Catching Up With Wayward Pines



Am I here to make excuses why I haven’t submitted a Wayward Pines post in over a month? (No.) Would it make any difference to you if I did offer excuses? (No.) I didn’t think so. You don’t seem the type of folks who give a rip about excuses anyway … am I right? (Correct.)

Well good then. Now that we have that out of the way, let’s get on with the show …

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A month ago “Exit Strategy” (episode 4) revolved around hope.

It’s the motivator in comfortable, laid back, easy going Wayward Pines. Did you catch that little tidbit?

Toward the end of the episode Yedlin told his wife Rebecca he learned an interesting piece of information about the recent food shortage during that scouting expedition: “It’s not about the food … it’s about hope,” CJ confessed to Yedlin. In other words, the First Generation is pulling the wool over the eyes of just about every resident at the place. Not that this is any real news; the First Generation have been calling the shots – truthful, fabricated and otherwise – for the past three years whenever it pleases them. And especially when it’s to their benefit.

Along these lines, I got to thinking while their latest crop-exploring reconnaissance venture was taking place: The supposed food shortage where it appears “the basics” are in dire need? That might be well and fine but you’ve no doubt noticed there’s plenty of ice cream, soft drinks, sweets and alcohol around which naturally begs the question: Where are (or were) the priorities when the compound was in its planning stages? If David Pilcher did such a bang up job of originally laying out Wayward Pines‘ foundation, overseeing and masterminding its Ps and Qs far into the future, don’t you think basic foodstuffs would be of major importance? At least during those delicate formative years when everyone was roused from their deep sleep? Maybe have a decade’s worth of sustenance so as to give plenty of time to get the ball rolling in that brave new world? One would think. Especially with that many people (quite possibly the last of human civilization on Earth) if all Pilcher’s doom and gloom calculations eventually came to bear.

As it turns out, there isn’t a problem with the food supply. It’s all a facade. It’s all about using information, false though it may be, in order to maintain control and assure everyone everything’s gonna be okay. “We’ve got it handled, folks. No need for concern.” What a crock.

Want to know what else is a crock? The mind control foisted on everyone, starting with that incessant morning announcement about having a good day: “It’s another great day to live your life in Wayward Pines.” What drivel. Because that announcement is one big, hopeful, smile-inducing breath of fresh air in the possible wake of a day containing yet another comforting Reckoning, isn’t it? Or a day where many teen girls dread taking a good morning pee to find out they’ve become “women” overnight. (Better: Dreaming about those “procreation rooms” must be a real treat, huh?) Damn … there’s just hope exuding from every nook and cranny about the place, isn’t there?

But with that hope comes something sinister, in the form of a random Abbie creeping about within the confines of Wayward Pines …

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No better time to “Sound The Alarm” (episode 5) where not only did we get a lot of back and forth (quite a few flashbacks revealing a lot of information about Theo Yedlin and, specifically, his wife Rebecca) but The Powers That Be dumped quite a few surprises on us.

Just pick anything in this episode. There was something to satisfy just about anyone.

Megan is a hypnotherapist. The gay card gets played. The kids of Wayward Pines are confused, feel alone, often wander aimlessly and are scared. We find Rebecca was originally abducted, by Pilcher directly or by his flunkies, in order to use her expertise to create Wayward Pines. Adam Hassler, the scout Pilcher sent out beyond the wall, secretly wanted Ethan Burke out of picture so he could have his wife, Theresa, all to himself. Margaret the female Abbie.

See what I mean? Any of those things is a slap upside the head to jog you out of any lethargy you may have been experiencing during the show if you thought things were moving a bit slow. (Though, if that’s the case, you really haven’t been paying attention much.)

For my money, though, the kickers of the episode were firmly placed within the reveals of Rebecca not only having been abducted but << POW >> she and Xander having been married for a year or so.

Talk about doozy.

I mentioned a post ago that Xander and Rebecca were being flirtatious. Now we know why. The pieces to that puzzle fit real nicely now, much to the chagrin of Yedlin. (The hits just keep on comin’ for our good doctor, don’t they? Though, he’s not the only one on the receiving end of those hits. Xander was offered a well deserved one to the kisser.) How this situation plays out is fun to speculate about.

I mean … if you’re Yedlin, what do you do? You’re trapped in a world not of your making. You don’t have anywhere to go, anywhere to turn really. It would be relatively easy to turn inward and curl up in a fetal position and whimper to yourself hopelessly. But it wouldn’t solve anything. In the end, you’d realize at some point your situation won’t change if you don’t do something about it. Not that you have a lot of options readily available to you.

Though, if you want to really experience hopelessness, you need look no further than the dilemma the kids of Wayward Pines contend with on a daily basis. Frank, left to his own devices (and what he’s learned from Megan and school), is waging a losing war internally, trying to come to grips with the expectations of the community, procreatively speaking. Too young, fearful, seemingly physically incapable and hopelessly confused about all that it entails, the only thing he can think about is failure: “There are rules. I have to reproduce. It’s my glorious obligation. But if I’m sick and find out I can’t do it … they’ll kill me.”

If you want someone to blame, point the finger at Pilcher and the way he crafted Wayward Pines. The layout of the community might be spot on but this particular aspect of the planning of their future is riddled with flaws.

And that’s just where things might go wrong. The kids might just finally catch wind of the ultimate goal to continue mankind’s existence and decide there’s a better way. Or they could throw caution to the wind, toss out the baby with the bathwater and let fate decide what happens.

But that’s a far-fetched dream while the likes of Jason and Megan remain solidly in the mix of things.

Things are coming to a head on Wayward Pines, especially with all these individual character events coming to light. Something’s gonna blow.


Quibbles And Bits

  • Notice how the streets of Wayward Pines are almost continually wet? Why is that? I’ve been to Idaho. It’s pretty much a desert with little precipitation. I don’t recall seeing any sun on the show of late. Which is another way of saying all that slickness isn’t sitting well with me.
  • Megan is (was?) a hypnotherapist? That explains a lot. The ability to suppress the thoughts and past experiences of people Pilcher has abducted (kidnapped, absconded with, forced to work) to achieve his goals would come in mighty handy.
  • The female Abbie caught wandering about the town: What’s up with her docile nature? This is the first time we’ve seen a female Abbie (curious in and of itself this far into the life of the show) – maybe that’s simply the nature of the species. But I don’t think so. I’ve a feeling there’s more to it than that. I think she’s playing possum …
  • And that “tattoo” on her left palm. Could be anything. Maybe that’s the sign of a superior leader in the Abbies. (Which could explain the docile nature.) Maybe it’s a sign of intelligence. (Did you notice the way Margaret “looked” at Megan as she was examining the mark? It was a look of knowing.) Maybe Wayward Pines isn’t the only civilization besides the Abbies traipsing around. Maybe another group is using the Abbies in some manner, able to control them somehow.
  • Lastly and once more on the Abbies: They have control of fire. Somehow they now know how to use it. What was the catalyst for his shift? Are they being manipulated by the silent and calm Margaret? Did someone or something else trigger their newfound awareness?

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While “Sound The Alarm” was an eye opener, “City Upon A Hill” (episode 6) was rather dull and lackluster for me.

Yes, we were introduced to a little side story of Abbie introduction but the rest of the episode was frantic and predictable for the most part.

The Abbies attack the mission outside the wall. Overwhelming numbers of them wrecked havoc resulting in the hospital being a busy, busy place. Jason’s leadership was called into question as an additional result of the attack. (And that’s something he hadn’t planned for – the Abbies all of a sudden having things swing their way.)

It was all rather *meh*

But there were two events of import: We discovered Xander and Rebecca had marriage problems. (Nothing really came of that, however. It was just put out there more or less.) And Theresa Burke dies thinking about her son no less. No more Burke story lines.

Despite “Sound The Alarm” being kind of there, the latest packed lots of punch …

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“Time Will Tell” (episode 7)

Now this is my kind of episode. Not necessarily hard facts about the whys and wherefores but interesting revelations piecing puzzles together. The audience isn’t stupid; they can put two and two together and doing it in the manner they did is a true delight for me.

Not only do we get clued in on various story aspects but there’s just enough opened up to lead us down side paths where more questions await. I think that’s a neat way to unveil things. Don’t you?

In “Time Will Tell” we find CJ is charged with overseeing maintenance of all the Piners from start to finish, so to speak. Each 20 years he’s automatically extracted from his suspended animation to inventory, exercise, play the random game of chess with an unknown opponent and perform general “housecleaning duties” on the march toward the future time point when others are freed from their suspension to begin the business of getting on with the furthering of humanity.

Interesting concept. Throughout, we see the decline of the earth as we know it through radio and television broadcasts. We discover the plan put in place by David Pilcher initiating not only the eventual Wayward Pines but man’s salvation as everything eventually goes to pot.

Supposedly, every contingency has been scrutinized and accounted for in order that man will survive. But predicting so far into the future – 2,000+ years – is one heck of a long time to anticipate every nuance.

And the biggest one, predicting the Abbies would run their course before the first wave of future Wayward Piners arose from slumber, was muffed. Big time.

Thus, the community finds itself in their predicament – not only dealing with the Abbies but dealing with a vast multitude of them. And somehow with an intelligence to help them along their path. The Piners are up a creek.

The flashbacks show an ironic contrast to the current state of affairs everyone is having to deal with in the present. Despite the bleakness of their situation Jason proclaims “Humanity will win.” It’s not looking good, though.

Three episodes remain …

Things That Simply Didn’t Jive about “Time Will Tell”

  • 2,000 years is an awful long time for anything to survive, especially equipment and machinery. CJ isn’t maintaining things the survivors will need when they arise and begin construction on Wayward Pines; we see him only spiffing up the suspension pods of his comrades. My obvious question: How did David Pilcher get around the “shelf life” dilemma? Armor All protectant will only get you so far …
  • What did the Piners eat when they came out of their suspension? MRIs? Astronaut-like encapsulated freeze-dried food stuffs? Water doesn’t last 2,000 years (let alone 90 days) without getting stale and more … so what did they drink? Additionally, a couple millennia is quite sufficient for atrophying muscle, so I doubt they were injected with “get up and go” juice and hopped out of bed with pep in their step. So, again: How did they get around that?
  • I find it highly unlikely the place Pilcher picked would be pristine, untouched and undisturbed all the time they were zonked out. No natural disasters or erosion? No man-made development or disturbances? It’s one of those “You just have to suspend belief” things in order for one to go forward and enjoy the show. So yeah … I’m complaining a little bit. (After all … they can predict the perfect spot to place themselves for 2,000 years but they can’t anticipate their food usage?)

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