Wayward Pines: A Blast From The Past Disrupts The Present

Photo Courtesy Of FOX
Photo Courtesy Of FOX

Warning: Spoiler Alert

The first season of the FOX Network series “Wayward Pines,” kept viewers on the edge of their seats as they slowly revealed the residents of the Idaho village found themselves living in the 41st Century and are the only humans left on the planet. We discovered that they lived behind an electrified fence for their own protection, as the fence kept Earth’s new dominant species, the Abbies at bay. Although the town’s residents led their lives in a constant state of paranoia filled fear, most didn’t have a clue that they spent 2,000 years in suspended animation and then revived until the end of last season.

That radically altered the dynamic for a second season for the show as the audience and most residents now realize the truth. They’d been plucked from our era by agents of Dr. David Pilcher, a visionary that realized humanity’s era was ending and the planet would soon be ruled by the Abbies. So he decided to construct a modern Noah’s Ark, a town that resembled Pleasantville, sitting above a state of the art facility that maintained surveillance in the town and outside the fence. He then populated the village with disconcerted and disoriented adults, but his main focus centered on the children, dubbed the “First Generation Of Wayward Pines.”

They say there’s a fine line between brilliance and madness and David Pilcher personified that in the flesh. Only a true genius could have seen the planet’s future and engineered the project to save humanity. However only a madman could play God and attempt to circumvent humanities fate with clueless residents that were told to forget about the past and concentrate on their new start in Wayward Pines. Rebel groups formed intent on escaping the town and return to their former lives, unaware that everybody they ever cared about or even knew had died centuries before.

That was until Invasion Day in 4028, when Pilcher finally snapped and powered off the electric fence, allowing the Abbies to jump the fence and feast on the residents. Realizing the only chance to save most of the residents and the facility they worked so hard to build, Pilcher’s sister and most ardent supporter Pam, shot her brother in the chest killing him instantly.

As we neared the conclusion of the first season’s finale it seemed that Pam and former FBI Agent Kate Hewson, would be the leaders of a new open and free society. However the “First Generation Of Wayward Pines,” had other ideas and the zealots got control of the village. Zealots or true-believers are extremely dangerous creatures, they only perceive things in black and white, they’ve got no interest in finding a middle ground. In their eyes there’s no room for compromise. These are the characters that season two revolves around and humanities fate lies in their hands.

The concept of the State usurping the parent in the eyes of a child proved quite popular throughout the 20th Century, with Stalin’s Soviet Union, Hitler’s Nazi Party and during the Cultural Revolution in Mao’s China in the mid-sixties. These societies held such a strong grip on the kids they were grooming to one day lead their nations that some children actually turned in their own parents for being enemies of the state.

David Pilcher and Megan Fisher, a hypnotherapist in our era used the same indoctrination techniques on the “First Generation Of Wayward Pines.” This resulted in those students believing the only way to live happy and productive lives would be by following the teachings of “Chairman Pilcher“.  However, unlike Pilcher, Pam, Megan and Pope, these children have no memories of our society or knowledge of concepts such as compassion and compromise. That’s why the “First Generation Of Wayward Pines” is a far more dangerous foe then the people Ethan Burke took on last year.

Yes, Dr Theo Yedlin and his wife Rebecca and Pilcher’s protégé CJ Mitchum, will figure into this season’s story, but make no mistake, Season Two’s story centers around Jason Higgins, Kerry Campbell and their peers. If you had any doubts, episode three entitled “Once Upon A Time In Wayward Pines,” should have eliminated them, as we watched how Jason Higgins story evolved. We witnessed his grooming to become the future leader of this new society in flashbacks and forced to make two critical decisions as the town’s leader.

Although some threads from the first season continue dangling, (where’s Amy?) we received a visit from Nurse Pam in the latest episode and we found out what’s happened to her since “Invasion Day” and the day she killed her brother. Turns out Pam’s been living in a dilapidated house on the outskirts of town and she’s thought of as a Pariah by most of the residents. She and Jason had an uneasy agreement, that she’d remain secluded in that house and he’d pretend she didn’t exist, however she felt compelled to break the bargain and showed up at the house he shares with Kerry in the middle of the night.

We learn through a series of flashbacks that Jason was the first baby revived in Wayward Pines and David and Pam raised the boy as their own son. We see Pam and five-year-old Jason going through a book of those who’ll soon get revived, including Kate’s husband Harold, a man he’d murder execution style in the events that lead to Invasion Day. CJ Mitchum walks over in the middle of their conversation and warns the boy not all the adults will adjust to their new lives. He says what they’re doing’s unnatural. Pam reassures the boy that Higgins will know how to handle things.

Pam tells Jason she’s paid close attention to the town’s recent events and she’s troubled by how Higgins has handled them, including the rebellion, the killings and sending Ben to his apparent death. Jason tells her he’s been reading her brother’s plans about expanding their new society and Pam replies she’d been there with David every step of the way and knows every detail about his vision. She offers to lead Jason through every step and he asks her how would it appear if he brought her back into the fold. Pam responded that he’d look like an evolving leader.

Despite Kerry and Megan’s objections, Higgins welcomes back Pam and refers to her as the Mother of Wayward Pines, causing Fisher to scoff rather loudly. Jason asks the town to welcome Pam back with open arms but there’s just some scattered clapping from the adults. Higgins scowls and bangs his fist against his palm, which we learned last year’s how the “First Generation Of Wayward Pines,” demonstrate approval and soon all the youngsters join in.

No appearance by Pam would be complete if she wasn’t stirring up trouble with her catty remarks and she failed to disappoint as she chose to play with Yedlin’s mind, her first morning at the hospital. Nurse Pam showed no qualms last season about asking intimate questions about everybody’s sex-lives and she jumped to the topic quickly with Yedlin. Realizing that he and Rebecca hadn’t had relations since he got revived, Pam chastised him for not being a good citizen and help expand the population.

Theo asked Pam if she was in Hawaii and she laughed and said that bartender fixed such strong drinks that she and Pope had trouble getting out of bed the next morning. Yedlin asked why they chose him and Pilcher asked why he was so certain that he’s the one they had interest in? The conversation ends rather abruptly and we watch Pam take a syringe and hide it in her pocket.

The Abbies appear to have vacated the area, Jason first discovered evidence last week as they weren’t showing up on the security cameras. That got verified early in this episode, as two young soldiers explored the terrain outside the fence and the only creature they ran into was a baby deer. Higgins believes the time’s right for their society to expand outside the gate as Pilcher planned to do and sets up a meeting with Mitchum, Mario, Kerry and Pam.

While Pam’s main interest in other’s sex-lives maybe due to a combination of curiosity and bawdiness, Megan Fisher’s the town’s cheerleader for sexual relations. Addressing some of the students at Wayward Pines Academy she tells the students that it’s time to put the PRO back in procreation. When one young girl asks isn’t it true that they won’t get paired up until after they graduate, Fisher says she’s correct but that hasn’t stopped some of her classmates from getting a head start. There are at least a half a dozen girls looking no more than 14 who were visibly pregnant.

Yedlin drops by Rebecca’s beauty-parlor and she tells Theo to sit down in one of the chairs and she’ll clean him up. Yedlin tells Rebecca that Pam joined Pope on his trip to Hawaii and said that Rebecca drew their interest and Theo just got scooped up along with her. She says that she’s got huge memory gaps and then Yedlin asks her where’s her wedding ring and after hesitating responds they never gave it back to her.

Theo changes the subject and says Arlene told him that the Abbies vacated the area. (That scene was actually a highlight of the episode. In a series that displays very little humor, Arlene’s the comic relief character. She described her electro-shock treatments as her “little tune-up.” She told Yedlin in the hospital that the Abbies appeared to have skedaddled away from the woods outside the fence. When Yedlin asked if she really believed the creatures just up and left she replied that people got to have hope, otherwise they just lose their crap. She then asked Yedlin if he’d join her for a celebratory drink at the Beer Garden and Theo flashes his wedding ring. Arlene says what happens in Wayward Pines stays in Wayward Pines, as there’s nobody else to tell.)

Yedlin asks Rebecca if she believes the creatures just vacated the area and she responds that Theo seems to believe it based on all the information he’s received. Yedlin asks why everybody has such confidence in this kid and she replies that they groomed Higgins from birth to succeed David Pilcher. Yedlin asks if the kid’s a prince and she responds sometimes it’s better not to ask a lot of questions. Theo says he’s not like that and Rebecca replies she’s well aware of that.

Pilcher decides to pay a visit to the underground facility and when Mario questions whether she’s allowed to enter, she responds that Mario heard what Higgins said. He nods his head and allows her to enter the facility. She heads to the room that Fisher’s now based out of and we see cage after cage filled with Abbies and despite what Fisher told the students, the creature aren’t sedated. When Pam enters the room they growl, snarl and hiss at her as she makes her way to the back of the room. We then watch her open a cabinet filled with various drugs and she grabs a vial and pockets that.

Almost immediately after that Fisher wheels into her office and asks why Pam’s there and Pilcher says she came down to talk with Megan and try to mend bridges. Fisher says that she certainly doesn’t consider Pam a hero and Pilcher replies she shares Megan’s sentiments. Fisher then says that if Pilcher’s asking her to forgive her for killing David, she can’t do that and then asks Pilcher to leave her room.

Pam walks back to the dilapidated house she lives in and from a distance she sees two young boys spray-painting the word MURDERER on the side of her home in giant red letters. They see her and run off. When she reaches her front door, she hesitates for a moment and then says aloud well, that’s that then. She goes inside and heads to her bedroom and opens a trunk and pulls out a long red dress and lays it out on the bed. She then fills the hypodermic with the drug from the vial, but just as she’s ready to inject it into her arm she sees Yedlin heading towards her house. She puts the needle down and goes downstairs to meet Theo at her front door.

Yedlin’s hoping to get more information about Rebecca from Pilcher, but she’s not in the mood to play games and quickly gets rid of him. As soon as Theo leaves the area, Pam injects herself with the needle and we watch her shiver a bit as the liquid courses through her body. Then she heads to the meeting with Jason and the others about expanding human settlements outside the fence.

Fisher’s ingrained paranoia serves her well in this case as she has one of her techs take inventory of all the supplies. The young man asks what’s Variola Major and Fisher asks if it’s missing. The tech replies maybe one vial and she tells him to quickly recount the bottles and she’s going to call Yedlin immediately.

Pilcher’s the last one to enter the meeting and greets Jason with a kiss on the lips, then sits next to him on the couch. They start talking about Pilcher’s visions when suddenly Yedlin and Fisher enter the room. Higgins starts saying that they’re having a private meeting, when Theo tells them all to stand up slowly and make certain not to touch each other and then quickly leave the room. However he tells Pam that she’s to stay put and then announces she injected herself with smallpox.

Higgins’ can’t believe that Pam tried to infect the entire town with smallpox, a highly contagious disease that left untreated would wipe out the entire population. After Jason finally processes the information he orders his men to take the woman who raised him away as Fisher gloats.

Pam’s put into an airtight glass cell and Higgins heads there and asks Pilcher why. She says that they didn’t raise him to become the man that stands before her. Jason responds that he’s only following Pilcher’s example and she screamed at him we expected better than that from you. She says that the Abbies have already won and that if he really wants what’s best for his people, he’ll let the disease spread so that soon they will know peace. Jason looks at her with horror in his eyes and she realizes that he’s rejecting her plan. She says he can either allow the smallpox to kill her or he’ll have to kill her himself.

Yedlin informs Jason that Pam didn’t infect anybody as she’s still in the incubation period. Higgins sincerely thanks Theo and says that he’s a hero and saved the town and the human race. He says he hopes once the residents hear about this that they’ll appreciate Yedlin more. Theo says he’s got the antidote and he’s prepared to inject Pilcher with it. Jason says that’s not Yedlin’s decision to make and walks away.

Pilcher and Higgins share one final walk together and he asks her to finish the fairytale she made up about Jason and told him it throughout his childhood. Pam says that the boy grew up to become a man and he turned very sad as things hadn’t turned out as he hoped. However he closed his eyes tightly and suddenly he started to smile because the man realized that he was special after all. Jason then chokes the life out of the woman who raised him. Her corpse gets put into a body bag and they set the bag on a stack of burning wood and soon it’s engulfed in flames.

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