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Wayward Pines recap: Time Will Tell

Theo tries to communicate with Margaret and CJ’s lonely past is revealed

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Sergei Bachlakov/Fox

Wayward Pines

type:
TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
seasons:
1
run date:
05/14/15
performer:
Matt Dillon, Carla Gugino, Melissa Leo, Terrence Howard
director:
M. Night Shyamalan
broadcaster:
Fox
genre:
Miniseries, Drama, Mystery, Thriller

CJ wakes in the year 2034. He sets a 24-hour timer, he opens some windows, he works out. He dusts, he records the year, he checks the survivors’ statuses. He plays chess. He places a token into a glass bowl. He listens to the radio and watches the news. The feeds report on North Korean refugees, on the outbreak of the “H1R3” virus, and on war.

He goes back to sleep.

CJ wakes in the year 2514. He sets a 24-hour timer, he opens some windows, he works out. He dusts, he records the year, he checks the survivors’ statuses. He plays chess. He places a token into a glass bowl. He listens to the radio and watches the news. There are fewer feeds still online; one screen shows nuclear war. He imagines conversations with survivors, including Beverly and Harold. He heads outside, he encounters a mutated man named Griffin, he lies. He catches a fish, he builds a fire, he leaves Griffin behind. He kills Griffin when Griffin tries to join him. He apologizes. He cries.

He goes back to sleep.

CJ wakes in the year 3234. He sets a 24-hour timer, he opens some windows, he works out. He dusts, he records the year, he checks the survivors’ statuses. He plays chess. He looks tired, a woman’s voice tells him. He imagines a conversation with her, the woman he left behind. He misses her, he misses the smell of summer. He admits he doesn’t want to be alone, but has to be, because this is his job, to keep Pilcher‘s dream clean, to observe the end of the world. He places a token into a glass bowl. He listens to the radio and watches the news, but there is only static and no feeds left to view.

He goes back to sleep.

CJ wakes in the year 4014. He doesn’t set a timer. He places a final token into a glass bowl. He sits at the control panel, wakes the men and women he was told to wake. He reports to Pilcher the soil and air levels have returned to normal. Pilcher says their town’s ready for Group A to awaken.

He doesn’t go back to sleep.

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Wayward Pines hasn’t done a series of flashbacks like this before — flashbacks that follow a single character across the history of Wayward Pines, the town itself, before the survivors woke up. While Pilcher, Pam, Megan, and the others kept sleeping, CJ woke every 20 years just to check on the health of the planet, and those 2,000 years or so of occasional waking helped him deal with the burden of being one of the survivors, a burden he saw eventually destroy the members of Group A. The transition also helped him deal with the Abbies: He and Pilcher first saw one lurking just outside their sanctuary. Whereas CJ thinks Abbies won’t attack as long as they stay out of their way, Pilcher chooses violence — and winds up carrying out the massacre that would allow the humans to build their “safe” haven on the Abbies’ former settlement.

Still, why is so much of the episode dedicated to CJ? Because Djimon Hounsou can sell the hell out of the sequence, because CJ’s the leader of the “We Have to Plant More Crops” movement, and most importantly, because he’s the only one who had enough time to process what happened to the planet. Of the characters still alive, only CJ thinks about what’s really occurred outside the town’s fence. Sure, Jason‘s been following the Pilcher agenda of thinking about expanding their settlement, but CJ has always felt differently about the Abbies — and he could hold the key to ending the war once and for all.

NEXT: Follow the leader

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