Guest Review Wayward Pines

Wayward Pines 1×08 – The Friendliest Place on Earth

“It’s freedom or safety. Not both.”

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Better than last week’s fiasco, but sadly still not good enough.

I don’t know what happened to Wayward Pines since its big reveal a couple of episodes back, but it certainly feels like the show is in a bit of a slump. It’s understandable, obviously, because the show lost the element of intrigue, but there really shouldn’t be scenes of people wondering why they can’t get out if we already know the truth. It drags and, for a second, confused me (could it not be 4028 after all?) but most of all, that part of the show is boring me now.

We don’t know Harold or Alan enough to care so much about their plan to escape, so perhaps it would have been better to put Kate out on the run instead of them because that whole chase scene was underwhelming. The thing is, just like last week, this storyline was good on paper but lacked intensity and intrigue. So when Alan finally made it out on the other side of Wayward Pines, yes it was bloody scary and terrifying to see those aberrations lurk behind him for mere seconds before jumping at him and attacking him to death, but it was also very much expected. And that’s what brought the hour down remarkably.

What made the rest of the episode different and better than last week was the several mini subplots being juggled. For instance, I loved the show messing with our heads when it came to Pam’s genuine intentions, and most of her scenes investigating the other members of the team were incredible to watch as were her scenes with David. This woman has been playing two diverse characters all season, and Melissa Leo should be treasured for her striking performance. It felt so good to finally see her for who she really is: someone always trying to stop her scientist brother from going too far. Everything she did and said here worked on an emotional level because the show invested in this character from the start, and I can’t wait to see what she’s going to do next.

Ethan wasn’t utilized much here (although he certainly looks like he’s enjoying his new post as sheriff) except for a very touching, heart-to-heart conversation between him and Theresa. The use of flashbacks to a time before Wayward Pines was fascinating to watch, and Ethan confessing about the Easter bombings definitely makes this couple’s story more interesting going forward, a couple who should have been the core of the show from the start but were pushed to the sidelines more often to move the plots forward. These kind of emotional beats, along with Kate’s powerful flashbacks, made for some good drama. Still far from the great, fascinating stuff we got accustomed to a few episodes back, but good enough to hope for a great conclusion in the final two episodes.

Also, it looks like those abbeys have finally found a way in. This means war!

Eerie Bits & Pieces

– So, Ben survived the bomb and continued to be boring and lame with Amy.

– Miss Fisher came to the hospital and literally tried turning Ben against his father! Is this woman freaking amazing or what?

– I really loved Kate and David’s flashbacks and how they culminated in a powerful show-off in the present about what Kate really knows about Wayward Pines. Sneaky!

– On that note, can we please let Kate go? I feel like ever since they locked her up, the show started to sink in quality.

– What’s going to happen to that poor Ruby girl? And why do I care so much?

– David putting the innocent security guy Reggie in the tube was creepy (everyone had to be there watching, really?) and sad (it had to be on someone as innocent as him, didn’t it?).

– I am optimistic that the abbeys entering the town will make for good TV next week! Will you be tuning in for the final two episodes of this summer’s biggest show?

Conclusion
A few things slowed it down, but this still ended up being ultimately better than last week’s installment. Let’s hope the show somewhat ups the stakes in the remaining episodes of the season.

Chris Rating
B-

2 comments

  1. What about the driver of the truck who has died of second degree burns while the kids, the closest to the bomb, survived?? Ridiculous.

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