Wayward Pines: Summer Lovin'

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Ethan has returned from his reality tour. Despite being told by Pilcher not to reveal anything to anyone, he immediately tells Teresa a very quick version, which she doesn’t believe. Unfortunately for her (but fortunately for us), he doesn’t take her through it step by step. If these characters bore any resemblance to real people, it’s what he would have done, and she might have put it together with what her real estate client told her about the pods. Plus, she would have realized it’s no more ridiculous than her own theory: that God punished Kate’s sexing of her husband by making her age twelve years in a month.

"I'm done messing around. From now on, you age 12 years for adultery, 6 months for masturbation, and 2 weeks for overusing emoticons. Ugh, that's so annoying."

“I’m done messing around. From now on, you age 12 years for adultery, 6 months for masturbation, and 2 weeks for overusing emoticons. Ugh, that’s so annoying.”

The next morning, Ethan is about to drive his wife to work and his son to school because it may be 4038, but they are still in America and Americans don’t walk if they can take a car. He notices his dashboard clock flashing and immediately figures out there’s a bomb planted under the hood. He tells them there’s car trouble, and they’ll have to walk. Once they’re gone, he removes the bomb, which appears to be the kind that you can safely hold in your hand. He goes to his office and digs out a file from his secret stash of files on everyone in town. Nurse Pam shows up because she’s always watching. She’s back to being her usual creepy self. Maybe it’s the uniform. She tells him she’s there to help and says, “I can be a very good friend.” What’s left hanging is the part she doesn’t say, “Or your worst nightmare.”

"I can also be Lady Bird Johnson. No, really, I just got cast."

“And on rare occasions, I can also be Lady Bird Johnson. No, really, I just got cast.”

Teresa walks Ben to school because she can’t embarrass her kid enough. On the way, he admits he likes Wayward Pines just fine. When she asks him if he misses his friends back home, he reminds her, “We’re not supposed to talk about the past.” Is it too much to hope that in the remaining three episodes we’ll see the kids go completely Children of the Damned on their parents? When they get to the Academy, Megan blocks Teresa from going inside, telling her, “School is for children.” Damn, no wonder the kids are crazy about her.

The theme of this episode is PROCREATION. In science class, Megan tells the kids it’s their most important job. It’s beyond awkward, but then again she’s just given teenagers permission to screw their little genitalia out (in the context of a strictly hetero relationship to save humanity) so they’re kind of into the lesson.

Afterwards, Amy tells Megan she wants to take it to the next level with Ben, and Megan is totally “You go, girl.”

It’s not only teenagers who are encouraged to get busy with the babymaking, but adults too. Nurse Pam phones Kate and Harold, who are in the middle of plotting and conspiring, to tell them it’s time for their annual fertility checkup, which consists of Pam being creepier than ever and insinuating she’s waited long enough for them to start reproducing and they better not let her down.

If Bob here isn't up to the job, I bet that nice Ethan fellow would give it a go."

“And if Harold isn’t up to the job, I bet that nice Ethan fellow would give it a go.”

On her way to work, Teresa goes inside Plot 33, and somehow phones don’t ring all over town. She discovers there’s a structure underneath the lot. She tells Big Bill this, even though he was the one who warned her to stay away. She must have already quit Secret Service school when they taught the part about not doing stuff like that. He looks toward the red dot on the wall; for a second the mask drops and you see his fear, which doesn’t excuse his being a harassing jerk.

Ethan has a chat with Franklin, who, in the past they don’t talk about, was a demolition expert, so Ethan figures he was the one who put the bomb in his car. But Ethan doesn’t arrest him because he knows he’s not the leader of the operation. Then he goes after Harold, who tries to make a run for it. Harold denies having anything to do with the car bomb—which would have been stupid because as far as they know Ethan still wants to get the hell out as well. But he does admit there’s stuff going on.

Despite knowing that Harold is involved, and knowing per Pilcher that it could be happening soon, Ethan doesn’t lock Harold up either—probably because he doesn’t want to draw attention to him or any of the conspirators. He also knows Kate’s got to be the one in charge, so he arranges to meet her in his house. Why there? Because he’s taken away the surveillance—and also because that way there’s a chance that Ben or Teresa might stumble on them there together, which would be amusing.

First, he gives her the super-abbreviated version, not even as much as he told Teresa, which she doesn’t believe. Then we cut away to something else, and when we come back, it sounds like he told her everything, but her takeaway is, “You work for them now?”

He knows this woman. He’s worked with her. He’s slept with her, and he’s trained to understand human behavior. So what are some normal human reactions he might expect? “Thank goodness I’m not insane for thinking I’ve been here 12 years and yet your kid’s still not shaving!” Or maybe, “Oh, that explains Nurse Pam’s obsession with my uterus.” She doesn’t say either of those two things. Nor does she say, “Ethan, we’ve got to tell this crazy story to my people because not telling them sure as shit isn’t working.” Or maybe, “So you’re trying to change the place and stop with the reckonings and surveillance. How can I help?”

Nope. He tells her the resistance has to stop, and all she says is “Okay”—and he buys it? Maybe he’s also figured out this isn’t a show where people have normal human reactions. Or maybe 2,000 years of freezer burn isn’t good for the brain.

Of course, Kate immediately runs to tell Harold they have to move up the timetable and go with both Plan A AND backup Plan B that very evening. One of those plans involves Franklin. The other involves Ted, the deliveryman we met last week, who has a regular route that goes out to the fence. He’ll be carrying the bomb—the one we previously saw inside a music box.

Kate and Teresa run into each other, and it’s awkward as usual. But this time they compare notes on Ethan, not about how he is in the sack, but on his crazy story. They both think there’s some kind of brainwashing going on over on the other side of the mountain. Teresa entertains for a second that maybe it’s true, but Kate assures her that once long ago she found a working phone and called a secure government line. Adam had left her a message warning her she had entered a government experiment and that she might be “severely tested,” possibly by another agent. Of course, she didn’t tell Ethan any of that because if people didn’t withhold important information all the time, there’d be no show. It’s why she’s convinced Ethan’s wrong about it being 4038.

So, wayward watchers, what are we to make of that? We know, but Kate doesn’t, that Adam was working with Pilcher. Is Adam one of the volunteers? Was he hiding when Ethan came to visit because he knew his former colleague might be a bit perturbed what with being put on ice for a couple of millennia and thrust into a post-apocalyptic future with his family and all? Could Adam have left that message to pacify Kate? To set her up to not trust Evans so they wouldn’t compare notes?

At home that evening, Teresa tells Ethan the funny way Kate said good-bye, all permanent like. Ethan suddenly realizes the game’s still afoot and runs out to prevent disaster. Holding Kate at gunpoint and threatening to blow her brains out, he gets Franklin to disarm the bomb. Then he hauls Kate off to jail, where he yells at her for “betraying” him. She tells him it’s not going to stop, and he realizes there’s another bomb out there, so he takes Pam up on her offer of friendship so he can find the conspirators using the surveillance system. He sees Harold pass a shopping bag to Ted, so he figures the second bomb must be on Ted’s truck.

Meantime, unbeknownst to his folks, Ben has slipped out to meet Amy for a little summer lovin’. Amy and Ben sneak onto the delivery truck (of course) to hitch a ride to “the pines,” where they plan to get wayward for ten seconds of magic.

I don’t know about you, but if I were driving a truck with a bomb in it, I don’t think I’d just leave the bomb in a shopping bag where it might go off if I hit a speed bump or a pebble. But that’s exactly what Ted does. Ben, never having been with a live girl other than mommy before, is nervous. Amy notices the shopping bag of death, takes out the wooden box, realizes it’s a music box, and decides that might be just the thing to set the mood. She cranks it up, and the make-out session begins.

Sexual aggressive women will only lead you astray.

Sexual aggressive women are dangerous.

Just what we need, another story in which teenager sexytimes leads directly to death. Kids, let that be lesson to you. Megan Fisher was wrong! Love kills! Have you learned nothing from television and movies?

Ethan tries to catch up with the truck. Some other conspirators do a little mischief-making to slow him down. And then, as the truck approaches the fence and Ethan approaches the truck, BOOM. Ethan runs over, Amy and Ben were both blown right out onto the street. Amy is standing, but Ben isn’t. He’s dead or unconscious, and you’ll have to tune in next week, or look for a spoiler, or wait for my next recap, to find out which.

Marion Stein

Marion writes television recaps and reviews for the Agony Booth, and books you can find over at Amazon.

TV Show: Wayward Pines

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