WAYWARD PINES: The Town Debates Strategy to its Own Detriment in “Exit Strategy”
By William Mitchell
Fox renewed Wayward Pines for a second series despite ratings on the low side. However, a faithful fan base and a growing social media campaign should see the cult following grow rapidly. The story has been adapted by M. Night Shyamalan and Chad Hodge from Blake Crouch’s trilogy, with season two taking us three years beyond the climatic ending of season one to 4032.
This Orwellian styled story carries on a pace in this week’s instalment. Like all previous episodes it could be introduced by Rod Serling from the Twilight Zone such is the content. Episode four’s opener was immediately watched from behind closed fingers. We all knew there was an Abby waiting at the top of that shaft. However, I bet you jumped just the same! It was good to see a little hope in that an Abby can be killed in close combat.
The appearance of Adam Hessler (Tim Griffin) addied to that hope that survival outside Wayward Pines is possible, although Hessler’s continuous flashbacks would put the bravest of us off in an otherwise dark and oppressive season so far. Adam Hessler’s mention of the Abby being the human race’s replacement opens another layer which will no doubt be explored in coming episodes.
The episode did provide one moment of normalcy, with a first generation corporate meeting complete with C.E.O. and those in attendance politicking for the boss’s attention. CJ Mitchum’s (Djimon Hounsou) father earth figure versus Megan Fisher’s (Hope Davis) mother earth figure proved an interesting dichotomy, with one wanting to feed the populace and the other wanting to increase the populace — both at any cost.
Megan Fisher continues to assert her controlling mother figure presence over the first generation, who are now in control of the town’s population having ”reckoned” many of the insurgent group in the gruesome fashion of the now lamented Dr Pilcher (Toby Jones). Dr Pilcher’s memory is enshrined in everyday life, with plays, photograghs and statues at every turn, notwithstanding the occasional hanging insurgent from a sidewalk street light.
Megan meanwhile continues her drive to ensure all ‘blossoming’ females enter the ‘procreation program’ through manipulation and veiled threat. This brings her into direct conflict with Rebecca and Dr Theo Yedlin (Nimrat Kaur and Jason Patrick).
Adam Hessler’s return has Jason Higgins (Tom Stevens) intrigued for information, as with George Orwell 1984, “He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past”. Adam meets Theresa Burke (Shannyan Sossamon) who crushes any thoughts of reconciliation with a familiar face by blaming him for losing her husband Ethan Burke (Matt Dillon) and her son Ben Burke (Charlie Tahan) who has been cast out to suffer his fate with the Abby’s, for his role in the insurgency.
CJ takes a band of soldiers out beyond the safety of fence to look for areas to grow more crops. Theresa joins the group to try and find her son. Hessler also joins the group despite his fears, in an attempt to ease his guilt. But once outside the fence and in darkness he sets off to track Ben Burke, only to find a body.
The episode ends in true Wayward Pines fashion, with a creepy dark merry-go-round bursting into life. Then, gradually in the darkness we see an Abby…
I have to quickly mention Arlene Moran (Siobhan Fallon Hogan) who throughout season one was the receptionist at the sheriff’s office with the hint of comedic mischief in her eyes. This season, the first we see of Arlene is when she is strapped to an operation table receiving electrotherapy to “keep her keel even.”
It seems she’s developed into a comic cougar, chasing pretty much anything in trousers.
“What happens in Wayward Pines stays in Wayward Pines…”
Wayward Pines continues Wednesdays on FOX.