It takes three episodes before we get any answers, which makes watching the series a grueling exercise in patience. After a load of unnecessary drama and uneven story pacing, we discover Brody's (Alex Pettyfer) dead body on the beach, stabbed to death with Chase's knife, which is relevant since Brody had tried to sexually assault Chase when they had walked away from the group in an earlier episode. (It's an assault that transpires without witnesses, and a game of island he said-she said commences. With lines of dialogue like, "There's no rape here, just sex or no sex," you can probably guess how Brody's actions are received by the group.) As she pleads her innocence to the group -- who beat her and tie her up to punish her for this crime -- she simply wakes up. From the very first minutes on the island, Chase has been the one searching for answers. So of course, she's the one who learns of the true state of this place.
You see, the main crux of the whole thing is that the island isn't an island at all. It doesn't even exist, at least not in the tactile version of reality you'd expect. It turns out, the whole thing is a simulation put in place by the state of Texas to weed out any redeemable criminals serving time on death row. Chase gains consciousness in prison garb, under maximum security, and learns the truth of her situation through the prison's villainous, scenery-chewing Warden Wells (Bruce McGill), who feels like a cross between Boss Hogg from The Dukes of Hazzard and Foghorn Leghorn.
It's all an experiment put in place to see if the hardest criminals could find redemption. Each of the survivors, from Kate Bosworth's K.C. (which, we eventually find out, stands for "Killing Children" because she killed her children to get back at her abusive husband) to Gilles Geary's Mason (a young man who went on a shooting spree at a shopping mall), are all here vying for the audience's empathy, which is unfortunate, given the unlikeability exuding from each and every one of them.
In the real world, Chase is courted by the Warden to be on her best behavior. Not only does he know she didn't kill Brody, he laughs off his murder. It turns out the island rapist was in prison for being a serial rapist. Wiping one's memory can only go so far, we guess. But Wells doesn't really believe in the simulation, nor does he think any of the convicts in the prison are worth saving. Instead, he finds endless joy in toying with those partaking in the simulation while drinking whiskey in the comfort of his own office. Needless to say, in a series full of abhorrent characters, Wells here may be the worst.