Warning: Spoiler Alert
If you thought you were confused after the first episode of the FOX Network’s miniseries “Wayward Pines,” you’re likely feeling just as lost after chapter two. Just like the story’s protagonist Ethan Burke, we’re still figuring out the lay of the land in Wayward Pines, Idaho, a seemingly sinister town, where they enforce the rules quite strictly. The veneer that they present to the world, cracks like an eggshell under close inspection. The town that the Chamber Of Commerce promotes as a paradise, is far from idyllic, its citizens terrified to do anything that would get them into trouble.
There have been many comparisons between this series and “Twin Peaks,” created by David Lynch and Mark Frost in the early nineties, as well as with “Lost.” While Wayward Pines contains elements of both shows, it also harkens back to an ITV series in the late sixties, entitled “The Prisoner.” Patrick McGoohan, portrayed a British Intelligence Agent, that angrily resigned his position and prepared for a new life. As he was packing his clothes in his apartment, he became overcome by gas and passed out. When he awoke, he found himself in a seaside resort community, referred to only as The Village. People were referred to by numbers rather than names and just like in Wayward Pines, escape seemed impossible.
The Prisoner had the same way of blurring fantasy with reality, that we’ve witnessed so far in this series. We’re aware of the fragile mental state of Ethan, that he experienced a series of hallucinations on his job as a Secret Service Agent. He’d been seeing a psychiatrist from the Bureau, before heading to Boise to try to find fellow agents Bill Evans and Kate Hewson and that was before he got into a head-on collision with a sixteen-wheeled truck.
This installment opens up seconds after last week’s episode, as Sheriff Pope has Burke stand up against a truck as he frisks him. Burke asks the sheriff to move his gun and he strikes him with it, sending Ethan sprawling to the ground. He tells Pope he just struck a Federal Agent and the sheriff replies that Burke’s grandmother’s Mary Poppins. He says Ethan has no ID or badge and the people he spoke with in the Seattle Secret Service office, are unaware of him.
Pope take Burke back to town and tells him to stay in his hotel room. He’s up all night, lying in bed with his eyes open when the alarm clock rings. He heads to the front desk and when nobody’s there he goes behind the counter and tries to access the computer. The hotel manager Tim Bell, informs him they don’t have a working computer at the hotel. When Ethan asks for a newspaper, Bell says the Wayward Pines Chronicle hasn’t printed an issue in a couple of weeks.
He heads to the old house that Bill Evans’ body’s in, chained to a bed. He breaks in through the back, then has to cover his mouth to avoid gagging from the smell of the decomposing corpse. He fights off the flies to check out something in Evans’ boot, but he hides it when Pope walks in with a shotgun. Ethan asks when will forensics arrive and Pope tells him they’re coming from Boise and they’ll arrive in a few hours. He tells Burke to go back to the hotel and leave Evans’ body to the professionals.
Ethan goes to visit Beverly at the bar, to find out more information on how Evans got killed. She turns up the music and tells him to dance with her, she then whispers in his ear that the barstools have microphones underneath them. She tells him they had planned to escape together, but then he wigged out and went on his own. She said Bill had a plan, that he wrote in a notebook. Ethan says he saw it and will get it later that day.
Burke leaves the bar and heads to the local coffee shop, where he first tries to call his wife Theresa, but gets her voicemail once again. He then calls the Seattle office of the Secret Service and asks to speak to Adam Hassler and he’s told he’s not available. He asks the woman on the other end if she’s Marcy and she responds she is and she says she delivered his last message to Mr. Hassler. He then asks her if she’s sitting at the reception desk on the seventh floor of the Secret Service building and she says she is indeed. Burke tells her there is no reception desk on the seventh floor, then asks who she is and she hangs up.
Ruby the barista tells Burke his coffee’s ready, he pulls the 20 dollar bill that Beverly just gave to him and starts inspecting it. Ruby takes the bill from his hand and says he gives that to her and she gives him his coffee, plus his change. Ethan says she must know just about everybody in town and Ruby says that she knows everything about them as well.
He asks her where he can find Kate Hewson and Rudy looks a little scared and almost as if she’s going to cry. She says she doesn’t know who she is, how could that be possible? At that point I thought to myself, that she seemed almost computer-like, perplexed that it can’t obtain a certain piece of data. Burke then calls her by her “married name,” Kate Balinger and she smiles again. She says she’s been coming in for years and she’s very nice, she works over at the toy shop.
Ethan walks to the store and sees Kate through the window and he flashes back to their affair. He then enters the store and Kate asks what she owes this pleasure to? He asks Kate what happened to Bill and she responds that Bill’s wife’s taking his death badly, she’s barely left the house since he died. He says that Bill wasn’t married and she says that she’s great with the garden, that she lives in the light brown house with the pink flowers out front.
Harold Balinger comes out of the backroom and Kate formally introduces them to each other. Balinger says he’d love to chat, but they’re up against a big order they have to fill and says so-long. He heads back to his workshop and she says she needs to go help him. Burke puts some wooden ducks on the counter and says he wants to buy them, he gives her a ten and she gives him back some bills in his change. He says that all the money in the town’s counterfeit, that the seal on the bill’s look like high-school kids made them.
He’s about to leave the store when he sees an official notice from the town of Wayward Pines:
Do Not Try To Leave.
Do Not Talk About The Past.
Do Not Discuss Your Life Before.
Always Answer The Phone If It Rings.
Work Hard And Be Happy
And Enjoy Your Life In Wayward Pines.
Burke heads to the house that Kate described, he rings the bell and a blonde-haired woman answers the door. He asks if she’s Mrs. Evans and when she confirms that she is, he introduces himself and says he worked with her husband in the Secret Service. She looks at him as if he was insane and says that Bill cut lawns for a living, he asks her how long they were married for and she says a year. A baby starts to cry and she says she has to excuse herself, Burke says he’s trying to figure out how Bill got killed and she says he killed himself in front of her, then shuts the door on Ethan.
He heads to Pope’s office and his secretary Arlene, once again gives Burke a hard time. Pope comes out to Arlene’s desk with another ice-cream cone. Pope says he heard that Ethan went to see the grieving widow Patricia Evans, Burke responds that she told him that Bill killed himself. Pope says that’s up to the coroner to determine, that Evans’ corpse is at the morgue and he tells Burke to stay away from the morgue.
Theresa Burke calls Adam Hassler at the Secret Service office and tells him her life’s at a standstill while they try to determine what happened to her husband. She says with the Bureau keeping the case under wraps, the public can’t aide in the search for Ethan. She asks Hassler if her husband’s with Kate Hewson and Hassler tells her definitively no. She then asks if he went to Boise and Hassler remains silent.
Burke of course heads to the morgue, where he finds Evans’ corpse in one of the compartments they store dead bodies in. He then sees Evans’ clothes on a metal table and he finds the notebook, which he doesn’t find suspicious in the least. It never occurred to Burke, that a town like Wayward Pines, would have fallen apart long before, if they were that sloppy. He’s about to leave when he runs into Nurse Pam, who asks if he’s back for his operation. She then asks if he’s spoken to his wife, then says she bets he’s going to bang her hard when he gets home.
He walks away in silence then sees two orderlies pushing gurneys, one with his wife Theresa strapped to it, the other one holding his son Ben. He calls their names and runs after them but they vanish into thin air. He searches all the rooms and he runs into Dr. Jenkins, portrayed by Toby Jones. Jones has made a career of playing strange little men, including author Truman Capote in Infamous and Dr. Armin Zola in the Captain America movies. Jenkins belongs near the top of his creepy character list.
The doctor appears truly relieved to see Burke, who tells him he just saw his wife and son wheeled in on two gurneys. Jenkins tells him that there are no patients in the hospital now, Ethan says he knows he saw his wife and son and Jenkins says he believes he saw them. He tells Burke that he’s suffering from internal bleeding in his skull and without surgery, the hallucinations will get more frequent and intense. Ethan asks to see his chart and Jenkins says he’ll get it right away.
Nurse Pam arrives at that moment and Jenkins instructs her to get Burke’s chart and prep for surgery, however what ever trust Ethan had in Jenkins, vanished when the nurse walked in. He pushes his way past the both of them, while Jenkins calls out after him that he really needs the surgery.
He meets Beverly in this cement structure, which she says she believes blocks the town from tracking them. She tells he needs to get rid of his micro-chip, which they put in his shin. She tries cutting it out, but she’s all thumbs and he ends up extracting it himself. She tells him to keep it in his back pocket, until they’re ready to escape. He asks exactly how did Evans get killed and Beverly tells him that Pope slit his neck in front of the whole town.
He then asks her if she told him she arrived in 1999 and had been there for just a year and she confirms she told him that. He tells her he just arrived from the year 2014. He asks her whose the President and she responds Clinton. He asks her if she’s ever heard of Obama, or 9/11 and she stands there blank-faced. He then asks her when she was born and she says 1960, he tells her she looks great for being 54-years-old. We’re aware there’s some fluctuation in time in Wayward Pines, Kate told Burke in the first episode that they hadn’t seen each other in 12-years, while Ethan told her they saw each other five weeks before. Does the town speed up time for some, while slowing it to a crawl for others?
They look at a map that was in with the rest of the papers he found with Evans’ clothes. They decide they’ll escape the following evening. As Ethan walks Beverly home, then bump into Harold and Kate Balinger and Kate invites them over for dinner the following evening and they accept. They part ways and Beverly tells Ethan that Kate intimidates her and she really doesn’t want to have dinner with them. Burke however says it will fit into their plan.
Theresa Burke’s at home with another woman on her couch as they watch TV, suddenly Theresa says she’s going to Boise. She says Ethan’s either dead or he’s abandoned his family and if it’s the latter, she’ll kill him herself. The other woman asks if she can help and Theresa says she can watch Ben, however he insists on accompanying his mother to search for his dad.
Arlene and Nurse Pam are at the bar complaining about Ethan Burke, when Arlene says that Beverly and Burke seem to be spending lots of time together. Pam asks if Beverly’s finally ready to settle down with one guy and the bartender says he’s married and he misses his wife terribly. Arlene then says so you’ve talked with him, she responds that’s her job as a bartender to talk to the customers. Pam asks if she’s talked about the past and Beverly says not ever.
Burke follows the map to a tree, then climbs it and finds a knapsack hidden in the branches. He hears gun fire and looks about 500-yards away to see Pope hunting with his back turned to Ethan, Burke just shakes his head and climbs down from the tree.
He hides the knapsack in the graveyard, behind one of the unmarked headstones. He then goes to pick up Beverly and tells her she has a nice house, she says she hopes she never sees it again. She then tells Ethan she’s terrified going to Kate and Harold’s for dinner, she says she truly doesn’t trust Kate. Ethan says he doesn’t trust her either, but he’s planned everything out. When they finish dinner, he’ll use their bathroom and check for microphones, when he’s sure the room’s clear, he’ll come back to the table and a few minutes later she’ll go in. When she’s in there she’s to hide her microchip somewhere they won’t find it. Then they’ll leave and head to the cemetery to pick up the knapsack.
They’re having dinner and talking about Harold’s woodcarving. Kate says that rocking-horses are his specialty and at that point, Ethan excuse himself to use the bathroom. He searches the room thoroughly, finding no microphones, then heads back to the table. Just before he returns, Beverly starts nervously talking and says she has a daughter in Portland, that has a rocking-horse.
Ethan sits down and Kate says she didn’t realize Beverly had a daughter and asks what’s her name. Beverly just sits there and then excuses herself and runs to the bathroom. She hides her microchip, but she looks like she’s ready to jump out of her skin. She leaves the bathroom, then runs from the house. Burke goes to check on her and comes back saying she’s outside, she has a bad upset stomach and he’s going to walk her home. Harold and Kate say goodnight and as soon as Ethan leaves he asks if Kate thinks they’re going to run and she replies absolutely.
Burke catches up to her and asks her what happened, she says she told them she has a daughter, she’s a terrible liar and they saw right through her. She says she has a four-year-old daughter living with her mother, she says to Ethan if she doesn’t make it out she has to contact them. Burke tells her not to talk like that.
Suddenly every phone in every home in the town starts ringing, she says that’s it the same thing happened just before they caught and killed Evans. He tells her to head for the cemetery and he’ll play the decoy, he says get home to your daughter. In an instant every door starts to open and all the residents give chase, Ethan waits until they spot him, then he takes off.
Beverly doesn’t get far until she gets caught and she’s dragged by two men into the town square, her feet dragging on the dirt road the entire way. Burke hides in a house and hears somebody enter and he grabs a fork as a weapon, his assailant has a baseball bat, but Ethan gets the better of him and stabs the guy. He then hears a crowd outside the window, he peeks out to see a platform set up in the middle of the square. Pope’s standing there waiting as the two men drag her up to the platform, then they handcuff her hands over her head.
Pope then thanks Harold and Kate for alerting him to the situation, he says that he can’t run this town without everybody’s cooperation. He then says this woman talked about the past and tried to escape, the penalty for the crimes is death and he takes a long blade and slits her throat open. Many of the women watching scream and gasp, Kate winces a little but remains silent. Burke remains in hiding in the house.
The last scene shows us Theresa and Ben Burke on the highway, they take the I-84 exit to Idaho, in their search to find Ethan.
The Story Continues Next Thursday Night at 9:00 pm on FOX.