Wayward Pines (or why I still love Matt Dillon)

When I was in junior high (and probably high school) I thought this man was pretty fab. I mean, who doesn’t love Dally Winston?


Plus, he was in such classics as My Bodyguard, Tex, Little Darlings, Rumble Fish, Drugstore Cowboy, and The Flamingo Kid all before I graduated from high school. And, then Singles got me through college.
So, I was pretty excited when Matt, who has aged quite well, was starring as Ethan Burke in Wayward Pines.
imagesI haven’t read the novels the miniseries (or as we call them now “television event”) is based on, but after the first episode, I might need to start that series as well.
Dillon plays a Secret Service Agent who ends up in Wayward Pines after a car accident that left him injured and killed Agent Stallings who he was with (or at least that’s what we know now). There is a darkness to the first episode that keeps me as a viewer wanting to return. The pacing moves the plot along enough so that I am at that sweet spot where I want to know what happened, but I don’t want it to end too soon.
Spoilers Below, so go watch the first episode before you read on (if you want to be at all surprised).
In the first episode, Where Paradise is Home, we are quickly thrown into both the community and the murder. We know that Burke and Stallings were sent to Wayward Pines to look for two missing Agents–Hewson and Evans. Burke finds the body of Agent Evans with the help of a bartender, Beverly, played by the always wonderful Juliette Lewis. (Another blast from the past that I still love.)
In the first episode we learn of Burke’s past, his struggle deaths that have impacted how he thinks about his life and career. We learn that Burke and his partner, Agent Evans, were having an affair and that Agent Evans is now in Wayward Pines, but does not know how long she’s been there and seems content in staying in the town. We learn that Burke’s wife and son are waiting for him and have no idea what is going on with him. And, we learn that even though Agent Burke wants to escape Wayward Pines, there are many forces at play that do not want him to leave–and I can’t wait to find out what’s going on.
I am drawn to narratives that are nonlinear, so Wayward Pines is exactly what I’m looking for in a series. We move from past to present in a way where we’re unsure of when the events are taking place and where we are in the time/space continuum. I want something creepy, yet smart, in the most wonderful way. It’s exactly what I’ve found–at least in the first episode.
Plus, as a big fan of Homicide: Life on the Street, having a supporting cast with Melissa Leo and Reed Diamond makes me happy. And, Terrence Howard as Sheriff Pope is making some great choices on the small screen these days.
I’m looking forward to the coming weeks of Wayward Pines and hope that it continues to keep me in suspense and on my toes.

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