Thursday, June 30, 2016

Wayward Pines, Season Two, Episode Six: City Upon a Hill

From the very beginning, the fact that Pilcher named the devolved humans aberrations, set up a way which is reductive in terms of how the abbies are viewed.  In a flash back, we learn that the abbies have familial groups and care for each other.  Pilcher arrives with a helicopter and shoots a community of abberations in order to clear the valley for habitation by humans thus striking first blood in what is to become a war between humanity and the abberations. We watched as the Abbie worked togetehr to get the injured to safety. Clearly, the abbies aren't just animals. When the abberations pulled away after being set on fire to protect the crops, humans viewed this as a success, never understanding that they were handing the abbies a new war tactic.

Jason and Kerry are having a rare moment of intimacy and it seems that Jason has decided that they need to do their part as members of the first generation and reproduce.  Kerry isn't down for this and points out that the town isn't exactly secure. Right so everyone else must be a child mother but Kerry gets to avoid that responsibility.  Theo and Rebecca also have a conversation about reproduction because Theo wants to know if she tried to have a child while he was a sleep.  Neither couple gets to resolve their reproductive issues because the alarms start going off.  The abbies have set fire to the crops and every adult male is forced to rush outside to fight the fire. Theo heads to the hospital to set up for incoming injuries. Rebecca rushes off to see Xander, who asks for access to the Mountain so that he can grab a gun to defend himself outside the walls.  Unlike the other citizens, he's not willing to trust the soldiers to protect him as he fights off the fire.

Even as the abbies attack both the field and the new food settlement that the residents of Wayward Pines are trying to create, inside Megan's lab, things take an interesting turn.  The male abbies are extremely agitated but the female is giving Megan some creepy ass cut eye.  Yep, Margaret is more than sentient, she's clearly controlling the males.  Isn't it interesting that in Wayward Pines, the women tend to have to take a back seat; whereas the abbies seem to be a matriarchy?

The battle goes in favour of the abbies, who not only manage to burn all of the crops, they kill half of Jason's soldiers.  Adam and Theresa are brought into the hospital and she has been injured to such a degree, that her collapsed lung is the least serious part of her injuries.  Theo tries desperately to get the Wayward Pines pseudo doctors to understand triage and actually be useful for a change.  It's a mark of his professionalism that he didn't immediately smack Oscar because I sure as hell wanted to. Jason waltzes into this medical emergency situation and demands to know why the first generation aren't being given priority treatment.  Is this douchebag for real?

Once again, Theo shows diplomacy by not responding thus forcing Jason to head elsewhere and mope about his ineffectual leadership.

The pathetic Jason wonders what good he is.  I think the answer is obvious - none.  He wonders what's wrong with soil inside the walls.  Yeah, I gotta say that Wayward Pines needs to actually explain what happened with the soil, rather than just saying that the soil isn't good for growing things. And if the soil isn't good for growing, is it actually safe for the humans to live there?  Kerry does her woman behind the man thing and props up the empty bag of skin that is Jason by reminding him that Pilcher hand selected him for this role.

Having contained the emergency injuries for now, Theo is making his way through the halls of the office and runs into Xander.  Things are still tense between these two, making me wonder if they even see Rebecca as a person, or a prize to be won.  As a parting shot, Xander makes it clear that the first punch was free but that he will fight back if attacked again.  Theo makes his way to his office where he finds Rebecca waiting for him. Rebecca tries to tell Theo about how different Wayward Pines was before he woke up.  Rebecca says that she and Xander essentially shared a cell together and that they were constantly under surveillance.  It's only when Rebecca admits that under these terrible conditions that she developed feelings for Xander, that the weight of all Theo has seen and been through finally manifests on his face.

In other rocky relationships, we check in on Adam and Theresa.  Through a flashback, we are reminded that Adam arranged for Ethan to be sent to Wayward Pines so that he could claim Theresa for himself.  In the present, Adam grabs Theresa's hand and tells her how sorry is for everything that happened and that he couldn't protect her, even as Theresa dreams that it's Ben's birthday and that she is with her family.  Theresa opens her eyes briefly and when she notices that Adam is holding her hand, she tosses his hand aside and promptly flatlines.  Bye Theresa, so sorry you never rose beyond the position of a possession to Adam and a victim in the rest of the story. I cannot even be comforted by the fact that you got the death you wanted.

In a meeting of the inner circle in Wayward Pines, CJ and Mario have some harsh news to deliver. Both men believe that the abbies were well aware of what they were doing when they attacked the town's food source, indicated by the fact that the Abbies set the fire in such a way so that it would spread quickly and then attacked those holding the hoses attempting to put the fire out. Megan at first tries to claim that Mario must be confused but then she remembers Margaret's strange behaviour in the lab. Jason however refuses to believe that the abbies are nothing but dumb animals. They don't debate the intelligence of the abbies for long because food is a far more pressing concern.  It's CJ who points out that at best they have six more weeks of food and that the crops were burned down to the soil.  Jason wants to plant something which will grow quickly but CJ believes that this is not possible and that they need to come up with an alternative.

So, with the crises regarding the food and the possibility that the abbies are more intelligent than they realise, what does the fearless leader do? Well, he presides over a mass funeral where he tells the citizens that they are the hope of mankind and that they will survive.

While the funeral is going on, Mario decides to make a little visit to Xander to collect the gun Xander took during the abbie attack.  Xander hands back the rifle but cannot resist taunting Mario about the fact that the soldiers wear brown which hearkens back to the Nazis. Wayward Pines is going to beat this dead drum to the bitter damn end.  Mario however is not fazed and points out that he knows history as well.  Mario knows that Xander is a former drug user and criminal and was chosen because of his resourcefulness. An angry Mario then adds that Xander so far has only used said resourcefulness for self profit.

It looks like Mario's lecture about morality actually struck a nerve with Xander because he gives excess apples in his shop to the McConigles because they have three kids in that family to feed. Rebecca catches him in the act and is at first suspicious, until Xander explains what he did and why. Xander points out that they can all remain human inside of the town and expresses his desire to return home. To that end, he encourages Rebecca to speak to Theo again.  Wait, is Xander proposing polygamy?  This would be a new thing for Wayward Pines.

At yet another meeting to discuss how well and truly fucked they are, Theo reveals that they are dangerously low on medication though he could potentially synthesize some weak form of penicillin in the lab.  Theo blames it all on their fearless leader Pilcher, whom Megan jumps to defend, pointing out that Pilcher never expected them to have to fight a war. Be that as it may, Theo points out that people will die of perfectly treatable conditions like a sinus infections and that an outbreak of the flu would be disastrous. Just in case the situation was too cherry, Mario pipes up to add that the abbies have congregated where the crops used to be, thus killing any opportunity to replant.  If that were not enough, their numbers and proximity to Wayward Pines is a real threat.

Back in the lab, Megan does the MRI on Margaret that Theo ordered.  They are both stunned to realise that the part of the brain responsible for language and advanced though is larger in Margaret's brain than a humans.  Theo and Megan wonder if Margaret has understood everything they have said to date.

An upset Theo returns to his office but he finds Arlene waiting for him.  Arlene has taken note of his suitcase and awkwardly informs him that she has a spare bedroom.  Theo doesn't even react to Arlene's painfully awkward come on and simply walks out of the room without responding.  

Instead of engaging with Arlene, Theo heads to see Adam.  Finally, someone in this town is acting like they've got a brain their head.  Adam, having lived outside of the walls for years has the most knowledge of Abbie behaviour. Theo brings up the strange behaviour of the abbies and when he brings up Margaret, Adam is stunned that they have a female in captivity.  Yes, that's Wayward Pines retconning again. Adam immediately wants to know if the female has a mark on her palm.  We know that she does but Theo doesn't get to answer because outside of the gates, the amassing abbies begin to screech and scream. 

The camera pans to the different residents of Wayward Pines hearing the screeching abbies. CJ hears them in his office area, the McConigles when they arrive home with Xander's apples and Jason and Kerry, as they stand next to a window.  The residents of Wayward Pines slowly make their way outside, listening to the scary war cry of the abbies. On the steps of the hospital, Arlene asks Theo if they are going to be okay but he doesn't answer.  The camera then turns to the lab where Margaret has her full death glare on. You can just bet that burning the crops was only phase one in her plans for the humans.