Wayward Pines: Season 2 Finale – Oedipus Wrecks (Review)

Wayward Pines

Wayward Pines finishes on “Bedtime Story” with a season finale that follows though with  the Oedipus Rex storyline introduced last week.  Although in essence it could be called Oedipus “wrecks” since Jason is instrumental in the town’s downfall. To be fair, Pilchard’s chosen one was  a culmination of the town father’s misconceptions and disastrous beliefs, who did as he was taught.   The byproduct of incest was also Pilcher’s  fault full stop.

As Jason goes under Theo’s knife, the town prepares for evacuation to the pods. The residents still do not know that more than half of them will not be “leaving” Wayward Pines.  The boy leader dies and Yedlin tells those gathered outside the hospital that Jason is dead.

The doctor  delivers a speech about dictators and moving forward. Theo’s sycophant; Oscar,  realizes that Yedlin  murdered Jason.  He questions his hero and Theo lies. Arlene approaches Theo and puts in her bid to be Rebecca’s replacement.

Ocar later points out that the dead leader’s blood type matches that of Kerry Campbell.  Theo says nothing.  CJ passes over Jason’s choices for who will be “sent forward” and who will die.  People who are important to the Pines’ survival,  nuclear families and the children will all be saved.

Yedlin talks to Mitchel about Jason and  the horticulturalist cuts him short.   Theo goes to  see Kerry. She stands up for Jason and says there have been enough lies.  The doctor then trots out all the clues Kerry needs to realize that she was her son’s lover. The Oedipus connection is made, after a few moments and Kerry vomits in a waste bin.

The good doctor seemingly could not wait to pass on the incestuous information to Campbell.  No matter how hard this show attempts to show Yedlin as a up-front savior of the town, his actions prove otherwise.

At one point, while the town dissolves into riots and full scale panic,  Yedlin records his plans. He will give himself injections of the three most viral diseases. After  the incubation period Theo plans to allow the Abbies to eat him. His plan will help to eradicate the true inheritors of this new Earth. In the end, Yedlin is no better than Pilcher or Higgins.

Despite this projected  act of  self sacrifice, Yedlin pounces the moment Kerry stands up for Higgins. His thinly veiled hints allow Campbell to realize she was her son’s lover.

It destroy’s Kerry.

(One could argue that it also pushed Jason over the edge.  Jason, however, reacted very differently to his mother.   Higgins pulled his gun, twice, and the second time attempted to shoot Kerry. Jason was a damaged product who struck out against everyone and anyone  when his reality or will was threatened.)

The rest of the season finale of Wayward Pines consisted of certain people being put in pods and everyone else being left to face the increasing horde of Abbies’ outside the fence.  Those left behind resort to mindless violence and some, like Frank and Xander;  Rebecca’s husband,  are given last minute reprieves.

Arlene, who was initially to be left behind is given a pod by Theo. Although it is doubtful that she got one that worked properly.  No matter how you slice it, Yedlin is not a “Mr. Humanitarian” sort of guy.  In the end the medico cares only for himself.

Kerry finds Yedlin’s  recording and gives herself the viral  injections.  Theo decides to grab a pod for himself and Campbell goes outside the fence to infect the Abby community.

The series ended rather  ambiguously.  Throughout the episode the Abby build up is shown in intercut sequences. Margaret and one of her entourage screaming at the creatures and occasional glimpses of the growing army of destruction are shown with no pay off.

(Somewhat annoyingly, what with  all the emphasis on procreation and the need for more children, there  are loads of “under 18s.”  A lot more than one would expect, but the show’s makers obviously felt this would be more dramatic…)

A fraction of the Wayward Pines population is sent back to sleep.  Mitchel comes close to not joining his fellow denizens but changes his mind.  The final message, relayed to CJ earlier in the episode,  is that Pilcher got everything wrong.

It will be interesting to see if the show comes back for another season.  Originally slated to be a “one off” the show was brought back because of good viewing figures.  This second season was a let down from the first. Patric is not Matt Dillion, the hero of season one, and it hurt the show.

Wayward Pines should really have stopped while it was ahead.  This meandering re-vist to the verse was nowhere near as addictive as the first season.  Hopefully FOX will now let the residents of the town sleep in peace.

CAST:

Wayward Pines: Walcott Prep – Momma (Review)

WP-S2_209-scn8-SB_0006_hires1

Wayward Pines will reach its season finale next week and this penultimate episode throws up a shocker of a storyline. Last week saw the Abby population building up around the town as the wounded Margaret made her escape. “Walcott Prep” reveals more about Pilcher’s planning of his future leader and his mother.

As the Abby invasion appears immanent,  the backstory of Jason Higgins is brought to the fore.  It turns out the leader of Wayward Pines was second choice. The first Jason, the unborn son of a privileged single mother, died.  The creator of the ark then rushes to find  a replacement with a little urging from CJ.

The second “baby donor” is Kerry Campbell.  Pilcher buys her baby and meets Kerry. Apparently, he is quite taken with the young lady and decides to make her part of the Wayward Pines project.  Kerry wins Pilcher over when she tell him she is a survivor.  Campbell is, in essence, the Mother Mary figure in this nativity scenario.

The Abby population outside the fence is getting bigger and at one point it looks like Margaret may die from her gunshot wound. With little food and  shortages of medication, Jason decides retreat is the best option.

He tells the town’s population, of just over 1000, that they are heading back to the pods. The news is not taken well.  Many have never been in a pod and CJ works to ease everyone’s fears.

Before Jason’s speech, Dr. Yedlin  ensures that Xander (Josh Helman) will not be a problem when he takes over.  Theo clearly plans to remove Pilcher’s puppet as leader and place himself in charge. 

CJ informs Jason that there are not enough pods to rescue all the people in the town.  After initially blaming CJ, Jason asks how many can be saved and Mitchum tells him 571. The leader must now start a vetting process to see who will make it through the Abby invasion.

Higgins orders Theo to begin screening members of the community to see who is fit enough to go into a pod. The doctor immediately knows that there must be a  problem. Jason confirms that only half of the population can be saved.

Theo senses a chance to take over and he wastes no time. He immediately goes on the attack verbally and brings up Kerry’s inability to have children. He then  lies to Jason’s partner and tells her that since she is defective, Higgins will leave her behind to die.

Yedlin has finally made his move to take control of the Pines and he  even, at one point, urges Kerry to kill her partner.  She refuses and goes to see Jason. Meanwhile the leader of Wayward Pines is going through the files and beginning his selection process.

WP-S2_209-scn30-SB_0028_hires1

He pulls Kerry’s file and discovers another secret one on his partner as well. Reading both he makes the shocking discovery that the young woman he chose as a mate is his mother.  It is revealed that Jason picked Kerry while she was still in her cryogenic pod to be his partner. Obviously the pod kept Campbell from aging normally while  Jason grew up.

At the end of the episode, after Jason figures out that he has been sleeping with his mother, he pulls his gun. Earlier in the episode Kerry tells Pilcher that she is a survivor. In her desperate struggle with Jason over the gun, she proves she is also a fighter.

After the gun goes off, the two lie side-by-side, Kerry unaware of who Jason really is, and her  dying son whispers “Walcott Prep…They taught you well.” Outside the town’s walls Margaret recovers from her wound and roars at her followers, it appears the attack is on.

This was an interesting episode.  The storyline brings up Orwell’s Animal Farm, which the microcosm society of Wayward Pines has resembled from the very start, and shows that underneath his despotic tendencies, Higgins is ultimately like his fellow citizens in the town.

For the current population of Wayward Pines, the end is nigh.  It seems that Pilcher’s propensity for hubris caused him to make deadly mistakes  ensuring  his ark’s downfall.  His assumption about the Abbies was clearly wrong, this “aberration” was, in fact, a natural state of evolution. His ark was the anomaly full populated with relics from the past who were ill equipped to live in this new environment.

Apart from the shocking element of Jason sleeping with his “momma” the outlook for all those unwilling denizens of the town are doubly doomed.  If they make it to the pods and go back to sleep, when they awaken Pilcher’s people will still be the anomaly.

The Abby population will continue to grow and presumably they will take over the town. As they are intelligent and can learn, this new version of mankind should  flourish and continue to populate this new world.  When the survivors do wake back up, if they are not slaughtered, they could  well end up in an Abby zoo.

Living artifacts of a time gone by.

The season finale of Wayward Pines airs next week on FOX.  Stop by and see who will actually make it into a pod and whether Yedlin’s  coup was successful. Chances are that Rebecca could step up and take over.

CAST:

Wayward Pines: Pass Judgement – All Panic (Review)

WP-S2_208-scn36-SB_0024_hires1

Wayward Pines saw the last of the season one denizens of the town, bar one, killed off by Margaret last week. The over zealous and procreation preoccupied former headmaster of the academy, Meg Fisher was killed by the Abby she callously studied for the community.  (There is now only Arlene left from the previous batch of citizens. Thank goodness for her presence. She is the only comic relief the show has.)

In “Pass Judgment,” Theo finds Meg’s dead body, slumped back in her wheelchair, and sets off the alarm when he sees that Margaret is gone.  The Abby leader had not yet  escaped the lab in the stronghold and the alarm allows her to get out of the facility.

Before the entire town goes into lockdown mode, Kerry (Kacey Rohl) learns that she cannot have children.  Either because of the earlier Abby attack or something else that the Pines has no way of checking she will never carry a baby full term.  She is devastated by the news. 

Jason is forced to tell the town that Margaret is loose.   Yedlin pushes the leader into brief subservience and it looks like the surgeon could be in line to be the next dictator of Wayward Pines.

The current leader sends out his men to scour the streets for the escaped Abby and calls for unarmed volunteers to help in the search.  In one of those moments that will not make sense later on, Yedlin urges Higgins to arm the helpers. He refuses and Kerry backs him up.

Margaret manages to practically be everywhere at once. In the woods, along a residential street, and down on main street jumping from rooftop to rooftop.  She kills one soldier/cop on his own and uses his bleeding body as a decoy.

The Abby leader is smart and seems to have a photographic memory.  This is not a good thing for the inhabitants of Wayward Pines as she remembers clearly when Pilcher’s troops  shot her family to rag doll ribbons years before.

Mario (Christopher Meyer) leads his little cadre up and down the streets of the town maniacally aiming everywhere while calling out that it is clear. Xander (Josh Helman) tries to do his bit  by handing out guns he kept hidden from Jason’s troops to a couple who want to help.

The couple and Mario’s men meet up on a street where Margaret runs circles around the group.  The encounter between Mario and the couple ends badly. The man is shot dead and Mario is badly wounded. Theo arrives and calms the situation down and arranges for Mario to be sent to the hospital.

Adam Hassler (Tim Griffin) agrees to help Yedlin search for Margaret while Rebecca finds old maps of the town and works out where the Abby leader is trying to go. The Abby runs into Rebecca and the creature senses that Rebecca is pregnant.  Margaret raises  one  hand  to attack Rebecca and as she falters, Xander arrives and shoots  the Abby in the arm. 

Margaret eventually finds the drain she wants. As she is about to crawl through Hassler arrives and the two freeze, looking at each other. He  nods consent and Margaret crawls into the pipe. 

After a moment, Hassler puts his rifle down and crawls in after her.

Higgins arrives at the pipe and they find Adam’s gun.  The group can hear the screams of the Abbies and it sounds like they are coming through the escape route.   Higgins orders three grenades thrown into the pipe.

Rebecca is pregnant with Xander’s baby and the couple talk about Theo. Kerry is shown the  room that Jason has set aside for their  own personal survival. She tells him that she cannot have children.

Hassler crawls outside the fence, through the pipe, and Margaret stops the male Abbies attacking him. The leader joins two other Abbies and they soothe their wounded leader as Hassler walks away.

While the memory flashes of Margaret showed how the leader thought and what she remembered this Abby-hunt was a bit of a let down.  The entire population panicking over one escaped Abby was rather funny. Everyone running around  willy nilly  were told to stay at home and to lock themselves behind their doors.

Yedlin, in a reversal from his earlier conversation with Jason, tells Xander off for giving guns to civilians. Of course this comes after the shootout between Mario and the couple in the street.

Hopefully the show’s makers will not kill off  Arlene  (Siobhan Fallon Hogan) , who so bravely offered up her (not) neighbor-spying  binoculars, and allow her to stay. She is really is  the only funny thing about the show. 

WP-S2_208-scn15-SB_0003_hires1
Rochelle Okoye as Margaret

Although,  this episode was fairly amusing with its widespread panic at one Abby running about  inside the fence.  There are two episodes left of Wayward Pines and with that knowing look from Margaret and those thousands of red dots outside the fence, it is looking like the Abbies may run over the town after all.

Wayward Pines airs Wednesdays on FOX. Tune in and see if the town’s inhabitants  survive or if the Abbies take over.

CAST:

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

WP-S2_scn47_0027_hires1

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.