Thursday, June 11, 2015

Wayward Pines, Season One, Episode Two: Do Not Discuss Your Life Before

Pope orders Ethan out of the car and demands Ethan turn around and place his hands on the vehicle. Pope puts a gun to Ethan's head and informs him that he is a guy with no ID or badge, who just stole a car. Pope then hits Ethan in the back of the head, telling Ethan that he just restrained a suspect who was resisting arrest.  Pope then adds that after calling the Seattle office, there's no record of Ethan.  Ethan offers to help with the investigation  but Pope not only wants no part of Ethan but orders him to stay in his hotel room.  Alex and Larry ride by and Larry stops long enough to inform Ethan that rule number one is that he shouldn't try to leave.

Ethan lies on his motel bed until the alarm goes off, before heading downstairs.  He rings the bell for attention and when no one answers, tries to start up the computer.  The manager finally shows up and Ethan asks about working computers and is told they don't have any.  Ethan asks for a newspaper and there's only The Wayward Chronicle, which hasn't printed an issue in two weeks.  A frustrated Ethan leaves the hotel and heads back to the house where he found Bill's body.  Ethan breaks a window to get inside and finds that no evidence has been collected and that Bill's body is still lying there, except now, it's surrounded by flies.  Ethan finds a notebook on Evan and is forced to leave it there because Pope arrives.

Pope is not at all pleased to see Ethan, particularly because Ethan was ordered to stay in his motel room.  Ethan points out that Evans is his colleague and that he cannot just let this go. Ethan tells Pope that he believes Evans was killed in the woods.  Ethan demands to know about forensics and is informed by Pope that they are coming from Boise.  Pope orders Ethan back to the hotel until the professionals can do their job.

Instead of the hotel room, Ethan heads to the bar and finds Beverly mopping the floor.  When he starts to ask questions, Beverly turns up the music and asks Ethan to dance. Beverly warns Ethan that there are mikes under the barstool.  Beverly tells Ethan that she and Evans had a plan to escape and that she was going with him.  Beverly says that the plan was in a notebook.  The two decide that they are going to meet up later and Ethan leaves when Stan the owner arrives.

Ethan then tries calling home and gets the answering machine again. Ethan then tries to call Adam Hassler again and is told that Adam is not in the office.  Ethan asks Marcy, the woman who answered the phone, if she is sitting at the seventh floor reception desk in the Seattle office, and when Marcy says yes, Ethan informs her that there is no such desk.  Ethan demands to know who Marcy really is and she simply hangs up the phone. Ethan then asks Ruby at the donut shop about Kate Houston and is told there is no such person living in Wayward Pines.  Ethan then asks about Kate using her married name and is informed that Kate works at the toy store.

In a flashback scene, Ethan is talking Theresa about the fact that he is late from work.  Theresa is suspicious but Ethan says that it's over between him and Kate.

In the real world, Ben and Theresa are watching the news hoping to learn what is going on with Ethan. Ben says that everything is classified when it comes to his father and he wonders if Ethan is dead because he has been missing for five days.  When Theresa assures Ben that his father is still alive, Ben wonders if Ethan is with Kate again.

Ethan walks down the street and looks at Kate through the toy store window. Ethan pauses and has a series of intimate memories of his time together with Kate. Ethan stops in to tell Kate that he hasn't been able to get in touch with anyone, cannot seem to leave Wayward Pines and that the only reason he's in Wayward Pines is to find her and Bill Evans.  Ethan asks Kate what happened to Evans and what happened to her.  Kate doesn't get answer because they are interrupted by Kate's husband.  Ethan starts putting key chains on the counter and asks Kate to ring it up, as he pulls money out of his wallet.  It seems that the money in Wayward Pines is all counterfeit and Ethan says that any trained agent can see this.  Ethan asks Kate what she is hiding and Kate says that what happened to Bill is really sad, particularly so for his widow Patrica.  This shocks Ethan because as far as he knows, Bill Evans was not married.  Kate continues to smile, as she tells Ethan that she used to see Patricia watering her pink hydrangeas in front of their light brown house every morning.

Ethan heads to the door and stops to read a framed sign with the rules of Wayward Pines.  Kate says them from memory
  • Do not try to leave
  • Do not discuss the past
  • Do no discuss your life before
  • Always answer the phone if it rings
The moment Kate finishes speaking, the phone rings. When Kate answers it, Ethan leaves the store.

Ethan has made his way to Bill's old house and Patricia answers the door.  Ethan introduces himself and explains that he is used to work with Bill at the Secret Service. Patricia is confused by that because Bill didn't work at the Secret Service; he mowed lawns.  Ethan asks how long Patricia and Bill were married and when Patricia answers almost a year, Ethan informs her that there's no record of Bill ever having been married. A baby cries in the background and Patricia tries to excuse herself.   Ethan puts his foot out to stop Patricia from closing it in his face.  Ethan tells Patricia that he was sent to Wayward Pines to find Bill and has reason to believe that Bill was murdered.  Patricia is adamant that Bill wasn't murdered but committed suicide and she knows this because she watched it.

Ethan's next stop is to see Pope, who is eating ice cream again.  Pope takes Ethan into his office and snarks about Ethan not being happy with his accommodations, and threatens to lock Ethan up in a cell as an alternative. Pope is further not impressed that Ethan disturbed Patricia.  Ethan is informed that Bill's body has been picked up and that they will have results next week. Pope sits down and acknowledges that nothing seems right to Ethan about Wayward Pines and points out that Ethan was in a massive car accident, and is bleeding from his brain.  Ethan only asks if Bill's body is in the morgue yet.  Pope tells Ethan to stay away from the body and leave it to the professionals.  Ethan stands to leave but asks to be informed about what the coroner says.

Naturally, Ethan heads straight to the morgue and there he finds Bill's body and his things.  Ethan shakes out Bill's clothing and finds the small booklet he noticed earlier.  Ethan tucks the book into his pocket as nurse Pam enters.  Ethan asks for the coroner and is informed that he isn't present.  Nurse Pam snarks about how she goes where she is needed when Ethan questions why she is in the morgue.  Pam then asks if Ethan got in touch with his wife, adding that she knows how much Ethan and Theresa want to get back together to fuck. Ethan doesn't rise to the bait and leaves.

On his way out of the hospital, Ethan sees Ben and Theresa being wheeled in. Ethan looks frantically for them and instead finds Dr. Jenkins. Ethan asks about Theresa and Ben and Dr. Jenkins is adamant that no new patients have been admitted since he left.  Dr. Jenkins brings up treating Ethan's brain hemorrhage but Ethan is insistent that he saw his family.  Ethan asks to see his chart and Jenkins agrees to do so, if Ethan will sit down for a moment.  Jenkins tries to tell Ethan that his condition is getting worse and that if he doesn't have surgery, the hallucinations will become worse. Jenkins again asks for Ethan's consent but before Ethan can answer, Pam enters.  Jenkins ask Pam for Ethan's records but Ethan isn't interested in waiting around, so he gets up and leaves.  Pam and Dr. Jenkins share a look of frustration.

Theresa is on the phone with Adam Hassler, trying to find out if there's been any new information on Ethan.  Hassler is not forthcoming and Theresa is certain that they are holding something back from her. Theresa reveals that Ben thinks that Ethan ran off with Kate and to Theresa it seems plausible given that Kate transferred to Boise.  Hassler refuses to answer, so Theresa asks if Ethan is in Boise.

Ethan meets up with Beverly and she snarks that something must really be wrong with him because he went to the hospital of his own volition.  Ethan shows Beverly the map he got from Bill's things, saying maybe they can use it as an escape plan. Beverly tells Ethan that before they can do anything, his chip must be removed. Ethan's shocked by this but still let Beverly cut into his arm.  Ethan pulls out the chip and Beverly suggests that he walk around with it in his pocket until it's time for them to run and then he can ditch it.  Ethan asks Beverly about a plan and she points out that since Ethan is a Secret Service agent he is therefore responsible for making a plan.  Ethan questions if Beverly really believes that it's almost the year 2000 and when she says yes, he informs her that when he entered Wayward Pines 5 weeks ago, it was 2014. Beverly is confused and says that Bill Clinton is the president. It seems that Beverly has not heard of 911 or President Obama.  When Beverly reveals her birthday, Ethan tells her that she looks pretty good for 54. They make their way through the woods and Beverly says that when she first got here because she was so disoriented, she believed when she was told that she was always a  resident of Wayward Pines.  Beverly reveals the fear of what happened to Bill Evans, is what keeps everyone in line here.  When Ethan asks for her to clarify, Beverly reveals that Pope killed Bill in front of the whole town.

Later, as they walk through the streets, Beverly explains that she and Bill were supposed to leave together and then he just snapped and left by himself. Bill slips Beverly his chip and then walks backward a few steps.  Ethan learns that the cameras ping off the modem of the chip. Bill asks why there aren't many cars in Wayward Pines and Beverly says that she hasn't seen a single air plane since she has been there. 

Beverly and Ethan then run into Kate and Harold.  Kate asks if Ethan and Beverly are on a date and they both sputter a response.  Harold and Kate invite Beverly and Ethan over for dinner, supposedly to get to know them better.

In the real world, Theresa says that she is going to Boise in the morning to find Ethan.  Theresa says that either Ethan is dead, or has abandoned his family and if it's the later plans to kill Ethan herself. Ben asks if he can help and Theresa tries to get him to stay with his Aunt Darla. 

Back in his motel room, Ethan studies Bill's map,  tapes his chip to his bed and leaves the motel room. 

Beverly tends bar while Pam and Arlene (Pope's secretary) complain about how Ethan keeps barging into the sheriff's office and driving Pope "crazy".  Pam calls Ethan a wild one and complains about Ethan slamming her into a wall.  Arlene asks if Ethan has a thing for Beverly, since he has spent so much time with her recently. Pam adds that it would be nice for Beverly to settle down.  Beverly denies the allegations, pointing out that Ethan has a wife who he misses. Beverly adds that it's her job to talk to people and in a threatening voice, Pam reminds Beverly that she isn't supposed to talk about the past.

Ethan is following Bill's map through the woods.  He comes across a large oddly shaped tree and decides to climb it.   Part way up, Ethan finds a bag but before he can investigate it, he hears shots going off in the distance.  When Ethan looks over his shoulder, someone is firing a rifle.  Ethan turns and frees the bag.

Back in town, Beverly and Ethan make their way to Kate and Harold's.  Beverly is nervous about spending any time with Kate and reveals that Bill didn't trust her. Ethan asks if Beverly trusts him and Beverly points out that the last secret agent she trusted ditched her. Ethan makes it clear that he doesn't trust Kate but has come up with a plan.  Ethan is going to go the bathroom and check for mikes and when he returns, Beverly is to go and leave her chip there.  They will then finish dinner, say goodnight and head to the cemetery where he has hidden Bill's bag.  Beverly is concerned that they will be caught but Ethan is positive things will be fine, if they stick to the plan.

Beverly, Ethan, Kate and Harold, are sitting down for dinner.  They make small talk while Ethan slips his chip under the dining room table.  Ethan excuses himself for the bathroom and quickly checks it for devices.  At the table, when Kate says that Harold's specialty is making rocking horses, Beverly slips and reveals that her daughter in Portland had a rocking horse.  Kate calmly replies that she didn't know that Beverly had a daughter.  Beverly back tracks and is saved by Ethan returning to the table and changing the subject.  Kate however asks again about Beverly's daughter and Beverley gets smart and leaves the table. Beverley heads for the bathroom.

At the table, Kate offers to go check on Beverly and Ethan stands and offers to do it instead.  When Ethan checks the bathroom, he discovers that Beverley is gone.  Ethan heads back to the table, grabs his jacket and tells Kate and Harold that Beverly is waiting for him outside because her stomach is really bothering her.  The moment Ethan leaves, Harold asks Kate if Ethan and Beverley are going to run. With a frozen smile, Kate says absolutely.

Outside, Ethan catches up to a very upset Beverly.  It seems that Beverley ran because she slipped up and told Harold and Kate that she has a daughter.  Ethan suggests that they walk calmly and thankfully Beverly remembered to leave the chip in the bathroom.  Beverley reveals that her daughter is six and lives with her mother.  Beverly asks Ethan to contact her family if she doesn't make it out of there. In the background, all of the phones start to ring and Beverley reveals that this is how it started when they killed Bill.  Ethan tells Beverly to go to the cemetery while he distracts them.  The citizens of Wayward Pines take to the streets in search of Ethan and Beverly.  They chase Ethan through the streets but Beverley is quickly caught. Ethan manages to evade capture.

Beverly is dragged through the streets and is strung up before the town. A huge gathering is being presided over by Pope, who asks the audience to thank the Ballingers for doing their civic duty and turning Beverley in.  Pope tells the crow that Beverly discussed the past and tried to leave.  Pope says that it's not just his job to keep this town safe but everybody's, before he slits Beverley's throat. Some in the audience are appalled and others are happy and clap.  Pope tells the crowd that people who don't play by the rules will not be tolerated.  Ethan looks out the window to see Beverley's body hanging on display.

Theresa and Ben are in a car and are headed in the direction of Wayward Pines.

I was really surprised to see how quickly Beverley was killed off.  I really liked the idea of a partnership between these two and that Beverley saved Ethan from having the surgery done.  It sucks that Beverley was sacrificed to teach Ethan a lesson about following the rules in this town. Furthermore, it completely disempowered Beverley and turned her into a passive victim.

In terms of the other female characters, the most prominent right now are Theresa, Kate and obviously, evil nurse Pam, whose starting to read like a sad horror trope.  At this point, I like that they are strong in their own way.  Kate clearly knows something is going on in Wayward Pines and has decided to follow the letter of the law while surreptitiously giving Ethan little clues like how to find Bill's house.  Theresa is not content to be lied to by the secret service and is off to find her husband. Then there's Pam, who is clearly powerful but seems angry for some reason I have yet to fathom.

Wayward Pines is getting creepier by the moment.  Now we know that there are an official set of rules and breaking them means a brutal public death without any kind of trial.  There seem to be some in the town that have embraced this life and others who have doubts, based on the response to Beverley's execution. 

What we still don't know is the purpose for keeping all of these people in Wayward Pine and who is controlling it all.  Yes, Pope seems to have some power but one man alone cannot control so many people.  I don't think it's some kind of cult because the Secret Service is clearly involved, or at least has some idea of what is going on.  Then there's the issue of time being different for people.  That still suggests a supernatural element somehow. 

I would be remiss if I didn't talk about race after this episode. So far, I've only see two people of colour in Wayward Pines: sheriff Pope and Ruby.  The image of Pope having Theresa strung up so that he could slice her throat in front of a crowd is disturbing on many levels.  Historically, it's Black men who were strung up and killed as crowds cheered for their blood.  Having Pope be the one to slaughter Beverly doesn't subvert that in any positive manner, as it only affirms the racist idea that Black men represent a threat to White women.  And this particularly troubling given that Pope is the only MOC in the cast that I have seen thus far. 

I want to see with this series is going. This episode two and though the world has been established, a lot of questions have been asked so far with no hint of answers.  I hope that as the season progresses, the writers will be able to answer all of the questions they have posed.