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Wayward Pines: Do Not Discuss Your Life Before

"Don't try to leave, Mr. Burke. That's rule number one."

This was a frustrating episode. Just as we really started to like Beverly, oops, she's executed in the town square by the absolutely horrendous Sheriff Pope. At least he put the ice cream down long enough to slit her throat.

There are Rules in Wayward Pines posted on the wall in every business:
Do not try to leave.
Do not discuss the past.
Do not discuss your life before.
Always answer the phone if it rings.
Work hard, be happy,
and enjoy your life
in Wayward Pines!

Yes, you must answer the phone when it rings and tells you to chase down someone who broke the rules. And you must watch when they're executed. Some of the people in the crowd were good brownshirts because they were cheering, but many looked very upset as Beverly was killed.

Bill Evans had partnered up with Beverly to get out of town, which is why they're now both dead. Clearly, Beverly had been desperate to get out of Wayward Pines because she wanted to return to her six-year-old daughter, the one she mentioned at dinner but shouldn't have. I got the feeling that Kate and Howard were trying to help, since Kate did tell Ethan in the pilot episode that they were being monitored, and this time she told him where to find Bill's widow, Patricia. If everyone is under near constant surveillance (and who is watching, by the way? It takes a lot of people to constantly surveil a lot of other people), maybe Kate and Howard had no choice but to turn Ethan and Beverly in. Was Ethan supposed to get away, or was he just better at it because he's a trained agent? Was Beverly executed in order to teach Ethan a lesson?

Bill's wife Patricia said that she saw Bill kill himself. That's a cute trick, since Ethan found that Bill had been tied down and tortured. Was Bill executed like Beverly, and did Patricia think he "killed himself" because he didn't follow the Rules?

Who knows what is really going on in Wayward Pines? Sheriff Pope almost certainly has to know because he's just so smug. He is capable of doing anything to keep the peace, including the murder of a Secret Service agent and the execution of an innocent woman in cold blood in front of hundreds of people. Dr. Jenkins sounded sincere about wanting Ethan back in surgery for his health's sake (shudder) but we saw the good doctor in the pilot episode talking to Ethan's boss, Adam Hassler, so he must be in on it, too. What is "it"? What do the knowers know?

In this episode, Ethan figured out that calls to his office are being intercepted, and clearly Theresa isn't getting his messages, so we can assume that communications are all being controlled and waylaid. The computer at the front desk at the motel doesn't work. The Wayward Pines Chronicle rarely comes out. There are listening devices under the barstools, and everyone has a microchip locator like the one Beverly just removed from Ethan's thigh without anesthetic. But how could a microchip inserted in Ethan's thigh have healed in just five days?

So again, I find the wonky time element fascinating. The money in Wayward Pines is all counterfeit and dated 1988 or earlier. The tombstones in the cemetery have no dates. Beverly really was from 1999 because she looked blank when Ethan brought up 9/11 and Obama, and didn't hesitate when she said she was born in 1960. Bill Evans, missing for only a brief time according to Ethan, was in Wayward Pines for at least a year, long enough to marry Patricia and have a baby.

Did Ethan really see his wife and son unconscious and on gurneys at the hospital? How is that possible if it's only been five days and Theresa and Ben are just now driving into Idaho?


— After being tossed out of his motel room because he couldn't pay, Ethan is now supposed to stay in his motel room all the time, even though he can't pay. This does not make sense.

— The multi-gabled houses looked similar but not identical. Nice touch.

— No planes fly overhead. Ever.

— Kate and Howard have a toy store where they apparently make their own toys out of unpainted wood. No Legos, no Barbies, but there were little wooden ducks. I thought it was fun that Ethan put his wooden ducks in a row on the counter.

— Nurse Pam's role this week was to say something obscene to Ethan about banging his wife.

— What do you do for fun in Wayward Pines? Horseshoe tournaments. My god, it's the most boring place in the universe. Except for the public executions.

Wayward Pines is based on a series of three books by Blake Crouch. If you haven't read them, comments on this review are free of book spoilers. If you've read the book series and want to include book spoilers in your comment, please post it here on the Wayward Pines book series spoiler thread.

Harold: "You think they're gonna run?"
Kate: "Absolutely."

This is only the second episode, so no rating yet. I'm not quite sure what to compare it to,

Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.

1 comment:

  1. Great review, Billie.

    Is it too far fetched to hope that Beverly shows up behind the bar in the next episode? Like maybe you can't die in WP?? I liked her.


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