Wayward Pines: Betrayal Review

Things are off in Wayward Pines this week. Things are usually a little off in a town called Wayward, but this week the show suffers.


We left last episode with Kate and her husband Harold, as well as the town postal worker, orchestrating a plot to set off explosions and destroy the wall surrounding Wayward Pines, among other parts of town. Ethan knows what creatures await outside, so he agrees with Pilcher to stop Kate and the others from setting off the explosives, but he also doesn’t trust Nurse Pam and Dr. Pilcher (and rightly so). This sets Ethan up for an interesting character arc; he’s essentially only keeping innocent lives safe, including his family’s.

“Betrayal” starts with Pilcher driving Ethan home, a voiceover explaining that Ethan can tell no one what he saw at headquarters—Pilcher says that humanity depends on it. But truthfully, the kids in town all know about the big secret…in a matter of years, won’t that generation be fully grown and wouldn’t the adults be essentially rendered useless, for the purposes of Wayward Pines? Why place so much concern about their well being?

Ethan responds by promptly telling his wife what he’s learned. (And explaining that the reason for their 2,000 year fast forward was because they were put into “some kind of suspended animation”; does he mean the cryogenic sleep?) Soon enough, Ethan is (rightfully) questioning his sanity it seems. Although, we soon see that what Ethan removes from his car was a bomb—one of the many planted around town—so maybe he’s right to feel paranoid.

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Ethan sets his sights on Franklin Dobbs (Ian Tracey) as the culprit behind the explosives task force, due to his experience as a demolition worker. Pam offers to help Ethan with whatever he needs—and he asks for access to surveillance footage. Pam’s constant meddling has me leaning towards Pilcher as a fraud; what other reason would there be for her oppressive ominous tone, her constant meddling, her dark presence onscreen?

Theresa steps into Plot 33 and finds, what seems to be, a trap door beneath the grass. When she tells her boss, again he clams up about it, and worries that they’re being watched. Are they just being paranoid at this point, or is Plot 33 really such a sore point for those in charge? Also, when will this subplot come to fruition? It’s an ominous story for something that has been hinted at so briefly for consecutive episodes … it’s time for the payoff.

Megan Fisher’s (Hope Davis) sex education class takes the cake for most awkward scene thus far: encouraging Ben and Amy specifically, as well as the rest of the class, to procreate because Wayward Pines needs a new generation redefines awkward. It’s a creepy scene, but a well-acted one, and vital to the story, to boot.

Ethan confronts Harold (Reed Diamond) about the bomb in his truck. Franklin made all of the bombs, but Harold and Co. planted them around town. Ethan takes this opportunity to pass Kate a note; do you believe her when she says she doesn’t know how the bomb got in Ethan’s car? She doesn’t want Ethan dead, but someone could’ve easily gone over her head. Either way, Ethan tells Kate what year it is and vaguely hints at what’s happened—seems he took Dr. Pilcher’s warning pretty seriously.

The only thing Kate takes from this is that Ethan’s been compromised and the plan needs to be executed right away. Could Kate be in the right? Has Ethan (and, by proxy, have we) been compromised?

Amy tells Megan Fisher that she’ll ask Ben out and—ahem—take him somewhere romantic and secluded. Talk about a scene that gives you the heebie-jeebies, even the purpose behind it is the human race being repopulated. 

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When Kate and Theresa talk, it’s hard to not find the whole Ethan’s-been-brainwashed theory plausible; I’ve always held out hope that they’re really still in the present day, and The Pilchers are just insane. It’s comforting seeing Kate and Theresa teaming up with that notion. A government experiment is certainly preferable to 2,000 years and the near-extinction of humanity later. That this town is truly all that survives of mankind is much more believable when The Pilchers are viewed as deranged and delusional cult leaders than it is as a reality.

Either way, Ethan walks right into a trap when he takes Kate and Franklin into custody; the bombs are a plan that’s too developed to abort now, even with its devisors behind bars while it’s being executed.

Ben hanging out with Amy is way down on the list of concerns in town at present, and them catching a ride on the truck with a bomb on it is far too convenient and forced. It seems like a stretch, illogical even, that Amy would demand they hop onboard. So it certainly feels forced, on a number of levels, that Ben and Amy would be on the truck when it explodes. How were they not both blown to bits if this was a bomb that was meant to blow up the seemingly impenetrable wall? The trailer for next week insinuates that there’s a mad rush to save Ben, but truthfully, being that close to an explosive meant to blow a hole in a hi-tech fence that keeps (essentially) demons at bay, Ben shouldn’t be able to be saved.

“Betrayal,” for me was one of the weaker episodes for me, weighed down by the illogical choice made by Amy and Ben at the end of the episode. The idea that Ethan may be brainwashed, that the outside world still exists and that the town is simply part of a covert government experiment, has to be a possibility that most fans are hoping for. The demise of humanity is a heavy concept, but a cult starting a town—operating under the guise that they’re mankind’s last hope—is a much more intriguing and believable notion. Even in a down week, Wayward Pines is still incredibly watchable, enjoyable, well-acted and mostly well-written. It just felt off this week.


3 out of 5