Holy crap, there are only two episodes left in this nutty show. This week’s episode “A Reckoning” contains bullets, betrayals, and yet another jaw-dropping last act bit of insanity. We gotta wonder: Is anyone going to make it out of Wayward Pines alive?
An eerie flash-forward prologue, in which Ethan drags Kate to the reckoning stage and holds a knife to her throat, kicks off Wayward Pines’ penultimate episode. By now, it’s difficult to believe that Ethan would actually go through with executing Kate—even if they didn’t have a past together, he’s just not the killing-in-cold-blood type. The scene cuts before we see what happens, but one suspects that in this episode, Sheriff Burke just might introduce a new kind of “reckoning” to the town folk.
After that glimpse of the future, it’s back to where we left off last week. Hope nobody got too worried that the abbies were going to shred their way through Wayward Pines, because Ethan makes short work of the few that tumble through the hole in the fence. (They’re vicious, but they’re none too bright.)
Back in the town jail, Kate and the three other captured rebels are freaking out, wondering what’s happening on the outside, and what’s going to happen to them. Explosives expert Franklin is certain that they’re all going to be killed ASAP, but Kate doesn’t think Ethan would do that. In the front lobby, secretary Arlene is playing solitaire when what appears to be Wayward Pines’ Preppy Mafia strides in. The trio doesn’t think Ethan is displaying proper police/public executioner behavior, since the bombers he’s captured are somehow all still alive. He’s “harboring terrorists,” Brat #1, whose name is Jason, tells Arlene. “The future of this town is in our hands.” He makes it clear that if Ethan doesn’t “reckon those traitors,” someone else will. Arlene, the former bus driver, proves she’s tough as nails; she looks him dead in the eye and tells them to “skeeee-daddle.”And after a beat, they slink out. For the moment, anyway.
“You have to stop this, now!” Pilcher tells Ethan as they watch the fence being fixed. Ethan reiterates his belief that the people of Wayward Pines need to be told the truth. But Pilcher reminds him that the citizens (at least its younger, blazer-wearing contingent) are used to hard-and-fast policies about rule-breaking and punishment. The sheriff will need to reckon somebody. Preferably Kate. “I need to do things my way,” Ethan replies, and Pilcher strikes a low blow by reminding him about the Easter Bomber. “Don’t make the same mistake twice,” he chides.
Back at the police station, Ethan drags Harold into an interrogation room and shows him grisly pictures of his two comrades’ bodies, barely recognizable after their close-up abbie encounters. “That fence is there for a reason,” Ethan barks. Harold doesn’t believe him. Ethan doesn’t care. He needs information: the names of all the insurgents. He gets: 14. When Pilcher tracks their microchips, the data report says they’re all together in the bar. But the bar, as seen on the surveillance cameras, is empty ... except for a bartender and a pint glass full of recently-removed chips. Urk.
At the hospital, the injured Ben sleeps. When Theresa leaves his room for a moment, Nurse Pam catches up to her in the hallway. She tells Theresa about the truck that broke through the wall, and lets her know that she’s aware Ethan has told his wife the truth about Wayward Pines. (Theresa’s still not sure if she believes him, though.) “It’s important to question things,” Nurse Pam says, and drops a Big Hint (and hands her a “restricted access” pass) that she should revisit the mysterious empty lot known as Plot 33. While Theresa’s playing detective (conveniently, the surveillance tech is distracted at the exact moment she knocks out Plot 33’s camera), Amy takes a turn for the worse at the hospital, to Ben and Nurse Pam’s horror, and Teacher/Hypnotist of the Year Mrs. Fisher swoops into Ben’s room.
“There is great strength in unity,” she tells him, and he hears a noise outside. It’s his classmates, doing that weird clapping-in-unison routine from the orientation/initiation ceremony at Wayward Pines Academy. (It’s an odd enough sight to concern a surveillance camera operator at WP HQ, who summons Ethan and Pilcher over to see what’s happening.) Mrs. Fisher also needles him about speaking out, since he’s a hero now, having survived a terrorist attack. As a member of the First Generation, she reminds him, he’s more of a leader than she or even his father will ever be. Still clad in his hospital gown, Ben goes to address the kids ... and after filling them in on Amy’s condition, he begins spouting rhetoric about “the rules,” and says “I’m sorry that my dad failed this town.” Oh nooo you didn’t!, Ethan thinks. That’s all it takes, and the Preppy Mafia lynch mob stops clapping and rushes back the police station to take care of unfinished business.
This time, they break down the door. Arlene gazes in a panic up at the security camera, but we see Pilcher looking on, watching the show, not interfering. After she spits in Jason’s face (he deserved it), Arlene is cuffed to a filing cabinet while the boys break into the gun cabinet. Real winners, these kids who’ve been educated in Wayward Pines. Kate tries to use psychology on Jason, reminding him of the toys once he bought at her and Harold’s shop. But though his two friends can’t bring themselves to go any further, Jason’s determined. “It’s our responsibility,” he snarls, and yanks each male prisoner out of his cell to kneel before him ... and proceeds to coldly execute each in turn, including Harold, as Kate, Arlene, and the other two boys stare on in horror.
If this ugliness is the future of Wayward Pines, was humanity worth saving in the first place?
Ethan bursts in as Jason’s taking aim at Kate, and wounds him. (At HQ, Pilcher, who’s been watching this entire time, finally turns and leaves.) Ethan begs Kate to tell him where the rest of the rebel group is, but she won’t. “You have to put an end to this,” she insists, meaning that he should reckon her in front of the town. “Someone is gonna kill me, and I’d rather it be you.”
Theresa bursts into the police station, having discovered something buried below Plot 33 that she wants Ethan to see. Kate, too. It’s a bunker, with mysterious tunnels, and a computer containing a video message from Adam Hassler, Kate and Ethan’s old Secret Service boss. It’s dated 4020. “I finally reached the city,” he says, and turns the camera to reveal a destroyed Golden Gate Bridge leading into San Francisco. There are hundreds of similar video journals from cities across America, and as Theresa shows them, “There’s nothing left.”
“Why wouldn’t he tell us?” Kate wonders.
“Because Pilcher’s a control freak,” Ethan says. YA THINK? He tasks Theresa with showing these video diaries to as many people as possible before midnight ... because at midnight, Kate says, there’s gonna be a reckoning. Which is exactly what Ethan says to Pilcher, but it’s couched in a warning: “After tonight, no more.”
Pilcher proclaims he’s ready for an end to the violence, also, and allows Ethan to activate the Wayward Pines Phone Tree, alerting everyone to the impending execution.
So we’re back at the opening scene. And as suspected, Ethan doesn’t kill Kate. Instead, he says, “I’m here to tell you the truth, because we’re running out of time,” and he proceeds to lay it all out there: who Pilcher really is, and his tactics for preserving the human race, which are failing miserably. “This town is all that’s left,” he says, telling everyone that while they don’t have to like it, they do have to accept it.
As Kate backs him up along with others in the crowd, shrill Megan Fisher pipes in: “David Pilcher is the savior of all humankind!” She points at Kate and screams, “She has to be reckoned!”
Theresa, hero, steps up and slaps her square across the face. “Enough!” But there’s no chance to celebrate, because up in his fortified office, David Pilcher taps on his keyboard. He shuts off the lights. He shuts off power to the hospital, where Amy clings to life support. And he shuts off the power to the electrified fence. He’s so angry he’s ready to sacrifice his entire community to prove his point about rules.
Once again, we end with the shrieking of abbies. Is it dinnertime, this time?