You get one hushed pause of an episode, Wayward Pines. This was it.
One can’t really accuse Wayward Pines of being a fast-paced, action-set-piece sort of production, and I don’t think anyone was even mulling such a charge in the leadup to its premiere. But who knows. The prosecution is a fickle beast sometimes.
Speaking of fickle beasts! No, no – no terrible segues, especially not with the thesis statement just dangling out there like an uncompleted simile. Wayward Pines has – quite to my surprise – continued to hold itself at a consistent level of aesthetic and (begrudging sigh) intrigue. Not a particularly high level, mind you – it’s a step or two up from a Dan Brown novel, but don’t pretend that Dan Brown novels aren’t hard to put down even though they remain less challenging than they think themselves to be.
Wayward Pines achieves this mild triumph by – and I know you’ve heard this a thousand times – showing, not telling. Whether or not we figured out a given part of the mystery to date is irrelevant; bits of mystery – very prettily shot, verrrrry rarely overacted mystery – drip out at a steady pace without any villain speeching or needless pauses to check on whether the audience got it.
The dictates of plot, though, put this week’s episode ‘Choices’ in the unfortunate position of having to world build and set up (what we assume is) the key arc of the last four episodes. Perhaps there was a better way to do this than mostly via pointed expository speeches, but… it was still watchable. To its credit, ‘Choices’ avoided being an entire Q+A episode by letting Matt Dillon’s unconvinced eyes silently ask questions, and letting Carla Gugino and Shannyn Sossamon come at the series’ next point of conflict from opposite directions, but to the same brittle place.
Some of my questions were answered, some were sorta answered, some new ones arose, and the plot for at least the next episode was sketched in. I accept this episode of Wayward Pines, even if I remain skeptical that the pacing of the next four will be effectively measured for what has come before.
Where are we on the expectations vs awkward-silence-at-the-payoff matrix?1
17.2 – Well back from the edge of our seats, but not yet tapping our fingers impatiently.
- No graphic yet. ↵