Let’s be honest: For those of us who stuck with Siberia — NBC’s scripted series about a Survivor-esque competition gone horribly wrong — to the 11th and final episode, expectations were barely perceptible.
I mean, the show’s scripts seemed like they’d been written on damp cocktail napkins. Various cast members (the Evenki translator in particular) seemed like they’d been selected based on their ability to work for nothing more than a bagel and a cup of coffee. And heading into the final hour, we still didn’t have any real answers about whether the weird roaring noises, flashing green lights and numerous contestant injuries/deaths were caused by inbred mountain freaks, aliens, nuclear bears, angry woodland spirits or, perhaps, a hoax on the part of the game-show producers.
Even so, the
Season 1 series finale was a jarring disappointment, with too many loose ends, not enough genuine thrills, and a final scene that should be streaming in perpetuity at whatthebloodyhell.org. So with that in mind, I’m going to keep this final Siberia recap to a lean, mean 10 bullet points, then turn it over to you to continue with the ranting and the asking of burning questions. Without further ado…
* Just as the Evenki “prisoners” arrive at the Russian science lab to reuinite with Johnny, Joyce, Daniel and Sam, danger-prone Irene is all, “Um, guys, I think I stepped on a land mine.” And Daniel — ignoring the opinion of Israeli army vet Sabina — is all, “I’m pretty sure it’s a dud, so step off, girl! I promise you’ll be fine!” And Irene steps off and there’s no explosion. UGH. Way to miss an opportunity for some nifty gore, producers!
* Sam tells the reunited gang about his near-death experience, and how he dreamed he saw Natalie at the fishing river. Everyone is all, “Natalie died, yo!” and Annie runs into the other room with a case of the sads. And even though Annie only had a one-week crush on Natalie, Sam compares her loss to his experience of losing his wife.
* An army truck of military types arrives, and while the contestants greet them as rescuers, it soon becomes clear these ominous Russian dudes are here to execute them. (My favorite moment of randomness: Esther arriving late on the scene because she’d been in the loo.) Joyce gets brave and gets tied to a truck for her troubles; the land mines begin to spontaneously explode; and in the confusion, Johnny and Daniel (who’d been out back working) free Joyce, team up with the others, and drive away in the truck. Except for Annie, who gets shot when — taking a page from the audience — everyone temporarily forgets she exists.
* Annie crosses the Rainbow Bridge.
* The truck gets stuck in a snowbank, and everyone pushes while Esther hits the gas pedal. And then, in the only moment of genuine intentional hilarity from Siberia‘s limited life, Esther keeps on driving, while her comrades react with a mixture of shock, rage, confusion and disbelief. Miljan reveals that somehow, Esther had been concealing a giant sack containing $500,000 for the last several days. “The game might be over, but she won it anyway.”
* The remaining contestants — Johnny, Joyce, Sam, Daniel, Sabina (my personal fave), Neeko, Miljan, and Irene — walk to a clearly deserted town and ask questions like, “Why are all the lights off?” and “Where is everyone?” Sam finds Esther’s truck (sans Esther and sans money), and then everyone decides to camp out in the one apartment in town that has its lights on, its fridge stocked, but no one at home.
* Johnny cooks dinner and makes goo-goo eyes at Joyce. Neeko takes a nap. Sabina strings together some beads. Miljan steals a gun from the closet.
* “It’s like nothing’s real,” says Irene. “The way I feel about you is real,” replies Daniel. And then they kiss. [Insert nausea emoticon here.]
* Joyce locates a video from the day she and Johnny went missing. The group plays back the footage, and we see a glimpse of a werewolf-looking ghoulie descending on Johnny and Jocye and Joyce’s exposed midriff, and then a flash of the green lights in the sky (which have a decidedly alien appearance).
* The soldier types show up at the apartment, and as the contestants brace for impact, the game-show host from the pilot pops his head inside: “You’re not supposed to be here,” he cries.
Yep, that’s the end. I cahhhhhn’t. And since I cahhhhn’t, I’ll turn it over to you. What did you think of the Siberia finale? What do you think was the cause of all the foolery and danger? (My theory is nuclear aliens.) If there was a Season 2, would you be insane enough to watch it? Take our poll below, then expand on your thoughts in the comments!