Martin Carr reviews the fourth episode of Wayward Pines season 2…
Let’s get this out the way now. Wayward Pines is not living up to my expectations. Season two is a rudderless ship adrift on an ocean of threadbare plot lines. Tom Stevens as Jason Higgins is stuck in a thankless situation where he must be aware of the issues we are watching. Jason Patric’s Doctor Yedlin has done nothing progressive since arriving and wanders aimlessly. Just as Djimon Hounsou is wasted and Hope Davis wheels around doing sinister and nothing much else.
That I got an actors name wrong last week says much about my level of indifference towards this show which feels increasingly like a cash in. This preoccupation with what lays beyond the fence, growing crops, combined with exiling some and shooting others is getting old. Much of the problem from my point of view is that there feels like no long term plan. Any actors from last season who had time in their schedule have turned up for one day, shot the scenes and been buried.
I have no idea how closely this adaptation sticks to its source material, but Blake Crouch is a producer so I am thinking not too far away. Ideas of an advanced species, morally shady procreation practices and interlinking moral debates, are all lost amongst the Pines. These are heavy topics being addressed and at times this show feels more a vessel for them, rather than an entertaining means of making you think. Any character development is left by the way side, because dialogue is peppered with heavy undertones and minimal room for an arc of any kind.
By dragging back Adam Hassler from season one we are treated to post traumatic stress, aberrational hallucinations and hobo attire. Tim Griffin has to wonder what the hell they brought him back for unless it was purely plot device. Whether he is mumbling something about them being the next step, or Megan Fisher is chasing after a pre-pubescent who has suddenly blossomed. Wayward Pines seems like an expensive exercise in mediocre programming which someone felt deserved a second run.
To my mind there is nothing particularly wrong here but at the same time it does nothing new either. Occupying such an indifferent position is shameful as everyone involved did so thinking it was a worthy enterprise. Patric, Stevens, Davis and company must be in this for something other than a pay check surely. Hounsou most definitely is, as he brings such integrity to the character that CJ could be put into any number of shows and shine. Now if he got into season three of The Strain that there would be some television. Right now however all he gets to do is discuss hydroponics, crop rotation and look manly by a lake. Shame.