The world of Wayward Pines is way more complicated than Special Agent Ethan Burke expected. Ethan has already gotten Beverly Brown killed in the episode “Do Not Discuss Your Life Before.” Who’s next? It seems like Ethan needs his own set of rules as he fumbles through his “investigation” of Wayward Pines. We see in “Our Town, Our Law” that Ethan is pretty much useless at following any kind of rules.
Do not put your friends and family at risk.
Having just slit Beverly’s throat in the village square, Sheriff Pope leads the townsfolk in a rousing chorus of the Wayward Pines rules:
Do not try to leave.
Do not discuss the past.
Do not discuss your life before.
Always answer the phone if it rings.
Work hard, be happy, and enjoy your life in Wayward Pines!
They sure have team spirit. Or perhaps it’s mass hysteria. It’s hard to tell sometimes.
It looks like Ethan plans to get Kate killed next. He shows up in her kitchen accusing Kate of participating in murder. She tells him that Beverly’s death was a “reckoning” for not following the rules. He doesn’t understand. We don’t really understand either, but we’d still have enough common sense to be more discreet than Not-so-Secret Service Agent Ethan Burke. As the kettle boils, Kate comes close and whispers to Ethan, “We didn’t turn you in, but Pope said we did as a warning because we’re supposed to police our neighbors. But I didn’t stop it, so I have blood on my hands. Just let me tell you. There are no second chances here, and you got one. So take it.” Ethan doesn’t seem to be all that excited about his second chance.
Burke’s wife Theresa and his son Ben have arrived in Boise, Idaho. They are at the Secret Service field headquarters, talking to someone who we don’t think is the mythical receptionist Marcy. Theresa has acquired her own particular set of skills and finds a trail leading them to the town of Wayward Pines. Sheriff Pope pulls them over on the road to Wayward Pines, and uses his own set of skills to sabotage their car.
Do not let your guard down.
Back in Wayward Pines, Ethan tries to escape by stowing away in a truck with Wyoming license plates. If it has Wyoming plates it must be bound to leave town, right? Instead, he finds himself in a space-age supply depot where they also store the cars of those who have found their way to Wayward Pines. He finds his wife’s damaged car, covered in a lot of dust, like it’s been there a long, long time. In it he finds a bag tagged, “Theresa Burke, personal effects.” Before he can investigate the supply depot, he is found, drugged, and brought back into the hospital.
Ethan wakes up to a ringing phone, which he answers immediately. He has finally followed a town rule! The voice on the other end tells him that his family has been discharged from the hospital. He sees Nurse Pam, who uncharacteristically holds a baby while candy-stripers look on. He asks where his family is.
Nurse Pam: “You just missed them. Don’t worry. I made them all better.
Ethan: “Where are they?”
Nurse Pam: “Well, I’m sure they’re safe and sound at home. And aren’t you lucky that one of the best places in W.P. freed up last night, hmm? Prior occupant had a sudden sore throat, if you know what I mean.”
Ethan goes back to Beverly Brown’s house, which is apparently now his own. He finds his family waiting. After their reunion he sends Ben outside so he can talk to his wife. Ethan tells her absolutely nothing useful. Outside, a boy rides by on his bike and yells, “Hey Benjamin Burke. Welcome to Wayward Pines.” Let’s hope he’s not a paperboy looking for remittance.
Inside the house the phone rings, but rather than answer it, Ethan tears it out of the wall. He asks his wife, whom he recently cheated on, to trust him. After telling Theresa and Ben to stay in the house, he leaves to confront the Sheriff. That’s right, he just leaves his family alone in a town full of baseball bat-wielding pretenders who always answer the phone when it rings to go see a man who killed Ethan’s only friend the previous night. Worst. Special Agent. Ever. It looks like Theresa and Ben may have jumped the queue in terms of who Ethan is getting killed next.
Do not be confrontational.
At the Sheriff’s office, Ethan finds Pope and Nurse Pam deep in discussion. Our two favorite characters—together! The receptionist must be on a smoke break. Ethan and the Sheriff trade threats. The phone rings and Nurse Pam answers it, then conveys the message: “Sheriff Pope, that will be all.” Someone wants Sheriff Pope to stand down. Ethan realizes these two wacky characters are not in charge, and he leaves.
As Ethan walks back to the house, he sees Dr. Jenkins out walking in the rain. Dr. Jenkins tries to make Wayward Pines-style smalltalk, but Ethan cuts to the chase:
Ethan: “What is wrong with every person I meet in this town?”
Dr. Jenkins: “Well I promise you. Everyone is doing the best they can, including you. … Ethan. Ethan! Ethan, please. I know you’re trying to leave and I can understand that, but you have your family here with you now and … and not many of us can say that. We need someone like you here in Wayward—someone good. Please. Please, stay.”
Ethan: “I can’t stay.”
Dr. Jenkins: “Why?”
Ethan: “Because I don’t live here.”
The mailbox with the Burke name printed on it says otherwise.
Kate is hiding in the driveway and takes Ethan into the woods to talk. The ever-suspicious and increasingly sulky Ben sees them through the window. Ben goes outside to follow the woman he despises and his dad.
Sheriff Pope has shown up at the Burke’s house and he is pissed. Apparently the stand-down phone call didn’t put him in the best of spirits. He doesn’t like the “special treatment” Ethan’s been getting and wants some appreciation for being such a stand-up guy. The Sheriff acts creepy and menacing until Theresa finally asks him to leave. He tells her: “Okay. It is your house, as long as you and your husband remember … this is my town.”
Out in the woods, Kate tells Ethan that she had thought her partner, Agent Evans, had been dead for ten years, but then he showed up in town looking like he hadn’t aged a day. Ethan claims they were together 5 weeks ago in Seattle, but for Kate it was 12 years ago she last saw him. Kate tells Ethan, “The only way to stay alive here is to play along.”
Ben comes back to the house and angrily tells his mom that Ethan is with Kate. Kate was certainly right when she told Ethan he should tell his wife as soon as possible that the woman he had an affair with, who he left Seattle to search for, lives in Wayward Pines.
Kate tells Ethan that she already did all the things he is trying to do now in terms of trying to escape, and she can’t do it again. He tells her, “The Kate that I know, the Kate from five weeks ago, she wouldn’t just give up. Not even after 12 years. … Hey. When you’re ready to stop hiding, then come and see me.”
Ethan returns “home,” only to find an empty house with his wife’s wedding ring on the counter. His family is walking down the road, trying to leave Wayward Pines. Big mistake. The Sheriff drives up behind Theresa and Ben. When Sheriff Pope turns on his lights, Theresa tells Ben to run and they sprint into the woods. Good call, Theresa; that dude is crazy. But the Sheriff drives after them, chasing Theresa and Ben right up to the giant fence surrounding Wayward Pines. After Ben tries to attack him, Pope pulls out his gun. He punches Ben and sends him to the police car. Pope asks, “Can we just talk now? Please? … Are you okay?”
Before Theresa can respond, Ethan appears and attacks Sheriff Pope. They fight, but the Sheriff is able to recover his gun and hold it on Ethan. He cocks the gun, saying, “I got you now,” but Ben hits the Sheriff with the police car. Ethan grabs the guns and stands over the injured Sheriff. Pope says, “You think you want to know the truth, but you don’t. It’s worse than anything you could even imagine.” Ethan shoots Sheriff Pope and grabs his keys.
Ethan finds a remote that opens a large door in the fence in front of them. The door starts to open and Ethan gets into the police car with his family. As their headlights shine on the opening gate, there’s a growl and something runs out from the other side of the fence and grabs Sheriff Pope’s body. Before we can see what it is, it is back behind the fence with the body. There is a terrifying sound of animalistic howling. Ethan shuts the fence gate with the remote and quickly backs the car away from the gate. We hear more howling and the sounds of electrical shocks as Ethan and his family frantically drive away.
“Our Town, Our Law” Review
Even though Sheriff Pope (Terrence Howard) says he doesn’t agree with the naysayers who claim that being Sheriff is a thankless job, he’s clearly feeling underappreciated in “Our Town, Our Law.” This Ethan fellow is nothing but trouble and despite all his rulebreaking, Ethan seems to be protected by the Powers that Be. That just annoys the Sheriff to no end. Pope is the one doing all the work—cutting people’s throats, making speeches, causing car accidents—yet it’s Ethan who seems able to do as he pleases. Well, the Sheriff never gets his vengeance, but the Burkes certainly get theirs when the Sheriff is hit by a car, shot, and dragged away by a horrible creature. With the Sheriff dead, or at least gone, how will this power vacuum affect Wayward Pines? Perhaps Nurse Pam will run for Sheriff. She seems to know all the slogans and has the menacing qualities needed to be Sheriff of Wayward Pines.
As Ethan Burke (Matt Dillon) “sneaks” around the town we can’t help but think the Powers that Be, whoever they are, actually know where Ethan is at all times, microchip or not. Just as he did in “Do Not Discuss Your Life Before,” Ethan only seems to makes things increasingly worse for himself, and now his family. Kate Ballinger/Hewson (Carla Gugino) tries to caution him again and again, but he doesn’t seem to want to listen. You would’ve thought Kate’s warnings and Beverly’s death would have had more of an impact on him. It’s completely unbelievable that Ethan would just leave his family alone in such a clearly dangerous town, especially without giving them more explanation. Luckily, Theresa Burke (Shannyn Sossamon) can take care of herself … almost. Well she probably could, if her hotheaded son Ben (Charlie Tahan) wasn’t just as impulsive as his father. If Charlie Tahan is going for “incredibly annoying teen” in his role as Ben, it’s working.
Dr. Jenkins, played very well by Toby Jones, is so enigmatic that we kind of believe he has some kind of positive motivation to keep Ethan in Wayward Pines. But that is how the best sociopaths work: they seem genuinely invested in you, right until the moment they do you in. We know Dr. Jenkins is able to leave Wayward Pines, and he and Ethan’s boss are responsible for Ethan being stuck there, but couldn’t help but wonder if Dr. Jenkins has some redeeming qualities after he told Ethan they needed “someone good” in Wayward Pines.
We continued to be mystified by the differences in time. Perhaps Wayward Pines residents travel through space and time, or at least time, like the TARDIS. Kate’s story about Special Agent Evans makes us wonder if we’ll see Sheriff Pope or Beverly again. Their mutilated corpses tell a different story, but nothing would surprise us in Wayward Pines. The giant fence and the time differences already had us intrigued, but the shocking ending of “Our Town, Our Law,” with the mysterious and frightening creatures outside the fence, has left us enthralled. If you want to get the Supernatural Fox Sisters’ attention, be sure to add a terrifying creature to the mix. Well done, Wayward Pines.
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