Wayward Pines Episode 8: The Friendliest Place on Earth
Okay, it's pretty clear that the show is using the books only as a diving board now, diving into various plotlines it creates on its own. Pam, Ben, and the 'insurrectionists' are completely different than they are in the book. It's not necessarily a bad thing as with any adaptation can claim as there are strengths and weaknesses. It'll be interesting if the show will utilize some of the more interesting plotlines that the second and third books boast but with two episodes left, I find it unlikely.
Ethan rushes his wounded son into the hospital and Pam reassures him that he will be given the best care since ‘children are our most precious resource.’ Theresa shows up after ben becomes stable and Ethan reassures her that he wasn’t part of the insurrectionists. Pilcher arrives and is royally pissed about the sabotage. Pam tries to convince him to celebrate Wayward Pines in order to remind them how blessed they are.
Townspeople are cleaning up the explosion debris with Pilcher watching. He then goes into a coffee shop and listens to the gossip. When asked his opinion, he urges everyone to not spread rumors. A phone call comes in and the barista tells everyone that there’s a fellowship gathering that’s mandatory. Pilcher shows up at the survey station and finds out that Ruby, the barista, has cut out her chip and left it at her house.
Pilcher returns and talks to his sister Pam, stating there must be a traitor on the inside since the rebels have been evading all surveying attempts. Pam promises to check all security, beginning with the head survey technician and the rest of his team. One member admits to occasionally whiting out their questions about the town that they’re not supposed to be. During his confession, Pam looks sad.
Later at the Fellowship Gathering, Ruby the barista admits that Ted was killed by his burns after the explosion. Pilcher urges the Mayor to say some words to calm the people. Pilcher and Ethan exchange words and disagree heavily before Ethan leaves to rejoin his son. Pilcher meets up with his sister again and Pam says no one is breaking any rules in surveillance, lying when Pilcher had been watching her interviews.
Back to the escaped insurrectionists. Harold and some other rebels are in the woods, looking at one of their comrades, Eric, suffering front interior bleeding. Harold finds out that his wife, Kate, was captured with others and put into jail. In the daylight, Eric dies and Harold’s other companion says they’ll only bury him in free soil on the other side of the wall. They break into a garage from the construction crew to steal a truck. Harold says he can’t try to escape without Kate and goes back for her. Ethan sees him by the road and chases him down, handcuffing him around a tree. Harold’s friend crashes his stolen vehicle into the fence, breaking through and he begins laughing with the corpse of Eric. However, he is quickly surrounded and eaten alive by the Abbies.
Kate flashes back and remembers she’s in a crazy room with a straight jacket, urging Pilcher to release her. Kate remarks on all the irregularities and claims that everything is a government experiment. She’s been in town two months and Pilcher tags out with Pam armed with a sedative. Kate wakes up. Ethan interrogates her and they argue over their belief systems but it goes nowhere, Ethan leaving to check the fence perimeter.
Kate has another flash back where she ‘adjusts’ to Wayward Pines during an interview with Pilcher (as Dr. Jenkins). She admits that the adrenaline of her past life has gone away and she admits to feeling more relaxed. Pilcher asks about her possibility of kids and she smiles, taking her pills before crumbling up her prescription as she leaves. ‘Dr. Jenkins’ visits Kate in prison and confronts her on her lies and destructive life tendency. Kate names him as David Pilcher and demands answers. Pilcher says the town is either freedom or safety and that he gave himself his own right.
He meets with his sister again. When she walks away, Pilcher calls in security who take the disobedient survey team member, Reggie, away. Pilcher believes that Reggie aided in the bombing. Pam bravely comes clean that she lied to cover for Reggie, asking him to kill herself in place of Reggie. Pilcher states there will be no more killings. They put Reggie in a stasis tube but it instead fills with dirt, probably killing him. Pilcher encourages his personal team to be ready for any further terrorist activity.
Ben wakes up with Theresa giving him water. He asks about Amy and despite his mother’s claim that he’s okay, asks her to go check on her. During her absence, Mrs. Fischer comes in to check on Ben, carefully avoiding Theresa. She starts to place blame on Ben’s dad, attempting to draw in Ben’s interest in order for other people to listen to Ben’s perspective since he did survive a terrorist attack.
Ethan shows up later after the Fellowship Gathering, Ben accuses his dad of being irresponsible by letting Harold go after arresting him. After Ethan defends why he did it, Ben brings up his connection to Kate. Theresa asks if the school is influencing him to say this but Ethan tries to reinforce Ben’s free speech, emphasizing the fact that Ben survived. Amy shows up and the conversation ends. They engage in small talk, Amy saying she wants to be a nurse and begins listening to his heart and the heart rate monitor beeps more rapidly in response. They cuddle.
In the lobby, Ethan and Theresa discuss Ben’s accusations. Ethan compares this terrorist attack to the Easter bombings which he let happen due to an order from higher up, costing 621 people their lives. Theresa reasons that while Ethan couldn’t share it with her, Ethan become emotionally and physically involved with Kate. Ethan gets a call to check out a disturbance at the truck station and kisses his wife goodbye. Mrs. Fischer and Theresa have words, as in very angry words. Theresa tells her to stay very far away from her family.
So now the fence is breached, Ben doesn't trust his dad's judgment, Mrs. Fischer has her claws in the youth (remarkably easily I must admit), and Pilcher is pissed. Not quite how the book performs it and in this case I find the show's version of these events a little less hard-hitting. The moment the fence goes down in the second book is easily the highlight of it, changing the status quo tremendously. The preview of next week's episode doesn't display a massive fallout that happens at the beginning of the third book, so there might be another twist to play in the last two episodes.
Which is where I arrive with my main issue with the show. It's been largely faithful to the overall idea of the original story and its cast performs strongly. However, the show is attempting to take three books' worth of content and shove it into 10 episodes. I've been constantly worrying what will be left out, and now I feel it's beginning to be revealed. Alyssa's inclusion and Pilcher's god-complex might not be making an appearance and I'm still not sure what part the youth have to play. Time will tell, I suppose.
This episode wasn't bad, but I feel it's highlighted my dominant issue with the show. To those who haven't read the books, this probably isn't an issue at all.