Oh the irony of that quote.
I really wanted to like this finale, and for a while it seemed like I was enjoying it because it finally delivered what I’d been waiting for all season (abbeys eating humans!). But sadly, the ending left me with a bad taste in my mouth.
First, I have to wonder what was the point of the past couple of episodes if they decided to cram all the abbeys-attacking-humans storyline for the finale? That part of Cycle was certainly riveting, starting with that gorgeously terrifying teaser of thousands of abberations making their way into Wayward Pines leading to a few nifty and startling visuals of bloodthirsty, angry creatures. The show even delivered a couple of creepy scenes, all of which I seriously enjoyed and admired. But was I expecting something more? Absolutely.
The problem with this finale, regardless of whether or not the show is returning for a second season, is that it spent far too much time being an ass-kicking, action-packed thriller that by the time the show was closing its curtains, it decided to deliver an extremely disappointing and cop-out ending. To be honest, it took me a few minutes to understand what that final scene meant, and when it all started to sink in—SPOILER ALERT—I realized how much I hate Ben, the sole survivor of the abbey apocalypse.
Not only has the character been pretty much dull and unlikable since the fifth episode (which was also the show’s strongest installment), but that twist in the end was also too soapy for my taste. Flipping the show over its head is a clever and risky move by all means, but for a show that’s been constantly calling itself a limited mini-series event, I have to call BS on this because Ben’s cliffhanger was a desperate attempt on the writers’ side to get a season 2 renewal. And the problem now is that there is no satisfactory ending for the audience in neither of these two scenarios. I would certain hate for this show to end its story like this, but I would hate it even more to watch a derivative second season with Ben as the lead as he desperately tries to butt heads with the new Pilchers of Wayward Pines, the ill-developed and unimpressive first generation kids. Super lame.
There has been one standout in the past 10 episodes and it’s undoubtedly Melissa Leo’s Pam who has been through quite a few bumps in terms of character development ever since we saw her as the sinister nurse in the pilot. She became one of the few reasons I stuck with this show, but she too had an extremely predictable outcome in the finale. I was sure the writers weren’t about to kill her off, but her clichéd grand entrance in the end where she got to be the one who shot her brother was indeed a cliché. It just goes about to prove how unsurprising and stale the episode was that, even though we might not get a second season (doubtful), no one had the guts to take a risk and actually do something better with this character. Sometimes killing off a good character is poignant and powerful in a season finale because it raises the stakes and shocks the viewers. Why the writers thought that the only way they could do that was by leaving us high and dry is beyond me.
Unfortunately, Wayward Pines has been one inconsistent ride. I can’t possibly praise and recommend the first five or six episodes enough, but everything that transpired after that was sadly a huge letdown. And no amount of hungry abbeys was enough to fix that in the end.
Eerie Bits & Pieces
– I loved every scene that had abbeys eating humans, but thank goodness no one got to Arlene!
– Arlene is the sheriff’s secretary, FYI.
– Creepy: Kate’s dead-silent scene where she hid away from one of the abbeys.
– I got a huge video-game vibe from watching this episode by the way. Maybe it was the old-school weapons they were all carrying around? Anyone else?
– I laughed out loud for at least ten seconds when debris from the elevator explosion smacked Ben on the head. Someone find me a GIF of that scene now!
– Speaking of the explosion, the flashback was almost touching. You know, if Ethan was actually a character we cared for so much.
– Amy doesn’t look a month older in that final scene.
– If season two does happen, it’s probably going to be something like this: Ben and Amy try to find their parents, assuming Amy actually has parents, and do everything in their power to wake them up from suspended animation or whatever they’re calling it.
– I will be haunted by that final scene for a while because it’s both parts confusing and shocking.
– The book ending is slightly different by the way, but mythology-wise it’s all kind of the same crap that the show pulled here.
Whether or not this is really the end of Wayward Pines, I can’t say I was too impressed with the final twist. What started out as an intense, pulse-pounding episode quickly fizzled out in the show’s closing minutes.