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Best Moments From Netflix’s The Silent Sea

***Warning: This article contains spoilers for The Silent Sea.***

Netflix’s The Silent Sea may only have eight episodes, but every episode truly holds its weight when building the storyline and the character arc. Touted as the unofficial follow-up to Squid Game, The Silent Sea is a completely different ball game. The critically acclaimed series pays homage to previous science fiction films like Alien, as the plot of both The Silent Sea and Alien follow a similar formulaic pattern, though both do have key differences. The story The Silent Sea unfolds through the eyes of Song Ji-an (Doona Bae), an astrobiologist who lost her sister in the Balhae space station accident.

Song is selected to join a group traveling back to the station to retrieve the surviving samples from the research. But as the group arrives at the station, everything isn’t what it seems to be on the surface. The researchers and residents seem to have died by a mysterious illness, but their captain (Gong Yoo) tells the team to continue searching, even as the conditions turn deadly. As crew members start to end up dead, it becomes a game of survival and figuring out what happened in this base. These are the best moments from The Silent Sea.

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5 Crash Landing on the Moon

Astronauts in suits cling to side of space ship.

The Silent Sea starts with the crew traveling to a space station on the moon, but their arrival is quite rocky. This is the first sign that something has gone wrong in this expedition; the spaceship crashes into the side of a ravine. The crew has to get themselves out of the ship and onto the moon, where they then discover that one of the crew members has a fatal injury. As they stumble across the rugged terrain of the moon, they are running low on oxygen, and alerts are flashing telling them to find life support immediately.

The man who broke his ribs collapses onto a big rock, then asks a final request: for more water. These characters come from a world lacking in water, almost reminiscent of Arrakis in Dune. And it’s this man’s death that is the kindest in the television show because while he ran out of water, many of the characters ended up dying via drowning. It’s this irony that sets the show up to give an expectation that water is the savior, not the killer—an expectation that ends up subverted quite brilliantly.

4 The Third Casualty

Group gathers around circular table in space suits.

When the crew arrives at the base and discovers the bodies littered around its various corners, the mystery of how they died begins to linger in everyone’s mind. On a base that was supposed to be discovering the solution for the lack of water, it seems strange that all of the researchers ended up drowning somehow. It isn’t until team member Soo-chan, the pilot, disturbs one of the bodies that this the first layer to this mystery is exposed.

A stark contrast to the other two characters’ deaths (a spinal fracture and being killed by a stranger still alive on the base), what makes Soo-chan’s death disturbing is how unexpected it is. The viewers see the corpses and comprehend that they’ve somehow drowned, but instead are led to be shocked at how terrifying it is to see torrents of water being projectile vomited out of someone’s mouth.

This is also the first death, outside of the crash, where it was seemingly preventable as everyone was there and watched him die. This collective grieving occurs at a time in the show where it cannot happen again, as everyone is slowly picked off and killed. Soo-chan’s death also provides the critical research needed to understand the impacts of the water, thus giving a critical detail to what happened at the base.

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3 The Mole is Revealed

Man stands behind closing futuristic doors.

This is one of the biggest twists in the show. Ryu Tae-suk (Lee Joon), an engineer, kills several of his teammates and plans to kill the rest. There are few implications of his role as a mole in the earliest sections of the show, so if one isn’t paying attention, this will be a shock. As the story of Luna wraps up, Ryu’s actions turn the show in its final arc into a story about survival because if it were easy to get out of the base, then the characters would simply walk out.

If the show already wasn’t a tragedy in some capacity, the final arc definitely turns it into one. Ryu’s involvement also reveals important details about what happened to Song’s sister, as he was one of the last people to see her alive. His character’s betrayal also reveals the inner turmoil that’s going on in his head because, by the end, he shows genuine remorse and grief for what he has done. This plays into a larger concept of capitalism and greed. All of this, including the Balhae incident, was preventable. Ryu simply was just another pawn in the system.

2 A Heroic Sacrifice

Man in space suit crosses his arms.

Mirroring his performance in Train to Busan, Gong Yoo seems to have been slightly typecasted here. Like his Train to Busan counterpart, his character in The Silent Sea also has a young daughter, and he seeks to be a savior in her life—without the proper amount of water, she’s going to lose her legs. In The Silent Sea, Gong Yoo sacrifices himself to allow his teammates the chance to live.

This is slightly predictable based on his character’s personality. He is noble and passionate about his team, showing great sadness whenever someone dies. It also follows the concept that a captain must go down with his ship; although he might’ve lived if he didn’t do what he did, he still would’ve been haunted with the grief and guilt of leaving everyone behind. Gong Soo-hyuk, too, made the noble decision even after losing his brother Soo-chan at the beginning of their mission.

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1 Finding Out What Really Happened in the Space Station

Man and woman in astronaut suits stand next to each other on the moon.

This is one of the core mysteries of the show, and when it’s revealed at the very end, it’s a moving sequence of events that is both disturbing and devastating. The researchers, including Song’s sister, experimented on clone children to see which ones could survive the lunar water. Only one survived: the girl the team encounters on their mission to the base. This experimentation on children is an atrocity and something covered up. The researchers on the base were killed, locked in hallways, and exposed to lunar water.

There is very little direct evidence of this found by the team, but an eyewitness account from Ryu is one of the final twists. He was one of the men who locked Song’s sister in the hallway and watched her bang against the glass. He apologizes to Song before his death as the screen progresses through a flashback sequence of the researcher’s last moments. In a station that was previously very empty, it seems unsettling to see it full of life and then with screams.

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