Tweetable Takeaway: The arrival of Ethan’s family on #WaywardPines further complicates his escape plans.
Airtime: Thursdays on FOX 9/8 central.
By: Jeff Iblings, Contributor
Even though I thought the second episode was a mess, WAYWARD PINES appears to get back on track with this week’s installment, as Ethan finds his situation even more personal from here on out.
I gave last week’s episode a lot of flak, and I think it deserved it. I’m not sure how the trilogy of books play out, but it felt like the second episode may have been the end of the first book. Things progressed far too fast, and though I still think exploration of the town is being underutilized, the show at least found itself on steady ground this week.
You’ll notice the show kills off characters almost faster than we can get to know them. Beverly was a great character, somewhat damaged and broken, very paranoid, but there was a depth to her. I wanted to see her and Ethan put their heads together and figure a way out, but Sheriff Pope put the kibosh on that. Her public execution, or “reckoning” as Kate will later call it, served as a reminder to the citizens of Wayward Pines to either get in line or die.
Ethan witnesses the whole thing from a window across the street, where I believe he’s killed a man. The only thing he can do at this point is run, and we find him in the woods looking for a way out. Clearly that’s not going to happen, so instead he doubles back to Kate’s to confront her. She admits she had nothing to do with turning Beverly in even though Pope said she did, but she didn’t do anything to stop it either, so there’s blood on her hands and conscious. Before Ethan leaves she tells him, “You’ll never make it out of here alive.”
The next place Ethan heads to is the house where he found Evan’s body. Pope left Beverly strung up from the rafters, so Ethan lays her down and covers her body. He checks out her house, but finds it already completely emptied in preparation for a new family’s arrival. I’m not going to lie, I had a sneaking suspicion it would be Ethan’s family after we saw a brief glimpse of his wife and son trying to track him down. The realtor catches him, but only warns Ethan not to “say a word” and points to listening devices in the ceiling.
For most of the show, I’ve thought Ethan’s wife and son have been pretty useless in the story. The idea of Theresa driving to Idaho to try and find Ethan seems ludicrous, and paired with her and her son Ben’s wooden acting, they’re almost unbearable to watch. It’s only after a scene where Sheriff Pope pulls her over and tampers with her car, where their roles in the story come into focus. In order to keep Ethan pacified, whomever’s in charge has arranged for them to be brought to Wayward Pines to live with Ethan. Ethan doesn’t know this yet since he’s too busy trying to escape.
The opportunity presents itself in the form of a food delivery truck he spots with Wyoming plates on it. He sneaks inside hoping for a ride out of the town, and to freedom. The ride ends inside of a giant complex, possibly inside the walls that surround the town. It stretches as far as the eye can see, and inside he finds a lot of cars, including his wife’s. Inside her car is his son’s smashed up guitar and a bag with her personal effects. The lights go out, and he’s discovered by Sheriff Pope. They fight, but Pope sticks him with a syringe full of sedative. Ethan awakes to a voice on the other end of the telephone which lets him know his family has been discharged and sent home. But what home?
Beverly’s old place of course! Now it’s the Burke’s home. Ethan confronts the Sheriff at his office, threatens to kill him, and just as their confrontation escalates the phone in the office rings and the real person in charge of Wayward Pines instructs Sheriff Pope to back down. Now Ethan knows the Sheriff isn’t in charge and the Sheriff is pissed off at the special treatment Ethan receives and having his authority questioned.
The fact his family is now trapped with him adds another layer of complication to Ethan’s escape plans. Now he has to keep them protected while also trying to find a way out of this prison town. It’s a great strategic move by whomever’s in charge, since it now pits his desire for freedom with the need to keep his family safe. Anything he does to escape may be met with retaliation against his own family now.
What further complicates things is his former sexual relationship with Kate, and the fact his wife’s forgiveness is fragile. She doesn’t want to hear Kate’s name spoken, or see her, so things are going to get really interesting. When Theresa does find out Kate is in town and Ethan’s been talking to her, she tries to walk out of town and leave Wayward Pines with her son. She doesn’t get very far before Sheriff Pope catches up with her.
He’s got a score to settle, and he takes it out on Ethan’s son and wife. It looks like he’s about to do something terrible to Theresa when he forces Ben into his police cruiser. Luckily Ethan shows up just in time. This is a fight Pope and Ethan have been gearing for all season, but just as Pope gets the upper hand and is about to shoot Ethan, Ben smashes the truck into him. Ethan grabs his gun, and Pope tells him, “You think you want to know the truth, but you don’t. It’s worse than anything you can even imagine.” It’s the last thing he’ll ever say.
- I still don’t like Ethan’s wife and son, but I appreciate the obstacle they represent now. His freedom will be held back by his desire for their safety.
- Since Ethan’s wife hates Kate, will she be able to collaborate with Ethan on an escape? Will Theresa be able to forgive them both long enough to get the hell out of Wayward Pines?
- Now that Sheriff Pope is dead, will he be replaced ala Number 2 in The Prisoner? Will a revolving group of people take over running the town?
- What the hell was the creature that pulled Pope’s body into the open garage door in the wall? It sounds like several creatures are in there, if so, are they the last line of protection to keep people from escaping?
- I’m still not won over by this show, but it’s certainly better than last week. Time will tell if this is a fun show, or an Under the Dome style mess.
For six months out of the year Jeff is holed up in his home with nothing to do but shovel snow, watch television, write, and dream of warmer climates. Twitter: @OfSoundnVision
Keep up with all of Jeff’s Wayward Pines reviews here.
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