Wayward Pines S01E02 Recap: Do Not Discuss Your Life Before

WaywardPines_DinnerEthan Burke still doesn’t know what’s going on in Wayward Pines, but he is beginning to learn there are rules and consequences. After being pulled over by Sheriff Pope for trying to escape stealing a car, Ethan learns the first rule of Wayward Pines: “ Don’t try to leave, Mr. Burke. That’s rule number one.” Even neighborhood kids passing by on bikes know the rules and are ready to remind the newest members of their town.

Do not try to leave.

Despite Sheriff Pope telling him to stay in his hotel room, Ethan continues to investigate the death of Secret Service Agent Bill Evans. Apparently the Secret Service is not so good at being secret, and Sheriff Pope finds him with the body before Ethan can snag a notebook hidden in Bill Evan’s boot.

Ethan does not seem to be taking the Sheriff seriously as he continues to flout his hotel house arrest, going to the Wayward Pines coffee shop to call in to the office. Trying to get in touch with his Secret Service boss, Adam Hassler, he gets the runaround from the receptionist answering the phone, Marcy. He asks Marcy if she’s working out of the 7th floor office. When she reluctantly affirms she is, he responds, “There is no 7th floor reception desk at the Seattle office.” Ha! The Secret Service must be training their agents in middle schools if they think that’s a crafty trick. Either the writers are being lazy or Marcy, whoever she is, doesn’t care that much if Ethan realizes he’s getting the Wayward Pines call center. Maybe then he’ll finally stop calling and she can get on with the rest of her pretend life.

Ethan goes to the Wayward Pines bar to find his only friend, bartender Beverly Brown. Despite the warnings he has received from Beverly and his former partner/longtime resident Kate Ballinger (née Hewson) about the fact they are being monitored in Wayward Pines, he continues to act like he is conducting a standard investigation in a normal town. Everyone in the town is undercover except Ethan. He may be the worst agent ever. Beverly turns up the music at the empty bar and dances with him so she can whisper in his ear. She reveals that Bill was killed for trying to escape, and that his secret plan was laid out in the notebook Ethan failed to snag earlier.

After putting Beverly at risk, Ethan decides to pay a visit to Kate at the Ballinger toy store and see if he can blow her cover as well. Kate tries to play it cool with Ethan, but Ethan still hasn’t figured out how to interpret the town doublespeak. Kate’s husband Harold makes an appearance, introducing himself “formally.” When he goes back to making wooden toys, Ethan asks Kate about the town’s counterfeit money dated pre-1989, pointing out that any Secret Service agent could spot it. That’s why the Secret Service was created, after all. He blatantly asks about Bill Evans, but Kate begins talking about Bill’s widow, describing loudly where she lives. She is obvious enough that even Ethan realizes she is hinting for him to go and talk to Bill’s widow, Patricia Evans. Ethan is merely a Secret Service-trained officer, whereas Kate is also a Wayward Pines decepticon. Before he leaves, he sees the Wayward Pines rules posted by the door. She recites the rules to Ethan:

Do not try to leave.
Do not discuss the past.
Do not discuss your life before.
Always answer the phone if it rings.

Just then the phone rings, and she answers it—holding it upside-down. He should at least be considering the possibility that he might be losing his mind.

As Ethan speaks to the Widow Evans, we hear a baby crying in the background. She tells Ethan that she and Bill were married for a year, he was not an agent, and that he killed himself. She doesn’t have time for Ethan’s shenanigans and quickly closes the door on him.

Ethan later pays a visit to the Sheriff’s office, much to the annoyance of the Sheriff’s secretary, Arlene. Sheriff Pope is aware of Ethan’s house call to the widow and that he has not been in his hotel room as ordered. As he eats his ice cream, the Sheriff reminds Ethan that he may think nothing makes sense in Wayward Pines, but he does have a brain injury. Sheriff Pope tells Ethan to stay away from the body of Bill Evans, so naturally Ethan heads straight to the morgue. What part about cameras and microphones being everywhere does he not understand?

At the continually empty hospital, Ethan finds Bill’s clothes laid out all nicely and is able to retrieve the notebook. Kooky Nurse Pam finds him in the morgue and remarks, “Were you able to reach your wife? I know you really wanted to talk to her. I bet when you two get back together you’re going to bang her brains out, huh?” Someone really should put Nurse Pam on administrative leave.

When Ethan leaves the morgue he sees what looks like his wife Theresa and son Ben being wheeled into a room on gurneys. When he looks further they have disappeared, and he only finds creepy Dr. Jenkins waiting for him. Dr. Jenkins tries to convince Ethan that he’s having symptoms of a brain hemorrhage and practically begs for his consent to get into his head. The need for consent seems important here. Dr. Jenkins has almost convinced Ethan that what he is experiencing may just be symptoms of a brain hemorrhage, but then kooky Nurse Pam shows up, scaring Ethan off. Nothing makes you feel quite so normal as being around the bizarre Nurse Pam.

Do not discuss the past.

Ethan meets Beverly at their special meeting place—the cemetery vault. Apparently the well-shielded vault is the perfect place for Beverly to dig a microchip out of Ethan’s arm. Ethan hatches an escape plan. He questions Beverly about her timeline, and she restates that she got there in 1988 and she’s been there for a year. He points out that she doesn’t exactly look like she’s 54 years old. Beverly doesn’t question his assertion that its 2014. She tells him, “The more you see the less anything makes sense in this town.” Fear is what keeps the residents in line. When he asks who it is they’re afraid of, she tells him the town villain is ice-cream-eating Sheriff Pope. Beverly tells Ethan that Sheriff Pope cut Bill Evans’s throat while the whole town watched. Is that what widow Evans meant by suicide?

Map Wayward Pines Do Not Discuss Your Life BeforeIn the evening, Ethan and his new bestie Beverly take a walk down Main Street. Ethan learns that Beverly and Bill were going to escape together, but Bill disappeared before they could leave. In Wayward Pines evening strolls are de rigueur, and they run into Kate and Harold Ballinger, who invite them to dinner.

Later, as Beverly works at the bar, the Sheriff’s secretary Arlene and kooky Nurse Pam complain about Ethan. Nurse Pam suggestively notes that Ethan’s been spending a lot of time with Beverly. Beverly uncomfortably notes that Ethan is married and he misses his wife. Nurse Pam pointedly asks Beverly if she’s been talking to Ethan about his wife.

Beverly: “It’s my job, if someone’s going to sit there, to talk to them.”
Nurse Pam: “But not about the past.”
Beverly: “Never.”

Do not discuss your life before.

On their way to dinner with Kate and Harold, Ethan shares his plan of escape with Beverly, who is terrified. During dinner Harold and Kate make smalltalk about their pretend lives. Despite the banality of their words, the room is filled with tension. Beverly is a nervous wreck. When Ethan gets up to use the bathroom and ditch his tracker (the first part of the escape plan), Beverly starts to talk about her daughter in Portland, but then catches herself. When Ethan returns he tries to change the subject, but Kate continues to ask about Beverly’s daughter. The panicked Beverly gets up to use the bathroom. Once he realizes that Beverly has left the house, Ethan tells Kate and Harold that Beverly has an upset stomach and they have to end dinner early. After they leave, the Ballingers have a quiet conversation.

Harold: “You think they’re going to run.”
Kate: “Absolutely.”

Always answer the phone if it rings.

Ethan finds Beverly outside, extremely distressed that she mentioned her daughter. Despite his best efforts to calm her, she’s losing it. The phones in all the houses around them start to ring, causing people to run outside with flashlights and bats, looking for Beverly. Ethan tries to lead them away from Beverly, but she is caught and dragged to a raised stage in the town square.

The townspeople gather at the square, where Sheriff Pope holds the captive Beverly on the stage. Sheriff Pope makes a speech to the rowdy crowd: “Beverly Brown tried to leave. She discussed the past. As I’ve said many times before, it is not just my job to keep this town safe. It’s everybody’s!” Ethan has entered a building off of Main Street to escape his pursuers, giving him a full view of the mob scene on the street. Sheriff Pope intones, “We cannot tolerate people who don’t play by the rules,” and cuts Beverly’s throat. Some of the people in the crowd cheer, while others look concerned. Some, like Kate, quickly try to hide their distress and act in accord with the Sherriff’s actions.

Work Hard, be happy, and enjoy your life in Wayward Pines!

It’s been five days since Theresa Burke has seen her husband. Ethan’s son, Ben, wonders if his dad is with “that woman” again or if he is dead, pondering which would be worse. Theresa later decides she must go to Idaho to look for Ethan and find out the truth. Get in line, sister. Her son Ben insists on going with her. They may yet make an appearance (or another appearance, depending on your perspective) at the Wayward Pines hospital.

“Do Not Discuss Your Life Before” Review

What’s up with Ethan Burke (Matt Dillon)? He made so many bad choices throughout “Do Not Discuss Your Life Before.” People are terrified enough to put on an extensive show, yet he didn’t really seem to be taking the threat seriously enough. Despite Kate’s warning during “When Paradise is Home” that he was putting her and her husband in danger, Ethan continued to investigate as though this was like any other case. We can only hope that Beverly’s death will be a wake-up call.

What’s up with Kate Ballinger/Hewson (Carla Gugino)? She seemed to be intentionally needling Beverly to say more about her daughter. And the Ballingers turned Beverly in! She had to know what was going to happen when they informed on Beverly. Is Kate evil, scared, or trying to protect Ethan?

What’s up with Wayward Pines? Besides a bloodletting Sheriff Pope (Terrence Howard), unsettling Dr. Jenkins (Toby Jones), and kooky Nurse Pam (Melissa Leo), what keeps the people of Wayward Pines in line? We love these three characters and how they border on parody. Everything said and done in Wayward Pines has multiple meanings. We won’t pretend to be able to read between the lines any better than Ethan Burke.

Wayward Pines brought us some intrigue in “When Paradise is Home” and then shocked us in the 2nd episode of the series, “Do Not Discuss Your Life Before,” by killing the terrified and desperate Beverly (Juliette Lewis). Who knows what Wayward Pines will bring us next?

3 thoughts on “Wayward Pines S01E02 Recap: Do Not Discuss Your Life Before

  1. Pingback: Wayward Pines S01E03 Recap: Our Town, Our Law | The Supernatural Fox Sisters

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s