Warning: Spoiler Alert
The euphemism for getting killed in “Wayward Pines,” is apparently referred to as deciding to retire, or so it would seem after the airing of the fourth episode of the ten-part miniseries. Another discovery that viewers made, is that if you kill the town’s sheriff, you inherit the job. At least in the case of Secret Service Agent Ethan Burke, who found out he’d gotten named sheriff, hours after killing his predecessor Sheriff Pope.
We join the Burke family on their ride back to their new home, after escaping death at the hands of Pope. Ethan takes his son out of the police vehicle and uses the garden hose to wash the blood off his hands. Ben asks his father what kind of creature dragged Pope’s body away, when they opened the gate and Ethan replied it was a wolf.
Ethan gets back in the vehicle and tells his wife Theresa that the entire town’s under surveillance, that cameras and microphones are everywhere. They have to pretend they’re going along with everything in order to survive. Suddenly Theresa looks up and realizes Ben’s gone, they jump out of the truck and see their son standing at the end of the driveway. A deliveryman on a bicycle, gave him a package and an attached letter, it says that Ben will start school the following morning at Wayward Pines Academy. The package contains his school uniform.
Ethan heads to the sheriff’s department and uses Pope’s keys to unlock the ammunition cabinet and grabs a couple of pistols, before getting surprised by Pope’s secretary Arlene. She greets him as Sheriff Burke and congratulates him on getting the job, presenting him a cake. Seconds later Mayor Brad Fisher and a photographer enter the office, they stick a copy of the town’s paper, with the headline Sheriff Pope Retires. Fisher puts his arm around Ethan and they snap the shot.
Ethan asks the mayor who appointed him sheriff and Fisher responds that’s above his pay grade, when Burke asks to speak to someone who might know that answer, Fisher and Arlene discourage him. Ethan then suggests they have cake and Arlene says she’ll get the utensils and plates. Burke senses that the mayor wants to talk to him, but he realizes this isn’t the time or the place. He tells Fisher he’s looking forward to working for him and the mayor wishes him good luck on his first day.
Theresa walks Ben to school and they are greeted by one of the teachers, coincidentally she’s the mayor’s wife Megan Fisher. Theresa gives him a hug and tells him she’ll pick him up at 3:00 pm. We see the upstairs picture window of the building’s filled with students, taking a look at their new school mate.
Ethan starts searching his new office, he goes through the desk and the file cabinet and comes up fruitless. Then he discovers a hidden compartment under the throw rug, he unlocks the compartment and finds a box of records. The actual records of all the town’s residents, stating where they lived and what they did prior to ending up in Wayward Pines. He looks at the records of Brad and Megan Fisher, then checks out Arlene’s file, he sees that she lived in New Jersey and was involved in a domestic relationship.
He hears Arlene crying in the outer office and he heads out there, he doesn’t mention her tears, but instead asks if she misses New Jersey. She responds that she doesn’t, then she sees that it’s going to be a busy morning as Nurse Pam arrives with two big beefy guys dragging a smaller man. Burke’s nightmares didn’t end with Pope’s death, Nurse Pam is a formidable opponent and used to getting her way.
She tells Ethan she’s made a citizen’s arrest after Peter McCall spray-painted graffiti on public buildings. She says there has to be a reckoning, that McCall’s now a three-time offender. Burke tells her as long as he’s sheriff, the reckonings are being discontinued and he’s certainly not killing a man for spray-painting. Nurse Pam tells him if he doesn’t have the stomach for it, they have others who can execute McCall. He thanks her for her civic-duty and tells her he’ll handle it.
Megan Fisher brings Ben into her office and says she’s going to ask him some questions, don’t think of it as a test it’s just a way to get to know each other better. She then asks him three questions;
Where are you from?
Where do you live?
Where is home?
Ben answers Seattle to all three questions and Fisher shakes her head with a smile on her face. She asks the teen why his parents won’t take him home and he responds that his father’s working on a case for the Secret Service. She then asks why he believes that and he replies his father told him so, she then asked if Ben’s father had ever lied to him. The answer of course is yes, as he lied to his son and wife about his affair with his former partner Kate Hewson. She asks if he lied to him before, how can he trust him now?
Theresa’s exploring the town square and she sees the words that McCall spray-painted across two buildings. “In A Time Of Universal Deceit, Telling The Truth Is A Revolutionary Act.”
She looks into the window of the coffee shop and sees Kate Ballinger entering her shop, Theresa crosses the road and goes into the toy store. Kate asks if she can help her and Theresa says she’s looking for a gift for her son. Kate suggests a music box that her husband hand-crafted. winds it up and lets it play it’s song. She then tells Theresa she has 30-seconds to say what she wants to get off her chest.
Theresa tells her that she gave up becoming an agent, as she realized the job always comes first and she wanted to be a mother. She says that Kate hurt her and her family, Kate apologizes and said a lot’s happened since then. Theresa says that’s not the case for her. Kate replies that it is the case, Theresa just doesn’t realize it yet. Theresa leaves the shop.
School lets out for the day and Ben’s standing there waiting for his mother, when a cute girl about his age comes over and introduces herself as Amy. She asks if Ben’s waiting for his mother and the teen attempting to look cool says he’s just trying to figure out where his new home is. Amy says she’ll walk him home and they’ll find it together. Seconds after they leave Theresa walks up and panics when she doesn’t see her son. She finds them as she approaches the house and Amy apologizes, saying she practically forced him to walk her home. Theresa says fine, then takes Ben by the arm and they walk away.
Ethan pulls out Peter McCall’s file and shows it to him, there’s a picture of McCall with his wife and young son and daughter. McCall says that was another life a long time ago. Burke says that McCall wasn’t using a cane in the earlier picture, Peter says he hurt his leg in a rock-climbing accident. He says he actually tried to climb his way out of Wayward Pines. When Ethan asks him how long he’d lived in Wayward Pines, he replies that he stopped counting after four winters, but he believes that he’s been there for another four or five years.
Burke asks Peter if there’s anyway out-of-town and McCall puts his finger to his temple and mimics shooting himself in the head. The phone rings Ethan picks it up and hears Nurse Pam tell him that the reckoning’s scheduled for 10:00 pm the following night. Burke hangs up the phone and tells Peter it was a telemarketer.
Ethan heads home for the day and informs his wife he’s the new sheriff. He tells her he think that the mayor Brad Fisher, would like to tell him something, Theresa responds that she met a woman named Fisher at Ben’s school. Ethan tells her that’s the mayor’s wife Megan and she was a hypnotherapist, before coming to Wayward Pines. He asks his wife to arrange a dinner with them for the following evening.
Theresa walks Ben to school the next morning and tells Megan that they have no friends and she was hoping to have her and her husband come over for dinner that evening. Megan responds they’d love to have dinner, but she wants them to see some of the town so she suggests they meet that evening at the Beer Garden.
Ethan greets McCall with breakfast and Peter asks if this is his last meal, Burke tells him he’s not going to die. Peter then says he’s read his file over-and-over again and says he’d forgotten how much he forgot. He then tells Ethan that he was in Los Angeles for a conference in 2001 and he met a brunette named Denise in a bar. He says that even though he was married, after a few drinks they went to his room and had sex and did some drugs. He passed out and woke up in another hotel room, the brunette was still with him. However she had aged and her name wasn’t Denise, it was Pam.
Fisher brings Ben back into her office and says they’ll work on the same exercise they did the previous day, then asks him where he lives? He responds he doesn’t know and Megan says that’s excellent, he’ll join the other students for classes the next day and she’ll be his teacher. She then tells him to close his eyes and she gives him an acoustic guitar. He breaks into an ear-to-ear grin and she says that for his heart-song.
Theresa and Ethan meet Megan and Brad at the Beer Garden and it seems like most of the town’s in the place, we see Arlene sitting with the hotel manager, as well as Kate and Harold Balinger. Megan says the place’s known for their buffalo burgers but she suggests the trout. Theresa asks her if she’d show her the way to the restroom and the ladies depart.
Brad then says to Ethan that their son Ben seems like a good kid and Burke says his son’s great. Fisher then says that the town concentrates on the youngsters, shaping their opinions at the school. Ethan says that Fisher’s wife’s a teacher there and the mayor nods and tells Burke to be very careful.
Amy’s throwing pebbles at Ben’s window to get his attention. He comes out and she tells him she wants to take him to her favorite spot. When they arrive, she takes him over to a bench and says this is her favorite spot. She asks if he’s still homesick and he says he lied, that he wasn’t popular at his school in Seattle. She says you have me now, then he asks her what kind of animals live outside the fence. She looks like she’s going to whisper in his ear, but kisses his cheek instead. He then hugs her, more out of needing a friend than anything romantic.
The women head back to the table and Burke brings up the icebreaker, of what everyone thinks about the public executions and the Fisher’s freeze, before Megan asks him what he means. Ethan refers to the public execution of Beverly and Megan says that the reckonings are terrible, but they maintain order in the town.
The camera pans to Arlene and Tim Bell’s table and we hear Arlene saying she couldn’t believe that ice-cream eating S.O.B. retired without saying goodbye to her. She says a lot of the town thought that Pope was too gruff, but she said he was very kind and generous to her, especially around the holidays. Nurse Pam intervenes in their conversation and tells Arlene that soon she’ll feel the same way about Sheriff Burke.
Nurse Pam asks all in the house to raise their glasses to toast their new sheriff Ethan Burke, then starts going on a diatribe of how the town hopes he’s up to the task of serving justice. Ethan interrupts her, then thanks her. He says he will do everything in his power, to bring the true evil of the town into the light and the true criminals brought to justice. The crowd cheers his words.
Ethan and Theresa run into Dr. Jenkins on their walk home and Burke asks Jenkins if he can help stop the members of Wayward Pines from killing Peter McCall. The doctor gives the couple a sympathetic look, then says that he believes that great beauty calls for great sacrifice. Realizing Jenkins won’t help, Ethan tells Theresa to head home and he’d be there in a little while. However she sees an envelope in their mailbox, from the Wayward Pines Real Estate Association. It says they’ve got great news, one of our senior realtors has decided to retire, they expect her at the office the next morning at 9:00 am. Is this Peter McCall’s job that’s suddenly become available?
Burke heads to the sheriff’s office and tells McCall he’s getting him out of there, Peter tells him to be sensible, there’s no place for him to hide. Then he tells Ethan to take him to the fence. When they get to the fence, Burke asks him why he took him there. Peter points to the mountains across from the fence, and says that’s the only way out.
He then tells Ethan that his time’s up and McCall can either kill himself, or Ethan can give him a push to win the town’s confidence. Burke says he’d never do that and Peter hugs the new sheriff, saying that’s why Wayward Pines truly needs him. He then grabs the high-voltage fence and fries to death.
Ethan heads home and tells his wife Peter McCall’s dead. He then whispers in his ear that he’s going to get help, he needs her and Ben to stay there and keep playing along. He tells Theresa that she’s a lot stronger than she realizes and leaves the house.
He stops by the sheriff’s office and he grabs a rifle and some ammunition. Nurse Pam walks in and says he may just be sheriff material after all. Burke says he thinks that Nurse Pam should be the town’s sheriff and she says that’s the smartest thing he’s said since he’s come to her town. He leaves the office without a response, Nurse Pam sits at his desk and starts to meditate.
The final scene shows us Burke climbing the mountain, hand over hand. He reaches a ridge and we see a bald-headed man without a shirt, peering out from behind a tree. Guess we’ll find out who, or what he is next Thursday.
The Story Continues Next Thursday Night at 9:00 pm on FOX.