This was the week the Truth Hammer came down on Wayward Pines: Secrets behind the weird town were revealed, and now you have to decide if you’re excited and willing to go along for the rest of this bumpy ride.
Warning: Spoilers for Thursday night’s Wayward Pines follow.
Fittingly, it was a teacher who instructed us: Hope Davis’s Megan Fisher told young Ben (Charlie Tahan) that he’s among the chosen to extend the existence of humanity, a truth vouchsafed to young people only. In the context of Wayward Pines, that’s because (as Fisher said) adults can’t handle this truth. In the context of network TV viewership, I assume it’s because Fox wants young viewers watching and identifying with the teens onscreen.
In any event, it’s the year 4028 — yikes! — and that stubby little man David Pilcher/Dr. Jenkins (Toby Young) is the mastermind who’s made Wayward Pines the town version of Noah’s Ark, where people have been gathered to continue the human and animal race — and to protect them from the “Abbies,” the genetic aberrations that are scaring the bejesus out of Matt Dillon’s Ethan and others.
The freaked-out looking kids whom Ben joins are dubbed the “first generation” of the Wayward Pines project by Fisher and Jenkins. Fisher’s long explanation of all this stuff really required an actor capable of carrying us past the initial ridiculousness of it all, and thank goodness, Hope Davis is that kind of actor. When she utters a melodramatic phrase such as, “Survival is, quite simply, impossible,” you don’t wince as much as you would if a lesser performer were hamming it up or playing it down.
“The future lies with you,” said Fisher to the students, also instructing them not to tell their parents, and so the future will be something they have to lie about as well. About this deception, I am not sure. If I was a teenager, I’d be bursting to tell someone — if not my mom and dad, at least someone outside the inner circle Fisher and Dr. Jenkins have gathered around them.
The episode — which was called “The Truth” — was well-directed by that reliably wily pro James Foley. Arriving midway through Pines’s 10-episode season, “The Truth” is a make-or-break hour. If viewers aren’t intrigued by its centuries-long time-jump, and suitably scared by the fiendishly fast and furious Abby-creatures, the audience could start deserting in droves. But if you’ve watched Pines up till now, I’m guessing a lot of you will want to see the project through to the end, if only to decide for yourself whether the drama has succeeded on the terms it has set up for itself.
Has producer-writer-director M. Night Shyamalan hooked you?
Wayward Pines airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on Fox.