Apr 17, 2018
Wayward Pines: Children Are Our Future
Previously on Wayward Pines, Ethan and the Sheriff had their standoff right in front of the garage door to freedom and/or death. Wasn’t that convenient? Before Ethan killed Sheriff Pope, he got him to confess the secret of Wayward Pines. Not really. He shot him in the head before he could blurt it out because the writers want to stretch this out longer. Then, Ethan got into the police car with Teresa and Ben, clicked the opener, and lo and behold there was a horrid shrieking, and we got a glimpse of a monster making off with Pope’s body, which so disconcerted the family that they turned around, deciding maybe Wayward Pines wasn’t so bad after all.
Picking up from there, the family arrives “home” and Ethan takes the minute he didn’t have last week to explain to Teresa, who is still miffed about Kate, what his assignment was and that there are cameras and mikes everywhere so she should just act like everything is normal. You’d think he might want to explain this to Ben too, but predictably he doesn’t.
The postman stops by, dropping off a message that Ben is due at Wayward Pines Academy at 8 a.m. sharp, so the next morning Teresa takes Ben to school and Ethan stops by the sheriff’s office, where Mayor Fisher, Arlene, and The Reporter are waiting for him because he’s the new sheriff. And there’s cake! (Which will heretofore be the new ice cream.) He asks the Mayor how he got appointed, but Fischer tells him, “That’s not my purview.”
Over at the school, we meet Mrs. Mayor Fischer, who greets the children with high-fives and hugs. She’s a teacher, which means she can’t be trusted because of unions and they’re probably teaching kids about global warming and evolution. Instead of introducing Ben to the other students or dropping him off in class, she takes Ben into her office for some interrogation/brainwashing, asking him questions that always end with her saying his name, “Where are from, Ben?” “Where’s home, Ben?” “Do you trust your lying partner-shtupping father, Ben?”
Ethan, checking out his new office, rolls up a rug and finds a secret compartment with files on everybody’s “real” pasts. What does he do with this newfound knowledge? He asks Arlene if she likes Wayward Pines better than New Jersey. She does. To be fair, they don’t have mountains like that back east.
Crazy Pam drops by the sheriff’s office with “an insurgent” whom she has citizen-arrested. It’s Peter McCall, a.k.a. The Realtor, who last week didn’t rat out Ethan when he was hiding out at Beverly’s. Pam insists that Peter be “reckoned” because he is guilty of subversive graffiti and it’s his third strike. “But you don’t know about the third strike rule, do you, honey?” she asks Ethan, by which she means, “I can’t fucking believe they gave you the job I’ve been after for years, and I don’t know whether I want to kill you or screw you or both in any order.”
Teresa, walking back from school, spots said graffiti: “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” It’s a line from 1984 because if you expected originality, you’re watching the wrong show. She sees Kate opening up the toy store and naturally decides to confront her because sure with everything else going on why not make a scene with your husband’s girlfriend?
Kate greets her by showing her some tschotkes and explaining, “These are handcrafted by my husband whom I’ve been with for twelve years which you’d know if Ethan bothered to explain the time shift thingy to you, but then again I don’t think much about it even though I used to be in the Secret Service and it’s probably a really important clue to what’s going on. And now I will wind up this toy to play music so that the microphones can’t pick up our conversation. We’ll have thirty seconds.” What does Teresa find out during those thirty seconds? Nothing, because she spends the time lecturing Kate about how she could have been an agent too, but she quit her training to “choose” family and have inappropriate conversations about her marriage with her son.
Well, that was a totally smooth way to let us know Teresa has agent skills and feels morally superior because she’s a mom.
Ben’s first day of school is over. As he’s waiting for his mommy to pick him up because she’s big time into attachment parenting, a girl his age approaches. She offers to help him find his way home. Her name is Amy, and she sure asks a lot of questions! He also asks her some, like what’s up with the monsters on the other side of the wall? She asks him if he has a girlfriend. He says yes, but doesn’t explain he was referring to his mother. By now he’s forgotten all about the monsters because fourteen-year-old boys are slaves to the hormones.
Ethan is chatting with Peter, who is pretty calm for a man awaiting execution. Peter doesn’t know how long he’s been in town, but it was 2001 when he arrived. Ethan notes that Peter didn’t have a cane in the pictures from his previous-life file. Peter explains he was injured in a “rock climbing accident”—an escape attempt. The phone rings. It’s Pam calling to remind Ethan he must call for a reckoning for Peter by 8 a.m. sharp. Why does he have to call it so early in the morning? So people can make plans.
At home Ethan runs the kitchen sink to fool those pesky microphones. He tells Teresa he is now sheriff. “I guess when you kill somebody in this town they give you his job.” (There goes my theory it was when you stole their keys.) He thinks Mayor Fisher was trying to tell him something and he could get more out of him, so the next day when Teresa drops Ben off, she invites Mrs. Fisher and her husband over for dinner. Mrs. Fisher suggests going out to the Beer Garden instead.
Say this for Wayward Pines, for such a small town they have a nice variety of eating spots.
Over at the sheriff’s office, Ethan discovers that not everyone arrives via car crash. Peter remembers being on a business trip. He had a quick drink at the bar with a cute brunette. Then they went up to his hotel room to do cocaine and the sexytimes. But when he woke up the next day, he was in a different hotel room and the woman was Crazy Pam! This message has been brought to you by D.A.R.E.—because actions have consequences.
Speaking of our nation’s youth, over at the school it’s Ben’s second day and he still hasn’t been inside a classroom. Mrs. Fisher is asking the same questions. Finally, when she asks him where he lives, he answers, “I don’t know.” PROGRESS! She gives him a guitar for his “heart zone” and sends him off to class.
The Beer Garden must be the pre-reckoning hot spot. All the townies we’ve met are there. At another table, Harold and Kate are thinking of having the buffalo burger. Sounds delish. Can you get ketchup with that?
Mrs. Fisher and Teresa go off to the ladies’ room, allowing Ethan a chance to chat with the Mayor, who has the clearest and loudest dog whistle of any politician ever. Without the need to play loud music, run a sink, or even whisper, he manages to convey that there’s a weird focus on the children and his wife is dangerous.
Ben is home alone without any knowledge of the peril they face, except for seeing his father kill a man two nights before whose body got taken away by monsters, or as his father calls them “wolves.” Amy throws a rock up at the window. Of course he goes out to hang.
On their walk home, Ethan and Teresa run into Doc Jenkins, who’s examining a tree, which apparently is not a capital crime. He tells them he was checking on a crossbreed of two different pines. They talk about Ethan’s new job. Ethan mentions that they want to execute a man for writing graffiti. Unlike everyone else, Doc Jenkins looks upset by this and says he’s sorry. Then he starts talking about “all the beauty” around them and says, “Perhaps the best things in the world require the biggest sacrifice.” Huh? You’d think Ethan might ask him to elaborate, as the remark seems to hint at more knowledge, but he and Teresa just walk away.
Ben admits to Amy he may have lied earlier when he told her he had a girlfriend, or any friends other than his mom, but as Norman Bates said, a boy’s best friend is his mother. “You have me now,” Amy says. But will Mother approve?
Ethan stops by his office. Peter reminds him that 10 p.m. is the “absolute deadline” for a reckoning—especially on a school night. Ethan tells him he’s going to hide him in the woods. “They’ll find me right away,” Peter says. You’d think this would be a good time to take out his microchip, but that’s so second episode. Peter asks to go to the fence. At the same time, a letter comes for Teresa. It’s about her new gig as Realtor. Sounds like a great job, and she didn’t even have to kill anyone to get it.
At the wall, Peter quotes Robert Frost because he’s really into literary quoting. He tells Ethan, “There’s only one way out,” and then he electrocutes himself against the fence after first pushing Ethan so it looks like they struggled.
Ethan goes home and whispers to Teresa he’s leaving to get help. Looks like he’s going on the theory the monsters were just some kids from Wayward Pines U. who were having a bacchanal that got out of control, or furries maybe.
He stops back at the sheriff’s office to get a rifle. Crazy Pam is there, sitting at his desk. She knows he “let” Peter do his job for him. Given that he has a rifle on her, couldn’t he maybe ask her a few questions?
Still out with Amy, Ben brings up the monsters on the other side of the fence thing again, but before he gets an answer, we cut to Ethan climbing the rocks. He gets to the top and…
We’ll have to tune in next week.