Wayward Pines Season One Finale Recap: Here We Go Again

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Ethan (Matt Dillon) in the season finale of Wayward Pines. Photo: Liane Hentscher/FOX
Wayward Pines
Episode Title
Cycle
Season
1
Episode
10
Editor’s Rating
2/5

Well, that was kinda disappointing.

The final episode of Wayward Pines, aptly titled “Cycle,” went full monster movie, as the townspeople and the insurgents banded together to kill the abbies and head to safety after Pilcher cut off all the power and left them to fend for themselves. Yeah, Pilcher finally went crazy, talking like a true delusional tyrant and even going to the record player to spin some opera as his own personal Rome was burning.  He went so off the deep end, he even tried to put his sister Pam back into hibernation. (Thanks to a sympathetic guard, she got out just in time to put a bullet in him and put an end to this nonsense.)

For a while there, it was a watchable hour of damn-near-schlocky horror. (Didn’t it seem like most of the acting done in this episode was purposely SyFy Channel–level melodramatic?) There was an acceptable amount of goriness and chaos, while Matt Dillon effectively fulfilled his duties as the just-in-the-nick-of-time hero who made a vow to protect the townspeople, right down to sacrificing his life by blowing himself up in an elevator as the abbies were approaching up an elevator shaft.

But just when you thought the show would possibly end on a positive note, hinting at a better tomorrow for the people of Wayward Pines, the show pulled out a time-jump cliff-hanger.

The episode’s final minutes had the now-fatherless Ben waking up from a three-year, four-month beauty sleep (after getting conked on the back of the head by debris from that elevator-shaft explosion — thanks, Dad!) only to have his beloved Amy, now a nurse, tell him that Wayward Pines is back to being a town ruled by fear and surveillance, thanks to those damn First Generation kids. (I don’t know if it was the show’s intention to make us think that a town run by snotty youth is worse than a town overrun with mutant creatures, but those kids creeped me out more.)

So Wayward Pines, both the show and the town, came full circle and returned to where it started, with a guy waking up and wandering through a town that isn’t what it seems. As much as showrunner Chad Hodge (who wrote this episode with the Duffer Brothers) says that this coda serves as both a choose-your-own-adventure resolution for the audience and a commentary on how people are always doomed to repeat the same violent mistakes, the ending was an irritating way to go out.

For starters, when Ethan first walked down Main Street, he was surrounded by people who didn’t know what lurked outside that fence. Now, with Ben wandering that same road, he’s around people who know exactly what awaits them beyond those borders. And as much as the First Generation kids believe that Pilcher is a visionary and savior and all that horse shit, how could they even go back to the way things were when they know what they know and have seen what they’ve seen? Then again, this could be Hodge also commenting on how people lie to themselves in order to keep society running smoothly. Even so, that still doesn’t explain how these punks put the townspeople back into suspended animation. (Didn’t the townspeople have guns?)

Of course, the ending also keeps things open-ended for the possibility of a second season, a season no one at Fox has asked for yet. As entertaining as this show could be at times, this ending makes me not want to go through this again. Since we’re practically right back to the beginning, does this mean it’s going to be more of the same if another season happens? Not to mention I thought this was a limited series, which meant the show had its own contained story with a beginning, middle and an end. Does this mean we could see Wayward Pines: The Next Generation in the future? If that does happen, I wouldn’t mind seeing the abbies devour these self-entitled, disrespectful kids on a weekly basis.

SOME STRAY THOUGHTS

  • As expected, Amy was alive and (barely) well, as Ben and Theresa helped her out of the hospital after she had that brain surgery. I was glad she stuck around for the finale. And contrary to what a commenter or two believe, I’m not a fan of underage sexualization. I just found it very amusing that Amy was so thirsty for Ben. Honestly, have you ever seen a girl, either teenage or legal, who was that desperate for one boy?
  • Another young kid who miraculously made it was Jason, who if you remember last week got shot (!) by Ethan. The other kids sprung him and his boys out of jail so they can head over to “the ark” at the Academy, filled with food and provisions. This “ark” appeared to be Pilcher-sanctioned, since it appeared that Dr. Fisher didn’t know anything about it and assumed the kids would show up at the bunker. But since she runs the Academy, how did she not know about the ark but she knew about the tunnel that led to Pilcher’s mountain complex, as well as the elevator code needed to get inside? Man, the more I think about it, the more I think this episode wasn’t that well thought-out.
  • Since Pam and Kate were last seen talking about what they can do together to keep civilization going, I can only assume they escaped or went into hiding, hopefully with Theresa as the third member in their united liberation front.
  • Love that silver bodysuit on ya, Melissa!
  • If you’re curious, the opera Pilcher played was “Una Furtiva Lagrima,” which means “a furtive tear” (get it!), from L’elisir d’amore.
  • Well, as always, this has been an interesting experience. Thanks to all those who read these recaps. Now I have more time to devote to writing about Ballers.