'Wayward Pines' S1E1: Where Paradise Is Home

★ ★ ★ ½


Most likely the 2.0 version of Persons Unknown (if you’ve never heard of it, don’t worry), where a bunch of people are trapped within a town thanks to a pesky fence and are forced to do things, Wayward Pines is draws nicely on its Twin Peaks inspiration. Although, Wayward Pines pulls all the focus away from its premise by using flashbacks and by showing the not-so-entertaining real world all way too soon.

In fact, it really messes up what could have been a solid pilot. The town itself, the characters, and the mystery are all rather interesting. But now, the audience will have to divide their time between watching boring investigation/family filler and sit around until the town appears once again. At least the FBI side of the story has a twist, but that still can’t save its rather problematic positioning in the season.

After taking a couple notes from Lost’s pilot on how to shoot a scene where a man lying on the ground wakes up in the middle of nowhere, Wayward Pines immediately sets up Ethan Burke’s background with the help of flashbacks (blegh).We learn that he’s in trouble at work, has trouble at home, and hallucinates. Way to go Burke. Burke and Kate, of course, were together. Although things seem normal among Burke and his family, Theresa may have an inkling that something is happening.

Wayward Pines S1E1

In the real world, we’re introduced to his wife, Theresa, and his son, Ben. His wife is obviously concerned about her husband’s disappearance and her son also has Emma Swan’s "superpower" to tell when people are lying.

Because of all this, it’s up to the citizens of Wayward Pines to make the story shine and they most definitely do. The actors all do an extremely talented job of pulling off the fake happiness they’re supposed to sustain. There’s a dark tone throughout the town of Wayward Pines that’s going to be interesting, if they put it in the spotlight.

The weirdest thing, so far, isn’t the "there are no crickets in Wayward Pines", or the fact that someone managed to build an entire town and enclose it within an electric fence, or why Ben and Theresa are important to the story at this point in time, but the interpretation of time. To Beverly, she had only been there for a year after she had a motorcycle accident in 1999. Kate feels like she has been there for 12 years, even though she had seen Burke 5 weeks before his own accident.

Wayward Pines has plenty of potential, that’s for sure, but the show itself is in a tough spot when it comes to the volatile genre it is in as well as a premise that may have difficulty expanding as the conspiracy unravels. Then again, I keep hearing that the book’s plot was really, really good.

Notes:

  • Evil nurse is evil cliché
  • Ben and Theresa have absolutely no chemistry

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