps and NBC by skh for some good, thoughtful theories! And stop by next week for another analysis here at DaLadybugProductions!


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  2. So I have a few differing opinions as well as some new information I found that I will be adding to a new theory post but I'll give it to you first! :)

    The Revealer:
    I'm not putting to much into the inscription saying "Test Group C" as much as many others. I also got the Pavlov vibe from it but I see it more as a production tactic than an eerie event sort of thing. The producers brought it in and I think as far as the reality show side of things it was a big scary looking thing that they could use to get the contestants items to help them or freak them out heightening the drama and creating storylines and conflict. Just like if the red button that's a prop said "do not push explosion will ensue" that doesn't mean that's its use on the show as it was not connected to anything just the prop they used as a red button always screams push me! I think it was used for test subjects but acquired by the producers for their own use.

    I'm not saying that the child is Natalie, just pointing out the fact that she mysteriously disappeared and the first real other presence we saw in the woods happened in the same episode and was a child with a similar appearance. While I'm not sure if they are connected or not, I thought it was worth mentioning and something to think about. In my theories I take the evidence and try to come up with possible situations and a lot of times more than one. I have inclinations towards certain possibilities but I like to throw out different scenarios for people to have the info and make a decision on their own.

    The Evenki:
    I've been talking about the "Valleymen" for some time now and in my latest theory post thought that they were the natives in the woods and responsible for the spear and the trap so I was glad to hear Sam leaning in that direction also.

    In addition, some new info I found said that the Evenki were separated into two tribes that had been feuding for years. They worshiped the god Ogdy as it was believed that his dwelling place was also where the souls of the living shaman rested. It was even believed that they became friends and this friendship passed onto the shamans decedents. It is believed that the shaman called upon Ogdy to wipe out the people or tribes they didn't get along with and they caused the Tunguska event. Now other natives won't even go into the area in fear of the "Valleymen" or the opposing Evenki tribe as they will use Ogdy to attack them again. I will have all the info about this in my next post, but some really interesting info about their actual beliefs and it lines up with a lot of the stuff from the show.

    Great read and I'm always interested in hearing what others take on the show is.