Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Siberia Becomes Reality

Siberia is a new hit drama on NBC that originally blended the platforms and social situations of a reality competition with paranormal drama.  In the beginning, we saw a group of people who were dropped into the Siberian wilderness to execute their survival skills along with their abilities to manipulate those around them in order to win a cash prize.  This put a shine on the idea of reality competitions, how far certain personalities would go for monetary gain, while others stayed true to themselves and their morals to work together and help each other survive.  Although throughout the first episodes we saw plenty of action, betrayal and relationships, we were also leaked information implying that all was not as it seemed.  Located in the Tunguska Valley, rich with paranormal history, the cast has now found that they are no longer in an ordinary game.  With strange events at every turn, we have been thrown into the exciting search for answers, the mystery of who else is with them in this remote location and the grim idea that none of them will make it out alive.  While this post is a recap of episode six, "Out of the Frying Pan", I will also include some updated theories based on the information we learned in this episode.  However, I encourage you to take a look at my other Theories posts as well, as they go deeper into the history and the situations from the combined first five episodes.  Without further ado, let's take a look at this week's Siberia!

  • We began in the producers' deserted base camp that Carolina (who from here on out will be referred to as Joyce) led Daniel and Johnny to, in hope of finding answers as well as help for Irene who is gravely injured.  Although still in shock from discovering it empty and mangled, they quickly decided to scavenge what supplies they could.  Food, water and production schedules, as well as information on the mushrooms could be seen amongst the wreckage.  Johnny encountered a notebook detailing a storyline in which Joyce pursues him as a love interest that reminded him of her deception and gave the cameras a f-you showing that he is still hurt from the revelation that she is a planted actress.  Suddenly, we heard Joyce screaming in the distance as she discovered large pools of blood, as well as smeared handprints implying that the producers didn't leave willingly, but were attacked by something unknown.  Johnny made a comment about it appearing like someone had been shot.  This might connect to the gun shots Sabina heard in the woods as well as the location of the missing rifle.  If the locals, who I believe to be the "Valleymen" of real lore (see: Theories That Will Blow Your Mind!), have the gun they are likely responsible for the attack on the base camp.  To add to the uneasiness, the group heard banging in a nearby trailer and when Johnny went to investigate, he was attacked by Sabina who apparently had also found the camp independently.  This explains where she has been collecting some of the supplies we saw hidden in her secret cave.  While they didn't come across any medical supplies to aid Irene, they did find a CB radio that Sabina knew how to operate.  Unfortunately, upon trying to send out a distress call, it was revealed that the signal was somehow being jammed and thus they were unable to radio for help.  My question is; whether a person with equipment is responsible for keeping the signal from reaching the outside world, or possibly an electrical frequency caused by the "fire in the sky" or a time disturbance is what's causing the interference.  There was more blood in the trailer, but no bodies were present anywhere in the camp.  Meaning that whatever attacked them removed the bodies, possibly the producers fled after the attack taking the injured with them or maybe even something more paranormal where the crew somehow disappeared.  Feeling endangered, they collected what they could and quickly set out back to Irene and their camp.     
  • Meanwhile back at the settlement, Esther, Neeko, Annie and Miljan have assumed that the other group had pushed the red button, gotten Irene to safety and, tricked by Esther's tactic, would not be returning as they crossed the forfeit line.  While Esther defended her actions, claiming that it's a game and she played it well, guaranteeing $100,000 to each of them by eliminating five contestants at once.  However, both Neeko and Annie are appalled by her actions and feel like she cheated, along with the fact that she used someone's life or death situation to manipulate the contestants and also made things harder for them, as with less people it would be more difficult to survive the winter alone.  Miljan, a cutthroat player himself with other mental issues in play, was on Esther's side, agreeing that it's a game and the point is to win, not help each other out.  When the five contestants returned, with Irene in their arms, Esther, Miljan and Neeko are suddenly confused and surprised.  While Neeko and Annie ran to their aid and helped provide Irene with pillows and supplies, Esther and Miljan held back.  Esther realized that her trick had now backfired, as instead of abolishing them from the game, she had made a plethora of new enemies shocked by her tactics and Irene's life was still in jeopardy.  Both Johnny and Joyce verbally accosted Esther and while Joyce used colorful terminology to describe Esther, Johnny replied "We're playing a game? She's [Irene] dying!" making it clear that using someone's life to be victorious was going to far.  In Esther's defense, she believed that by pressing the button Irene would've received the help she needed, in addition to her ultimate goal of eliminating her competition. 
  • The group explained what had happened; that the red button was nothing more than a prop, the fact that no one showed up to help them, and their discovery of the abandoned base camp.  Neeko doubted their story initially, as he has always taken the stance that no one is to be totally trusted, especially after Esther's last move, and brushes off all of the strange activity to scare tactics executed by the producers, but when Johnny showed him the supplies they gathered combined with doubt that they would invent this elaborate tale at the risk of Irene's life, I think he begins to come around and starts to have genuine concern as to their current situation.
  • After settling Irene in her bunk, the group started to debate what's really going on and what their course of action should be.  Sam made a connection to jamming radio frequencies in times of war, when it was used as a tactic to block signals in order to carry out surprise attacks.  Johnny brought up the major questions of who is doing this and why, which was when the group began to realize there may be more than one "who" affecting their survival.  I think this is an important fact to point out: on one level there are the actions of the producers to create more drama for the show and on another there is the "who" that are connected to the strange events.  Sam believes that the producers are trying to cover up whatever went wrong and decided that the only way to substantiate their claims is for the cameramen to continue shooting in order for the contestants to have some kind of proof.  This helps makes sense of the fact that the cameramen don't bail after finding the base camp in the condition it was and why we still will have footage of whatever happens in the remaining six episodes.
  • The Revealer went off!  The horrible foghorn sound interrupted their conversation as the contestants rushed to see what it had in store for them this time.  Johnny pulled out a bag which contained a gas mask.  This caused panic and anger to ensue as there are ten contestants and if a gas mask is needed only one can survive.  Johnny went on a tirade throwing and breaking anything he could get his hands on before attacking the real issue, The Revealer.  With help from Sam they were able to push it onto its side, after which Sabina and Daniel attempted to pry open a door located on the back of the contraption.  Upon opening it, they discovered clock-like gears and a timer which implies that the producers pre-programmed the machine to go off in certain intervals without their presence.  In addition, they located an inscription inside the door written in Russian, Sam translated it to read "Behavior Control Simulator, Test Group C".  While the contestants were all confused, angry and likely scared, they began to wonder about the possibility that they were Test Group C, meaning others had come before them and what was happening was part of some experiment.  I don't believe this is the case.  This is one of the things the production crew did and I think it was a great idea for a reality competition storyline.  They found a box that had a terrifying appearance and was probably originally used in insane asylums, POW camps or even shady science experiments.  They decided to have it transported to the settlement and stock it with various items that would cause drama and help move the storylines along, as each time its horns alarmed the contestants would rush to it and probably fight over the items inside, ensuring some action for the show.  I don't think it is connected to the strange events, just like the red button, it is more of a prop that would strike fear and conflict within the camp.
  • With everyone now aware that they are trapped there, with no means of communication and no outside help they debated on whether they should stay and wait for someone to rescue them or leave and try to find a village or a way out of their current predicament.  Without much knowledge of the terrain, or any idea how far or which way civilization may be, they chose to build a large bonfire to create a smoke signal to attract attention to their location.  Strangely, Miljan doesn't take part in the conversation and doesn't seem to have any desire to leave the camp or any concerns about the newly discovered information. 
  • The group ventured into the forest to gather large pieces of wood for their signal fire, except Miljan and Sabina who have other ideas in mind.  Sabina trekked to the site of the trap that injured Irene and inspected it thoroughly.  She heard a twig snap nearby and scanned the foliage for life while quickly recovering Irene's bow and arrow for defense.  Back at the settlement, Miljan snuck into the girls cabin where Irene was resting and in an eerie scene he covered the camera with his jacket hiding whatever his actions and motives were.  Sam noticed him leaving the cabin and put him to work on creating the bonfire.  Joyce made a comment on the strange weather, that might be significant if it differs from the norm, but at this point we don't really know.  Daniel apologized for outing her as an actress and they bonded a bit when he admitted that not only did he watch her previous work, but he loved it. 
  • Sam located Miljan's secret journal and confronts him about it.  Miljan took off like a bull charging at Sam claiming "it's mine, it belongs to me", almost like he is possessed by his secret finding.  The others ran in to break them up and now they are all aware of Miljan's dirty little secret.  Sam begins to translate the journal that was written by Kulik in 1927, who was one of the real-life scientists that went to investigate the Tunguska event from 1908.  He read "Our guards were frightened by the sight of the abandoned outpost, fearing what they called the 'Valleymen'".  I have been theorizing about these "Valleymen" since the third episode and concluded that they are the mysterious locals in the woods who are responsible for both the trap and the spear (see: Siberia Theories That Will Blow Your Mind).  To my enjoyment, Sam also believes this and shared it with the group.
  • As nighttime approached, there was a montage of the group working together to finish the bonfire with Daniel giving a monologue, likely from one of his interviews, regarding the fact that you don't really know someone until a crisis, that he needs to believe that everyone is inherently good and there is some kind of plan in play in the universe.  This highlights the whole basis of the reality competition; how far people would go to win money and actions they take to hide their real personality in a game, but now that they face real life and death situations they have come together as a united front rather than competitors, they have formed real bonds and are looking out for one another.  Just as they began to light the signal fire, Sabina suddenly doused out the flames with a bucket of water.  Obviously having knowledge of the locals and fearing their presence, she explained that if they light this thing, everyone would know there location, friends and enemies.  In addition, they don't know who or what attacked the producers and Sabina took the standpoint that they should barricade themselves in the cabins and gather everything they could to defend themselves rather than advertising their location.
  • Irene is fading fast and while Daniel tried to ensure her that help is coming, she could see right through his lies.  Their bond however, is strengthening and Daniel promised to protect her.  We learned more about Daniel's need to ensure that she's okay from a personal story from his past.  While Daniel and a girlfriend were walking home they were jumped by three men, everything in his head screamed "run!" and as an instinct he did.  He later found out that she had been stabbed six times and now wants to prove himself, that he is a good person and aid Irene in her time of need.  However, her wound looks infected and she awoke screaming thinking she was being attacked by someone, it is clear that if they don't get her help soon she will die.
  • Neeko questioned the group about the rifle, aware that they might need it to defend themselves sometime soon.  Although everyone denies possessing it, Sabina comes clean about stealing the bullets.  At this point, I feel confident that the locals or "Valleymen" have it as it was placed in the woods, where they could have easily swiped it in addition to the gunshots Sabina heard and Johnny's comment regarding the appearance of someone being shot at the producer's base camp.  Taking some time to reflect with a walk in the woods, Daniel spotted a large pole with a blinking red light in the distance.  He gathered the others to show them and decided he was going to check it out, as I believe he feels as if it is his last hope to save Irene.  While Miljan was adamant about staying, Johnny and Sam chose to embark on the ten mile trek with Daniel at first light.  I believe just as Daniel is motivated to protect Irene, Sam feels the same drive to ensure Daniel's safety.  The three of them packed up and all made farewell messages in case they don't return.  Upon Sam's advice, Esther apologized to Irene explaining that she genuinely thought she would get help, although Irene doesn't absolve Esther, I think that both of them feel a little bit better afterwards.  At the last minute, Joyce decided to travel with them and ran to catch up.  In an eerie scene, Miljan appears as though he knows what will happen next as he pulled up his sleeve and caressed his self-made tattoo of the mysterious compass symbol combined with a sinister smile.  When the four arrived at the beacon they were astonished at what they found.  Rather than help, a village, or outpost, they gazed upon a large crater with the forest decimated around it and are given one more question to add to the list, "Guys, what happened here?".                   
Overall, the reality competition is over and the contestants now face real life and death situations with no hope of a helicopter reigning down on them just when they need it.  The group dynamics have changed drastically as it's no longer a game and they will need to lean on each other to make it through not just the physical and emotional challenges but the paranormal activities around the settlement as well.  We have a group with multiple alpha males, trust issues, and a variety of relationships that must come together in order to survive.  "Out of the Frying Pan" was an episode filled with revelations, but yet again more mysteries to solve and unless they come to an understanding of the site's history and the people who still haunt it today, they won't be able to overcome the hurdles in front of them.  Siberia has now shifted into a fast action drama and captured the viewers in a week to week quest to find out who will survive and what's really going on.  Below, I have some updated theories but after a few more episodes and a little more research, I will post another update post dedicated to the mysteries we all are dying to solve.  Tune into Siberia Mondays on NBC and check back here for weekly recaps, real life facts about the area and more theories regarding what's really going on.  Enjoy!

Theories from "Out of the Frying Pan":

  1. What happened to the producers?

    • At this point I believe that the "Valleymen" attacked them.  My only question is why did they take the bodies?  My guess is that they believe that the thunder-god Ogdy caused the time-loop, the 1908 Tunguska event and the "fire in the sky".  They likely are sacrificing the bodies in hope to either reverse the time disturbance or harness the power of the god.  As they are beginning to appear more aggressive, I'm going with the latter.  The Tunguska event was the biggest event in Earth's history and to harness that power would make them a powerful force.
  2. What is causing the radio to be jammed?

    • I don't think the "Valleymen" are in possession or capable of interfering with radio signals as they seem to be quite primitive.  Instead, I think that they are all trapped in a kind of bubble that isn't part of the normal progression of time.  This electric frequency is what is preventing them from contacting the outside world, like a pocket universe they are not technically in the "real world" anymore and thus cannot communicate with it.
  3. What is the significance of the inscription inside The Revealer?

    • As I mentioned above, I think this is a producer related thing and not something connected to the other strange events.  It is a towering contraption that looks good on television and, as its original use was for behavior modification, would make for good drama.  I don't think they are part of some experiment, just that this was a good prop for use in the reality competition.  
  4. What did Miljan do inside the girls cabin?

    • Short answer, I don't know.  However, we have seen in the last few episodes that he appears to be guided if not possessed by the journal.  He studies Ogdy more, he seeks out Sabina's necklace, he carves the compass symbol into his arm.  All of this leads me to believe that there was something in there he wanted.  He didn't hurt Irene, so I don't think it was her, but another trinket or important piece relating to the "Valleymen" or the original settlers is at the top of my list.  He also could've done a religious ceremony over Irene which is why she later awakes thinking someone is attacking her, possibly preparing her as a sacrifice.
  5. Who are the Valleymen?

    • I had found when researching the Tunguska Event in the first episode about this exact expedition trip to collect samples from the event in order to determine if it was a comet, meteor or something else entirely.  The trip was delayed weeks when their local guides refused to go any further in fear of the "Valleymen".  While I had first hypothesized it was the beast, after more information I concluded in my Siberia Theories That Will Blow Your Mind post, that they actually referred to the locals who I thought were responsible for both the trap and the spear.  After this episode I feel comfortable with that hypothesis along with the fact that Sam also shares my thoughts!
  6. What was the large crater at the end of the episode?

    • I believe that this is the crater from the original Tunguska event. I have a good amount of information on it in both my theories posts (Theories Blown Open & Siberia Theories That Will Blow Your Mind).  Basically the repots say that there was suddenly lights in the sky that resembled a second sun.  When researchers, including Kulik, went to investigate it, they could not come to a consensus on what cause it as it did not have the minerals expected of a comet or a meteor and there was nothing found in the crater as would be the case in a normal earth impact.  They also found ice, which is a phenomenon when space shuttles re-enter the atmosphere and it was reported to look as if it had a wingspan.  This information made me think alien space craft, however that isn't my top pick.  I can't wait to find out more information about the site on the show as I think it will help guide my hypothesis in the right direction.  I am glad that real history has clashed with fake reality as it makes for an incredibly interesting story. 
Thanks for reading and I would love to hear your thoughts as well!  I will respond to all comments, just give me a little time, and would love to theorize, debate and bounce ideas of each other.  My apologies for the time it takes me to get these posts out, but they don't write themselves!  Andrew Koerner does a good recap as well, you can find it here.  Please take a look at my other posts as even the recaps contain theories as to what's really going on and my thoughts about particular scenes as they relate to the bigger picture.  I will be doing some more research and writing a new post dedicated only to Theories after a few more episodes.  Tune into Siberia Mondays on NBC and check back here as there is much more to come!      


  1. Love reading your weekly blog! Sending you my Love,


  2. I know you haven't posted for First Snow yet, but just to get some questions/thoughts going. What do you think Esther took from the revealer? We clearly saw her burying it in the snow but what could it have been?'s pretty much guaranteed that Esther drugged everyone with the sleeping pills. The perfect opportunity was when everyone made the toast. She said she didn't drink and then smirked when everyone else took a sip. We know that in the morning everyone but her seemed to have a headache and all of the sleeping pills were missing. So the real question is, what do her and Mijan want with Irene? Thoughts?

    1. JDunn,
      At this point in the show, Esther is still an evil bi-o-tch, but she is not stupid (in fact, she's ruthless and clever). She knows the original "game" is over and they are all fighting for their actual, physical survival. So I'm confident that anything in the Revealer that could be deemed unseful in some way for their rescue or help with their survival would be immediately shared with the group - such as a satallete phone, a gun, a signal device, etc. so it was none of those things.
      There is, however, one thing that she wants badly, does not want to share, and is perceived as not helpful for their rescue in the short term.... the money. Seems logioal to me that the last item in the Revealer (and probably closest to the back panel, so it was the first thing she saw) is the $500,000 in a tidy, plastic wrapped bundle. Makes sense. Miljan has blackmailed her for a portion of the money and for her to spike the volka with the sleeping pills to ensure his escape by buying him time in exchange for his silence about the money. She probably did not realize he would take Irene - but he is obviously psychotic and not predictable.

    2. JDunn - Luckily, I answered all of those questions in my Siberia Gets Cold! post that is out now!
      I agree completely with the anonymous post above, that Esther stole the money. It makes perfect sense that the Revealer would sound it's last horn and those who remained would be rewarded with their prize! I also think that she drugged them during the toast and freed Miljan. I'm not sure if she was aware or not that he would take Irene, but she didn't look very shocked like the others when Irene was discovered missing. Just as we have seen the missing bodies at the producer's camp and at the helicopter crash, I believe the local Evenki tribe who are a specific sect that caused the 1908 Tunguska Event and now worship Ogdy for his help in eliminating their foes (I've retrieved some really interesting research on this that is included in my new post)are using the bodies as sacrifices to appease Ogdy, and Irene will be too. Thanks for reading and commenting and hopefully you'll be excited as I was to learn of what the local lore is regarding the Tunguska Event as it's super interesting! Please continue to read and comment!

      Anonymous -
      I think that your thoughts on what Esther removed are spot on, however I question whether Esther knew or even helped him remove Irene from the bunk. She might have been loud & with all those people in there I'm not sure he could've kidnapped her on his own. In addition, though the others were knocked out with sleeping pills, Esther was not, so if Miljan did try to take her by himself he likely would've woken up Esther and she didn't look that shocked the next morning.

      As far as what's going on with Miljan, I don't think he is psychotic. We were introduced to a jovial and fun character in the beginning who made a drastic change. I hope you check out my new post with research on the Evenkis and their religion, as the believe the soul of a dead shaman passes to another, normally a decedent, and that shaman takes over the persons bodies and guides their actions. A wicked shaman was believed to have caused the Tunguska event by calling on the god Ogdy to destroy the feuding tribes. Both the souls and the shaman reside in the underworld and thus have developed a friendship. Miljan calls the Ogdy totem pole his "good friend". For all these reasons I think that Miljan has been possessed by this soul and has taken Irene to the local Evenkis. His tattoo might be a right of passage so they recognize the shaman in his new body. Great Ideas and thanks for sharing them here & reading my blog, I hope you continue to do so!