Wayward Pines recap: A Reckoning
Everyone learns the truth ... just in time to maybe get eaten by monsters.
So, the truth is out. Not out there, but just out. In the open. In the middle of the town square, where reckoned blood spills and trucks explode and fellowship gatherings crumble under the weight of their own popcorn machines.
The truth is revealed, finally, after Ethan holds a fake reckoning for Kate in order to gather all of the townspeople together at once. It’s crazy that most of the time, everyone in Wayward Pines seems to be in the same place anyway, but now that things are so out of hand, the only way to get a group together anymore is by calling a reckoning (which should ring true with anyone who has ever organized a brunch).
With the crowd gathered, Ethan tells them that the world outside Wayward Pines no longer exists, and that they should be turning against Pilcher instead of each other. Poor Pilcher—he rips them apart from the millennia they once knew and forces them to rebuild society, and this is the thanks he gets?! In retaliation, he decides to cut off all the power to his dissenting Pinesians—and unknowingly leaves the town open to the Abbies, who have now descended on the un-electrified fence.
Mercy, how did we get here!? Let’s rewind.
In the aftermath of last week’s truck crash scandal (which I’m calling Gategate), we’ve got a population confused. Ethan has managed to repair the fence and fend off the Abbies for another day, but he and Pilcher agree that things are out of control—and they’re quick to place the blame on each other. “This happened because they didn’t know what was really out there,” says Ethan. “No, this happened because what you’re doing isn’t working anymore,” counters Pilcher, maintaining that the answer to stopping it all is reckoning Kate, in a cut-the-head-off-the-suburban-snake kind of move. Pilcher even goes so far as to bring up the Easter Bomber to convince Ethan that killing Kate is the right move to winning back loyalty. Way harsh, Tai.
Ethan, deep down, knows it’s true, but he gives his peaceful method one last try. He successfully convinces Harold Ballinger to give up the names of the members of the resistance who aren’t jailed or dead—and upon delivering the 14 names to Pilcher, they look through the security cameras and discover that they’re too late. The pack of rebels has removed their chips and are currently MIA from all surveillance. Fun!
So there are insurgents on the loose, and unbeknownst to Ethan, there’s a rogue group of millennials prowling the town, intent on doing what Ethan won’t. They’re a trio of sexy twentysomethings who call themselves “Class One of the Academy,” and they take the “no cracks in the ark” Fisherism very seriously. They storm the sheriff’s office like a gang of Western outlaws, demanding a reckoning for the jailed members of the resistance. Arlene, who is inexplicably forced to sit at the receptionist desk amid TOWN-WIDE TERRORIST ATTACKS AND VIOLENCE, does the miraculous job of shooing the boys away… but not for long.
Over at the hospital, Ben has decided to give a speech to Class One and the rest of his culty classmates, who have shown up outside the hospital to hear from their fallen hero. Amy’s health has taken a turn for the worse, and gentle Ben has Mrs. Fisher in his ear telling him to be a leader and take a stand against his father. In front of the First Generation (who show their support by chanting and pounding their fists like an epic game of Rock-Paper-Scissor is ahead), Ben renounces his father’s behavior. Ethan, seeing his son’s disappointment via surveillance, storms out of the mountainside and back into town.
The rousing speech moves the rogues to return to the sheriff’s station, now completely unhinged. Their leader—one Jason Higgins—is the most deranged, and Kate tries to calm him down, reminding him of a toy soldier he once purchased when he was a little boy. (Perhaps it’s because of Harold’s awful toys that Jason is so angry in the first place.)
Jason’s two cohorts seem moved by the persuasion, but Jason steams ahead, loading up on weapons, punching Kate in the face (arguably the most shocking moment of the whole episode) and wrestling Harold to the ground. He gains the upper hand and lines up the resistance, execution-style, and makes them recite the rules of Wayward Pines before blowing them all in the head. Harold mouths “I love you” to Kate right before he’s reckoned. Jason turns the gun on Kate, but just as he’s taking aim, Ethan blasts through the wall and saves the day. Well, what’s left of it.
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With Harold’s blood smeared across her face, Kate has seen better days. She’s now in the holding room with Ethan, who is begging her to reveal where the MIA resistance members are hiding. But at this point, Kate is resigned to her fate: “If you really want to protect [this town], you have to stop protecting me.” Kate insists that Ethan reckon her. “Someone’s going to kill me,” she says. “I’d rather it be you.”
Meanwhile, it’s at this point in the story that we should acknowledge Theresa’s discovery. She’s at the hospital and runs into Pam, who all but tells Theresa to go back to Plot 33 to “see what you find.” (As for Pam’s allegiance at this point, I believe she’s still aligned with her brother but believes, like Ethan, that it’s time people know the truth. She is without a doubt one of the summer’s most fascinating character arcs, and not just because of her ability to pull off a haute turtleneck.)
And so Theresa goes back to her little plot of land and finds an underground tunnel, using Pam’s security card to gain access to a computer filled with video journals starring our main secret service man, Adam Hassler. It’s the year 4020 and Hassler is scouting the outside world, reporting back to Pilcher that, yes, it’s all destroyed. The Golden Gate Bridge, Shake Shack, everything. It’s all gone. So in as much as Hassler seems to have arranged for the Burkes’ passage into 4028, he’s also a recruit himself, acting as one of several scouts tasked with exploring the world (but not, it seems, getting to live in the safe haven of Wayward Pines. Tough gig.).
Theresa is shocked, so much so that she goes to find Ethan and Kate to show them what she’s found. Kate wonders why Pilcher wouldn’t have just told everyone the truth. Ethan then hatches his grand truth-telling plan: They task Theresa with showing the video to as many people as possible (“Here, Arlene, come down this tunnel with me, I have something fun to show you”) while they throw a fake reckoning to gather the town.
Ethan’s final move is visiting the mountainside chamber to distract Pilcher and get him to call the reckoning himself. Surely Ethan could have done this on his own, but it seems to be a cruel plan that exists solely as a personal burn to Pilcher, who unwittingly brings the whole town together to find out the very truth that will unravel him.
The reckoning goes down that night, and everyone in town has shown up for it. It’s the hottest party of the night and anyone who’s anyone is there! Ethan takes Kate by the throat, as one does at this kind of party, and they go through the motions of pretending that they’re about to reckon. However, Ethan is presently unaware that the 14 missing members of the resistance are in the back of the crowd with weapons ready to brandish, should blood spill. But Ethan ends his ruse and pulls Kate to safety, and he tells the truth—about Pilcher, about the world that’s gone beyond the fence, about how he stopped watching AHS after Coven. Theresa, Arlene, and Henrietta all shout out that they’ve seen the truth, too (good job, Theresa, you showed TWO PEOPLE). Kate also joins in, and her public renouncement of her mission hits it home. “I’ve seen it, and it’s the last thing I wanted,” she warns.
For the most part, everyone is silent, not really sure how to react. The only Pinesian who seems truly outraged is Fisher, who defends Pilcher as “the savior of all humankind” and demands Kate’s execution. Theresa slaps her—a nice moment for both Theresa and her relationship with Fisher AND me—and Fisher complains that nobody is doing anything to help her.
Suddenly, the lights go out, and we see that it’s Pilcher cutting the power—just as the Abbies have reached the very fence that used to be electrified.
What happens now? Who’s about to die in the inevitable skirmish that will follow? I’m almost certain that Henrietta and the Blonde Hotel Man are gone, but will a major character eat it, too? Could Pam be a victim, thereby guiding Pilcher to his error? Or is Pilcher’s own story done, and he’ll get Abbie-d, thus opening the door for a new regime in season 2? Will there be a season two?! Next week will tell all!