Oh, Wayward Pines. Oh, where did you go wrong? Was it the fact that you needed a few more episodes? Are you attempting to set yourself up for a Matt Dillon-free season two? (So sad.) Did you realize that you just had too much going on and couldn’t wrap things up completely in ten episodes but you needed to so you just made a big brain dump? What was it? Whatever was going on, I was a bit disappointed in the final Cycle. (I guess the name should have given it away, but I wasn’t thinking.)
I’m not sure where to start, so let’s start with the Abies. It was a bit like zombies on steroids. They were as dumb as zombies, basically staying on Main Street and not spreading out across the town. Plus, why would the zombies just leave the tower alone? Wouldn’t they attack everywhere? How do they know to go to Main Street? What makes them want to come into the town? If they “sense” humans in some way, wouldn’t they want to go where there are a great deal, which includes in the mountain and also the jail. Lots of eating brains, but the show wasn’t as good at the suspense of beings killing humans like The Walking Dead is. I wanted a bit more tension, which happened a bit in the hospital, but not enough. Ethan just came over and did some killing and ruined the whole suspense.
Then there’s Matt Dillon. Ah, Matt Dillon. I will miss season two without you. But, he had to die with a bomb. How could he not when so much time was spent on his failure with the Easter Bombing? He needed to come full circle–or complete his “Cycle”–since that’s what everyone seemed to be doing. As much as I hated the whole “oh no, the detonator cord is not long enough” nonsense, It worked with the completion of the narrative. You are destined to complete you cycle and Ethan’s was one of saving those he wasn’t able to save the first time around.
For Pam, Theresa, and Kate that cycle becomes more messy. My biggest issue with the ending was that when we finally have three strong women who are going to work together to be in control, the town needs to be turned over to the young men.
We have Pam, who is released seconds after she was put into deep-freeze (there’s got to be some residual damage with being released so quickly), defying her brother and coming to her own. The growth of her character (in no small part to the brilliance of Melissa Leo) made for fabulous television. But, as soon as she releases herself from the bonds of her brother–both mentally and physically–and makes amends with the others around her, having the power to truly create a new world with Kate and Theresa, her world ends again.
Then there is Kate. She finally gets a day to shine. She is the true hero of the last episode, working tirelessly to save the town. Plus, she also saves Arlene, so who doesn’t love that? And, she’s handy with a weapon and can kick some ass. She did a nice job of beating the Abie that fell through the ceiling. She seems perfectly capable of running the town with Pam and when they get to the point where they can shine, they’re put away for awhile.
Theresa is also a bit of an understated hero. She works well to rescue Ben and Amy. Although Ethan comes along to save them, I think that she could have done just fine herself. She has the perfect personality to question what is going on and able to come to some solid conclusions about what is happening around her and would work well in a position of power (especially since Big Bill has left the building). But, she is locked up with the rest of the adults.
It’s frustrating that those left to run Wayward Pines are all young men. Ms. Fisher set up a society that should have everyone working together, but it looks like Pilcher made sure that it was the young men who would keep his legacy alive. It’s unclear as to whether Ms. Fisher was in on the Ark or not. When she waited at the tunnel entrance it seemed as though she didn’t know that there was a safe house for the first generation.
Conveniently, the first generation was able to rescue their leaders, get to the ark–which they told no one else about–and had everything they would ever need. But, Ben and Amy didn’t know about this Ark? They didn’t tell any of the others that it existed? No one told the rest of the population to go there? I just don’t buy it. But I guess I don’t need to since it’s needed to make the story line complete.
But, Ben getting knocked out was the weakest part of the story arc. You knew Ben couldn’t die so soon after Ethan’s heroic passing, but knocking him out was a convenient way to move us along in the narrative without actually having another 12 episodes to see the battle between young and old. We learn that Pilcher’s ideas and his world did live on in the eerie town and that young people do not have minds of their own. Instead, they blindly follow the teachings of their leaders, even when those leaders are killed off by others who do have minds of their own. Basically, we know that youth don’t critically think and examine the world around them–at least not if Wayward Pines is any indication of how life works.
But, at least now that Ben is awake and Amy seems to still care about him, we have the two characters who can work on a revolution next year. Amy knows where the adults are being stored and Ben is ready to free them, knowing his father was right all along. As frustrating as the ending of Wayward Pines was for me, it set up what should make an interesting season two next summer (you know it’s coming). I just hope that the women get to hold some power and take control the next time around. Plus, where are the abies? Are they all gone or did they just get them all out of town and now they’re waiting to get back in as soon as possible.