Wayward Pines: Time Will Tell – Slow Yet Satisfying (Review)

WP-S2_207-scn34-SB_0233_hires1

Last week in Wayward Pines it was made fairly clear that Margaret was the leader of the Abbies. Megan Fisher also proved that she was not above ignoring any rule she was dissatisfied with. Opting to take the painful sample from Margaret sans any pain medication, the former academy head sealed her fate. This slow episode sees a satisfying end to the annoying Fisher.

Dr. Yedlin has, despite his somewhat querulous attitude, proven that he is far more humane than the current ruling class in Wayward Pines.  (To be fair, Yedlin has come into his own since being put in charge of studying the Abbies.) It was priceless to see Fisher’s reaction to  Theo’s “Dr. Doolittle” routine (or conversely his Henry Higgins impression) where he attempts to teach Margaret how to communicate.

Perhaps Dr. Doolittle is not really appropriate  as the Abbies leader is definitely not an animal, nor are her followers. The male underlings just lack the sophistication of their leader and her self control.

Speaking of self control…

Jason Higgins proves once and for all that he is a grown petulant child whose answer to anything he does not like or understand is violence.

The start of “Time Will Tell” is all about CJ.  Apparently he was the watchman or  caretaker  for Pilcher. Waking once a century  for 100 days each time, the horticultural expert kept an eye on the outside world.

Some interesting facts about CJ’s solitary vigil are brought to light. Mitchum’s wife did not “make the cut” so he is alone in more ways than one. Abbies, it is revealed, were the result of  the HR13  virus that spread worldwide.  It is also learned  that crops were failing from the beginning.

CJ’s lonely mission is intermixed with Yedlin’s attempts to communicate with Margaret.  Via the flashbacks to Mitchum’s journey much about Pilcher’s misconceptions about the Abbies is revealed. Clearly in his scenario nothing was meant to survive. When he and CJ encounter the creatures Pilcher is disturbed and annoyed.

WP-S2_207-scn29-SB_0478_hires1
Pilcher and Mitchum

Mitchum points out that the Abbies are non-violent, as was the man he met years before who was transitioning into one of the creatures. In that instance, CJ kills the “aberration.” Did the caretaker inadvertently teach the new species about killing? Notably it is Pilcher who decides that the Abbies are not human at all.

Back at the complex, Adam Hassler (Tim Griffin)  shows up and he tells Yedlin and Megan to release Margaret immediately. He confirms that the mark on her hand signifies leadership and that it takes months to apply.  Hassler also tells the two that Abbies are still amassing outside the fence for Margaret. Fisher goes to get Jason and Kerry.

 The Wayward Pines leader and his partner arrive in the lab and immediately Higgins begins arguing with Yedlin.  The doctor explains that the Abbies are an intelligent species.  Kerry takes Yedlin’s side and Fisher gets angry. She reminds Jason’s partner that she should have borne a child already. 

Higgins and Fisher are angry that they are being questioned. Hassler is bemused (bordering on panic)  and Dr. Yedlin is explaining that Pilcher stole the Abbies’ land from them.

Margaret, as Yedlin points out, watches it all.

Back to CJ. He is shown  living through the meltdown and destruction of Group A, the denizens of Pilcher’s town who were BB (Before Burke.).

Yedlin explains to Margaret that Jason is the leader. Using the crown card, she disagrees.  Higgins argues and Kerry questions why the Abbie leader is cooperating.  To prove his point, Theo enters a male Abbie cage. Margaret stops the thing from attacking him.

WP-S2_207-scn34-SB_0621_hires1
Jason and Kerry

Higgins reacts true to form and kills all the male Abbies in their cages. As he points his gun at Margaret Yedlin interferes and disarms the leader. Kerry splits from Higgins and sides with the doctor. Jason leaves.

Hassler is despondent and he reminds Yedlin that the Abbies are the new replacements to Pilcher’s little pocket of humanity.  Fisher argues that they are the superior species and refuses to acknowledge that Jason was the real animal in the lab.

Theo leaves; with the gun.

Kerry and Jason ask CJ about the  Abbies and Higgins reveals that he is not about to give up. Back at the lab Fisher looks down to see blood flowing from her leg. The lab floor is covered in it. She turns her wheelchair to find Margaret standing over her with a knife, or scalpel.

The Abbie leader learned the combination and released herself.  Megan says the Abbie leaders name and dies.

Margaret is free.

It has taken a while but the show’s producers have managed to kill off all the season one adult survivors, sans receptionist  Arlene (Siobhan Fallon Hogan). At the current rate of Group B deaths Jason Higgins should not be far behind. (Although emotionally he is not an adult.)

This was a slow episode.  CJ’s story had to be a crawl so the audience could feel his pain at the solitude and the despair of watching the world destroy itself.  This was, perhaps, the most satisfying episode of season two. At long last Megan Fisher is dead, “ding dong the witch is dead.”  What a delusional and hateful woman she was and the former headteacher was instrumental in putting the emotionally immature Higgins in charge of Wayward Pines.

Her death sentence was a just one.

Higgins may yet destroy Wayward Pines despite Theo Yedlin’s best attempts to save it.

WP-S2_207-scn34-SB_0074_hires1
Jason Patric (Theo Yedlin) and Rochelle Okoye (Margaret)

The series  airs Wednesdays on FOX. There are only two episodes left in this season.  Tune in and see what happens to the last of humanity.

CAST:

Wayward Pines: Sound the Alarm – Planet of the Apes (Review)

WP-S2_scn12_0287_hires1

It may be a bit of a stretch, but it appears that Wayward Pines has turned into Planet of the Apes. (Or conceivably I Am Legend with a variation on a theme. In “Sound the Alarm,” it becomes even more apparent that the residents of the Pines are really the aberrations. and not the Abbies.

(The Planet of the Apes connection is not too tenuous. There is a similarity in evolution changing man’s role in world. A shift in time lines; in the film a time warp and in the series a time lapse. There is also the fact that a version of man has “devolved” although one does expect to hear “Margaret” yell out, “Get your hands off me you dirty *fill in blank here.*)

There is clearly more going on here that just “natural” evolution. The world class catastrophe which created the new breed of man appears to have altered more than the civilized behavior missing in these new humans. Telepathy or a hive mentality (which is sort of the same thing) has manifested in the Abbies.

“Margaret” is clearly communicating with the her fellow creatures outside the fence while they destroy the cornfield. She is deep inside mission control and strapped to a gurney but is it obvious that the aberration is “talking” or giving orders to her followers.

(In this instance perhaps the lab technician should have called the female Abbie Boudicca after the fierce leader of the Iceni who fought  against the Roman transgressors. She was fearless and a skilled leader of a band of warriors who gave the invaders a very rough time.  Just saying.)

Wayward Pines this week gives more backstory to Rebecca Yedlin (Nimrat Kaur) and, along with Dr. Yedlin (Jason Patric) we learn that Rebecca is married to Xander Beck (Josh Helman).   Theresa Burke learns that Adam Hassler (Tim Griffin) meant for her husband Ethan to disappear. Adam loves Theresa and felt that Ethan did not deserve her (he was having an affair with a co-worker back then) but things went all pear shaped. 

Tony Jones appears again as the founder of Wayward Pines and in the flashback sequences Megan Fisher (Hope Davis) also makes an appearance. David’s sister Pam does not show up in these memories which is interesting to say the least. 

Speaking of Fisher it seems a certainty that this control freak who created the privileged attitude in the First Generation is now on a path of no return.  Not only has she questioned Jason and Meredith, but she also has annoyed Yedlin and Margaret. Out of this group that Megan has antagonized it will most likely be (ironically) the female Abbie who will take this major annoyance out of Wayward Pines.

Obviously the Abbies are more intelligent than previously thought. The mark on Margaret’s  palm is clearly “man-made.” It could be a tattoo but one wonders if the mark is indicative of a pervious scientific experiment, something that occurred during the catastrophe that created the creatures.

WP-S2_scn12_0026_hires1
Rochelle Okoye as “Margaret”

After all, Pilcher did “slingshot” his little slice of humanity past the event.  The knowledge base of Wayward Pines is limited in that it has no information from the time of the catastrophe. Abbies could have been developed in a lab, genetically “blended” to ensure the survival of mankind.

If this is the case, and evidence seems to point to this as a viable theory, then all of Pilcher’s people are the aberrations and not the creatures outside the fence. Margaret and her “tribe” may be the true survivors of mankind who are indeed replacements for the denizens of Wayward Pines.

A word on the Generational’s requirement to procreate (or breed). Poor Frank (Michael Garza) apparently learning that he swings for the other team and freaking out because of it. Seems that in this new world being gay is not an option.  It leads to a death sentence according to Frank…

The series airs Wednesdays on FOX. Tune in and see if Frank survives his revelation and whether or not “Margaret” is the Boudicca of the Abbies.

Wayward Pines: Exit Strategy – Megan vs Everyone (Review)

 WP-S2_scn17_0170_hires1

In “Wayward Pines” this week Megan is arguing with everyone, Jason, C.J., and Rebecca. “Exit Strategy” has the crippled Abbie attack survivor becoming more strident about the old ways versus being prepared to adapt to Jason’s new vision.   The true nature of the woman is coming to the fore.

The big news in this episode is that Adam Hassler  has returned from outside, along with the exiled Xander.  Both men have learned something of the Abbies although Hassler has been studying them for years.  The former friend and colleague of Ethan Burke has been scarred by his exposure to the outside. Adam is determined to go home as he has some disturbing revelations to pass on.

Hassler learns of Pilcher’s death but is compelled to return to Wayward Pines. Xander comes in with him and while he is still on Jason’s naughty list his punishment has been rescinded.

For the moment.

Jason decides it is time to send parties outside the fence to grow food and to expand the town’s borders. Megan (Hope Davis) argues against it and Jason is not impressed. He is, in fact, bored and this is the first sign that the student has far surpassed his old teacher.

Megan’s power always lay with her influence over the kids of Wayward Pines. Now that the First Generation are in charge her power has waned.  The former teacher is helplessly caught up in the old ways; Pilcher’s ways.  Since “Invasion Day” Megan has lost her clout with the grownup residents and with her puppet leader; Jason (Tom Stevens).

Theresa Burke (Shannyn Sossamon) goes outside the fence to search for Ben and she asks Hassler (Tim Griffin) to help. He does and what appears to be Ben’s body is brought into the camp.  

Earlier, as Dr. Yedlin (Jason Patric) treated Hassler, the man reveals that he believes the Abbies are not enemies to the people of Wayward Pines, but their replacements.  Even Xander, in his short time dealing with the aberrations,  learned that they are not the mindless creatures they have been advertised to be.

Lucy’s brother tells Megan that her period has started and this leads to a division between brother and sister. It also results in  a confrontation between Rebecca (Nimrat Kaurand Megan. Unable to sleep, Lucy’s sibling goes out to the town square where he sees a lone Abbie in the carousel.

As evidenced by their suicidal attempt to climb the fence, the Abbies are thinking creatures. (The pyramid of bodies would have eventually allowed the things to scale the fence.)  Focus on the show is now moving toward the Abbies and their function in this future world.

What Pilcher chose to ignore, and what Jason never learned from Megan at school, was evolution; natural and enforced. The Abbies developed, as a necessity, the sharp teeth and nails combined with a proclivity for violence in order to survive. As time went by the mental process deteriorated since technology disappeared.

Life became a case of eat or be eaten.

Pilcher fought evolution by building his ark and even now his “descendants” are become less intelligent and more prone to violence. They are also “devolving” i.e.  going back to more primitive devices to ensure their survival.

As Rebecca points out to Megan in their little power struggle; baby farming was performed by primitive cultures.  Beyond the underage forced procreation issue is Dr. Yedlin’s realization that the humanity of the Wayward Pines government and its denizens is missing.

In many ways this series could be seen as a warning to the world we live in today. The “dumbing down” of the populace (and if the presidential candidates are not  completely indicative of that process, nothing is) amid huge leaps in technology seems to eerily echo Wayward Pines.

The series airs Wednesdays on FOX. Tune in and see how Megan makes out  in her meeting with Jason.

Wayward Pines: The Friendliest Place on Earth (recap and review)

Ethan Burke (Matt Dillon) in Wayward Pines
Last week on Wayward Pines in Betrayal, Ethan’s race to find all the bombs ended with Ted’s truck blowing up and injuring Ben and Amy. The Friendliest Place on Earth begins with the two children in hospital and Ben has a concussion. Pilcher is furious and Pam tells her brother that they should do something good for the townspeople. Eric is dying from being penned between the dumpster and the truck. Kate is reliving her first days in Wayward Pines and her dealings with Dr. Jenkins. In her flashback she is convinced that the town is a “Potemkin village;” not real at all.

In Kate’s flashback Nurse Pam gives her an injection to calm her down. She wakes, the memories of her and Jenkins came while she was sleeping in the jail cell, to the sound of sweeping. The town is clearing away any signs of Ted’s destroyed truck. Ruby, one of the insurgents who left the woods early so she would not be late for work, comes into the coffee shop to the sounds of speculation. The people are not buying the gas leak explanation.

Pilcher notices that Ruby is late and goes back to the control center to see where she was. Her chip says she is home at bed, which David knows is not true. They check her home and the camera reveals that there is no one at home. David tasks the team to see who else is “home in bed.”

Ethan tells Kate that Ben almost died from one of Harold’s bombs and he blames his former partner. She tells Sheriff Burke that there is a reason that he was chosen to be the town’s law enforcer; he follows orders. She reminds Ethan that he made the same mistake before and he replies that he is just trying to keep anyone else from dying. He asks her what happened and why she does not trust him. Later more flashbacks show that Kate fought a vigorous form of brain washing and lied to Dr. Jenkins to be left alone.

Pilcher tells Pam that Ruby is one of the insurgents and he tells his sister that they need to do an in-depth security review of all the surveillance camera operators. She learns that one, Reggie, is troubled when he observes citizen’s questioning policy and the wall and their fear. He admits that he blurs or wipes video footage when this happens. “It’s human nature to ask questions isn’t it,” Reggie asks and Pam agrees.

This interaction is observed by her brother David and Pam, not knowing that he saw the interviews, lies and says no one is being slack in their duties. Ben wakes up and Megan Fisher stops by to use her skills as a hypnotherapist again, to turn Ben against his parents. She emphasizes Harold was let go by Ethan because of his friendship with Kate, Harold’s wife and that Ben would never have been hurt if Harold had stayed in jail.

Fisher also convinces Ben that as he has survived a “terrorist attack” he is a hero and people will want to know what he thinks. She also presses home the importance of “clear and severe” rules and punishments. It is clear that Fisher is a real danger to Ethan Burke and anyone else who questions the status quo. Later when Theresa warns the teacher to stay away from her family, Megan checks to see if the moment was caught on camera.

Ethan shuts down the Wayward Pines festival and tell everyone the truth about the explosion and that several of the insurgents are missing. He urges them all to go home and keep safe. Pilcher is not happy with the sheriff for shutting down the festival or for telling them the truth. Burke stops by to see his son and Ben confronts him about letting Harold go and about his friendship with Kate.

Theresa comes in and tries to make Ben stop and Ethan explains that he can ask whatever he wants. The sheriff tells his son that he would have done the same thing regardless of who it was. Ben’s mother figures out that it is Fisher behind her son’s actions. Amy comes in to visit and the parents leave.

Amy is still focussed on Ben and the two visit in his hospital room. Ethan tells Theresa about the bombings and how his “following orders” led to over 641 innocents being killed. He could never tell her before because it was classified and he explained about having to use Kate as a sounding board as she was his partner and privy to the information. At the end of their talk, it looks like Ethan and Theresa are closer together.

Harold and one of the other insurgents plan to take Eric’s body, he died from his injuries, outside of the fence to bury him. The two men steal a 30 foot dump truck to smash through a gate and Ethan is on their trail after getting a call about the theft of the vehicle. Jenkins stops by to see Kate and they talk.

He accuses her of being a fanatic and Kate reveals that she knows he is really David Pilcher. The self imposed savior tells her everything in Wayward Pines is a question of safety versus freedom. Later, as Pam serves her brother a cup of tea and a piece of pie, David has Reggie picked up by security. He tells his sister that the man is a traitor and will be dealt with.

Pam volunteers herself for punishment, “Kill me,” she says and David replies that they will not do that any longer. Reggie’s penalty for treason is to be put back into the cryogenic stasis pod. Harold backs out of crashing through the gate and Ethan catches up with him. All that Burke learns from Kate’s husband is that he is too late.

Harold’s friend crashes the truck through the fence and drags Eric’s dead body out of the vehicle. Holding Eric, the man begins to laugh and says, “We made it buddy.” Suddenly several naked Nosferatu looking creatures converge on the man and Eric’s body. They attack and one of the monstrous creatures looks at the gate and roars.

Anyone watching Wayward Pines who has not read the books that the series is based on will be eagerly following each new episode and perhaps asking just what the truth really is about the little town. Other questions that need answering are: What is the significance of Plot 33 and that metal thing under the ground? Is Boise the only town so perfectly destroyed by Pilcher’s “evolution” and is the rest of the world just like the city outside the fence?

Other questions deal with the choices that Pilcher made in terms of his residents. Each one was pre-chosen, for instance he apparently hand-picked not just Ethan Burke, but Kate Hewson as well, why? Considering the “late” arrival of Theresa Burke and Ben, why did Pilcher abduct the two way back in 2014 when he could not know that Ethan would be so adamant about his family that it could be a deal breaker?

On the face of things, it appears that Toby Jones’ character is one half megalomaniac and one half mad scientist. Ethan may believe his eyes, and therefore believe David’s assertion that Wayward Pines is an ark and the only safe place in the world, but Kate’s conversation with Pilcher seems to suggest otherwise. Is this a government test of some sort; she was warned of just that possibility before waking up in the town, or is the world really in some sort of futuristic post-apocalyptic wilderness where mankind has evolved into some sort of animal.

Wayward Pines airs Thursdays on Fox. Matt Dillon, Carla Gugino, Shannyn Sossamon, Toby Jones, Hope Davis and Melissa Leo are working perfectly with the show’s creators to provide some quality mystery/thriller television. This is one of the network’s best shows on offer, miss it you will be missing some quality entertainment.