A good rule to follow when dealing with Wayward Pines, the town, is to accept that life will definitely suck no matter what you do. A good rule to follow when dealing with Wayward Pines, the show, is to not overthink every twist. So, when we learned this week that the good citizens of Wayward Pines have to harvest the crops growing outside the fence — the soil inside has become too toxic for crops to grow — it’s best to not wonder how exactly the soil inside went bad. Plus, does it even make sense for everyone to trust that plants growing outside will be safer to eat? Probably not. But it doesn’t matter.
After all, turning a blind eye and aggressively forging ahead with survival is what Pilcher would do. As he explains in a taped fireside chat that Head Douche Jason dutifully plays for his citizens, the “savior” of humanity says that Wayward Pines is a place only fit for “men and women who know how to work” — so, uh, did Rihanna make it? — and that rule-breakers will face consequences. Consequences like… getting attacked by Abbies the first day you’re there!
Yup: Theo, Ben, and Xander are still in the van just outside the fence, and Jason has no qualms with showing the Wayward Pinesians their impending deaths. He’s okay with it until he realizes
the protagonist of the show can’t die just yet the Abbies might be gaining on the fence. He orders the feed cut (to make people panic, natch!) and heads to the fence with soldiers, who do an adequate job of fending off the World War Z-like pile of electrocuted Abbies that have allowed some to clamber over the top of the fence — until one of them wounds Kerry.
Unfortunately, the doctor is out, so Jason has the soldiers rescue Theo and bring him to the hospital, where he can bitch to Theo in person. Theo uses Kerry’s critical condition as leverage, forcing Jason to summon Rebecca and to tell him the truth about Wayward Pines. It goes badly: Theo calls Jason an “underage cretin” (nice!), Jason tells the truth (good try!), Theo bodyslams Jason into the wall (woohoo!), and Rebecca finally steps in to convince Theo to save Kerry (boo!).
He does, and when she wakes up, she talks Jason down from punishing Theo because, well, Wayward Pines could really use a doctor. And on the other side of town, Rebecca does the same for Theo, trying to persuade him that a life in town is possible. She reveals she’s been there for three years and that everything Jason said was true. Theo’s gobsmacked, but it’s not like he can go to the police. He tried that on Day One.
Meanwhile, we meet CJ! CJ’s a soft-spoken man with a penchant for talking about harvesting — for now, anyway. As the bearer of bad news for the episode, he tells Jason all about how they’ll have to harvest outside the fence, but bristles when Mario, a Jason minion, proposes using flamethrowers to protect the harvesters. (I’m with him: Flames and flora don’t exactly mix.) Jason, however, pushes forward because he’s the worst and probably a pyro.
The next day, Theo trudges through the hospital to his new office, stands in front of his many diplomas, and then disposes of the photo of Pilcher. (I think I’m finally liking Theo.) Arlene enters all, uhh, “tuned up” and ready to be his new receptionist. Theo sees his first patient — a boy who stopped by the Yedlin house earlier — and explains that he’s in need of vitamins, but as his students tell him, the town doesn’t exactly have enough for everyone. Jason arrives to make matters worse, telling Theo fully trained doctors will be available after they learn from him first. Theo, annoyed, points out that Wayward Pines doesn’t just need doctors; it needs an overhaul of its government, too. Once again, Jason pouts to Kerry, who rationally reminds him they need Theo on their side.
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Not that what they’ve done to Ben will be any help in that. Theresa, having noticed how Theo’s walking and talking but her son hasn’t returned from Abbie territory, finds Rebecca at work — Rebecca’s now a beautician running “Wayward Beauty,” which doesn’t sound enticing — and insists on seeing Theo. How much does she even expect the doc to know?
NEXT: That was Ben, this is now[pagebreak]
By the time Theo’s home, Rebecca’s too distracted to bring up Theresa’s request, as her husband’s gotten suspicious of why the ice cream shop is named after his architect-turned-beautician wife’s favorite professor from college. Rebecca brushes him off, calling him paranoid. “Why wouldn’t I be paranoid here?” Theo responds, laughing for the first time since he arrived.
Of course, he’s right: There are a lot of weird things going on in town. At school, the young teens — one of whom appears to be pregnant — learn about Abbie anatomy when Megan brings in an Abbie cadaver, but they aren’t allowed to learn where she got the corpse and why they created a pile at the fence. Speaking of the fence, CJ’s army of First Generation soldiers successfully deflects Abbies and harvest the crops, but when Ben shows up — he’s a First Generation member, too, and they aren’t supposed to harm each other, as we’re reminded of over and over again — the soldier he encounters leaves him behind. And when Ben pleads one last time to the security camera, Jason just turns the feed off, and no one bothers to bat an eye.
Except for Theresa, of course. Now that the soldiers are back with crates of food for everyone, she begs them to help. Some almost do, but Mario stops them, though it means breaking that First Generation rule. Even a healed Kerry’s perturbed by their inhumanity toward Ben: After leaving the hospital (and refusing to answer Theo about whether Jason fully depends on her), Kerry reminds Jason over dinner that she’s not an Original, like Ben. “That’s different,” Jason says. “You’re different.” Huh. Jason could use some work on his pillow talk.
Things aren’t so cozy outside the fence, as Ben struggles to survive. While Theresa shouts at the soldiers outside her home, Ben calls out to the noises he hears around him. The noises turn out to be a trio of Abbies, and just before they feast on him — gross — Ben stops and says his final words: “Sorry, dad.” Aw, Ben. If only you and Theresa never came to Wayward Pines!
Then again, I could say that for everyone else on this show. Theo would love a trip back to the good old days: He’s exhausted from having to do things he rarely had to do as a prestigious surgeon, like set broken bones and deliver babies and — oh right — fully trust his wife. Rebecca appeals once more, telling Theo she once thought he was dead, and they’ll need to take steps to heal their marriage.
But what if they run out of time? See, outside the fence, the Abbies have disappeared — at least from Jason’s security cameras. Though he and Kerry celebrate, an Abbie appears in the final frame, clearly having skirted the cameras to make it through the woods.
So… WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN? Are the Abbies learning from the humans? Will the Abbies soon breach the fence again, this time using fire? Will the Abbies discover fire the way humans once did? Also, where is Xander? He got dragged away by an Abbie, but that can’t be all we see of Josh Helman this season, right? Will we ever see the Burkes again? Why didn’t the Abbies ruin any of the crops? How did the original planters avoid being killed by the Abbies while tending to the fields? Why didn’t we ever see CJ last season if he’s so important to Pilcher and to Jason? Is Jason the worst leader ever? Is he the worst — as in poor, not villainous — dictator ever? Does the soil being toxic inside the town mean that the town will eventually be uninhabitable? If so, will the show’s name have to change for the potential next season? May I suggest Wayward Wayward Pines? Are you listening, M. Night Shyamalan?
Deep. Breaths. This will probably aaalll make sense soon.