For anyone who was still on the fence about M. Night Shyamalan’s new limited series, Wayward Pines, last night’s second episode probably didn’t help. Was it too early for this twisted TV show to kill off a main character?
[Warning: This is a review. Yes, there are spoilers.]
We’re not sold on Wayward Pines, yet. Last week, we wrote about all the various other pop culture moments it drew from and this week was much the same. The Stepford residents, the Pleasantville “control equals perfection” vibe and the quirky Twin Peaks of it all makes us feel like we’re just in on another person’s version of the same story. The same held true this week as all of those reminders were still there.
At the end of the day, the only reason we’re still hooked is for the same reason we actually grew a little more annoyed with the series last night: The crazy gross and super unexpected death of one of the main characters.
This week, Beverly (Juliette Lewis) and Ethan continued their attempts to escape. This time, though, they were aided by the almost OCD-type notes Ethan (Matt Dillon) found on the dead agent’s body. From where a survival pack was hidden to who in the town was most aware of what was happening, the notebook was Ethan and Beverly’s key to (probably) getting the heck out of this f***ed up Dodge.
More: Twin Peaks 101
They were so close. They even managed to ditch their tracking chips in Kate’s bathroom. But one mess-up from Beverly over dinner with former-agent-turned-creepy-show Kate and her husband made her freeze up. Over dinner, the subject turned to Harold’s woodworking and how he was best at making rocking horses. This, of course, reminded Beverly of the little girl waiting for her back home and how much she liked her rocking horse. Beverly quickly realized her mistake (never talk about the past) and tried to recover. But Kate, noticing her fumble, seemed to have it in for her and kept prying her for more info.
She was definitely trying to make sure the security cameras and recorders picked up Bev’s flub. Was Kate merely following the rules of Wayward Pines… or was there a bit of an ulterior motive involved? We all know Kate and Ethan had a “thing” in their previous lives. Seems like someone was jealous of Beverly and Ethan’s closeness.
Bev and Ethan quickly realized their lives were on the line now more than ever and tried to flee. Being good little residents, though, Kate and her husband called for backup, and it wasn’t long before the entire town was on Beverly’s back. Why? So they could publicly and brutally execute her for breaking the rules and talking about the past. The mob mentally and harsh repercussions were beyond stressful, but, more distractingly, reminded us of yet another moment in pop culture. Anyone feel like these scenes were all just a little too Hunger Games-esque?
Man, that death sucked. Honestly, we get why it was important to the story. This isolates Ethan even further. It also adds a new element of tension to the show. But we still wonder if it didn’t happen too early. It seemed as though showrunners knew the death was too early to emotionally impact us, so they went for shock value. But we have to wonder: If they held off for another episode and let Beverly and Ethan get closer to their goal first, would it have had a bigger impact?