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Wayward Pines finale recap: Cycle

The saga of Wayward Pines comes to a violent end (and a new one begins?).

Posted on

Liane Hentscher/Fox

Wayward Pines

TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
run date:
Matt Dillon, Carla Gugino, Melissa Leo, Terrence Howard
M. Night Shyamalan
Miniseries, Drama, Mystery, Thriller

Oh, Wayward Pines, you devilish little minx. You sly, devious little show. You came into our lives this summer with the spectral intrigue of a psychothriller, the chic style of a Nordstrom, and the marching momentum of Luscious Lyon, and how did you end? As a guns-blazing, limb-chopping, blood-splattering horror movie, but one that still managed to find moments of quiet, subtle, tissue-grabbing woe and one final WTF to keep things turning like a terrible merry-go-round. Nay, like all merry-go-rounds.

The final episode of season 1 of Wayward Pines—and perhaps the entire series, as buzz on a second season pick-up has been spookily quiet—ended right back where it started, much like the creepy carousel that underscored the shocking final moment when Ben Burke, awaking three and a half years after the attack of the Abbies, finds himself in a new Wayward Pines under the regime of the First Generation. Children now have children; teenagers are cops and wear high heels; a giant statue of David Pilcher has been erected claiming him to be a savior visionary; and, most unsettling of all, corpses are strung from flagpoles, with signs saying “DO NOT LEAVE” tied to their puffy, discolored necks.

Wayward Pines survives, but despite the efforts of the townspeople of Group B, it’s a town where dystopian rule once again reigns supreme. The cycle continues. It’s a horrifying sight, and yet it feels strangely right and wrong at the same time.

How did we get here?

In the immediate aftermath of the Abbies’ descent on Wayward Pines, the town is in a mad panic—mainly because of the power outage, because most of them don’t know what Abbies are at this point. Until they QUICKLY learn. Ethan tells the townspeople to take shelter in the bunker under Plot 33, as he and Kate head to the sheriff’s station to arm the resistance with the town’s supply of weapons. Theresa goes to the hospital to rescue Ben and Amy, and the rest of the town is forced to fend for themselves as they navigate Main Street. But the Abbies come, and they come fast, and they claim casualties.

There’s Big Bob from the realtor office, and the friendly doctor at the hospital who goes to restore the back-up generator. Arlene almost gets killed—which would have made me absolutely furious—but she’s saved at the last minute by Kate, who tracks an Abbie to her toy shop and fights her way back out. The carnage on Main Street is eerily reminiscent of the madness of Group A, with cars blazing and bodies strewn and general violent unpleasantness permeating the thick air.

At the same time, Pam is watching the horror unfold and desperately trying to get Pilcher to change his mind. He reveals that it’s time to exterminate Group B and wake up Group C, but Pam won’t eviscerate an entire population again just because of Pilcher’s mistake. “We’re not talking about ideas anymore, David, we’re talking about actual living human beings,” she pleads. “You haven’t failed your great experiment.” But Pilcher has his sister escorted by security—along with the rest of his employees—and sends Pam back into a sleep chamber. Was it meant to be for good, or just for now? Either way, it was betrayal, and Pam’s last look to her brother was more heartbreaking than when Rose didn’t let Jack share the door in Titanic.

Back on the street, Ethan retrieves Ben, Amy, and Theresa at the hospital, and shepherds them to the bunker under Plot 33, where Kate, Arlene, and the rest of the town’s surviving adults have made it. That includes Megan Fisher, who grumpily still believes that Pilcher is going to rescue them and refuses to tell Ethan where the town’s underground tunnels lead. It’s only when Ben finally chooses his father and forces Fisher to acknowledge that Pilcher is drowning the ark that Fisher realizes perhaps her savior really did abandon them.

She directs the survivors toward the elevator to the mountainside chamber, and Ethan and Kate begin to lead the group.

Fisher stays behind, though, in the hopes that some of the First Generation students who are absent will still make it to the bunker, and she can let them in. It’s a moment of redemption for Fisher, because she’s quickly eaten by Abbies—but not before I have one final moment of doubt about this woman. At the same time that she tells her husband she’s going to stay behind, we see that the incarcerated millennials of Class One of the First Generation (the ones who shot Harold Ballinger and tried to reckon Kate) have been rescued by the rest of their group of teens/twentysomethings. Instead of going to the bunker, they head straight to Wayward Pines Academy, where cute douchebag Jason leads the kids to a safe room Costco-filled with everything they need to outlive the Abbie attack. Survival, by Kirkland Signature.

Watching Fisher in the bunker, I wonder if she knew about the room and planned to go to it. Instead, she gets (presumably) wrecked by Abbies. And that’s all she wrote.

NEXT: Inside the bunker