My children and I pass television shows and books around like viruses. If it’s just that good we have to share. I recently heard, “Mom, you have to watch this!” My daughter excitedly advised me about Wayward Pines. I knew the show by its commercial, but hadn’t picked it up until she insisted I’d like it. And just like a virus, I was cautiously infected.
It’s one of those shows that you don’t watch passively. You watch and think, you dissect and discuss and until you guess a ridiculously farfetched scenario to answer the question, “What the heck is going on?” And then episode five airs, giving away the secret and you’re left thinking…”Uh…I didn’t guess THAT!”
I watched, my daughter didn’t as she hung out with non-Wayward Pines watching friends. I couldn’t help but text her…”You’re never going to guess the secret.”
The show is based on the book series called The Wayward Pines Series by Blake Crouch, so there are fans already clued into what’s going on. And since I have never read the series and have no inkling as to what’s coming, I sat there stunned. And by the way, I guessed wrong. Aliens? What was I thinking? I’ve had time to digest what I’ve been fed, and I can almost accept the explanation. Almost. Because there’s that one tiny little thing that puts a wrench in it for me.
You see, way back in episode 1, Ethan Burke, U.S. Secret Service agent is investigating the disappearance of two co-workers near Wayward Pines, Idaho. After a deadly car crash that kills his partner, Ethan is treated by Dr. Jenkins. We can already feel the strange vibes given off by Pam the nurse as well as various town folks as Ethan attempts to understand his surroundings and why he can’t contact the world outside of Wayward Pines. But it’s not that. This little hiccup that haunts me is the conversation between Dr. Jenkins and Burke’s supervisor Adam Hassler, in which Dr. Jenkins advises Hassler, “Things are going according to plan.”
Plan? What plan? What does Hassler know, when did he know it and why did he let it happen? It’s that tiny piece of the puzzle that doesn’t fit. It makes the secret more sinister, less noble, a tad bit creepy even. Not that public executions or the Stepford Wives vibe the inhabitants of Wayward Pines give off aren’t disturbing at all…
There’s still the mysterious rules, the phone calls, the abbies, the former hypnotherapist, now the school principal who as it seems is the only adult clued into the secret and David Pilcher who created the town. Even with the secret laid at our feet in the middle of the ten episode miniseries, I can’t help but believe we’re in for even more “I didn’t see that coming,” moments.
You can’t help but love a show that is a cross between The Stepford Wives, in the way the adults of the survive by fiercely obeying or pay the consequences and The Twilight Zone where the drunk couple wakes up in a fake house in a neighborhood made of paper mache’, hearing sounds of a child to whom they now belong and can’t make sense of their new life.
If you’re privy to the final secrets please don’t tell me, because to be perfectly honest, I can’t wait for the twists, turns and surprises that this show has thrown in my lap. So far from what I expected, I look forward to the final half of the season and though I want to know, I don’t want to know because sometimes the anticipation of the secret can be far more enjoyable than the actual secret. And did I really need to know the significance of the year 2096. I’d rather not know.