Martin Carr reviews the season two finale of Wayward Pines…
The pigeons have come home to roost in a season finale which delivers where others have failed. Theological discussions about humanity, a person’s right for free choice and self-sacrifice fly around amongst emotional recriminations. With the inevitable threads beginning to unravel Patric finally steps up and almost outshines Matt Dillon in the process. Instilling calm and dignity to an otherwise exaggerated situation, allowing his audience to buy into events as Wayward Pines folds like a pack of cards. Somehow the solution for dealing with their Abby threat is more heroic than Dillon’s exploding lift shaft scenario from season one. While the predictable passing of Jason Higgins felt right rather than forced.
Beyond those dramatics we get the usual riots and heavy drinking amongst the carnage which is standard practice when shit gets real. While competent drunk acting, touching suicides played out to a Johnny Cash cover of an easy listening Tom Petty classic felt strangely on point. Djimon Hounsou remained head and shoulders above those around him as the laconic Christopher James, adding a further layer of reality to an exaggerated set of events. From my point of view Hounsou can do no wrong but remains purposely under the radar, when ultimately this man should be a bigger star.
My overall feeling with regards to Pines is one of too little too late. After the consistent performance of that opening season number two had its work cut out, but things took too long to get going. There was extraneous preamble which slowed things down and that momentum failed to build until half way into proceedings. I understand that the nature of shows is their need to establish context for new characters, but as drama had to be constructed rather than continued precious screen time was used up. If Patric decides to return along with the remaining actors we could be in for a great season three, especially with that last minute twist promising intrigue and depth as yet unexplored.
Unfortunately whether season two has done enough is beyond our control, but for this reviewer I think another go round is no bad idea. Wayward Pines can open with confidence knowing that the heavy lifting has already been done, making season three an exciting proposition rather than a dour duty to be tolerated.