Warning: Spoiler Alert
A serious car accident finds Ethan Burke (Matt Dillon) laid up in a hospital bed. A curiously empty hospital, with one nurse and next to nothing else that resembles a realistically functioning hospital. The nurse is pleasant enough but has no intention of agreeing to his requests (i.e. phone, clothes, etc) and definitely not in favor of letting him leave. Pam (the nurse) claims his personal effects are at the sheriff’s office. Also that the sheriff’s office called his emergency contacts. Both of which I’m sure are not true.
Ethan and his partner are out searching for a couple missing Secret Service agents thought to have gone missing in this part of the country. One of those agents is Kate Hewson (played by Carla Gugino), who apparently was a former flame of Ethan’s.
At the Seattle field office, Ethan’s colleagues have no idea what happened. Two agents walk down a hall. One is ready to send resources to find out what happened. The other is glad to spin theories that point to doing nothing. The apathetic agent insists on being the one to call the families.
A few hours after the first visit from Nurse Pam with no doctor to follow has Ethan fed up. He rips out his I.V.’s and puts the suit on he arrived in. He starts to stroll out of the hospital when Nurse Pam appears. No one else. Not a single soul in the hospital except Ethan and Nurse Pam. He thanks her for her concern but insists on leaving.
Ethan strolls into a local bar on a main street that looks straight out of any Mountain Town, U.S.A. He meets Beverly (Juliette Lewis) who not only gives him a phone to use but also food with the promise to pay when he finds his wallet. Beverly seems friendly, but there is a hesitation behind her eyes. Beverly scribbles something on a hand ticket. It was not the cost of the burger, it was her address. Ethan turns the paper over and it reads “There are no crickets in Wayward Pines”.
Outside the bar, Ethan stops by a shrub where he hears the sound of crickets. Inside the shrub is a small speaker. Later in his shabby hotel room, the desk manager knocks on his door. The result of that conversation ends with the manager politely asking Ethan to ‘evacuate’ the room.
Ethan follows the address Beverly gave him and it leads to a small house that looks like it’s been condemned for decades. Inside he finds a body of a man wrists and ankles tied to the bedpost. This man is the other agent he was sent to find.
After than dead-end, Ethan makes his way to the Sheriff’s office. There is one secretary annoyed to have to do anything. Sheriff Pope is sitting at his desk doing literally nothing except eating an ice cream cone. Also, annoyed to have to do anything. Ethan mentions the decomposing body which peaks the Sheriff’s interest. Ethan begins to tell him the story of Beverly and the street address. She didn’t give a phone number because the Sheriff is supposed to have his phone. An idea that the Sheriff finds humorous. Ethan offers to walk the Sheriff over to the house at 604 First Avenue, but the Sheriff makes it very clear that he has no interest in being accompanied by Ethan.
In Seattle, the agents vehicle has been returned and is currently being examined. When Agent Hassler asks about the GPS module, the techs inform him that they can’t find the GPS module. Or anything thing else standard on the vehicle that would be helpful in locating Agent Burke.
Ethan tries making his phone calls. Everything goes to voice mail. Then he calls the Seattle field office. There is an answer. The voice on the line sounds suspiciously like Nurse Pam claiming to be Marcy. Ethan gets short with her and that does not help the situation.
Ethan goes back to the bar from the night before hoping to find Beverly. Sitting in the empty bar is a redheaded guy in his 30’s. He claims that bar has two employees. And both of them are men. The man plays up the notion that maybe Ethan had more to drink last night than he should have. Ethan goes into conspiracy theory mode, calling for Beverly as if she’s behind a mirror. After grabbing the man then letting go, the bar employee knocks Ethan out with a shot to the back of the head. Once down, he grabs a walkie-talkie and says:
Bartender: 10-1628 is not doing well.
Ethan has a flashback dream to the day or two before leaving for Idaho. He and his wife are celebrating his teenaged son’s birthday in a park. He mentions that he has to leave town for a few days, then wakes up. This time shackled to the gurney in the creepy one nurse hospital. This time instead of Nurse Pam, he is welcomed by Dr. Jenkins (played by Toby Jones). Dr. Jenkins tells Ethan (truthfully or not) that he has bleeding on his brain and that is the catalyst for his dissociative mental condition. All of Jenkins’ answers are not acceptable to Ethan. He gets louder and more insistent. Leading to Nurse Pam administering a sedative.
Nurse Pam wheels him towards a surgery room then walks away. Then, ironically, Beverly shows up in a black hood wheeling him in the other direction towards an elevator. They get some distance between themselves and Pam. Eventually they both duck into separate doors in a hallway. Pam notices the wetness from Beverly’s boot in the hallway. Believing Ethan is on the other side of the door. Ethan charges out from the other door knocking Pam into the ‘break glass in case of emergency’ as he and Beverly escape.
Beverly gets Ethan into what looks like another condemned squatter house. Beverly does work at the bar, but ‘they’ are trying to break his mind. Beverly tells him as he slips into a drug induced sleep that she came to outfit the schools with Y2K protection software. She was hit just like Ethan and told she had a head injury and memory loss. Then she says, “next week will be my anniversary, I will have been in Wayward Pines for a whole year”. She thinks its only 2000. Ethan says as he slips away that its 2014.
Hessler meets with Ethan’s wife and informs her that while there is no detail he can disclose at this time, it appears that Ethan may not have even been in the car. She asks him bluntly if Ethan is with ‘her’, presumably referencing Kate Hewson. She gets no real answer but doesn’t show any ill will towards Hessler either.
Ethan wakes up the next day and explores Main St again. Eventually he finds a green space between businesses and find a woman enjoying the company of others that looks like Agent Hewson, but with a complete makeover. Ethan flashes back to one of their intimate moments. Then he follows her home. He knocks on the door and a man answers. Hewson comes to the door and acts as if she’s never met him before. The ‘husband’ leaves her to her visitor. She insists they sit on the front steps.
Ethan is all but fed up with the situation, but then Kate begins speaking in a manner that keeps his attention. Making eye contact, “They’re watching us. They’re listening.” He asks how long she’s lived here, and she says 12 years. Which is odd considering Ethan believes they were working together five weeks ago. She has no answers. Then she goes all Stepford Wives and heads back into the house. Ethan asks if he’s having a relapse from a previous psychological episode. She discreetly nods in the negative.
In Seattle, Dr. Jenkins meets with Hessler. Jenkins refers to Hessler by his first name, insinuating a familiarity.
Jenkins: Adam, you wanted to see me?
Hessler: If there’s time, I want to call it off.
Jenkins: Its done Adam. It’s all been taken care of. Nothing for you to worry about.
Ethan quickly hot wires a car belonging to one of the residents. Ethan races towards an exit recklessly. Every path seems to lead him back into town. Eventually, he gets back out on the outskirts country roads and parks the car. He gets out and starts climbing up the mountainside. Ultimately finding a Jurassic Park style fence around the entire perimeter. Even the signs say, “at the risk of death” and “return to Wayward Pines”. He journeys back down. The moment he gets in the car, a cop car behind him turns on his lights. Its Sheriff Pope.
Sheriff: You didn’t make it too far did you?
Ethan: How do I get out of here?
Sheriff: You don’t.