Season 1 Episode 6: “Choices”
Directed by Jeff T. Thomas
Written by Brett Conrad & the Duffer Brothers
Created by Chad Hodge
Starring Matt Dillion, Carla Gugino, Toby Jones, Shannyn Sossamon, Melissa Leo, Hope Davis, Reed Diamond, Charlie Tahan
Air Date: Thursday, June 25th, 2015, 9:00pm
Back after a week’s hiatus and we now know the truth about Wayward Pines… maybe. Wayward Pines is Idaho in the year 4028. That’s right, 2000 years into the future. Humans have been replaced with “Aberrations” and Wayward Pines is all that’s left of civilization. Now Ethan Burke (Matt Dillon) knows the truth, and is being recruited to be the new man in charge of the town by the scientist who built the Pines, David Pilcher (Toby Jones). Meanwhile his son Ben (Charlie Tahan) is groomed as one of the first generation.
Pilcher and Nurse Pam (Melissa Leo) show Burke around the intricacies of how Wayward Pines works. In a cool bit, we are introduced and reintroduced to characters; we meet the “woman’s voice on the phone” for instance. The evil Sheriff Pope (Terrence Howard) was a corporate gatekeeper with a bad past. We see through the combination of flashbacks and guided tour how the inner workings of the town operate, and how the town came to be. Pilcher was a Bill Gates-esque industrial millionaire who wanted to use his massive wealth to save humanity. When his grand plan is rejected he opts to focus on saving a chosen few.
The whole plot seems like I am Legend crossed with The Matrix. The aberrations are similar to the nocturnal humanoid monsters in the Will Smith film. The humans are stored a la the human-batteries in the Keanu Reeves vehicle. There are many philosophical questions posed to the audience here. Is it okay to take away someone’s choice if it means saving them? Pilcher asks Ethan, “If someone’s house was on fire, would you run in and save them, or would you worry about trespassing?”
Most of the episode deals with these types of morality issues. The other main focus is Theresa (Shannyn Sossamon) tracking now dead Peter McCall’s lead on an abandoned lot, which may hold the way out. Also, there is a plan hatching between several members of the Wayward-verse, most notably Kate and Harold Balinger (Carla Gugino & Reed Diamond).
This episode appealed to the history teacher in me. In one sentence towards the end, the phrases “Plato’s Cave”, “Dark Ages” and “Enlightenment” are used. I have so many questions though. The reveal of “the truth” and the futuristic plot leave me wondering what the heck all the Seattle nonsense was in episodes 1-4? I mean, Theresa and Ben were walking around in Seattle, they drove across state lines, and they found Sheriff Pope (before the accident that got them to Wayward Pines). So is there some way they can bend time? Toby Jones’s David Pilcher is shown in flashbacks, but also appeared in Seattle in the first few episodes? Is the 4028 story a red herring? Questions like these make me uneasy about the show and its future. These are the LOST-like questions that drove me away from that show.
Your enjoyment (note the word), not your interest, but your enjoyment of Wayward Pines depends completely now on whether you like the twist and the 4028 storyline. I, in all honesty do not. But, while my enjoyment is decreasing, I am still very interested and will be tuning in to see where it all goes. Not to mention the show is acted phenomenally by all involved.
Wayward Pines episode 6, “Choices” debuts tonight on FOX at 9:00pm ET.