Tensions Build to Explosive Heights (Literally) on Wayward Pines

Illustration for article titled Tensions Build to Explosive Heights (Literally) on Wayward Pines

Ethan’s finally up to speed on Wayward Pines’ dark secrets, but the town’s growing insurgent faction is still completely clueless about what’s really beyond the town walls. Even worse, they don’t believe Ethan when he tries to warn them. The episode’s title says it all, really: “Betrayal.”

Spoilers follow!

Ethan returns home, still shell-shocked by all that he learned on David “Saving the Human Race” Pilcher’s tour of Wayward Pines’ mountainside control center. Though he’s been specifically instructed not to tell Theresa the truth, he’s still playing both sides, so that’s the first thing he does when she anxiously ambushes him with questions about where he’s been. They can’t go home to Seattle, because there’s no more Seattle, he tells her, but there are real-life monsters, and “this fake little town is all that’s left.”


He’s spewing truth, but she doubts him completely. (He’s lied before, remember, plus he had those “hallucinations” in the past; we learned about ‘em in the first episode.) Immediately, she assumes someone’s been messing with his brain, injecting him with something to confuse him. And she 100 percent does not believe him when he tells her it’s the year 4028, because that is straight-up krayzee talk.

The next morning, Ethan’s Sheriff-mobile won’t start. He’s suspicious, with good reason, having just disobeyed the orders of the man who’s instituted the town’s ruthless secrecy policy. As a former government agent, he knows how to spot a bomb (which he does, tucked under the hood of the Jeep), and take it apart without blowing himself to bits. So, he’s got that going for him. But he’s clearly in deep, deep danger. He’s scrambling through the files he keeps hidden under the floor in his office (hmm, a former explosives expert lives in ol’ WP?) when Nurse Pam, back in slithery mode after last week’s flirtation with being a normal-ass person, saunters in. “I’m here to help,” she says. “I’d do anything for my brother ... even work hand and hand with you.” No love lost between these two, ever. But Ethan does need her help, and asks for access to the surveillance system to check up on the guy who he suspects of planting the car bomb.

First, though, he’s going to intimidate the crap out of the guy, whose name is Franklin, by inviting him for coffee and asking him about gophers, before flat-out telling him that he knows he’s got a background in demolitions. Franklin sputters that he can’t help with the gophers, and flees. Pretty suspicious, Ethan—who by now is wearing his gold Sheriff badge pinned prominently on his chest, an echo of the “gold stars” Theresa gets from her real-estate office boss—decides; he follows him and catches sight of him talking to Harold, who we already know is in on the bomb plot.

Ethan is already no fan of Harold, since he’s married to Kate, and he probably enjoys tossing the poor guy onto the street in front of the Excellent Bean a little toooo much. But he suspects, correctly, that Harold knows more than he’s letting on. (Did Harold know about the car bomb, in addition to the music-box bomb we saw him crafting last week? He does seem genuinely surprised to hear about it ... and as we later learn, it was all the private doing of Ted, the delivery guy.) And he also suspects, correctly, that Harold’s hastily-offered confession, taking all responsibility for the bomb plot, is false, because he knows who’s really in charge: obviously, it’s Kate. Duh! She’s a stone-cold federal agent. That happy-housewife persona? Merely a facade she’s been keeping up while plotting escape for the past 12 years. Ethan, who says he’s disabled all the surveillance in his house (which explains why he was so forthcoming with Theresa), tells Kate Wayward Pines isn’t what she thinks it is. Her first reaction is shock, that he’s in cahoots with the faceless “Them” who are running the show, but she agrees she’ll stop the plot to take down the fence.


Meanwhile, Theresa walks Ben to school, and he’s embarrassed by her smothery-mothery-ness. Dr. Pilcher greets them, but Theresa responds using the name she believes is his: Dr. Jenkins. When they arrive, Ben scuttles off with Amy while the faux-friendly-but-actually-bitchy Mrs. Fisher blocks the curious Theresa from getting any closer, chiding her with “School is for children, not their parents!” The method to her madness, of course, is that the kids are going to get a very specific kind of sex ed, because “Procreation is a beautiful and blessed thing, and here in Wayward Pines, that really is your most important job.” She calls out Ben and Amy as a cringe-inducing example of “two bodies designed to fit together.” No pressure, kids, but you better be straight and fertile if you want to make it in this town. After class, Amy tells a thrilled Mrs. Fisher that she’s ready to Do The Deed with Ben.

On that tip, we stop by the hospital to see Pam excitedly tell her brother that as part of her fertility consultation outreach, two couples in Wayward Pines are pregnant. But he’s still hung up on the rebels. “Why are they trying to undermine us?”, he asks, sadly. He fears a repeat of “Group A” and its self-destructive implosion. Though she assures him that Sheriff Burke will track down the troublemakers, she’s worried too.


Across town, Theresa is drawn to the mysterious Plot 33, and can’t help from entering the empty lot’s gate. There’s something metal under the grass, and she grabs a tool from the small shed on the property to poke around further. When she asks her boss about it, he advises her not to think about it too much. Or think about anything too much, and mind her own business. No Nosy Nellies, remember??

And by the way, Kate’s promise to call off the dogs to Ethan was, in fact, LIES. In fact, she runs right from their meeting to tell Harold they need to execute the plan ASAP. The phone rings: it’s Pam, summoning them in for their annual fertility consultation. It’s a mostly benign encounter, but she does offer a veiled piece of advice at the end: “Don’t let me down.” Y’all are on notice. On her way out of the hospital, Kate runs into Theresa and tells her that she thinks Ethan’s been brainwashed. What’s more, early on in her Wayward Pines years, she was able to talk to her Secret Service boss on the phone on a secure line (which, HOW? Impossible, right? Slight time difference and all that?) As a result, she believes she’s part of a secret government experiment, one that would “severely test” her, and that the hardest test would come courtesy of another agent. So, Ethan??


Theresa tells Ethan about the encounter, and notes that when Kate left, she seemed like she was saying goodbye, permanently. Not a good sign.

Right when Amy’s asking Ben to sneak out with her later, after dark, Ethan pulls up to the school to scoop up his reluctant-to-leave son. JEEZ DAD. With Ben safe at home (for now), Ethan loops in the surveillance-camera team to track down Kate’s group at the fence. He’s able to stop their bomb from detonating, but Harold isn’t among their numbers.


We alllll know what’s coming, right? As Ben sneaks out to meet Amy, she tells him that (bomb-crazy) Ted’s delivery truck is the best way to reach her favorite secret spot on the edge of town. Uh-oh. The kids sneak into the back as Ethan and Pam peruse the security footage, clocking Harold handing Ted the music-box bomb. Ethan speeds after the truck, not knowing that if he prevents the bomb blast, he’ll also save his son—as Amy finds the music box and turns the key, setting the wee ballerina spinning.


But as he’s speeding ... Ted’s truck explodes. Of course it explodes.

Ethan finds Amy. She’s up and walking, but dazed. However, bloodied and unconscious ... down on the ground ... to Ethan’s utter shock and horror, is his son. Is he dead or alive? WE DON’T KNOW! (He probably is alive, though, right? Is Wayward Pines really gonna kill a kid?)


Ted? Nobody cares about Ted. Seriously.

It’s all about Ben’s fate right now. To be sure of what that is, we will have to wait until next week’s episode. Only three episodes remain! What’s left to be revealed? Is Kate’s mention of a secret government project something to take note of? Are we all being mindfucked?


Where can we go from here??

Image via EW


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1) Was I the only one creeped out by the aggressive sex talk to a bunch of kids who are, per Chad Hodge, 14 or 15 years old? Creepy Hypno-Teacher is pushing sex on a classroom of high-school freshmen and at least one of them is as eager as a Lohan.

2) This episode went way the heck out of its way to make sure Ethan didn’t tell Ben a thing about what he learned. If he had, Ben would have been able to corroborate most of what Ethan said and they could have gone to Theresa together. Problem mostly solved. Instead, Ethan forgets to tell Ben *anything* in their entire truck ride home from school and he never thinks to check in with his son at any other point in the day or evening.

3) Meanwhile, Theresa decides she’s going to believe Kate even though Kate has done little but lie to her. She’s also been perfectly complicit with everything that’s gone on in the town so far, including the illegal stuff that Theresa has seen with her own eyes (she has at least some reason to believe Kate’s okay with the Reckonings). On the other hand, Ethan told her several crazy things since they’ve come to Wayward Pines and he’s been right so far. She actually has reasons to take that extra step of faith with him at this point. However, when her husband’s crazy meets Kate’s, she opts for...Kate?

4) That bomb was pretty light to punch a hole in the wall, don’t you think?

5) Was there some big reason, beyond dramatic camera reveal, that Ethan didn’t notice his son, who lay bloodied and near death only a couple feet in front of him? He, the professional law enforcement officer, staggered up to the truck which was still on fire, and did nothing at all for several seconds. Ethan is not the smartest guy in the world. I’m beginning to wonder if his boss didn’t send him to Wayward Pines to get him out of the way for a while. Ditto Kate, who also doesn’t seem all that smart.

6) Adam Hassler? Alive? In this time? Definitely plausible, especially when you consider his apparent familiarity with Pilcher.

I’ve loved the show so far. It is, for my money, the best thing on television right now. This episode, however, had real problems.