Well, it’s all over but the shouting — from the abbies, that is. Although the second season of Wayward Pines often felt crazy, “Bedtime Story” ends things quite strongly. Yedlin and the rest of the townspeople know that they can’t defeat the abbies, so they pursue their best chance at survival: taking another long nap into the future, and hoping for the best.
Of course, it isn’t as simple as that. As C.J. said in last week’s episode, only 571 working pods are available, which means many townsfolk will have to stay in the present and suffer. The ones left behind lead a pitiful revolt, first by looting Main Street (as Johnny Cash’s cover of “I Won’t Back Down” plays on the soundtrack, no less) and then by forming an angry mob outside the mountain gates. (Naturally, C.J. clears ‘em out with a few bursts of machine gun fire.) Meanwhile, others see the writing on the wall and take their fates in their own hands. In a particularly dark moment, we see a guy whose family had to go to the pods without him, as he stands on a ladder painting his house, only to put a noose around his neck and hang himself.
Since Higgins officially dies at the top of the episode — yep, he doesn’t survive that gunshot wound his girlfriend/mom Kerry accidently gave him — Yedlin reluctantly picks up the leadership slack. He’s left trying to calm a community that will soon split into two camps: Group One and the expendable Group Two. Frank and Xander are in Group Two until Yedlin coincidentally finds both of them sharing booze at Xander’s vandalized sugar shack, and decides to take them to the mountain. (I loved the “let’s don’t make this a moment” line Yedlin gives them when they get in the car.)
As for Yedlin, he doesn’t plan to join either group. He wants to inject himself with three forms of infectious disease — bubonic, typhoid, and Marburg — then step outside the gate so abbies will feast on his infected flesh. He put his plan on audiocassette (wow, there are still tape recorders in Wayward Pines!?), which Kerry conveniently listens to, then chooses to do on her own. You can hardly blame her for wanting to be the sacrificial lamb. After all, Yedlin found out from Oscar that Kerry and Higgins shared the same blood type, easily coming to the conclusion that they’re not only related, but mother and son. He tells this bit of info to Kerry, who does the only thing she can do after hearing the truth: She vomits in a wastebasket. Even though C.J. tries to convince her to take another fresh start by hopping in a pod, she decides to take one for the team and be dinner for the abbies.
With the abbies ready to take over and most of the townspeople ready to get their Rip Van Winkle on, all C.J. has to do is set the command for beddy-bye-bye land. However, before he jumps in a pod himself, he gets a visit in the final minutes from none other than his dead girl Eileen, who lets him know that the choice to wake these people up in the future or kill them now is in his hands. I don’t know about you, but I’m a bit confused as to what he eventually does. Although we don’t see him either confirm or cancel the pod termination, we see the countdown trickle down to its final seconds on the “termination command” as C.J. gets in the pod. Did he kill them all (including himself)? Did he give them an opportunity to see a better tomorrow? I guess we’ll find out … if Wayward Pines gets a third season.
But if this is the end, “Bedtime” is a good way to go out. Unlike last season’s infuriating finale, “Bedtime” is a strong capper to a season that had more downs than ups. As always, Wayward Pines gave us a dystopian view of humans doing damage to each other way before foreign threats even made their presence known. (To all those who saw last week’s RNC coverage, doesn’t that fiction sound familiar?) Before Margaret summoned abbies to get in formation and attack, the people of the Pines were already destroying each other. It’s like the writers were hell-bent on showing how humankind ultimately does itself in — no need for outside forces to tear us apart. Hell, most of this season consisted of killing off the cast members who survived the first season, just to solidify how absolutely no one is promised tomorrow inside the Wayward Pines borders. To that end, showrunner and finale writer Mark Friedman went all-out in distinguishing this season from last season: Original showrunner Chad Hodge isn’t even named in the opening credits.
“Bedtime” is a predictably ambiguous, yet still well-done finale. Kudos to its makers for creating something that works as both a season and series finale. If the residents of Pines ever wake up from their nap, I look forward to seeing how they’ll rebuild society. If not, sweet dreams!
- I didn’t know how much I wanted to see Jason Patric and Djimon Hounsou together onscreen until they shared a couple scenes. The finale’s best moments happen when they just go back and forth, eloquently debating the future of Wayward Pines.
- Didn’t we all know Arlene would make it? Siobhan Fallon Hogan’s kooky receptionist got a pod thanks to Yedlin, who receives a big smooch for his charity. I also enjoyed her rattling off her past jobs — hockey mascot, adult-bookstore owner — to Yedlin earlier in the episode.
- Where the hell did Hassler go?
- I can’t stress this enough: It was fascinating to see Margaret rally the abbies with a single yell. As she stood on that mountaintop, abbie factions began to scatter right after she screeched. They may not have a language, but they know what the hell to do when their queen bee starts barking orders.
- When Kerry refers to Higgins as “my son,” wasn’t that both cathartic and creepy as hell?
- Yedlin’s whipping boy Oscar has a couple of good moments: He calls out Yedlin for not doing a draining procedure that could’ve saved Higgins’s life, and he hips Yedlin to Higgins and Kerry’s shared blood type.
- I gotta say, it’s been fun recapping Wayward Pines this year. Thanks for reading!