Is Wayward Pines becoming a soap opera?
Despite all the creepiness, paranoia, and strange-ass monsters lurking in “Blood Harvest,” the show is starting to get sudsy. Characters are acting less like they’re in a serial thriller and more like they’re in a serial. Hell, half of the episode takes place in a hospital, that ol’ reliable battleground where soap-opera characters have had melodramatic showdowns for decades.
That’s where Yedlin and Higgins have a tense, snitty back and forth, a brief bit of dick-swinging where Yedlin let Higgins know he’s a doctor with years of medical experience and Higgins — well, he’s just an asshole. Yedlin had good reason to be ill-tempered toward this “underaged cretin,” as Yedlin calls him: Higgins gave orders to “exile” Yedlin (along with Ben and Xander) by knocking him unconscious and leaving him outside the walls of Wayward Pines, where he would have to deal with all those abbies. That exile was short-lived, though. Higgins’s soldiers start attacking the abbies, who deliberately piled up dead, zapped bodies by the wall in the hopes that they might make it over the top — and one of them slashes up Higgins’s sweetheart, Kerry.
So guess who is brought back to the Pines? Yedlin isn’t dragged back kicking and screaming, but he does demand answers before operating on another person. Even though Higgins gives him the whole, awful truth in one swoop, Yedlin isn’t buying it. Fortunately, his wife Rebecca is there to tell him to get his head in the game and save the girl, which he does, of course.
Rebecca later informs a still-skeptical Yedlin that she’s been awake longer than he has — three years, to be exact. She is Wayward Pines’s resident beautician, despite the fact that she’s really an architect. (She seemed to have had a hand in building the local ice-cream parlor, since Yedlin notices it’s named after one of her favorite professors at the Harvard School of Design.) She encourages him to get back to healing people, especially since all the rationing has led to kids suffering from malnutrition.
Yedlin, who reluctantly becomes the town’s resident doctor, recognizes how Higgins is turning Wayward Pines into a dictatorship, and tells him so at the hospital, which Higgins, being the snot-nosed, power-mad jerk that he is, doesn’t appreciate. Eventually, it’s Kerry’s turn to soothe and reassure her man, telling him that Yedlin is a necessary evil in their grand plan. (“Our lives are worth his arrogance,” she tells him.) Besides, he has other things to worry about, like harvesting food that’s located outside Wayward Pines.
With resident old guy C.J. Mitchum (Djimon Hounsou!) leading the troops, they head out into the fields with flamethrowers ready to burn any abbie they see to a crisp. They also come across a still-living Ben, who reminds them that the first rule of being a first-generation Pines kid is that you don’t harm another first-generation kid. The soldiers get this rule reiterated to them by Ben’s mom, who is also alive and wondering what happened to her boy. Unfortunately, Higgins, being the douchenozzle that he is, ain’t about to let Ben back inside and screw up his plans.
Sadly, the abbies get hold of poor Ben, jumping him in the cornfields. It looks like the abbies are starting to evolve to the point where they could be scheming ways to get inside Wayward Pines. Higgins couldn’t find any on the security cameras at the end of the episode, making him stupidly believe that the abbies are no more. But that looks like a classic rope-a-dope move.
I’ll admit, “Harvest” left me a bit intrigued as to where Pines is headed. It still resembles a carbon copy of last season, with Yedlin vowing to keep the people of this godforsaken place safe from Higgins and his tyrannical nonsense. But if the abbies go into we’re-not-gonna-take-it mode and wage war on the Pines, then I won’t mind sitting through the soapiness.
- Toby Jones has a brief cameo at the top of the episode, showing up in a video message to remind everyone that it’s still Pilcher’s world.
- Siobhan Fallon Hogan is up and at ‘em as Arlene, now serving as Yedlin’s receptionist. She seems particularly spacey ever since last week’s “tune-up.”
- “I am happy. Can’t you tell?” Didn’t know Djimon Hounsou had a flair for deadpan line readings.
- Yeah, I’m gonna go out on a limb and assume you also thought those pregnant, 12-year-old girls were gross and unsettling as hell, right?
- Between Yedlin’s hospital conversations with Higgins and Kerry, wasn’t Jason Patric particularly bitchy in this episode?