Wayward Pines: Betrayal (recap and review)

Still from Wayward Pines with Pam and Ethan
Last week’s episode of Wayward Pines, Choices, ended with a bomb being put into a music box and Harold saying “it’s ready.” This week in Betrayal before the opening credits we learn that other bombs have been manufactured and one was put in the new sheriff’s official vehicle. It is also immediately made clear that despite Ethan’s telling Pilcher last week that he would tell no one, he did not mean that to include his wife (or just about everyone else he talks to this week).

“There is no Seattle,” he tells Theresa. She assumes that he has been taken back to the hospital and had something done to him. It is after their terse little conversation that he discovers the bomb in the car. Heading to his office he looks up the file of Franklin Dobbs and finds the man is an explosive demolition expert.

Pilcher’s sister Pam offers to help and Ethan is still not comfortable with the woman. He reluctantly agrees to accept her assistance to see what Franklin has been up to via the surveillance system. Later he questions Dobbs and comes up with a priceless reference to Caddyshack and Bill Murray’s mad groundskeeper. As Ethan found a stick of C4 attached to his ignition, he asks Franklin to help him with the gophers in his lawn. Franklin pales and says he cannot help the sheriff out, the man then hurriedly leaves.

At Wayward Pines Academy, Ben and his fellow classmates are looking at the biology books that Megan Fisher referenced earlier. They are told that for “obvious” reasons the books must stay at the school as parents are nervous about the images in this particular section. The nervous giggling and laughter immediately signposts this is a sex education lesson.

Fisher, proving that she is a zealot in all things and not just David Pilcher’s teachings, explains that all of the children in the room will be parenting the first 100 percent “original” generation. That one day in the very near future they will begin to procreate, which is their most important function in Wayward Pines. Ben and Amy are singled out and made to stand at the front of the class as Fisher talks about bees and flowers, hands and gloves, and that their co-parent is probably in the same room. The teacher also states that it is her job to help them “find each other.”

It is pretty obvious that there is no room for homosexuality in this new system. Unless it can be overlooked if they still manage to procreate, despite their sexual nature. One can easily imagine the subject of gay sex wiping that zealous look off of Meg Fisher’s face. Until that crisis rears its head, Fisher will continue to be sexual councillor and match maker of the first generation.

Procreation is on someone else’s mind as well, Pam rushes in to tell her brother that two new pregnancies have been reported. Pilcher/Jenkins is not overwhelmed by the information, he is consumed with worry about the subversive group and their plan to blow up the fence. Sheriff Burke discovers that the perimeter wall is not the only thing the group want to destroy.

Ethan follows Franklin to Harold where he sees the two talking at the coffee shop. As Franklin is leaving the sheriff comes in to take Kate’s husband to the station. Harold claims he knows nothing of the bomb in Ethan’s truck and he tries to run once they get outside the shop. Burke tackles him and warns that if he tries to escape again, he will not be so gentle.

At the station, Harold confesses and Ethan gives him a note for Kate. The two talk and Ethan tells Kate that there is nothing outside the fence. He asks her to get the group to give up their weapons and explosives and thing will stay between the two of them. Later Kate speaks to Theresa and tells her that “they’ve gotten to Ethan.”

She also tells Ethan’s wife that before she wound up in Wayward Pines that Adam Hassler from the bureau told her to prepare for some government test where another agent would be testing her severely. Kate believes that Wayward Pines is that test and that Ethan is the other agent. Theresa believes that Ethan was brainwashed on the mountain as she reveals what she and Kate talked about.

Burke goes to pick up Ben after school and Kate’s group go to their backup plan. It is revealed that Ted planted the bomb in Ethan’s truck. Harold gives Ted a paper bag which he puts in his delivery truck. Ethan is tracking down Kate’s group and stops them just as they arm the bomb. The sheriff forces Franklin to disarm the explosive and arrests them all. He angrily says to Kate, “I trusted you.”

She tells him that he’s been brainwashed and that the bombings have just begun. When searching for Harold, Ethan discovers that Ted has another bomb and he goes to intercept the man and his vehicle. Meanwhile, Amy and Ben sneak out to meet in the woods, she is interested in getting a head start on all that procreating, and they hitch a ride in Ted’s truck.

As the two sit in the back of the vehicle Amy opens the paper bag and discovers the music box bomb. Opening the lid, the dancer swirls, the music plays and the device is activated. Sheriff Burke rushes to catch Ted and his truck. As the truck pulls up to a crosswalk, Ethan drives up and the back of Ted’s vehicle explodes.

While the music box bomb does not appear to have been powerful enough to blow up part of the fence, it is capable of blowing Amy and Ben through the side of the truck. She stands bloody and dazed while Ben lies in the road. He is not moving and does not respond to Ethan.

Wayward Pines, Betrayal, is all about breaking trust, and in at least one case, the rules. Amy and Ben break the rules so that she can start romancing her assignment. Theresa goes to plot 33 and discovers a metal substance under the ground and she still believes that Ethan has been brainwashed. Kate betrays her former lover’s trust and the FBI agent is convinced that all of Wayward Pines is a test of some kind.

Ethan is proving that as an agent, he can be pretty pedantic. Now that he believes the world has been destroyed, he is on board with Pilcher and his ark. The only sticking point is that Burke keeps telling people part of the truth and as the saying goes, this will surely end in tears.

Despite being shown the state of the world immediately outside the fence, there is still a feeling that this is not 4028 but 2014. The state of the players in charge, Pilcher and Pam, makes it seem that they are either delusional or just not telling all the truth. Toby Jones is perfectly off-kilter as the “mad scientist” saving the world and Melissa Leo as Nurse Pam, is just downright creepy.

This is solid entertainment and the mystery thriller element keeps the viewer guessing from one frame to the next. Wayward Pines airs Thursdays on Fox and can be seen on Hulu. This is cracking television, well done Fox.

Wayward Pines: Choices and Plot 33

Still showing Theresa and Bill Wayward Pines
In last week’s episode of Wayward Pines, The Truth, Ethan climbed “over the mountain” and discovered savage creatures and a city in ruins covered with vegetation. He also learned that Wayward Pines was an “ark” started by David Pilcher/Dr. Jenkins who rescued the escapee from abbies who were about to attack. In Choices Ethan learns about what the town really is and why he was chosen to become a resident and viewers learn about plot 33 and a faction who want to escape.

At the beginning of the episode, there is a flashback to a long-haired Pilcher wandering a destroyed city street and he passes burning cars and freshly dead people lying in the road. After the opening, Ethan is flown back to the control center that runs and maintains Wayward Pines and the 200 volunteers who live and work in the “complex.”

While Ethan goes to have his “abbie” wound treated, Theresa finds Ben sitting deep in thought. His newly gained knowledge as a member of the first generation is weighing heavily and speaking to his mother Ben reveals how much this has affected him. She tells him that “everything will be all right, I guess,” and heads off to work.

Ted, the home delivery man, drops off a package at the toy store run by Kate and Harold and asks about one that they want sent out. The two go into the back of the shop to Harold’s workshop. It seems that Pete had a package the three need and Kate angrily tells Ted that he should not be meeting them there. She tells the delivery man to look for the late McCall’s package at his workplace and Ted replies that it won’t be easy as Bill is always there and that new “cute” brunette is working there.

At the real estate office Henrietta is quitting because Bill “hired” Theresa as a agent instead of her. When Mrs. Burke follows her departing colleague out of the office to apologize, the woman warns her to be careful and mentions McCall and his belief that plot 33 is “a way out.” When Burke asks what plot 33 is, Henrietta hurriedly ends the conversation.

As Ethan gets his arm treated, he learns more about the doctor, including that she is Pilcher’s sister. Afterward, he comes across a captured abbie in the facility and learns more about how David set up the ark. It is revealed that Wayward Pines’ doctor is a recovering drug addict as well as Pilcher’s sister and that David is not as close to her as she is to him.

Flashbacks show his struggle to set up Wayward Pines and a couple of characters are met that play, or played, an important part in the town, the head teacher who was learning to be a hypnotherapist and now runs the school for the “first generation” and the former sheriff was a security guard for Pilcher’s company. Pilcher takes them both as volunteers and the sheriff’s first job is to kidnap a disgraced doctor for the new ark.

As Ethan learns more about Wayward Pines and its beginnings, Theresa looks up details about plot 33 and finds out that Bill is not a very nice boss at all. Kate stops by to talk to her former lover’s wife and the two go for coffee. A new inductee is being processed for the town, a Sara Barlow from Missouri, “she’s a teacher,” the doctor says proudly and Ethan wants to know “how many?”

Ted uses Kate’s diversion to grab McCall’s package and fends off Bill’s questions about Kate. Theresa is told by Kate that she wants them to all be friends and to be “closer.” David explains to Ethan why he was chosen to be a part of the new world. Pilcher also explains that he and the volunteers were put to cryogenic sleep for 2,000 years in order for the earth to regenerate.

It took Pilcher and his group two years to rebuild Wayward Pines after they woke up and that the perimeters were built to keep “things” out. Ethan reveals that he does not like how the leader of the ark runs things. Kate, it turns out, does not like life in the town either and she, along with Harold and a few others, are planning an escape.

Burke tells David that he needs to tell the people what is going on and that the public executions must stop. Pilcher agrees that the executions should cease but that he cannot tell the denizens of the ark the truth. Turns out he did once before, with Group A. Ethan, Theresa, Ben, Kate and many others are part of Group B. The first group broke under the strain of the knowledge and it resulted in an almost complete meltdown. As David says, “They emerged from Plato’s Cave and it blinded them.”

The ruins seen at the beginning of the episode were the remains of Wayward Pines after Group A self destructed and Pilcher reveals that the “new generation” are the real hope for humanity. Ethan recognizes that his son Ben is one of those meant to “enlighten” the town. David tells Burke that a new group means to take down the fence and Ethan vows to stop them without killing anyone.

Choices is all about the various choices made by those who opted to follow Pilcher and those who have decided not to. The disappearances that brought Ethan, Evans and Kate to Wayward Pines to investigate and then become a part of the town, were choices made by David to fill his new world with the right people. Somewhat disturbingly, it looks like Ben may be crumbling under the same information overload as did the members of Group A.

Matt Dillion brings a certain world weary gravitas to role of Ethan Burke now that he is not trying to escape and in Choices his character learns about what the town really is and why he was chosen to become a resident and viewers learn about plot 33 and a faction who want to escape. Toby Jones as the cold and distant savior of humanity is brilliant. The show continues to peel back further layers to each of the characters in Wayward Pines. Pilcher’s sister comes across as a bright eyed “Pollyanna” in the flashbacks, the teacher as an almost fierce zealot and the late Sheriff Pope was an ex-con and former drug addict as well.

There appears to be common denominator shared by the powers running the ark. Several were drug addicts, or mentally unstable, like the overly zealous teacher, or like Burke who suffered some sort of breakdown. Pilcher himself lacks the ability to really empathize with his fellow man and for all his posturing, it appears that David targeted people who were flawed to populate his oasis of mankind.

Wayward Pines airs Thursdays on Fox.