Wayward Pines recap: Our Town, Our Law
Do dead bodies stay dead in Wayward Pines? That’s the new question of the day, now that two assumed series regulars have been killed—and it’s only episode three! Will Melissa Leo find her way into a cheese grater? Will Carla Gugino get in a freak toymaking accident? No one is safe in Wayward Pines!
Given how very little we still know about this terrible albeit high-ranking Walk Score town, it’s certainly not out of line to suggest that the dead can come back to life somehow. I mean, time in Wayward Pines is already weird, and now there are some sort of skinny, sepia-toned monsters that drag dead bodies into a massive space-garage beyond the Jurassic Park fence—so, yes, I refuse to accept that corporeal reanimation is where we’re going to draw the line on too crazy.
And oh, we are sooo past that line, aren’t we? Here’s what you need to know about where things stand after the third episode:
Ethan’s second chances are running low.
As it turns out, Kate and Harold didn’t actually turn in Beverly and Ethan last week, but Pope lied to the town and said they did, as a warning. It’s one of several indirect cautions offered to Ethan this week. There’s the grim hanging of Beverly’s body at 604 First Avenue, which has now become the most popular hotspot for lifeless bodies since the “Bad Blood” video. There’s Kate’s tea-time scolding of Ethan, when she literally tells him, “There are no second chances here—you got one, so take it.” There’s a new shady figure—a realtor—who ominously warns Ethan of the cameras and microphones in his new house. And yet Ethan doesn’t register any of these warnings as actual threats, because he still has the deluded belief that he can escape.
And then there’s Sheriff Pope, who is basically one big walking warning sign. At this point Pope is teeming with vitriol towards the Burke family but he’s forced to keep associating, much like how we still have to read about the Kardashians. Pope brandishes his gun in front of Ethan, which is plenty threatening, but his most direct warning comes when he visits Theresa at the new Burke household to reiterate his whole “this is my town!” speech. Oh yes, by the way, Theresa lives there now.
Theresa and Ben are in Wayward Pines.
Let’s back up here. Mrs. Burke and Baby Burke decided to road trip to Idaho to find some answers at the secret service office in Boise. They visit the site of Ethan’s last credit card purchase—a gas station—and are told by some children of the corn that “there was an accident” near Wayward Pines. And so Theresa and Ben take off for the town, but on their way they encounter everyone’s favorite hostile lawman, Sheriff Pope, who pulls them over and secretly cuts the oil tubing under the hood.
And then we don’t see Theresa and Ben again until they reconnect with Ethan in his house. Did they really get into a car accident? That’s what the hospital told them and Ben’s got a cast on his arm, even though neither Burke has a memory of an accident. Still, that’s certainly what’s suggested when Ethan discovers Theresa’s banged-up car.
There’s a giant garage-thing inside the mountain.
As a means of escape, Ethan stows away in a delivery truck, and my initial reaction is “What kind of non-kosher delivery truck carries milk AND steak?” but it makes more sense when Ethan emerges.
He finds himself in a clean, cold, futuristic-looking spaceport of sorts, ostensibly nestled outside of the electric fence and inside the surrounding mountain (be it real or fake). The best way I can describe this place is like a grocery store modeled after a Disneyland ride queue. It’s essentially a warehouse, seemingly filled with cars of those who have been quarantined in Wayward and an assortment of storage units, each well-ventilated and adorned with a sign that reads “coffee” or “sugar” or “Funyuns.”
So, the town of Wayward Pines gets all of its food from the same homogenous manufacturer, which is fairly understandable (in WP terms at least). But what really gets me is a giant sign that reads “Wayward Pines” above a huge garage door. It’s almost as if there’s a whole series of idyllic towns behind electrified fences, and whatever this industrial complex is serves not just our good old WP but a slew of other, similarly titled utopias. (Eagle Springs! Falcon Crest Hills! Twin Crests!) Is WP one in a large group of experimental cities designed for…well, whatever it’s designed for?
Ethan doesn’t have much time to register what he sees in the warehouse, as he barely discovers Theresa’s car before Sheriff Pope pummels him and pumps him with a sedative (fun fact: the sedative budget on Wayward Pines is the same as the bones budget on Bones). Interestingly, in the scuffle, Pope says to Ethan, “I don’t know what they see in you,” which to me suggests that recruitment is the more dominant factor in Pines residency than chance.
When Ethan does wake up from the beating, he’s back in the hospital—his least favorite place besides the sedative factory—and Nurse Pam (holding another possibly phantom baby) coyly tells him that his family is waiting for him.
NEXT: Intro to Creatures 101
The Burkes are here to stay.
A mysterious realtor has moved the Burkes into Beverly’s old home, with the help of some maintenance/domestic workers (who, it should be noted, also seem to be bussed in and out of the Big Futuristic Warehouse Complex, or BiFuWaCo). The fridge is full, the mailbox has been painted, and the same bicyclist who warned Ethan not to leave in episode one is now riding by welcoming “Benjamin Burke” to Wayward Pines. So… is there a memo? A message board? A Twitter feed that keeps all of the town’s residents in the loop about the rest of the town’s residents? Or is everyone a robot!? My God, the possibilities are as endless as the amount of time they left the fridge open.
Kate’s giving answers now.
Remember Kate? She’s cool now. We’ve always known that Kate wanted to tell Ethan everything she knew, but it’s not until the two are alone in the woods together that she really fills him in on exactly how much she… still doesn’t actually know.
According to Kate, she really did live 12 years in Wayward Pines—and for 10 of those, she assumed Bill Evans was dead. Two years ago, she saw Evans—completely unaged—but now he’s dead, and the fact that Ethan has arrived like a similarly distant memory is making her distraught. “Don’t try to figure it out. I’ve tried running, I’ve tried everything,” she tells him. “The only way to stay alive here is to play along.”
She also asks if Theresa knows that she’s in town. Ethan says no, and Kate wisely advises, “I wouldn’t wait too long. It’s a small town.”
But oh, Ben has already spotted Ethan and Kate in the woods, and it’s enough to force Theresa to ditch her wedding ring and begin walking out of town with Ben (carrying suitcases that, honestly, I’m not even sure are filled with anything).
Ethan realizes that his wife and son are missing and goes to track them down, but before he gets there, they’re accosted by Sheriff Pope, who absolutely has had it up to here with the Burke family. He drives his truck towards them like a cop chasing E.T. until they’re backed by the electrified fence. He begins to beat up Ben and points his gun at Theresa, but then Ethan arrives and knocks out Pope; Pope gets the upper hand and is about to kill Ethan when Ben hits the sheriff with his own truck, and as Pope lies there, Ethan grabs the gun and stands over the antagonistic sheriff.
“You think you want to know the truth but you don’t,” Pope says like a true thespian. “It’s worse than anything you could even imagine.” Ethan kills Pope.
As soon as Ethan grabs Pope’s car keys, he curiously presses a button that opens one of the many garage-looking doors on the fence. Suddenly, a blurry figure scurries out, grabs Pope’s body, and drags it back inside the dark door, all to the soundtrack of some truly horrifying scream-howl-gnarl noises echoing in the distance. Ethan hits a button again and the door crawls shut, sealing with an electrified jolt as it closes. Ethan, Ben, and Theresa stare on in terror.
So, WHAT!? There are creatures now? And they come to collect dead bodies, or simply conveniently placed ones? Do they feed? Are they human? Are they also in the “Bad Blood” video? I don’t have the mental capacity at this point to even try and guess these monsters’ endgames.
Who is Pilcher?
One last thing. While chatting with Kate, Ethan brings up someone named Pilcher, and unless I’m mistaken, it’s the first time he’s ever mentioned the name—but how did he come across it? Pilcher is also heard on the phone with Adam Hassler, who is completely bugging out now. (If I thought Adam was the big orchestrator, his nervous Smithers-like jitters have convinced me that he’s far from the mastermind.) Adam takes a phone call with the unseen “Mr. Pilcher” and informs him that Theresa and Ben Burke “are coming your way,” suggesting that Pilcher is in fact in Wayward Pines—although I’d assume that he’s not so much in Wayward Pines as he is in the BiFuWaCo.
More importantly, this unseen Pilcher figure fits in with the overall assumption that the real powers lie well beyond the fence. When Ethan visits Pope’s office and they get into a tense stand-off, a phone call to Nurse Pam puts a stop to the sheriff’s pugnacious ways. Pam and Pope, though frightening, are not the most powerful people in WP—they’re not the omniscient phone callers, and they’re certainly not authorized to act out of line (perhaps that’s why Pam has yet to retaliate against Ethan despite numerous occasions when she could have).
But if the government of Wayward Pines is not actually the government of Wayward Pines, then what is?
Shoot your latest theory to me on Twitter!