Wayward Pines: City Upon a Hill – The Abbies Are Coming (Review)


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After the Abbies attacked the cornfield in last week’s episode of Wayward Pines this week, in “City Upon a Hill” more are coming  to surround the beleaguered arc of “humanity.” Wayward Pines is struggling, not the town and its people but the series.  There is a problem with taking a show that was meant to be a “one-off” and bringing it back. For one thing all the plot devices   that worked so well in the first series are either watered down or disappear completely.

Losing Ethan Burke (and now all the Burkes) has not helped this FOX follow-up at all. Matt Dillon, who played Ethan,  was a strong protagonist.  He anchored the show with all its apparent madness.  Burke was a combination of Patrick McGoohan‘s character in the cult classic The Prisoner and Neo in The Matrix. (Incidentally, in the first season Wayward Pines felt like a brilliant blend of both.)

Sadly, despiteJason Patric being a personal favorite, Dr. Yedlin does not come across  as a strong rock of right and wrong. Instead the surgeon seems peevish,  petulant and snide. The medical man is not a patch on Ethan Burke.

As the Abbies arrive in droves to apparently finish of the denizens of the town the last Burke dies. Theresa (Shannyn Sossamon) expires as Adam Hassler (Tim Griffin) holds her hand and apologizes once more. 

“City Upon a Hill”l starts with the camera panning a serene group of Abbies in a forest setting. There are children, males and breastfeeding females. A helicopter arrives, above the tree line,  and begins firing indiscriminately at the peaceful creatures.  The Abbies panic and run. It is a massacre with only a few survivors. The chopper lands and Toby Jones steps out.

Once again it seems that the second series is attempting to hint at a deeper conspiracy. That the Abbies are “man-made;” an experiment gone awry. That Pilcher tried to sort out the post apocalyptic problem before the birth of Wayward Pines.

The death of Pilcher (Toby Jones), who was in the middle of killing off his second generation of townspeople,  left puppet leader Jason Higgins in charge. While Higgins (Tom Stevens) is clearly his own little Hitler now, he was inspired and guided  by Megan Fisher (Hope Davis). The brownshirt leader is out of his depth now that the Abbies have proven to be more intelligent than Fisher led  him and the other Generationals to believe.

It also looks like the creatures are telepathic or have some sort of hive-like existence (think the Borg from Star Trek: The Next Generation) and Margaret is either the queen of the Abbies or the central “hive mind” controller. (Which may be the same thing.)  Regardless of Margaret (or Boudicca if you will)  and her standing in the Abbie “community” it appears that the denizens of Wayward Pines are in deep trouble.

The “mindless creatures” have destroyed their crops and are amassing outside the gate in an ever increasing amount of red dots on the towns security feed.   The crop destruction shows the main  problem with Higgins as leader. While he worked out the importance of gathering the food there was no follow through.

Clearly, despite the truckloads of fresh produce shown being brought back into the fenced off area, there was still a lot that needed harvesting. Rather than concentrating on that, Jason sends out his horticultural expert to “colonize” another food farm. Apparently Fisher never taught her little leader about “one step at a time” management or following through.

There are not as many questions to be asked this season.  The first time Wayward Pines was introduced there was a lot of mystery around the town and its founder. Annoyingly the same mystery remains. What was Pilcher up to before his beloved ant farm ark? Did he create the Abbies?

More importantly are the creatures replacements for the citizens of Wayward Pines? Adam Hassler believes they are and told Dr. Yedlin this when he returned to the town. It makes for an interesting mental picture.

Wayward Pines being populated by a horde of hairless and fanged creatures who communicate telepathically but snarl and grunt verbally.  Will the nakedness disappear when clothes become available?  Will they all queue up at the hairdressers for a mani-pedi?

Perhaps some of these questions will be answered in the next episode “Time Will Tell.” Although from the look of all those red dots surrounding the town, it does not look like time is something the townspeople have a lot of.

Wayward Pines airs Wednesdays on FOX. Tune in and see if the Abbies win.

Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, http://MikesFilmTalk.com Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

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