Wayward Pines: A Reckoning Review

It's a good week in Wayward Pines, but the answers might not fit the questions. Here is Dan's review of Wayward Pines Season 1 Episode 9.


With the penultimate episode of Wayward Pines being entitled “A Reckoning,” one would think there’s a big time death coming. (Well, that would depend on your definition of “big time” wouldn’t it?) There isn’t any time to waste anymore, so every minute remaining of the show is crucial. Noting that, “A Reckoning” marks a fantastic week for Wayward Pines.

“A Reckoning” begins with—you guessed it—Kate being ushered to the center of town by Ethan for her reckoning. Ethan screams at the crowd, “Is this really what you want?” while pressing a knife to Kate’s neck. Though it’s a flash-forward of an event that also ends the show, I didn’t really have much faith that Ethan would or could kill Kate. Rest easy, people.

In the woods, the Abbies finish their meals (way to go, Adam) and realize that they have an entrance into town now. Ethan arrives just in time to kill three Abbies and shortly the fence is being rebuilt. I find it hard to believe that the fence could’ve been saved; being rammed by a truck of that size should’ve set it back more than a quick patch-up. Pilcher doubts that Ethan has the iron fist to rule the town effectively. Three recent graduates of Wayward Pines Academy seem hellbent on fixing the town’s problems.

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Ethan drags Harold into the interrogation room and demands that he give him the names of the people who were plotting against Wayward Pines…but what does Harold have to gain by telling him the truth? It’s not as if cooperating will take back what he orchestrated. Nevertheless, Harold sings like a canary. All fourteen names, obviously, are of people who removed their chips.

Watching Pam reminisce about growing up with Pilcher is essentially like watching a lit wick of dynamite speed towards the explosives; it’s just a matter of time before it all explodes and Pam does something rash. However, if you’d have told me that Pam would pull Theresa aside in the hospital and tell her that it was good that she was questioning Ethan’s sanity—that Pam was Theresa’s voice of reason—I’d have laughed it off. While Pam seems to be hopeful that there’s still a world outside the fence of Wayward Pines, she knows the truth. It’s shocking that she essentially acting against her brother these days.

Ben is told (by Pam, no less) that Amy suffered an epidural hemorrhaging and is coding. I was skeptical at first, and thought that her injury was faked or even set up by Pilcher, but Amy genuinely is clinging on for dear life. I thought it also might have been a ploy hatched by Megan Fisher to get Ben to take action. After Ben speaks to the students that have gathered outside the hospital, the three recent graduates spring to action when they realize Ethan has no plans to reckon anyone.

Theresa digs deeper into Plot 33 and finds a hidden hatch with an underground ladder beneath it. She procured a “Restricted Access” card and uses it when she finds a doorway in the underground tunnel. Anyone else have a flashback to Lost and The Hatch?

The head honcho of the three graduates, and a deranged young man at that, Jason Higgins (Tom Stevens), forces his way into the police station and begins executing prisoners that Ethan won’t. I was never a huge fan of Harold (Reed Diamond), but his death was quite jarring—as were the other prisoners Higgins shoots. The scene is well-filmed and well-acted throughout, and certainly chilling. Most chilling is Pilcher’s complete unwillingness to do anything about Higgins killing prisoners. He seems a terrible person to have chosen to start Wayward Pines.

Despite the deaths, the biggest reveal of the episode is what’s underneath Plot 33: hundreds of videos of survivors trekking through the post-apocalyptic wasteland outside the walls. There doesn’t seem to be any footage of Abbies, though the picture is a depressing one with or without the creatures of doom. While there may have been some confusion before, as to whether the apocalypse that Pilcher so desperately believed he was saving people from was real or not, there’s no longer any question. Wayward Pines may not be all that’s left, but it’s certainly more of a civilization than anywhere else.

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Come the end of the episode, when the Kate reckoning flash forward hits real time, Ethan reveals he has no plans to kill Kate, as was to be expected. Instead, Ethan, Kate, and Theresa use the reckoning as a platform to inform people what’s going on outside Wayward Pines’ walls. (Also, how about that slap Theresa laid on Megan Fisher? That was a long time coming and, though I love Hope Davis, Fisher’s character long deserved it.) Pilcher was terrified that they couldn’t handle the truth, but most seem able to.

The person who couldn’t handle his experiment going awry is Pilcher—he watches on as Ethan and Kate explain what’s happened, and section by section, powers down Wayward Pines in just about the most dangerous hissy fit in recorded television history. The hospital’s power is cut and Amy has likely died, but even more important than that, the electric fence keeping the Abbies out is suddenly safe for entrance and the beasts realize it nearly right away. The scene fades to black as one of the monsters’ claws clutches the once volt-filled fence.

While “A Reckoning” truly was an amazing episode, I’m worried that we won’t get a lot of the answers we came for. Yes, there’s still the finale, but I’m curious about the time travel aspect. How did Ethan, Ben, and Theresa all really get there? It hasn’t been laid out. What about Kate? How will the conundrum between Ethan’s two weeks being Kate’s twelve years at the beginning of the show be explained? Was Pilcher simply planning on living out his life in Wayward Pines, with citizens blissfully unaware of the world’s end? And how did it really end? The list goes on.

With shows like this—high on mystery and supernatural themes—viewers run the risk of not getting the answers they began watching the show for. Wayward Pines has been a wonderful ride thus far and will continue to be after the finale airs next week. I just worry that we’ll be left scratching our heads rather than reveling in the series’ glory.


4 out of 5