Friday, June 10, 2016

Wayward Pines, Season Two, Episode Three: Once Upon a Time in Wayward Pines

The Abbies are gone for the time being and the rebellion has been squashed but that doesn't mean that all is calm in Wayward Pines.  Jason is busy making plans to expand outside of the wall in the belief that they can use fire as a tool to continue to keep the Abbies at bay but he hits an unexpected snag - the return of Pam.

For much of season one, I must admit to not liking Pam in the slightest.  It wasn't until David let the Abbies into the town, an event now known as the invasion day that Pam realised the fanatic that she had become.  For her part in ending Pilcher's life, Jason sentenced her to banishment inside the walls. With all of the violence however, Pam decided that she could no longer stay on the sidelines.  Given everything that she has seen and done, I had really hoped for a much changed Pam.

Pam spent most of the episode poking her nose in all over Wayward Pines and dropping some snark on Theo, who seems to believe that the reason he and Rebecca were chosen was because of his medical skill.  When Pam asks if Theo thought their kidnapping in Hawaii was all about him, that really got me thinking. With everything that happened, it was easy to forget that in season one, before the Abbie invasion, Pilcher had real doctors working in the hospital and Theo was after all in group C.  Clearly, Theo isn't as important as he thinks he is.  With Pilcher's dream of rebuilding, it makes sense that he would want Rebecca who is an architect.  If this is the case, I hope that Rebecca rises in prominence because women have had precious little to do this season beyond die, pull strings at the sidelines, nurture men and mourn.

A lot of Once Upon in Wayward Pines, was told through flashbacks.  We got to see Jason as a little boy and learned that as not only part of the first gen but actually the first child of Wayward Pines, from the very beginning, Jason was set up tor rule this twisted little town. For guides, Jason had Pam, Megan and David.  There was never any chance that Jason would grow up to value human life or see beyond his own narcissism. If anything, his narcissism was actively encouraged by Megan, who creeps me the hell out.  Jason's response to not getting the respect he thought he was due was to kill.  It was Pam who pointed out that every life matters.  When Pam originally made this point I thought it came from pragmatism given her easy acceptance of cullings in the past, but it seems that Pam morally does believe in the value of human life, or at least to a point anyway.

Pam's big plan for Wayward Pines was to use smallpox to wipe out humanity and after injecting herself with the virus, her first act was to cozy up to Jason. Were it not for the intervention of Theo and Megan, this plan might well have worked. Pam justifies her decision to become a typhoid Mary by saying that she wants to end the violence that they are doing to each other.  She's actually disappointed with the killings and the wars and it's ironic given that she's the mother of it all.  Pam had no problem with the cullings of Wayward Pines citizens before invasion day.  Pam also very much seemed to believe that the utopian society she dreamed of was now impossible.  I really would like to know Pam's definition of utopia given what her rule with David looked like.

Despite all that she has done, it's clear that her bond with Jason remained strong.  They absolutely saw themselves as parent and child and that is why it broke David to strangle Pam to stop the spread of small pox.  As much as I had a problem with her character, I think Pam deserved better than to just be tossed on a fire like refuse.  Sure, Jason took the time to strangle her with his own hands but it was still a sad way for this twisted character to end up.

The majority of this week's episode fixated on Jason and Pam but we did unfortunately get another scene of Megan and her everybody fuck classes.  I wonder if she realises how creepy her little sex ed classes.  Megan continues to be a kool aid sipping true believer; however, it's clear that she saw Pam as competition for the lead maternal type slot to Jason.  She loved rolling into that room and ratting Pam out.  Theo sought to stop the problem and treat Pam but Megan only wanted punishment.

Theo is clearly being set up to be the next rebellion leader. The leaders of Wayward Pines like to push the idea that the citizens of the town are lucky to be there and that they have been saved.  Obviously, if they had been allowed to live their life to conclusion 2,000 years ago they would have been fine. Theo however feels the loss. Yes, he has his wife but he misses his father and is plagued with remembrances.  Theo wonders what happened to his dad after he was taken.  Everybody left someone behind and this is a fact that we need to be reminded of from time to time. For me, it's actually when Wayward Pines is at its best.

Once Upon a Time in Wayward Pines seems to be about giving fans of the series a good bye with Pam. With the majority of the characters from season one gone due to Fox's bad planning I suppose a connection between season one and two were somewhat needed. Sure, Jason's back story got filled in a bit but at the same time it all seemed so abrupt.  It's a bit early in the series to have a filler episode though which is pretty much what this was.  I suppose the writers wanted to quickly tie off the loose ends, hence Kate's quick demise first, quickly followed by Pam's. I suppose now we can get to the point of having the meta move along.