Martin Carr reviews the ninth episode of Wayward Pines…
In the penultimate episode of this ‘event drama’ things take a disturbing turn. With feelings running high, expectations weighting heavy upon Matt Dillon’s Ethan Burke and the towns folk out for blood, it was bound to turn nasty.
As power starts slipping away from David Pilcher and his sister continues undermining him, Wayward Pines simmers over like a prison riot. With the true realisation of their situation beginning to dawn, vigilante behaviour seeps through the pores of these indoctrinated individuals. While ritual execution once used as a deterrent, is now considered the norm in a community rift with frustration.
As ever the key to Wayward Pines remains Matt Dillon. Closely followed by Melissa Leo in a role which has evolved week on week, while Jones has devolved into delusion. Shannyn Sossman and Charlie Tahan remain effective in their roles as plot device and voice of dissension respectively. Whereas Carla Gugino’s Kate Hewson has walked a fine line between traitor and enabler. If I were picking holes, which has not really happened, I would say Dillon and Gugino’s relationship lacks development. You buy into it more because of Sossman’s reaction to her, than anything which is ever really explored plot wise.
In all fairness there are very few weak links in Wayward Pines, which is unsurprising considering the cast. They imbue each character with such conviction that doubt ceases to be an option. Having said that, there is no performance you might consider over the top either. Even Toby Jones who is going full on Caesar just before the fall of Rome garners sympathy here. While Hope Davis who has been mentioned maybe once in these reviews, has also done exemplary work as psychologist Megan Fisher. A woman so adamant in her support of Pilcher that it verges on the obsessional.
You see what M Night Shyamalan has created in conjunction with Blake Crouch is an adaptation you can invest in. A sociological case study wrapped up in mainstream whistles and bells. Nothing new for Shyamalan I grant you, but since when has he done it so well. Signs maybe, Unbreakable and The Sixth Sense definitely. Here is a man who got his mojo back and is telling everyone. After the travesty of After Earth or The Last Airbender, many considered him dead in the water. His plots were nonsensical, those budgets laughable, while many a fool continued funding him. Maybe the small screen is where he truly belongs.
All I can say as aberrational claws rest gently upon the perimeter fence is that I believe. Those lights are definitely going out. Our rabid cousins are climbing over each other to scale that last manmade barrier, while the howls of wounded animals echo up to where the torches gather. A reckoning is definitely upon us. It is time to circle the wagons and pray.