Thursday, May 26, 2016

Wayward Pines, Season Two, Episode One: Enemy Lines

It's the year 4032, and the last of humanity is residing in Wayward Pines Idaho.  At the end of season one, Ethan had sacrificed himself to kill the aberrations allowed past the fence by the visionary but equally evil Pilcher.  Despite all that Ethan accomplished, the fascist First Generation lead by Jason, who murdered Harold Ballinger at the end of season one is in control of Wayward Pines. It's an odd combination of Lord of the Flies and the Hitler Youth.

Season two begins with Theo on vacation, going for a swim in the ocean.  Depending on your perspective, Theo unfortunately runs into Sheriff Pope. Things aren't going well in Theo's marriage and so when Pope, who plays the role of interesting stranger offers to buy him a drink it's easy to accept.  It's not long before Pope gets Ethan drunk and the two men walk off with each other. I guess this resolves the issue of whether or not he and his wife should procreate.

When Theo awakens, he finds himself in Wayward Pines, and is told that he is part of a government experiment involving volunteers.  He is told that his services as a doctor are needed because of a gunshot wound.  As Theo is driven through the streets of Wayward Pines, it's clear that something is desperately off with this town.  At the hospital, we see that his patient is Kate, who is a member of the resistance. #TEAMBEN

Can someone please explain to me how it is that Ben became a resistance leader? It's not like has tons of qualifications particularly given that he is a teenage kid.  I know that Kate has been captured but given that she is a former secret service agent, wouldn't she be better placed to be the face of the resistance? Yeah, I know, straight, cisgender, white dudes gotta save the world and there's nothing like nepotism to help them get there.

Much like Ethan in season one, Theo is clearly a man outside of time.  He knows from observation that something is truly wrong but he has no idea what year it is, or about the aberrations. At this point all he really wants is to find his wife and leave.

Jason seems at least somewhat conflicted by what he is doing.  He prefaces each decision by claiming that this is what Pilcher would want.  Having grown up in Wayward Pines, Jason grew up with this fascist concept of how a society should work.  The very idea of the very freedoms we take for granted are an absolute anathema to him. Jason desperately believes that what he is doing is for the good of the people and though he claims each person is important, he is not afraid to commit murder to service that end.

Megan, who somehow survived, is a wheel chair user now but that hasn't stopped her from being in full believer mode. Megan's just as much a fanatic as she was in season one and whenever Jason expresses the slightest amount of doubt, she's there to pour Pilcher's corrupt philosophy down his throat.  I didn't think it was possible for me to like Megan even less.  Jason arranges a culling to get Ben to give himself up and Megan uses the time to confront Kate in the hospital.  Kate, for obvious reasons, aches over what humanity has lost and the fixation of the First Generation on the warped future.  When Megan goes to inject Kate with something clearly meant to kill her, Kate quickly gets the upper hand, knocks away the syringe and holds a small knife  Megan's throat.  At this point, I just wanted to scream at the television.

steven universe shia labeouf pearl just do it im so sorry

Kate decides to slash her own throat instead. Damn it. Damn it. Damn it.

Jason, not wanting another Ethan Burke in Wayward Pines, decides that for the good of the people, Theo and Ben have to go. To that end they are placed in a van, and the van is put in drive and allowed to end up on the other side of the fence.  When Theo regains consciousness, the van he is in is swarmed by aberrations.  Fortunately, the aberrations seem more interested in crashing into the electrified fence than they do with the van but things don't look good for either Theo or Ben. 

I really didn't expect much going into this second season given that the first season played out all the drama from the books and many of the original actors would be missing.  I am super pissed that Kate decided to slit her own throat rather than giving it to Megan.  Speaking of Megan, how exactly is this kool aid sipper still alive?  There's now way she should have survived the aberration attack. 

In Kate's confrontation with Jason she makes it clear that he is doing this because this is all he knows. That being said, it still makes no sense to me whatsoever.  What the hell is the point of a mini civil war when there's nothing left of humanity outside of Wayward Pines?  It seems to me that Jason needs to have a beer and chill the fuck out.  I'm not sure I like the whole fascist cum Hitler Youth thing that Wayward Pines is playing with.  Even if we accept the fact that Jason believes that he is doing his best for his community, what sense does it make to kill a highly trained surgeon? He claims that they need their own doctors but who exactly is going to train them?  What he has are kids in lab coats playing dress up. 

In many ways, Theo's introduction felt like a reboot of Ethan's story. With Kate dead, and Pam MIA, Wayward Pines is setting itself to once again have a straight, cisgender, white male saving what's left of humanity.  Including more people of colour doesn't take away from this fact, particularly given that the first person to die this year was an Asian woman.  There's no doubt that Theo is going to find away to get back into Wayward Pines and kick some ass while taking names, it's only a matter of how it all plays out.