Good lord, that was jaw-dropping.
The first four episodes have been slowly building up the tension and mystery surrounding Wayward Pines, but I was almost certain that we wouldn’t get any definitive answers until the finale (much like most mystery shows out there). So imagine my surprise when The Truth goes all in, delivering one groundbreaking shock after another, making this feel like a series finale type of episode. I am beyond impressed.
Since I’ve done my best to avoid any spoilers from the books, I was definitely taken aback during Ms. Fisher’s presentation where most of the revelations happened this week. Sure, it’s still debatable whether the “truth” she was telling was, in fact, true or if it’s all part of this wacky town’s conspiracy to mindfuck the kids, but the fact that it was delivered while we simultaneously watch Ethan and Theresa discover some answers on their own makes it all the more plausible. That entire monologue, despite how harrowing and unsettling, was epic all throughout. My eyes were glued to the screen and my jaw dropped as the bombshells kept pouring in. I can’t believe we’re just halfway through the season.
The best thing about this episode was how the truth seemed to connect all three storylines as Ethan, Theresa and most importantly Ben learned more about Wayward Pines. This could have easily been a disastrous reveal, especially with all those aberrations (or “abbeys”) lurking around Ethan, but it was executed perfectly thanks to Hope Davis’ bone-chilling performance during orientation. The way she enlightens us with the fact that—SPOILER ALERT if you haven’t already watched yet—this is not 2014 but rather 4028 and the people of Wayward Pines are the only humans alive on this planet completely flips the show over its head. All this time, I thought the town was keeping the Burkes from leaving; they’ve been actually keeping the aberrations from entering. What a clever twist!
There are still so many questions to ponder about and things not to believe (“kids, you can’t tell your parents because they won’t understand”) but for the time being, we can sit back and enjoy where the show is heading. Where Theresa’s journey slightly lacked in terms of plot development (people locked up in chambers!), Ethan jumping over to the other side of Wayward Pines and stomping across a destroyed civilization was a glorious visual (a la The Maze Runner). The way that entire scene, along with the twist that Dr. Jenkins is actually David Pilcher (aka the scientist/creator of Wayward Pines), connects to Ben listening in to Ms. Fisher’s creepy voice worked so well in a way that most mystery thrillers couldn’t have pulled off. Again, have I said how impressed I am?
After several little clues and hints, I’m glad the show decided to go anti-Lost on us this early on, but the mystery now lies in how it can sustain this level of intrigue for its back half of the season even after putting all of its cards on the table. At least now we can all be rest assured that this whole thing is not a dream and Ethan won’t wake up in the series finale and find everyone dead.
A cleverly plotted, well-executed and (as always) unsettling hour that certainly ups the stakes for the final five episodes. While certainly risky, this game-changing tactic only makes me hooked even more.