Helena Howard as Nora Reid in The Wilds Season 1

We Need To Talk About Nora In The Wilds

Warning: Season 2 spoilers follow!

by Ani Bundel
Amazon Studios

When the plane crash first happened in The Wilds’ Season 1 premiere, several stranded girls already had relationships with each other from their life before the island. Toni and Martha were BFFs; Dot and Shelby attended the same school. But no pair was closer than Nora and Rachel, fraternal twins from New York. But although Rachel initially seemed to be the complicated, closed-off twin, Nora’s secrets far outweighed the things her sister was keeping inside. Here’s your explainer on what happened to Nora in The Wilds now that Season 2 is here.

Throughout the first eight episodes of Season 1, Nora and Rachel seemed to be on the same side. The episode in which the series dove into Rachel’s backstory showed Nora as a supportive, loving twin. She had been there for her sister when Rachel hit rock bottom with disordered eating and her competitive diving career. On the island, Nora was one of the responsible ones, a level head when things got tough, holding down the fort so others could explore and keeping track of things in her diary.

But the series held off on divulging Nora’s secrets until the penultimate episode, when the “FBI Agents” interviewing the girls start looking through Nora’s diary. Meanwhile, on the island, in the middle of a mental health crisis, Leah witnessed Nora making contact with Gretchen, revealing she Nora knew more than she was letting on about their situation.

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The final episode of Season 1 flashed back to Nora’s experiences in the months leading up to the crash. She had been dating a guy named Quinn, but ended it after Rachel made it clear she disapproved. As the fall term started, Nora learned Quinn passed away due in a fraternity hazing incident. At the funeral, she met Gretchen, the mother of the boy responsible for Quinn’s passing. Gretchen talked up her Dawn of Eve project to prove that a society of women would do better than one run by men, and convinced Nora to work for her. She was one of two plants on the island, along with the now-deceased Jeanette.

Leah’s mental state meant she didn’t fully understand what she’d seen; she only knew that Nora was lying to them. That compounded when Nora realized Leah was onto her and attempted to corral her in a pit for extraction. Unfortunately for Nora, Leah escaped, but a more significant crisis was afoot by the time she returned to the beach with the others. While swimming in the ocean, Rachel was attacked by a shark, and Nora, frantic to save her sister, swam out to rescue her.

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Warning: Spoilers for The Wilds Season 2 follow. The Season 2 premiere revealed Rachel made it back to shore, albeit injured, but Nora disappeared, leaving fans to wonder if she survived. Nora’s disappearance left Leah in a bind, especially since Rachel’s hand had been bitten off, leaving her more dependent on the others, especially with her sister gone. Rather than explain what she’d seen, especially after she tried to show Fatin where the pit was and found it gone, she closed herself off from the rest of the girls, retreating further into her head.

The flash-forward in the opening episode showed all the girls talking about Nora in the past tense, suggesting that despite Rachel holding out hope, her sister never reappeared. And for nearly five episodes, it seemed like she wouldn’t. But the episode in which the Twilight of Adam’s operative on the other island was revealed finally brought Nora back.

The girls held a funeral for Nora to help Rachel grieve, but their discussion of “back home” and Dot mentioning Gretchen Klein caused Fatin to wonder if there wasn’t just a bit of coincidence. She started paging through Nora’s diary, dug up her hoodie, and put the clues together that Nora was in on whatever was happening to them. Meanwhile, safely back at the Dawn of Eve headquarters and very much alive, Nora watched her friends and sister say goodbye before being taken away herself.

All episodes of The Wilds Seasons 1 and 2 are streaming on Netflix.