Miles Gutierrez-Riley as Ivan, Reed Shannon as Scotty, Tanner Ray Rook as Bo

That Early Twist In The Wilds Season 2 Was Kinda Ridic

I mean... OK?

by Ani Bundel
Amazon Studios

From the outset of The Wilds Season 1, viewers knew something was off about the island where the girls were stranded. But it took nearly the whole 10-episode season for the series to reveal the truth: The entire crash was staged, the girls were under observation, and two of the survivors were a pair of operatives employed by those conducting the experiment. The Wilds Season 2 has no such luxury of mystery, leaving fans to uncover things faster, like who DJ is and why he’s there.

Warning: Spoilers for The Wilds Seasons 1 and 2 follow. The Dawn of Eve plane crash originally began with nine survivors, all teenage girls: Rachel, Nora, Martha, Toni, Shelby, Dot, Leah, Fatin, and Jeanette. But by the end of the first episode, it was down to eight. Before the flight, Jeanette had a bad fall and she suffered internal bleeding that was far worse than she realized; by the end of the episode, the girls had buried her. That was where the mystery started, as Jeanette’s hidden phone started ringing from her grave, alerting Leah that all was not as it seemed.

But the series did not reveal the truth behind Jeanette’s identity until the end of the seventh episode, when viewers learned her real name was Linh Bach. She was an Australian graduate student working for Gretchen and the Dawn of Eve program. Her reveal also worked as a misdirect — by showing viewers she was the mole in the group, fans didn’t realize until it was too late there were two operatives, and that Rachel’s sister Nora was the other.

Coming into Season 2, fans met the Twilight of Adam set from the Season 1 cliffhanger. Again, there were nine survivors like the first season: Rafael, Seth, Henry, Josh, Kirin, Ivan, Scotty, Bo, and DJ. Like Season 1, the last one on the list was injured on Day 1 on the island. Though fans weren’t sure he was an operative, it was enough of a retread of Jeanette’s arc to raise suspicions. When DJ failed to survive the first 24 hours, with his body washing up on the beach all mangled and unrecognizable, it became somewhat obvious he was the spy.

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In DJ’s case, though, his injury didn’t end him.As fans of mysteries know, if there’s a disfigured body without a face, chances are it’s not the actual body. And by the end of the episode, fans saw DJ alive and well, not even limping — the injury was faked all along.

But wait, shouldn’t Gretchen be furious that one of her operatives had himself removed? Actually no, because she never meant for him to last more than a day. He’s not just an employee; he’s her son, the guy responsible for Quinn’s passing after frat hazing gone wrong. She put him on the island to see if he could hack it, and he couldn’t. But he was not ashamed he failed his mother’s test — he was appalled she was doing it in the first place.

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That’s why it wasn’t a surprise later in the season when DJ turned on his mom and blabbed about the experiment to Leah’s friend Ian, who had come sniffing around for answers about his missing friend. Ridden by guilt, both at his actions and his mother’s, he told Ian everything. Ian then took it all to the FBI.

Unfortunately, Gretchen got word of DJ’s betrayal. She and her lackeys went on the run, stopping to pick DJ up on the way. Now it’s onto Phase 3, which will be run far more remotely, as the Adam and Eve groups are left to work together.