Long live Wayward Pines? Gawd I hope not…
In the beginning, everything on Wayward Pines had a purpose. Or it seemed to. Or it was crafted well enough that it contributed to a world of (as yet unrevealed) purpose, even if the thing, itself, might never have had a purpose that was, itself, revealed.
Although I’m still really unclear on the car refrigerator.
By the end – by episode six, if we’re being really, truly honest here – we fell into the network short-series death spiral where things feel simultaneously rushed and dragging. I’d accuse the Fox ‘creative’ ‘executives'1 of having no faith in the audience’s attention span or intelligence, but I was lazy enough to not stop watching Wayward Pines each week, so I’ll just let this thought trail off like half of the plotlines.
Damn, reached a conclusion there.
And so did Wayward Pines, sorta, kinda, it was really hard to care. Here’s what actually matters – they might give Wayward Pines a second season! A second… season! Set aside the fact that there may be more source material from which to draw2 – these ten episodes were a textbook example of how not to write a TV series. Or a textbook for that matter.
The problem was absolutely structural – I’ve already complained about interesting things and performances from the early going fading away. I realize, now that I’ve sat through the finale, that nothing slid in to take their place. Sure, there are elements in play over the last hour or so of the series that were brought up an episode or two or three prior – but they were just brought up. They were never established, never really grew into anything. By the time they become useful, they just were.3
I mean, for fuck’s sake WHY WAS THE CRUCIAL BUNKER BENEATH AN ABANDONED SHED THAT PRACTICALLY HAD A SIGN ON IT SAYING ‘LOOK AT ME!’?
The series (yes, it could be season, read the next paragraph for my feelings on that) winds up in a neat place story-wise, and I mean that in the tidy sense of the word, not the cool sense. This was, I realize as I write this, a ten-episode arc of The Twilight Zone and that would have been great if they’d kept it that neat and taunt.
They did not. Fox made such a solid B/B- out of this series that any additional series – gawd help us if that comes to pass – would honestly not be worth tuning in for at all. This is B-level stuff, and it’ll only get worse if stretched out.
On the expectations vs. awkward silence at the payoff matrix, we wound up wondering what’s on Netflix.
- At ‘Fox’. ↵
- Again – haven’t read the books, didn’t know they were a thing, kinda don’t care. ↵
- Case in point – the guards, that elite paramilitary strike force wandering about, that become a key piece in how things can play out in the last episode – would have been nice to get to know them or feel them as a useful tool, a powerful threat, a loose cannon, anything. It’s quite possible none of them spoke a line prior to the finale. ↵