Wayward Pines Season 1 Episode 3 Review – ‘Our Town, Our Law’

Martin Carr reviews the third episode of Wayward Pines…

Wayward Pines is turning into some sort of twisted Alice in Wonderland. There are now so many levels of weird involved that David Lynch might bulk. This week it really is about finding out how far down that rabbit hole goes, if I can para-phrase Morpheus for a moment.

Ethan is dealing with unknown forces which are impossible to quantify while it would seem that no one is safe. What exists beyond the perimeter fence around Wayward Pines is anyone’s guess, but things do not look good. Sheriff Pope and his ordained role of judge, jury and executioner means Terence Howard gets to go off the hook again. Half law man, half town overseer, what Howard does with the role raises more questions than answers keeping the audience firmly in the dark.

 

Comparisons between Wayward Pines and The Wicker Man are there for all to see. And things happened Thursday which moved the plot along but failed to really kick anything off. Trying to second guess this programme is like trying to fathom the final season of Lost. And with events coming to a head between Burke and Pope, expect fireworks, revelations and a continued fascination with ice cream.

As much as I like a bit of cloak and dagger Pines is in danger of piling too many plot points on our collective plate. You can’t stack mystery upon mystery, intrigue upon intrigue and then finish it with a cherry every week without closure. Although Lost used that tactic for years without fear of recrimination, it was a sprawling series which could afford to disappear on tangents. Pines on the other hand must remain concise and use its limited time effectively.

There are still hints of The Shining in the behaviour of others toward Burke. And as this episode continued that white picket fence mentality failed to waver. With bodies piling up and the whole town turning into extras from Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby, this closure threshold is fast approaching. Irrespective of that the cast remain fully committed to Blake Crouch’s source material. And with the exit of one high profile cast member last week, actors definitely considered the quality of their part not quantity when making that decision.

 

This makes me suspect that Crouch is looking at deeper themes through his books than are on display, otherwise why the attraction. Perhaps examining the isolationist mind-set of your average American citizen, combined with inherent immigrant issues. You could do two thousand words on why there is an electric fence around the town for starters. While the parallel roles of Matt Dillon and Toby Jones could also run into a thousand or more. For now however, irrespective of theory and deeper meanings, Wayward Pines remains one of the more watchable dramas airing on Fox. Roll on episode four.