Wayward Pines gives us an exciting season finale with “Cycle,” including an ending that leaves the series open for the possibility of being renewed. Once the secret of Wayward Pines became known in Season 5, the series opened up and became increasingly engaging. Some of the characters still act in unbelievable and impulsive ways, but over the course of the series we’ve become more invested in them.
“A Reckoning” is the penultimate episode of Wayward Pines, and it may have been the best episode we have seen in the series. Ethan Burke (Matt Dillon) finally becomes an interesting character capable of making good decisions. He pretty much kicks ass, finally. The FirstGeners also show us what they’re capable of, and it’s disturbing. Their shocking takeover of the Sheriff’s office shows that secretary Arlene Moran (Siobhan Fallon) is no pushover, and creates an emotional scene between Kate Hewson (Carla Gugino) and Harold Balinger (Reed Diamond). Even though Theresa Burke (Shannyn Sossamon) continues to neglect son Ben (Charlie Tahan), she does manage to find out some very useful information. Most interestingly, Nurse Pam (Melissa Leo) saves everyone, well sort of, at least until her crazy brother David Pilcher (Toby Jones) realizes something’s up in Wayward Pines. “A Reckoning” brings together the storylines of the Wayward Pines uprising, the First Generation indoctrination, the mysterious lot 33, and David Pilcher’s increasing paranoia.
In “The Friendliest Place on Earth,” Wayward Pines shows us the beginning of the end. As things start to unravel, it’s not clear if we should anticipate an end to the insurgency, an end to David Pilcher’s authoritarian regime, or an end to the town of Wayward Pines. But something’s got to change, and Wayward Pines stands on the precipice.
Wayward Pines serves us up some “Betrayal,” as some of the townsfolk are at the breaking point. The town rules, the inability to leave, and the public killings make Wayward Pines a less than ideal living environment. This is particularly true for those who don’t like to play pretend all the time: those referred to as the “subversives.” It looks like Ethan Burke has been indoctrinated into the official party line of Wayward Pines just in time to try to stop their shenanigans.
In the Wayward Pines episode “Choices” we move forward after having learned the truth. The Burke family members each continue on with their own paths, seemingly disconnected from each other. Ben continues his brainwashing lessons, Ethan gets a personalized behind-the-scenes tour of Wayward Pines, and Theresa gets to know the town of Wayward Pines better.
Wayward Pines promised us a big reveal in the middle of the series and we got it in “The Truth.” The members of the Burke family are each on their own, discovering truths about the community of Wayward Pines. They were some fairly shocking truths, though maybe not on the scale of “it’s worse than you can possibly imagine.” But perhaps we just have very vivid imaginations—at least that’s what our mom told us. Wayward Pines may be calling this episode “The Truth,” but we think it’s more like “The Half-Truth.”
The banality of the title of the 4th episode of Wayward Pines, “One of Our Senior Realtors Has Chosen to Retire,” belies the strangeness of the town. In Wayward Pines violence may be framed with coded words, but it walks undisguised amongst the townspeople. Sheriff Pope’s haunting warning to Ethan in “Our Town, Our Law”—“You think you want to know the truth, but you don’t. It’s worse than anything you could even imagine”—and the revelation that some kind of frightening creatures live beyond the wall, deepens the mystery that surrounds Wayward Pines. In “One of Our Senior Realtors Has Chosen to Retire” the Burke family tries to fit into the Wayward Pines community.
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.
Ethan 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.
Wayward Pines, the new series based on the trilogy of books by Blake Crouch, is scheduled to begin airing on Fox on May 14. Fox is excited about this series and wants you to be excited too. As a result, the pilot of Wayward Pines, “When Paradise is Home,” has been made available worldwide through a whole host of streaming options from April 24 to 30. If you don’t want to wait until May to watch the premiere of Wayward Pines, you can check it out at Fox on Demand via participating pay-TV providers, Fox.com, Hulu, Amazon Instant Video, Google Play, PlayStation Store, VUDU, Xbox Video, and Facebook. Fox’s innovative approach is likely to attract some viewers who don’t normally get invested in summer television series. Showcasing the first episode of Wayward Pines, “When Paradise is Home,” reminds us that as well as having a cast of cinematic stars, M. Night Shyamalan is one of the executive producers of the series and directed this pilot episode.