Thursday, June 16, 2016

Wayward Pines, Season Two, Episode Four: Exit Strategy

Finally, we have an episode of season one, where an original character didn't show up out of the blue to die.  Work hard and enjoy your life in Wayward Pines everyone.

When Ben and Theo were tossed outside of the fence so was Xander, who was promptly snatched up by an Abbie. At that point, I'd pretty much assumed Xander died.  Wayward Pines has spent the last two seasons telling us that no one can stand against an Abbie attack because they are stronger and faster than humans.  At any rate, Xander wakes up and finds himself in what looks like a deep well without water.  Did this structure survive the end of humanity or was it something that the abbies built?  At any rate, Xander climbs out only to confront an Abbie and promptly drop back into the well. The Abbie jumps into the hole with Xander and a fight ensues from which Xander actually emerges victorious.  He even finishes the abbie off by using a rock to crack its skull.  I guess when it's convenient to the story, abbies don't amount to a huge threat.

Xander makes his way to a lake but when he stops to take a drink, he is attacked by none other than Adam Hassler. Yes, the same Hassler who sent Ethan to Wayward Pines in the first place.  Pilcher sent Adam and 12 others outside the walls of Wayward Pines in search of any other surviving human communities.  Xander has to coax Hassler into removing his knife from his neck.  Hassler may have survived but he's in very rough shape.  It seems that he's learned for instance that there's more to the abbies than the community of Wayward Pines realises.  The abbies have a sense of community about them and are organised.  They even send out scouts to look for prey before the hunting team arrives. That speaks of intelligence and it makes perfect sense given that the abbies used to be human. Hassler's big plan is to return to Wayward Pines and Xander decides to accompany him in the hopes that he will be let in and allowed to live in peace.

Once inside the safety of the walls, Hassler is haunted by everything he has seen and has visions of abbies munching on kids.  MMmmm yummy.  At Adam's check up, Theo tries to press him for answers on what he has seen and learned.  Hassler simply says that the abbies aren't their enemies, they're our replacements.   Theo checks out the scars on Hassler's abdomen which are horrific. Clearly, Hassler's had more than his share of run in with abbies and lived to tell about it.

After avoiding Arelene's plan to get get him a hair cut, pedicure, manicure and of course waxed, Hassler leaves the hospital and becomes Wayward Pine's first homeless person. This is when Theresa sees him and confronts him in an alley.  Theresa is pissed because she believes that thanks to Hassler, she has lost her entire family.  I'm totally with Theresa on this one. Theresa asks if Hassler has seen Ben but unfortunately for her he has not.  With a look of disgust, Theresa is happy to leave Hassler behind to rot.  What she doesn't know is that she's not done with Hassler yet.

 It seems that head fascist megadouche has come to the decision that since the Abbies have withdrawn, it's time to spread further a field and plant more food. True believer Megan is not down with this at all, suggesting that instead they should fixate on what Pilcher would have wanted.  Megan is going to be invoking Pilcher until her dying day. Ethan however cannot be dissuaded and comes up with a plan to send a team outside of the walls, wanting to secure food for the community.  Megan can force teens to have babies but without food to feed them, what's the point?

Speaking of forced impregnation, this week 11 year old Lucy gets her period and she tries to hide it because she's not ready to be a mother.  That's sensible thinking for an 11 year old.  Lucy and her brother are orphans from the last abbie invasion and she confides in him. Despite Frank's desire to protect his sister, all it takes is a little push from Megan for him to spill the beans.  This all comes to a head when Megan arrives at Rebecca's beauty shop to pick up Lucy.  Rebecca righteously decides that while the continuation of humanity is important, having humanity is equally important. Megan snarks back about Rebecca's inability to get pregnant but this doesn't deter Rebecca from making it clear that Lucy deserves a choice and that she is going to protect her.  When Megan drops her trump card of threatening to inform Ethan of Rebecca's inappropriate actions, Rebecca simply wheels Megan out of the beauty salon.

While Rebecca is busy with Megan, Theo seeks out CJ, the communities resident farmer to talk about plans to move outside the walls.  CJ points out that Theo hasn't been dethawed for long and doesn't realise that all the memories of the people he left behind will begin to fade over time, leaving him to confront the reality that all that matters now are the townsfolk.  CJ is moving outside of the walls of Wayward Pines to give the people hope for a tomorrow.  

Theo returns home and meets Lucy for the first time.  He's as aghast as Rebecca to discover that Megan plans on breeding Lucy and compares it to the Nazis.  Wow, Wayward Pines is working the fascism thing hard this season.  Here's the deal, the Nazis wouldn't have wanted a girl of colour to have a child.  They only wanted White, blonde haired and blue eyed babies.  Rebecca and Theo both vow that somehow they are going to find a way to protect Lucy.

The next day the envoy heads outside of the walls and Theresa decides to join them in the hope of somehow finding Ben.  Hassler jumps into a jeep behind her and Theresa declares him to be CJ's problem.  With the camp set, Theresa questions if Hassler is there to help her and finally tells him all she knows about Ben.  Theresa heads to bed for the night and Hassler slips a way.  Some time later, Theresa is awoken by the sound of the soldiers gathering near her tent.  Theresa steps outside and finds a body all wrapped up in tarp. We don't get to see the body but it's clear from Theresa's reaction and death glare to Hassler, that the dead body in fact belongs to Ben.  What I want to know is how he found Ben so quickly.  

Back in Wayward Pines, after being cussed out by Lucy for revealing his secrets, Frank decides to go for a walk down Main street. Is anyone else curious by what Lucy meant when she questioned how Frank would feel if she revealed his secrets especially given that shots of Frank with other young boys.  Is Wayward Pines implying that Frank is gay? Frank stops to eat his sandwich and the carousel suddenly turns on but just as quickly turns off.  Frank decides to have a closer look given that no one is readily visible.  When he moves closer, an Abbie reveals itself. Yes, an Abbie is inside the walls of Wayward Pines. Remember what Hassler said about Abbie's sending scouts.  Things don't bode well for the residents.

I think that it's time they kill off Megan. Sure she symbolises many of the things that are wrong with Wayward Pines but I also find her a distraction. What's really interesting is what's going on with the Abbies.  Megan's plan to breed people and partake in medical research she isn't even remotely equipped to handle actually bores me quite a bit.  While I loved Rebecca wheeling her out of the salon, I wish that it had come with a slap.

That being said, it's telling that the few women characters are focused on a fight which involves reproductive freedom while the menfolk get on with building a future and securing the town.  I by no means intend to suggest that reproductive freedom isn't essential to the lives of women; however, the clear gender division regarding confrontation is impossible to ignore.  What it implies about the roles of men and women in this dystopian future is telling. 

It's official, Ben's gone but then look what happened the last time I declared someone dead.  There's a very flirtatious thing going on between Xander and Rebecca.  Hmmmm.  The one thing this season doesn't need is a love triangle. Please Wayward Pines, don't go there.  Xander however proves that at least some of the first generation have a brain in their head.

I continue to be very frustrated with CJ.  He's a huge name and thus far, Wayward Pines has done absolutely nothing with him. I am convinced that he must have an interesting back story being one of the few people of colour Pilcher decided to bring into the future and yet we've barely gotten any hints about him.  In his conversation with Hassler, he made it clear that he has seen things that he cannot forget but that's about as far as they got.  CJ is still this blank slate to me which is a shame because Djimon Hounsou is an amazing actor.