"A Reckoning," Wayward Pines' penultimate episode, provides several shocks to the system including a 13th hour checkmate that spells mankind annihilation if Ethan can't turn things around in the final 43 minutes of the series. Regardless, "A Reckoning" was an action-packed, tension-filled segue that succeeds in raising the drama (and expectations) for a phenomenal finale.
The children of the First Generation rise up to demand their place of power, but only serve to prove that what they have been brainwashed to believe will only bring about death and destruction. A major secondary character is brutally murdered, even more truth is discovered by none other than Ethan's wife, Kate makes the ultimate sacrifice, and Ethan calls his first town meeting with the intent of telling everyone the truth about everything, putting the blame squarely on Pilcher's shoulders. In the end, Pilcher gets the last laugh ... or does he?
Wayward Pines Recap: Casualties Mount as the Plot Thickens >>>
The Phones Ring; a Reckoning Has Come to Call
In a flash forward we see Ethan on the town scaffolding with a dagger at Kate's throat as Wayward Pines' First Generation teenagers and all the town folk are whipped into a frenzy.
Next up, we are back to the present -- if you can call it that-- as Ethan kills several Addies who have entered Wayward Pines via the breach created by Harold and his crew of dissidents. Several of those dissidents remain in jail at Sheriff Ethan's office.
Into the jailhouse walk three graduates of Class One at the Wayward Pines Academy led by a blood hungry frat boy called Jason. The three demand a reckoning as punishment for the breach of the perimeter. Gutsy secretary Arlene (Siobhan Fallon Hogan - whom I will always remember describing an alien as wearing an "Eggar Suit" in Men In Black) stands up to the three snotty-nosed frat boys who eventually stand down and leave.
Pilcher Blames Ethan
As the perimeter wall is being fixed, Pilcher takes a moment to hand Ethan his own ass. It's all your fault for being a pansy, he says in so many words. What? We may all get whiplash for how quickly the mad scientist changed his tune in regard to our hero. Pilcher's naughty side is still hanging right out there. Nurse Pam, however, continues to become more and more sympathetic. Looks like the familial true colors are finally showing.
Ethan promises to interrogate the poo out of Harold, then collect all the other insurgents who are now in hiding. Rightfully tossing the onus back on Pilcher, Ethan insists the bedlam is a product of Pilcher's own disingenuousness with the Wayward Pines population. The people are planning escape because they have no idea what awaits them outside that wall. Ethan plans to do something about that, how much you wanna bet?
Harold Faces the Music
Ethan confronts Harold with pictures of what happened to his two friends who escaped. Harold reluctantly turns over the names of 14 cohorts, but those 14 are MIA, having removed their chips and left them in beer swill at the Biergarten.
Nurse Pam Encourages Theresa to Investigate the Ugly Truth
Nurse Pam comes across a picture of herself and Pilcher as children and continues to soften toward the people of Wayward Pines. She gives Theresa an access card to get inside the structure built on Plot 33 lot in "Betrayal
Theresa goes back to Plot 33 and smashes the surveillance camera, then uses Pam's card to get through the secured passageway down into the heart of Wayward Pines "behind-the-scenes."
Theresa gains access to the bowels under Wayward Pines and finds cement halls that look like the inside of one of those space ships we've seen on so many other shows.
Amy's Brain Swells and Ben is Put On the Spot
In the hospital Ben continues to heal, but Amy isn't doing so well. Her brain is swelling and she needs surgery - or is this a ginormous ruse to get Ben to fall in line with Megan and Pilcher's plan to control the residents.
Ben hears his classmates protesting outside the hospital and succumbs to Megan's entreaty to be the leader and address those gathered outside. Ben does this as well as apologizes for his father failing Wayward Pines as Ethan watches from behind-the-scenes ground zero. The students demand a reckoning. Ben agrees that rules have been broken and people must be punished, but insists that his father will not reckon anyone. This does not assuage the fervor of the angry juvenile crowd.
Kate Watches Jason Kill Harold
Adolescent Jason returns to the jailhouse where Arlene spits in his face instead of giving them access to the insurgents. Man, that woman has chutzpa! Jason overpowers Arlene and handcuffs her to the file cabinet, then takes her keys. Unlocking the rifles from the sheriff's gun cage, Jason drags four of the insurgents, including Harold, out of their cells and shoots them point blank right in front of Kate and Arlene. Much of the tyranny of the killing scene is intensified by the director's choice to remove all sound from the activity, and to add some slow motion cinematography. Pretty powerful and very well done, folks.
As Jason points the barrel of his rifle at Kate's head he is shot in the lower back by Ethan. Thank God.
Kate Insists Ethan Stop Protecting Her
While gently interrogating Kate in a powerful yet understated scene, Ethan pleads with her that she turn over the rest of their gang because more people are going to continue to die if she does not. Kate insists that the killing will continue until Ethan does what Pilcher asks. Wayward Pines breeds crazy militant kids like Jason and his cohort. They will continue to kill until Ethan takes charge by reckoning her. Ethan is shocked, but he also knows that Kate is making sense.
Theresa Drops a Bomb Shell
Theresa breaks into Ethan's interrogation of Kate and leads them to Plot 33. Caught on video journal is the image of Adam Hassler from September 15th, 4020 -- that's eight years ago according to Wayward Pines time. His transmission shows a demolished San Francisco and a flooded Golden Gate Bridge. Hassler says he's trying to keep away from the Addies (I assume he's talking about the Addies here) while he attempts to rejoin his "group" on the other side of the bay.
Theresa says there are hundreds of video journals from groups of people trying to escape the Addies. All over the world. Kate is astounded that they have been kept in the dark about the entire situation. Ethan again insists that the truth must be told. And it has to be before midnight when there will be a reckoning. He tells Theresa to get as many people as she can down below Plot 33 to see those video journals.
Ethan Tells Pilcher He Will Reckon Kate
Ethan surprises Pilcher with a visit to his lair and announces he will reckon Kate at midnight. Ethan says everybody has to be at the town gathering. Pilcher gives Ethan the phone to make the call. Through flashbacks we see their entire conversation and see the shocked expression on Pilcher's face as he watches the performance unfold.
Ethan and Kate Tell the Truth
Coming full circle, Ethan and Kate stand on the scaffolding we saw at the beginning of the episode. Ethan releases Kate and tells the crowd the truth about Pilcher as Pilcher himself watches from his desk at headquarters.
Kate tells the crowd that she has seen the truth of the hell outside the perimeter and can prove that it's not safe. Ethan is telling the truth, she says, and says she has proof of it. Theresa, Arlene and a couple others speak out that they have also seen the proof. Megan, however, flips out and screams at the crowd until Theresa slaps her across the face.
The Puppetmaster Pulls the Last String
As Pilcher watches Ethan spilling the truth to the Wayward Pines community, what can he do? This is when the true madness of King Pilcher is revealed. Pilcher turns off the electricity of the entire operation. What next? Our final scene is of Abbies reaching over the defunct electric wall to gain entry to the protected dystopian utopia of Wayward Pines.
Death and More Death: Who Will Survive?
Okay, folks, we talked about it last week -- who is going to survive to the final frame of Wayward Pines? Harold already went the way of a Star Trek red shirt. Amy almost bit the dust. It seems her surgery went well, but she's probably still critical. Three more insurgents were killed. Did Jason survive his gunshot wound? The preview of the finale, "Cycle," show lots of gore. There's no way all the main characters can make it through the next 43 minutes of M. Night Shyamalan's most recent creative effort.
My money is on Pilcher being fed to the Abbies. Ethan is definitely going to make it, so Theresa and Ben most likely will as well. Arlene deserves to live, by God. Surprising even myself, I'm hoping Pam makes it. She'll be an asset going forward ... which brings me to the next issue ...
Will There Be a Wayward Pines: Part Deux?
It's clear this ten episode series has set itself up for a second season. Or, at least, it looks that way right now. We'll see if it still looks that way during the finale.
Wayward Pines airs Thursdays at 9pm on FOX.
(Image courtesy of FOX)