Apparently a *book* somewhere has answers, but I’m a *television* critic!
I, like many viewers I suspect, was blythely watching Wayward Pines as it dallied from something akin to The Prisoner over to X-Files-esque-ness through to the decidedly sci-fi-ish additions at the very end of episode 4. Then episode 5 – brazenly entitled ‘The Truth’ – declared the sci-fi part to be, well, the truth and began to explain (away) the mystery of the series’ first half.
This is an interesting turn. Either the main plot twist has been revealed, in which case I’m not sure what we’re in for with five more episodes to go; or it’s all a big fakeout and there is another layer beneath this layer, perhaps with a sub-layer enticingly wrapped beneath that. There might be no stopping the layers!
Layers all the way down, as it were.
I won’t hazard a guess as to which it might be. Wayward Pines the series is based on a series of books called Pines, Wayward, and The Last Town, and I only know that because I just googled it. The tone of a recent Q+A between the show’s producer and a seemingly-has-read-the-book interviewer suggests we are running along path A, henceforth at the mercy of the book’s plot.1 So let’s go with that, at least for the moment – ‘The Truth’ gave us the truth.
Here’s my bigger takeaway from that interview: the producer noted that the books are so well written that they plug every plot hole you might think is there. Surely I can’t be the only contrarian watching television today whose immediate thought was ‘Challenge accepted!’. So. Halfway done with Wayward Pines here are a few of my belated2 musings as to what the hell is going on in Wayward Pines:
(This all presumes some knowledge of the series through episode 5, and mildly spoils stuff, so consider watching before reading. Which… that should be the motto of our site!)
First, is this a puzzle? Are we (were we) supposed to be actively engaged in figuring out something about what’s going on? My guess is not… really? since this is a Shyamalan joint. It’s honestly been more fun to be carried along by the weirdness and not worry much about finding out the truth ourselves.
Second, continuing mystery or not – is this going anywhere? My hope is yes, but I have learned the foolishness of hope vis a vis Fox. The longer it goes the more important it is to have some sort of payoff. The expectations vs awkward-silence-at-the-payoff matrix will likely be the framing device for future posts. Maybe I’ll make a clever graphic.
More specific to what we’ve seen onscreen, here are holes just waiting to be plugged:
– Why is the secret storage space for all the trapped-in-time vehicles a refrigeration unit? That’s not a good way to keep mechanical things intact.
– Why is everything trapped-in-time? Won’t the new arrivals be from various points in the 21st century? And wouldn’t the project benefit from the the best technology available in, say, 2000? 2015?
– Why is the nurse so creepy?
– Why is the head teacher a hypnotherapist?
– We saw some contemporary-set scenes, didn’t we, back in the first episode or three? Are we to really believe his fellow agent ‘set them up’ to live an awesome future life? Or will said agent also be appearing soon?
– Let’s assume that they really can’t tell the adults what’s going on because Reasons. Why is the only method of keeping them all in line and in service of the First Generation a creepy semi-facistic police state with torture and public executions?
– Speaking of the adults, why were a single mother with a background in waitressing and a middle-aged bus driver from New Jersey among those selected?
– How many adults can get clued in to what’s really happening before the Reasons become even more of a laugh than now?
– Why must everyone come in through some sort of car accident? (Props to the show that this one at least was also asked by a character.)
– These Abberations running about in the hills – the art directors do know they just borrowed The Time Machine‘s Morlocks, right?
We’ll see which, if any, of these are resolved in the coming weeks. C’mon show – impress me with your hole plugging.