The first season of Wayward Pines came to a close this week, with ‘Cycle’, and that title’s actually a bit of a spoiler. David Pilcher, the once sympathetic inventor who transformed into a mad genius during its 10 week run, cut the power last week, inviting the hungry ‘Abbies’ in.
Wayward Pines has been a steady performer, although a real hit it never really became – despite the positive buzz it created on a weekly basis. Summer may have had a hand in that, as well as the fact that it was advertised as ‘the first television series by M. Night Shyamalan’. The director has gone from Hollywood Genius and Boy Wonder of Movie Magic, to Overrated Has-Been. Every time his name appears, enthusiasm vanishes as skepticism moves in.
Whether Pines was a fluke or not, the show about a mysterious small town, where anyone’s past is a life threatening taboo, proved to be one of the most entertaining series of 2015.
Contrary to what’s considered the common TV drama rule – which is to stretch out a secret as long as possible – Pines started out with a lot of questions, but answered them one by one, in rapid fashion. Surprisingly, this tactic didn’t pull out the rug from under it. Every secret that got exposed immediately caused another interesting chain reaction. The show never ran out of steam; then you know you’ve got a keeper – but a second season’s still up in the air at this point.
Grey Sand Incubators
‘Cycle’ could serve perfectly as a series finale, but it leaves lots of opportunities to continue the story. After Pilcher sentenced everybody to death, because, well, they wanted to know who was pulling the strings, and defied his orders, the Abbies cried havoc on the streets of Wayward Pines – where paradise is home. They really were insatiable, using the town as an all you can eat buffet.
Ethan Burke brings a lot of people to safety – the bunker Theresa discovered, a few weeks ago. From there, they take an elevator up to the top of the mountain, where Pilcher is putting everybody who looks at him funny back in their grey sand incubators, including his own sister, Nurse Pam.
Blaze of Glory
The Abbies break (eat?) their way into the elevator shaft and come climbing up. Ethan knows what he has to do: send everybody to the nearest floor and stay behind himself – with a bomb. Matt Dillon only signed on for one season, it seems like. Once Abbie arms break through the floor – what material is this elevator made of? – Ethan sets it off, killing the Abbies in a blaze of glory.
Thankfully, there are people loyal to Pam and she’s woken up again. Pilcher’s in the middle of one of his Blofeld-esque speeches, still refusing to turn the power back on – Kate’s pointing the gun at him, but that doesn’t seem to have any effect – when Pam comes in and shoots her brother.
With the power restored, the Abbies gone – for the time being – and new management, it looks like Wayward Pines is back in business, but no more surveillance, no more reckonings, no more ‘always answer the phone’.
Ethan’s son, Ben, gets hit unconscious by a projectile flying around because of the elevator shaft explosion. When he wakes up, it’s three years later. Wayward Pines has been ‘reCycled’. It looks like the so-called ‘first generation’ has taken over. The town’s back in full surveillance mode, and people are being crucified if they try to leave. It’s like Michael Scofield gave his life getting his brother out of Fox River, but his actions put Lincoln right into Sona.
Shyamalan has expressed his interest in a season 2, ‘if it feels right, creatively’. Let’s hope it does. Maybe found a second town like Wayward Pines, somewhere else? On a side note: the Abbies apparently are the next phase of human evolution, so wouldn’t the survivors eventually evolve into them as well? In other words: human beings will cease to exist, no matter what. Maybe that’s an interesting angle to explore.