Thursday, June 23, 2016

Wayward Pines, Season Two, Episode Five: Sound the Alarm

When we last left off, the town of Wayward Pines was asleep and Frank found himself face to face with an Abbie.  Fortunately for Frank, the Abbie was captured and she is now safely ensconced in a lab to become a plaything for my least favourite true believer Megan.  One of the lab techs has named the female Abbie Margaret, after his ex girlfriend.  Everyone makes a big deal about Margaret, claiming that they always knew female Abbies existed but hadn't ever seen one.  Margaret in this moment represents one of the problems with Wayward Pines this season.  Having such a great amount of time since filming the first season and the second season means that actors have been inserted in scenes where they don't belong and assertions are made that interrupt the continuity of the show.  Margaret is not the first female Abbie, Penny was in season one.  This wonder and push for discovery at the capture of Margaret doesn't make sense.

Things for the residents are equally as confused.  Through a flashback, we get to see that Rebecca is having trouble holding onto projects at work and so when Pilcher shows up in her office full of flattery, offering the opportunity to design an entire town, Rebecca is thrilled.  She stays up late at night designing Wayward Pines and even brushes Theo off.  It's only when Rebecca is called to a meeting with Pilcher and his top brass that Rebecca learns that the town that she dedicated so many hours to designing won't be built for another two thousand years.  Rebecca smiles and pretends to be honoured but she is clearly upset.  It's worth noting that though Megan is at the table, it feels like she is squeezed in because in season one, Megan wasn't part of the inner circle and didn't spend any time on the mountain.

Rebecca has secrets that she hasn't told Theo beyond the fact that she designed Wayward Pines.  When Rebecca work up, the first person she saw was Xander. Yes, the ice cream man and rebel.  It seems that Rebecca and Xander were actually married for year and were on a six month break when Theo was awoken to deal with Carrie's medical emergency.  Theo is shocked by this news and responds with putting his wedding ring on the counter before punching Xander in the face though Rebecca tries to explain her isolation and fear after waking up alone in Wayward Pines. Given that Rebecca created Wayward Pines it leaves me wondering if she consented to be frozen or was forced into it by Pilcher.

Theo may be having problems at home but at least on the work front he is making gains.  With the news of the female abbie, Theo is certain that he is the man to deal with Margaret, since he is the only trained physician in Wayward Pines.  Of course, this means that he will be stepping into Megan's territory and that woman doesn't like to be threatened.  To accomplish this, he talks to Kerry, who actually agrees to supplanting Megan. When Kerry takes Theo to the lab, Megan defends her position of experimenting on the abbies without sedatives by claiming that they are testing their pain response. Theo finds this hideous and orders that no one is to touch Margaret until he can set up proper protocols. Kerry takes pleasure in snarking about the fact that Megan is the worlds mostly highly trained hypnotherapist basically heavily implying that in terms of scientific research, Megan is out of her depth.  Megan stammers that she has done a lot of research since then as a way to fight off the idea that she is incompetent. It looks like a battle is coming between Theo, Kerry and Megan but Megan isn't going down without a fight because she orders the procedure she had planned to start the moment Theo leaves the room.

The kids don't have it any easier than the adults I'm afraid.  Frank is told by a fellow student that all the girls are hot for him because of his part in capturing Margaret.  Frank is clearly uncomfortable with the idea.  Frank reports to one of Megan's reproduction rooms to do his part in increasing the population of Wayward Pines. I'm quite sure that these reproduction room weren't part of Pilcher's original plan because he froze so many people; however, when you consider the deaths that occurred on Invasion Day, the war and of course the cullings, there aren't that many members of humanity left. Frank goes into the room to do his reproductive duty and he is clearly nervous but none of it is really working for him. In frustration, Frank's partner accuses him of like boys and Frank just stammers that he isn't into her and that blondes are more his thing.

A desperate Frank heads to see Theo, who asks if Frank is gay.  Having grown up in Wayward Pines, Frank has no concept of homosexuality or that it's okay to be attracted to someone of the same sex. Theo explains what it is to be gay and tells Frank repeatedly that there's nothing wrong with being gay but Frank immediately sees his sexuality as a sickness and begs for a cure to make him like everyone else. Theo tries again to explain to Frank that being attracted to someone of the same sex is natural but Frank panics and begs Theo not to tell anyone because he believes that he will be killed if he fails to reproduce.  Theo promises to protect Frank, saying that he won't allow Frank to be killed and Frank storms out of the office.

I know that Pilcher's original plan did not take into account the fact that not all of humanity is straight. In the books, we know that gay people were taken from their spouses and then paired with someone of the opposite sex in Wayward Pines.  In the series, we know that Pam simply matched people based on their interest and never took into account their sexuality. In the books and the television show, the community of Wayward Pines doesn't take into account LGBT people whatsoever. Outside of the books, Frank is the sole LGBT character that we've seen.  It will be interesting to watch his journey going forward. In desperation, Frank reconnects with his younger sister who promises to protect him.  It seems that all his forgiven for now.

Outside of the walls, Theresa is grieving the loss of Ben and has determined that she is not returning to Wayward Pines though it would be safer for her there.  Theresa ends up discussing her decision with Adam, who admits that Theresa was never supposed to end up in Wayward Pines because he only wanted Ethan out of the way. Adam it seems only decided to go to Wayward Pines after Theresa was taken, making him a selfish git. Adam realises that the reason that Theresa isn't returning to town is that she came out there to live and die in peace near Ben and he's right.  Adam is desperate for Theresa's forgiveness but she makes it clear that while they can talk, she will never forgive him for what he has taken from her. This ironically is the most backbone we've seen from Theresa in quite some time.

Having spent years outside of the safe walls of Wayward Pines, Adam has learned a lot about the Abbies. CJ is content to get the planting done to provide food for the town.  He has fully embraced the idea that the Abbies are gone but Adam warns him that it's only a matter of time before they return and that he is certain that when they do come, it will be to kill them all.

Adam is not wrong about this. We see the Abbies approach the first fields that CJ planted and this time they are wielding fire, having learned to tame it from the humans.  They begin to toss torches at the corn field but stop suddenly and stand at attention.  At the lab, Margarget's far too alert eyes are open while outside, all of the Abbies are still.  It seems that the Abbies communicate telepathically. This is new.

What's clear is that the residents of Wayward Pines have far underestimated the abbies. In this episode, Megan refers to Margaret as a stupid animal repeatedly and misses the intelligence in her eyes.  As she pours out her heart and explains that Pilcher never meant for humanity and abbies to meet and talks about being trampled and injured, Margaret watches her intently.  Margaret is planning something for the humans and if the humans don't wake up, they're going to be annihilated. Margaret has already proven that the electrified fence built to keep the abbies out will not keep them safe.

The residents of Wayward Pines are too caught up in internal conflict to see the threat that they face. We have Carrie making her moves against Megan, (which I fully approve of by the way) but at the end of the day, it's all a distraction.  Megan really should have been killed off and forgotten about at the end of the first season. It doesn't even make sense that she survived Invasion Day given that she was trampled by Abbies. As far as I am concerned, Megan has lived past her expiration date.

Then we have Rebecca and her secrets. Yes, Rebecca admitted to being married but she didn't tell Theo about designing the town and her role in them both being in Wayward Pines.  I also think that Rebecca has more power than we realise at this point.  Rebecca had no fear when she challenged Megan last week and we know that she designed the fence which means that she was one of the first ones to be awoken.  Yes, the show is obviously going to play up the love triangle but there's more to Rebecca's problem than two men competing for her attention.

What will the authors do with Frank now that they've created the first gay character in the television series?  Megan, the kool aid sipper, is all about reproduction and we know that Theo has very little use for her at this point.  My problem with all of this is that Frank is clearly going to become a wedge issue between these two and simply become another thing that they cannot agree upon.  The conversation should be about the social structure of Wayward Pines but it's obvious that this is not the way that the writers are going to play it.

Wayward Pines is clearly building to an epic showdown with abbies and I for one am looking forward to it.  I am tired of the fascist nonsense this season started with.  I am tired of seeing Theresa moping and I am tired of the power games.  At the end of the day, what really matters is survival and that means finding a way to deal with the abbies for good. Wayward Pines is at its best with the abbies are the center of the story.