(WARNING THIS RECAP CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THE WAYWARD PINES EPISODE "BLOOD HARVEST")
Previously on Wayward Pines ... the second season premiere features a wary guy who wakes up in Wayward Pines and tries to figure out what's really going on but instead winds up trapped outside the town and under attack from creepy zombie types. It's all a little second verse, same as the first if you watched last season.
Now on Wayward Pines ... Dr. Yedlin gets saved! Kerry Campbell gets maimed! Theresa Burke is still exactly the same! All this plus those pesky abbies decide they've been coming on too strong and decide to try being mysterious instead.
The best parts of this episode are when Wayward Pines lets itself be weird. How much did they do that? Only one way to find out!
- Right from where we left off, the citizens of Wayward Pines are watching Dr. Theo Yedlin MD, Ben and Xander as they are attacked by the abbies. It's a friendly, welcoming town, isn't it? But the abbies are less interested in our heroes (although Xander gets yanked away while Ben hightails it further into the woods) and more interested in getting over the electrocuted wall. And they decide to do that by allowing themselves to die, one by one, until the pile of their own corpses is high enough to get the rest of them over. Gnarly. Jason, Kerry and Mario go along with some redshirts to stop the abbies from breaking through. They succeed, but Kerry gets sliced up pretty badly by an abbie in the process. They need a doctor! Too bad they left the only skilled physician they have behind to die for some reason.
- JK, Jason goes back for Yedlin and is like, "Bro, stitch up Kerry; she my gurl." This is when Theo demands to know what the real deal is. Jason tells him, and Theo's wife, Rebecca, backs the whole thing up as being the Tom Hanks in Cloud Atlas true true. Welcome to the future, Theo! It stinks. Anyway, Kerry gets saved, Theo gets surly. Cool story.
- Meanwhile, A NEW CHALLENGER APPROACHES. And, hey, it's Academy-Award-nominated actor Djimon Hounsou (wait for applause) (crickets). He was Korath in Guardians of the Galaxy (small smattering of applause, followed by silence). All right, fine. Whatever. Tough crowd. Anyway, Hounsou plays CJ Mitchum, who is a Wayward Pines historian (sounds like a depressing job). Mitchum is also a gardener! So he's well-rounded. Anyhoo, apparently there's a problem in Wayward Pines, which is that nothing grows there, so they have to do their farming outside the wall. And with the citizenry starving, it's time for Mitchum and some trusty cannon fodder to go harvest some corn and carrots and other vegetarian c-words. You see the title of the episode is "Blood Harvest" and, you know ... foreshadowing.
- In a cool twist, it turns out that Rebecca Yedlin has been very much awake and living in Wayward Pines for three years (or so she says, duhn duhn DUHN). And she seems like she might be more in control of the general town goings-on than she seems. Also, I think she might have been dating around while Theo was on ice? Anyway, she is, apparently a beautician for the town, but secretly might have actually built some of Wayward Pines, because she's an architect. She's kiiiind of happy that Theo is alive, but maybe not? She's hard to pin down, but she's definitely in charge of her own destiny in a way Theo is not, since she basically tells Theo to go be a darn doctor already and stop being such a pill. Which he then does.
- You know who is not particularly in charge? Theresa Burke. Yeah. She's back. And she wants her son, Ben, to be let back in the town. And she shouts a lot about it. Then she just hangs around the house also shouting. That's all.
- But, hey, how about those crops, huh? Jason, Mitchum, and co. get 'em despite some abbie troubles. Good thing they brought ... flamethrowers? Around the crops? Really? All right. Oh, also, Ben was hanging out in the corn the whole time waiting to get picked up, but nerds to him, because Jason leaves him. And then the abbies eat Ben, who I guess is not a main character after all this season? Oh, well.
- Despite Ben's death, there's a new seed of rebellion being sowed, because Ben was part of "The First Generation" and those crazy kids aren't supposed to hurt each other. Oops. So, Mario and Kerry are kind of sour on Jason right now and probably won't invite him to the beach house this summer if he keeps being such a dillweed.
- Also, the abbies are apparently all leaving the vicinity of Wayward Pines, but no one has any idea why. Cliffhanger!
All in all, that was not bad. Some surprises, some more gore, people keep dying. Everyone loves death, right? This was definitely a step up from Episode 1. But what worked? What didn't? And what will you only find in the sleepy little murder hamlet of Wayward Pines?
- The scene with the abbies all sacrificing themselves so that some of them can get over the wall is super gruesome and genuinely scary. And it's not that the abbies are just scary because they're seemingly unstoppable, here; it's because their ability to intuit and work together to such a grizzly end suggests an intelligence that's very difficult to understand, but an intelligence all the same. Are the abbies a part of a hive mind all working to a singular purpose? Or are they just unstoppable killing machines? The fact that we don't know represents a mystery that's more exciting than almost anything from last season.
- Let's hear it for Rebecca Yedlin and her mysterious past with Wayward Pines. Theresa was so boring and clueless last year. It's way more interesting not knowing what motivates Rebcecca and wondering if maybe she was a part of organizing Wayward Pines all along. Where do her allegiances lie? Did she have another husband? Did she have kids while Theo was asleep? Another list of mysteries that I'm excited to work out.
- Ben's dead! Probably. I did not see that one coming. This show is not afraid to napalm expectations by killing off the people that seem like they're central to the story. So far, that's working pretty well for Wayward Pines this season.
- Theresa Burke. What is there even to say? She's just the absolute worst. Her only character note is "pearl-clutching mom" and golly, does she do nothing but shout it to the heavens so we know she's at least got that one dimension going for her. And she's still being stylized in those shapeless sweaters MY. GOD. What crimes did Shannyn Sossamon commit against this show's costume designer? Good grief!
- There's a guest spot from Toby Jones so we can get some David Pilcher action, albeit in inspiring home video format. You know how Pilcher inspires the citizenry? By telling them that they are not the best and the brightest of humanity and that he chose these townies because they're real salt of the earth types. You know -- people from the REAL America. Sure, you may not being very smart, Pinies, but bless your little hearts, I'm sure you can till the soil and unclog my toilet in a jiff! Can't imagine why this town's falling apart...
- Have you seen the name of some of the stores in Wayward Pines? The Excellent Bean? The Ice Cream and Fudge Emporium? I'll tell you who Pilcher should've brought into his brave new world -- a marketing team. Look, at the end of everything I want to feel good about the places I choose to buy my coffee and/or fudge product. When we're talking apocalypse, it's the little things that count.
- Do you remember Arlene from last season? She was the assistant to the sheriff's department? Well, bless, she's also back this season but now she's Theo's assistant even though she knows nothing whatsoever about medicine. And, apparently, she needs to get electro-shock therapy every now and again -- because it really puts a pep in her step! Yes, that is definitely how zapping someone's skull meats works -- it just makes 'em wanna throw on a top hat and do a dance!
- Also, all the teenage girl extras are pregnant. Because propagating the species! That's uh... yup. I would not want to live in Wayward Pines dot nope.
So, yes, there are some crazy, crazy things happening on Wayward Pines to help fill the rocket-launcher-shaped hole Gotham left in our hearts when it's second season ended. And also an interesting plot? Blah, blah, blah. More murder and mayhem, please!
Oh, fine, I'll take some intrigue, too. And some veggies! Are those organic? They look organic...
See you next time!