{TB Talks TV} Wayward Pines Review: “The Friendliest Place on Earth”

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wayward-pines-11Tweetable Takeaway: There’s a hole in the wall where the “Abbies” soon will crawl on #WaywardPines.

Airtime: Thursdays on FOX 9/8 central.

By: Jeff Iblings, Contributor

We’re 8 hours into and it’s lost all of its steam. I’m not sure about you, but I’m at the point where I don’t give a shit what happens anymore. Like a lot of things Shyamalan touches as of late, it’s all show, not a lot of substance, and a big let down in the end. Granted there’s still 2 hours of programming left for the show to redeem itself, but it’s such a long shot that it would be something of a miracle for Wayward Pines to pull it off. I myself don’t see it happening.

What started out as an intriguing romp of a lost itself midway through. If we could’ve taken our time with Ethan, really got to know the town, got to know Ethan’s character, and watched him build up to an escape attempt and a big crazy revelation, that would have been one thing. But the showrunner and passed up the chance for a rich detailed show with strong and memorable characters, for a quick and fast paced show full of cardboard cutout personalities in a race to the finish line. Sadly the race to the finale has slowed to a crawl in the last couple of episodes. The problem is the slower pace doesn’t enrich the characters. It seems like the show is out of ideas and trying to stretch itself to the full 10 episodes.

You can say I’m being mean, or overly harsh on the show, but you have to remember that I championed the hell out of the pilot. Sure it lifted from Twin Peaks, but in a fun way. When something collapses this hard, it has to be recognized. In a world where there are so many great television options competing for your time, it’s hard to keep giving an hour of your life up every week to a show that doesn’t deserve the wasted grains of sand in your hour glass. Ok, you get it. I think my feelings are clear on this subject, so I’ll just slip into recapping some of the (yawn).

In the aftermath of the explosion, Pam and Pilcher pull out all stops to save Amy and Ben’s lives. The children are the future of both Wayward Pines, and humanity. The problem for Ethan is that half of the splinter group is still out running amok somewhere in Wayward Pines, but yet somehow neither he nor Pilcher’s people have any idea where they are. I find this extremely implausible. There are cameras and listening devices everywhere, but somehow there aren’t any in the woods where these people are hiding? How convenient is that? Pilcher is such a huge control freak and you’re trying to tell me he wouldn’t have surveillance in place in the woods or near the walls where it would make the most sense?

Now that the splinter group has blown up a bomb, Pilcher grows increasingly paranoid. First he tries to cover up the fact it was a bomb with misinformation, and then throws a town fair to distract people. Ethan blows a hole in his plans when he explains to the townspeople that it was in fact a bomb, there are dangerous people on the loose, and sends people home and shuts down the fair. Pilcher turns on both Pam and his security team because he believes someone on the inside is helping Kate’s splinter group. He makes an example of one of the surveillance team members and re-cryogenically freezes him in front of everyone.

Theresa and Mrs. Fischer finally get into it about the subversive way Fischer tries to bend the minds and the wills of the town’s children against their parents. It’s too late though, since she’s already planted a seed in Ben’s mind that the explosion was all Ethan’s fault and could have been prevented if he hadn’t let Kate’s husband go free. All of it plays strangely with Ethan, since it reflects a fuck up he made on the outside as an agent in the Easter Bombings. Is it all just an experiment on Ethan by the government to see if he’d make the same mistakes again? I guess we’ll know in 2 weeks.

The show climaxes with the splinter group stealing a dump truck and ramming it through the fence and out onto the other side. They feel free for about 5 seconds before the monsters devour them.

More thoughts:

  • If this all turns out to be a psychological experiment on Ethan I may break something. It’s the crappy “It was all a dream” ending that elicits groans of frustration and is usually a big narrative cop out. It’s the similarity to the Easter Bombings bit that makes me think this may be the case.
  • Now that there’s a hole in the wall, I’m guessing the “abbies” will be feasting on human for the next two episodes. I almost guarantee you we’ll find out Pilcher created the aberration monsters, and that they will probably kill him in what the will taut as poetic justice.
  • Do yourself a favor and watch Mr. Robot instead, now that’s a hell of a series.

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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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