Guest Review Wayward Pines

Wayward Pines 2×01 – Enemy Lines

“Work hard, be happy, enjoy your life in Wayward Pines.”

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Nobody’s favorite mystery thriller is back, and it’s confusing and unentertaining as ever!

Let’s be blunt about this right from the start: this show did not deserve a second season. Last year, Wayward Pines burned through three books worth of plot in less than ten episodes, and any time FOX or the producers began claiming this was a limited summer series, I kept hoping they would end it without any cliffhangers so it wouldn’t come back. And yet, to my dismay, here we are witnessing the show’s undeserved return. And boy was it a mess.

After killing off Matt Dillon’s character Ethan in the season finale, I was almost certain his horrible son Ben would take center-stage this year. What I didn’t expect was a complete reboot of the show, right down to the introduction of a new character Dr. Theo Yedlin (Jason Patric) and his wife Rebecca who find their way into the creepiest town in the world (also: the only surviving one). It’s quite frustrating to watch our new lead go through the exact same phases Ethan went through: waking up disoriented, unsure how he got there and desperately trying to make a run for it. At one point, it even becomes laughable to watch with Theo being transported to the hospital and throwing himself into the middle of the road. I love guessing these things before they happen, so at least it was entertaining in a game-show type of way?

Obviously, this season’s biggest problem is that they’ve stripped the show of its great cast and replaced it with a horrendous one instead. Jason is a terrible Big Bad so far because he looks like a twelve year-old, and – SPOILER ALERT – killing off Kate (Carla Gugino) in the episode’s closing minutes is a huge mistake. Couldn’t she at least kill the disturbingly eerie Megan Fisher (Hope Davis) before slitting her own throat? What a missed opportunity right there. Plus, whoever thought that replacing last year’s MVP nurse Pam (Melissa Leo) with the atrocious new girl must be smoking something. I can already feel the internet writing her death sentence already (she is that terrible).

There are still a few things to enjoy about this show… if you dig really deep. The cinematography is still on-point and the show’s eerie vibe is very much still there. If the writers want to keep viewers invested, though, they must flesh out the characters beyond their stereotypical hero/villain roles. And for the love of God, give us some angry flesh-eating abbies! Otherwise, there’s absolutely no reason for us not to make a run for it as well.

Eerie Bits & Pieces

– Good lord, Ben’s opening voiceover is both awful and definitely the most random thing I’ve seen/heard all year. Is it a recap if he’s telling us things we didn’t even know?

– Terrence Howard shows up in the flashbacks, and his scenes are expectedly creepy. Getting Theo drunk to bring him to Wayward Pines? Sheesh. I almost thought he was going to rape him at one point.

– Wasn’t Theo’s reunion with his wife supposed to be more emotional? Why did neither actor nor I care?

– Already don’t care about Ben and his rebels.

– Nice mentions of Pilcher, the man who started Wayward Pines. And those statues are appropriately vomit-inducing.

– I’m not saying that season one didn’t have plot holes (God no), but the season two premiere was such a drag with even more writing problems. Kate not killing Fisher is a glaring issue that cannot go unnoticed because it’s illogical (except for wanting to keep Hope Davis as a regular, for some reason), and Theo not asking enough questions (does he know what year they’re in?) is distracting as hell. Lazy writing.

– Poor Arlene! She was getting electrocuted with that “horrible new girl” and Theo watching like it’s no big deal.

– Oh look, the reckonings are back.

Conclusion
A messy premiere of a show that feels like a remake of the first season (which shouldn’t have existed in the first place).

Chris Rating
C+

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