I’m already having problems with Wayward Pines‘ second season return.
Don’t get me wrong: It’s got me hooked all over again right from the start. (Usually a good sign.) But … well … problems.
And, if I’m being fair, you could say they’re not exactly problems, just annoyances and tics I have as it begins anew. (I’ve commented – nitpicked, more so – previously about it. I’ll continue to do so as I see fit. Stay tuned.)
Last March I caught the Wayward Pines panel at WonderCon. I was intrigued with the discovery that Jason Patric was being introduced to the show, thrilled to learn Djimon Hounsou was coming aboard and pleased many of the regulars from the first season were making reappearances — Hope Davis, Carla Gugino, Charlie Tahan and Melissa Leo among them. (We saw many in the season 2 opener, “Enemy Lines.”) Mark Friedman, the showrunner and one of the executive producers, announced during the panel the new season would be very Abbie-centric, exploring not only the Abbies themselves but their history as well. That alone set off a few internal excitement bells. It appeared the return of Wayward Pines was shaping up to be a nice little continuation.
And Wednesday’s episode was that … to a degree.
The First Generation is in power as the ruling body of Wayward Pines. There’s still mystery surrounding the town with uneasy citizens trying to fit in, hints of mystery around every corner and power plays on several levels battling it out in ever-confrontational scenarios between The First Generation and the rebellion.
But it felt a little tired, too, as if we’d witnessed this before. And we have. In many ways it was a rehashing of Ethan Burke’s (Matt Dillon) story, which was necessary (I guess) to introduce Dr. Theo Yedlin (Jason Patric) into the fold.
But, in addition to the rehashing, another problem I have is with The First Generation. In Ben Burke’s voiceover introduction at the beginning of the episode, he reveals it’s been “three years after my father’s death” with those born in Wayward Pines – The First Generation – overseeing affairs and the everyday goings on of the town. Well, there’s continually been a rebellion, ever since Wayward Pines was formed. While that was fresh in season 1 (part of that ongoing storyline) we’re doing it all over again.
Here’s the thing: It’s been three years since we left Wayward Pines and truth be told The First Generation – with Jason Higgins (Tom Stevens) as the leader – hasn’t learned from past mistakes. He’s still performing “Reckonings” (executing people) as a form of control against anyone rebelling against the authority of the town. That didn’t work previously so why does he believe it will be a continued “effective” method of control?
Because it isn’t. It makes no sense. You can’t repeat history and hope for a different outcome. (I mean, you can … but you look stupid doing so.) It doesn’t garner any respect for you as an authority figure. I’m surprised one or more of his group hasn’t exercised any kind of insubordination from within. See what I mean about the rehashing in the series?
But if we know anything about going into a brand new season of a show, we know that one episode does not a season make.
I’ll give a nod to the fact there was the surprising, unexpected death of a familiar character in the opener. Plus we haven’t yet been introduced to Djimon Hounsou, who I’m looking forward to. The entire episode wasn’t a complete ape of what’s come before.
Other quibbles I have are in the same “show recycling” vein. I won’t whine about those. Instead, I’ll go with the flow and assume it’s nothing more than the necessary first steps needing to take place in order for progression to make itself known on Wayward Pines. And I’m counting on that progression coming. Soon.
Notes Of Fun
- Sinatra’s “High Hopes” is playing as Yedlin is headed to the hospital early on in the episode. Oh, the irony.
- “Carbonated Celery” is a refreshing beverage … ??? *hack, cough, choke* If this is one of the machinations used by The First Generation (or initially by the original authority Dr. Jenkins) no wonder there’s continuing dissension in the ranks by the townspeople.
- We witness a bit of electroshock therapy of a woman named “Abby” in the hospital. That will get the attention by those who might be thinking about defying The Powers That Be. But a town filled with fearful, submissive bores sounds more 1984 than a last bastion of humanity.
- Another case in point on the fearful, submission bore front was Mario’s response to Yedlin about geography outside Wayward Pines: “I think that having a happy and productive life in Wayward Pines is the most important contribution I can make to the preservation of our species, sir.” Yep … Mario’s a tool all right.
- Speaking of conversations, Yedlin’s chat with Kate in the hospital was chuckle-inducing:
“‘Yedlin’ … do I know that name?” – Kate
“You been to Boston?” – Yedlin
“Not in a while …” – Kate
Are you excited for a return visit to Wayward Pines? Start a conversation in the comments section below!
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