The biggest hook and concern of any show today that follows the pattern of Lost, is when will the answers come? Many who watch are sometimes less concerned about the quality of the show and more concerned that if they start watching when will the payoff come and will it be worth it? The worst part of some of these shows is once you get hooked, the good ones are cancelled and the bad ones make you leave before you start to care.
So, what is Wayward Pines? This show, based on Blake Crouch’s book of the same name, follows Secret Service agent Ethan Burke played by Matt Dillon, on a search for his missing partner. On his way there, he winds up in a freak auto accident and while he manages to crawl away from the wreckage he passes out. Once he wakes up, he is in crazy town with no way to get out and one of the 800 lb elephants in the room is how did another agent wind up dead and decaying in a house in this town, along with why am I in a human zoo with no way out?
Wayward Pines is a mix of The Twilight Zone, the strongly compared Twin Peaks and the Truman Show. The town that Burke is stuck in, also is mostly stuck in time. You will note the technology is somewhere in the 70s and for some reason no one is forthcoming with answers. All of Burke’s personal items are gone and he keeps getting the runaround when trying to get answers. Also let’s not talk about the deranged nurse (Melissa Leo) and the sheriff (this is apparently Terrence Howard’s gig while not doing Empire)who run the town.
As the episode moves on, it gets weirder and weirder with people who seemingly want to help Burke and as Burke tries to escape, we get to find out that for now, it’s impossible. The show as directed by M. Night Shyamalan feels a lot like one of his movies. That may be the biggest fear that most of his audience may have. With disappointing movies like The Village (which this show kind of feels like) one can wonder if there will be a much better payoff than his last few films. Thankfully unlike most shows where you have to wait to get answers, we are given a few at the end of the first one here.
The good parts of this show is there is some compelling mystery going on and as stated, viewers will get some early payoffs at least enough to get you to stick around for another episode. The bad is that in some ways, there seems like too many nods and winks to force you into thinking that there are bad things going down. We know that already, that is why we are watching. Or to quote Peter Griffin, it feels like “It insists upon itself”. Yes, we went there…
It does have everything going for it. This show has an unusual town with unusual people. It has a man who may or may not be imagining the whole thing and of course a sinister plot that threatens the towns existence. Now if Shyamalan can stick the landing in 9 more episodes, he may redeem himself on the small screen in many ways he could not on the big screen.
But…why are there no crickets?
2.75 Loony Bins out of 5