Saturday, July 4, 2015

Wayward Pines, Season One, Episode Six: Choices

The town of Wayward Pines lies in ruins with small fires scattered about.  A very disturbed Pilcher walks down the street taking in the destruction. 

The helicopter Ethan got into in the last episode lands at the mountain observatory.  Ethan is very much in a state of shock as Pilcher leads him inside, explaining about how they store things.  Pilcher is convinced that soon Wayward Pines will be self sufficient and that is what they are working on now.  Ethan walks by a room where two women sit to take out going calls from  Wayward Pines residents who are trying to connect with the outside world, in the false belief that they are still in 2014.  Pilcher explains that he has over 200 volunteers, adding that these people gave up everything and that nothing would be possible without them.  Pilcher is called away by Christina.

Back in the town, Ben tells with his mother that he has been thinking about the population of the earth and how it has always made him feel small.  Theresa comforts him by saying that this is normal, so Bed adds that today, he wondered if what they do actually means something. When questioned as to what put these thoughts in his head, Ben lies and says science class.

Kate is at her store when Ted enters to deliver a package.  They make eye contact for awhile and then Ted  reminds Kate about a package she wanted picked up that's in the back.  This is code for them to move to the backroom, where there are no microphones or cameras.  They head into the back where Harold already is.  Kate is concerned that they're all in the back because it looks suspicious.  Ted however is concerned because they are missing Peter's package.  Ted has already searched his home but cannot search the realty office because Theresa has already taken Peter's job and Bill is always there.

At the realty office, an angry Henrietta informs Bill that she is quitting now that she has been passed over for Peter's job in favor of Theresa.  Bill asks Henrietta where she is going to go and if she has another job out of state. Instead of answering, Henrietta grabs her things and leaves with a stunned Theresa fast on her heels.  Theresa catches up with Henrietta and makes it clear that she didn't want the job and is still trying to get back home to Seattle.When Theresa brings up that her latest client said he saw things, Henrietta interrupts to warn Theresa about Peter's death.  It seems that Peter was looking where he shouldn't have and believed that plot 33 was a way out.  Theresa asks about what plot 33 is and Henrietta tells Theresa not to be stupid.

Pam is sewing up the wound on Ethan's arm and she is actually being conciliatory.  Pam assures Ethan that there is a reason behind everything that he has seen. Pam acknowledges that while it's commendable that Ethan has been trying to save his family, Wayward Pines is bigger than him or any one person. Through the intercom, Pam is paged and we learn that she's actually David's sister.  Pam leaves to answer her page.  Ethan hears a loud screech and leaves the examination room.  He follows the sound until he finds an Abbie in a cage.  Ethan pulls his gun before he can shoot, Pilcher enters with armed guards, snarking that the Abbie doesn't like Ethan.  Some sort of drug is used in the cell to knock out the Abbie out.  David explains that the Abbie's are a mutation of humans - a result of humanity changing the environment.  David says that he tried to warn the planet but no one would listen.

In a flashback, David and Pam are leaving an empty theater after a lecture.  It seems that the audience didn't take David's presentation seriously, so Pam comforts him saying that they have all the time in the world. David however is not convinced that time is not the answer and that even with the support of the world, it would probably be too late to reverse the changes. Pam tells David that he is not alone and he snarks about how he is going to save the world with a former drug addict.  After this day, David wrote a book and started researching cryonics. 

Theresa is back in the realty office and she picks up Peter's box but is distracted when she finds a book. Theresa starts flipping through it, so Bill intervenes reminding Theresa that he wanted her to look at houses for the new lawyer.  Theresa asks for a few more minutes, so Bill gets up and slams his hand into the book, informing Theresa that she is to do this right now. Theresa then asks about plot 33 - which is a big undeveloped empty lot.  Bill is adamant that he doesn't want Theresa looking at surveyor maps, and to forget plot 33.  Bill closes the book and takes it back to his desk.  Kate enters and asks to have a word with Theresa.

David explains that cryonic testing was highly illegal and Ethan points out that they ( the Secret Service) took notice.  David adds that others took notice as well but not because of the money.  David then leads Ethan deeper into the mountain where he sees a woman being revived by Pam. The woman's name is Sarah Barlow and she is from Missouri. 

Kate is sitting with Theresa at a coffee shop.  Kate suggests that since Wayward Pines is so small that they cannot spend the rest of their lives hiding from each other.  For her part however, Theresa is adamant that she is leaving.

Ted heads to the Realtor's office to deliver a package.  He places an empty box over top of Peter's box and then claims that the package wasn't addressed to Theresa Burke but another Theresa.  Bill seems slightly suspicious but doesn't say anything as Ted leaves.

Still in the coffee shop, Kate watches through the window as Ted returns to her store with the package.  Kate reveals to Theresa that the reason they are having coffee together is because she wants to change things.  Kate admits that she is in Wayward Pines as a result of some bad choices she made but now that she is in Wayward Pines, all she can do is make new choices.  Kate makes it clear that she is done pretending that everything is okay and wants to make things better, adding that now they all need to be friends.

Ethan makes his way through the observation area where a tech is looking at images of Wayward Pines, to the area where the people are in stasis.  Ethan pauses before the container of a young woman and argues that none of the people in stasis chose to be here.  Pilcher admits to abducting people, calling it a burden to save humanity.  Ethan points out that the girl didn't need saving but Pilcher argues that down the line, someone in her family would need saving. 

Flashback time and this time Pilcher is signing books at a symposium.  This is where Pilcher meets Megan for the first time.  Megan introduces herself as a hypnotherapsit and argues that the people who don't believe in David need to be left behind because they have made their choice. It's clear right off the bat that Megan is a true believer. Megan takes Pilcher's hand and asserts that he has to find a way.

On his way out that night, Pilcher finds Pope and suggests that they go for a ride.  Pope agrees only after he learns that Pilcher is his boss. Pope gives a very general accounting of his life but its Pilcher who fills in the blanks.  It turns out that Pope did well as a child in school until his mother passed away.  Pope went to jail for B&E and Heroin possession.  Pilcher says that he tried to clean up his life and even applied for the police academy two years in a row.  Pope then asks for two weeks more but Pilcher informs him that he is not going to be fired because he needs people like Pope - people who feel they haven't been given a fair chance. Pilcher dangles the opportunity for a second chance and brings up a scientist he knows who needs convincing regarding his project.  Later, we watch as Pope knocks the scientist unconscious and is clearly disturbed by what he did. The scientist is the first one to be put in stasis.

Bill leaves the office for the day and Theresa heads straight to his desk to find the binder.  Theresa rips out a page and when next we see her, she is walking in front of the abandoned lot.

Pilcher explains to Ethan that he tried to save the best of human culture so that people can grow and thrive.  Ethan however is skeptical about people thriving when they live in a culture of fear and uncertainty. Ethan again points out that the people in stasis didn't choose to be here.  Pilcher leads Ethan to his private residence and points out that people have never lived a life defined by their own choices, bring up race, class, gender etc.  Pilcher is adamant that his motivations were pure.

In a flashback, we learn that Pilcher put everyone in stasis in 2014 and then they all slept for 2,000 years.  One by one people wake up in stasis and when they open the doors and look outside, nature has reclaimed the area.  David says that when humans are united for a cause they can achieve anything. It seems the barrier was built to keep the aberrations out and not the people in.  It's important because Wayward Pines is not an ordinary town.  Ethan compares Pilcher to Stalin because he is spying on the citizens of Wayward Pines. 

Kate returns to her store and heads to the back. Harold is concerned that innocent people could be hurt by the bomb.  Kate reminds Harold about his fiance and the importance of moving forward with this. 

Pilcher reveals that everything he has done is to keep the town stable and that this why he woke Ethan.  Pilcher wants someone to make things better.  Ethan brings up the secrecy and executions, saying that they have to stop but Pilcher is worried about losing control.  Ethan however is adamant that the people need to be told the truth.  Pilcher says that he cannot and that it will not work. Pilcher adds that he knows that because he tried.

In a flashback, we see Pilcher making his way through the streets of a destroyed Wayward Pines.  Pilcher reveals that he told group A everything when he woke them.  Some people ran away because they didn't believe and those that did believe committed suicide. Pilcher believes that people are too fragile to deal with their new reality.  Pilcher asks Ethan to keep Wayward Safe until the new generation comes of age and spreads the seed.  Pilcher is certain that young minds can accept the truth.  Ethan then realises that Ben must know the truth. 

Ben stares at himself in the mirror and we get a flash to the welcoming of the first generation he attended earlier.

Pilcher is adamant that the first generation must be saved. Pilcher then reveals that there is a faction who have been removing their chips and is worried that they will do something reckless like take down the fence. Ethan agrees that the group cannot be allowed to succeed, promising to do what it takes to make sure no one gets killed.

Harold tells Kate that he has completed the bomb.

Now we know the secret behind Wayward Pines.  Not only has everyone been transported far into the future, it has all been orchestrated by David Pilcher.  Clearly he has some kind of messiah complex and believes that he did the right thing.  If David managed to come up with two hundred volunteers for his risky plan there is nothing to say that he couldn't have found more people to populate the town.

Pilcher is also very predatory because not only did he have people kidnapped, his volunteers seem to be made up of vulnerable people like Pope.  Yes, there are zealots like Megan but somehow I doubt that they make up the majority of the 200 on the mountain.  Ethan is right to compare Pilcher to tyrants for his behaviour.

Ethan is still very much the hero.  Not only did he manage to escape, he made it further than any other human and survived.  That's some epic plot armor.  I find it interesting that even Pilcher sees Ethan as some kind of savior.  Pilcher is aware that he is losing control of his little town and is desperate to regain control and so turns to Ethan.  It puts Ethan in a peculiar position because while he doesn't condone what Pilcher has done, he needs to make the safety of family a priority.  It will be interesting to see if he shares what he knows with Kate and Theresa. 

I like that Kate is in the middle of a plan but I wonder why it took her 12 years to suddenly try to break out of Wayward Pines.  The timing is far too convenient so we know that Ethan will stop her and in the process, save the corrupt town.  As much as the timing is poorly done, at least Kate is finally being active and taking some kind of control.  Even Theresa is clearly not willing to let things lie, though she has personally witnessed things she can't explains e.g. Pope's body being dragged away.  This is quite different from the books in which both women were really rather passive and defined completely by their relationship with Ethan.  They've even really toned down Pam for the show. 

Even though I have read the books, the changes between the books and the series has really caught my attention and I want to see what they are going to do with these characters.