- The Wilds -'The Wilds' Cast Answers Burning Questions About Nora, Shelby, & That Shark Attack
Anyone who spent the last week binging The Wilds knows it is the most insightful female-centric series tackling the real-life struggles of women since that certain foursome clicked their heels on Sex and the City (where, incidentally, showrunner Amy B. Harris honed her skills). But anyone who spent the last week binging the Amazon Prime series knows that there are a lot (!) of lingering questions about what happened to The Wilds' eight castaways following Season 1's finale.
Because we can’t wait for a second season of the Lord Of The Flies redux to arrive, or even be announced, we took our burning questions straight to the cast. Brace yourself: What follows contains quite a few spoilers — as well as many Season 2 educated guesses from The Wilds' cast. Because even they have questions too.
What happened to Nora?
Once the girls are extracted from the island, they are interviewed at length by Agent Dean Young (Troy Winbush) and Dr. Daniel Faber (David Sullivan). But there are two girls who never make a post-island appearance, one of them being Nora Reid (Helena Howard), whom the audience now knows is the operative feeding Gretchen Klein (Rachel Griffiths) updates on how things are progressing inside this deadly social experiment.
So, where is Nora? “See, this is something we all thought about,” says Howard, who brilliantly fools everyone but Leah (Sarah Pidgeon) until the end. “There was a lot of speculation that she might be dead. I never really thought that she was dead, but at the same time, we don’t really know what the girls might've done to Nora, if they did find out, you know?”
Which brings us to uncomfortable question of what these girls are capable of. “I don't think Nora is capable of murder,” says Howard. “I think she was put in a really, really hard position where you're having to lie to a bunch of people, even to yourself, about something that you signed up for, and then one person keeps screwing everything up. I think Nora is like, ‘If I did kill [Leah], then everything would go away and maybe it would look like an accident.’ But she couldn't do that.”
Is Shelby really losing her mind?
On the island, pageant queen Shelby (Mia Healey) is finally starting to come into herself, leaning into her romantic feelings for Toni (Erana James) and her friendships with the other girls. But right before her post-island interview, Faber & Young discuss how she has been up and down since her arrival, and you never know which Shelby you’re going to get.
Healey has her theories about her character, who now sports a shaved head and crutches. “I think Shelby is the queen at playing a game," she says. "She is so well-versed in fooling people. She knows exactly how it works to manipulate people's opinions of her. When she sees the people interviewing her, she realizes what they're doing. She can see through that because they're playing her game. When they say, ‘We don't know what Shelby we're going to get,’ it's like she's taunting them.”
Which is also why Healey thinks that her character, who is hyperaware of her allergies, may be self-inducing her anaphylactic shock. “My theory is maybe she did that on purpose,” she says. “She purposely ate some form of shellfish to go into an anaphylactic shock so that Leah could escape and go find the control room.”
Who revealed Leah’s age to Jeff?!
Leah may always have allowed her intuitions to lead her down rabbit holes, but it is after her breakup with 30-something-year-old author Jeff that she really spirals. But who revealed to Jeff that Leah was actually a minor, and not 18, like she had told him? “I'm assuming that it's Gretchen,” says Pidgeon. “She wants these girls to come to the Island in a very specific mental state. She meets Nora after losing her love and recruits her. She knows how to play a mental game. I think that's part of her experiment. It's not just getting these girls on the island. It's getting them there in a very specific state.”
What is the timeline, exactly, between shark attack and extraction?
The first season ends in a shark attack, which the attentive viewer will now link to Rachel’s (Reign Edwards) missing hand. But by the time the girls are doing their post-island interviews, the stump is all healed up. Not to mention that, on island time, Leah knows Nora’s secret, which to normal people would signal that this experiment should be shut down posthaste. The girls, however, don’t think they’re going anywhere for a while. “I think we're there for weeks after that,” speculates Pidgeon. “I think that shows in our interrogations when Shelby says, ‘I know stuff that you would never believe and you're dying to know.’ That's just hinting that there's more on this island that we haven't covered. And the stump is a clear indicator of time passing. I feel like for a stump to heal you need more time than that.”
Is Martha dead?
The box containing Martha’s (Jenna Clause) frog robe, and other personal effects, and Young’s recommendation to throw money at the problem, paints a bleak picture of our animal-loving islander. Clause tells us she truly has no idea of Martha’s fate, but has played out some scenarios in her mind. “I like to say that she made it, but at the same time there is that loose end,” she says. “I'll do a really crazy theory: At the end she was covered in [goat’s] blood and there was the shark – maybe she went out in the water to help save Rachel, and because sharks are attracted to blood, she ends up dying. I'm hoping that in Season 2, if it does come, I make her reappear.” Same!
There is obviously only one way to get answers, to quote another island show: We have to go back!