Lots more is revealed about Jason’s upbringing as the very first 41st century popsicle baby in “Once Upon A Time in Wayward Pines.” Against a backdrop of sinister Snow White-like woods and narrated by creepy fairytale-ish voiceovers by Nurse Pam “Ratched” Pilcher (Melissa Leo), we see Pam grooming loner Jason to be the savior of humankind. Man, it’s great to see Pam back in the thick of it, even if she’s batsh*t crazy with a capital BS.
Theo digs deeper into why he was chosen to be frozen for Wayward Pines and mourns the loss of a hard-won relationship with his father. Before the episode is out, Theo saves the population from uncertain death, but cannot save Pam from her own destiny at the hands of the man she raised to rule the world.
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What Happens In Wayward Pines, Stays In Wayward Pines … Does It?
In the first ten minutes of “Once Upon A Time in Wayward Pines,” we have Arlene vamping all over Dr. Theo, a babyface soldier confirming the absence of Abbies within a 30 mile radius, Jason crying over how hard it is to be supreme ruler of all he can see, and Pam Pilcher showing up in a haircut from hell after being exiled to the outskirts after murdering her psycho partner and brother in the season 1 finale.
Jason reintroduces Pam at an impromptu town meeting where she is reluctantly accepted back, though Megan (Hope Davis) rolls off [in a wheelchair] in disgust. Now Pam is free to commune with the villagers and roam the campus, including Megan’s super freaky la-BOR-a-TOR-y where the captive Abbies are being held and genetically studied.
Since last week’s flame throwers seemed to have scared off the Abbies for good (don’t you believe it!) the new plan is to venture out into Gethsemane in search of fertile ground in which to expand the Wayward Pines empire. Then things get a little wonky, starting with Nurse Pam arriving back at the green-tinted ghost hospital.
Pam Pilcher Has A Scheme Up Her Nursey Sleeve
In the hospital, Pam searches for something among the supplies until she’s interrupted by Dr. Theo. She snidely asks him if he wants her to teach him something, then makes several inappropriate and extremely awkward, remarks about how exciting it must be to have sex with his wife after being frozen for 2000 years. Theo holds his own, however, and pointedly asks why he was specifically chosen, from the thousands of physicians in Boston, to come to Wayward Pines. She tells him to get over himself and eventually the two part ways and Pam continues her pilfering, pocketing some syringes.
The purpose of this scene is it establish three things:
1) Pam’s scheme, whatever it is, requires medical supplies
2) Theo and Rebecca haven’t had sex since his “awakening,” and
3) Theo’s Hawaii abduction was intentional, and not just for him.
As I’ve been suspecting, Rebecca was just as much quarry as he is, maybe even more. I’m still wondering if she played a part in planning this whole thing out with Pam and Pilcher from the beginning.
Jason’s (Sob) Story Unveiled
Pam’s voice over narrates a scene from a long-ago birthday party for Jason who feels isolated from all the other kids, whom he’s convinced don’t like him. They probably don’t, as he seems to have been a self-important prick even then. Pam can’t get him to rejoin the party, but Megan steps in and manipulates him into believing she’s trustworthy, giving us a rare view into the genesis of the disdain between herself and Pam, Jason’s adopted mother.
Megan Wants to Put the ‘Pro’ Back Into Procreation
In present day, 4031ish, Megan holds court in a classroom of pubescent coeds, a quarter of which appear to be pregnant. She mentions that plans are underway to venture out beyond the perimeter of Wayward Pines and eventually expand their kingdom, but right now … let’s keep making babies. Four girls are dismissed from class do go do some studying until they “bloom,” which must mean they haven’t begun menstruating yet. What does this odd little scene foreshadow? Is Wayward Pines using per-adolescent girls to incubate baby Abbies? Or are nascent ovaries being harvested for some kind of odd hybrid experiment? Things keep getting creepier and creepier, people.
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Pam Steals Biohazardous Stuff From the Abbie Lab
Pam worms her way into Pilcher’s/Jason’s luxurious sanctuary where she has tearful flashbacks of killing her brother, then proceeds to Megan’s lab where several snarling Abbies are being held in cells. Megan walks, er, rolls in, finding and ejecting her, but not before Pam pockets some vials from a fridge marked with warning symbols. (What is this chick planning? Syringes and now mysterious biologicals. Is she going to commit suicide? Will she try to turn into an Abbie herself?)
Pam returns to her house to find that kids have painted “Murderer” on the front of the building and hung a replica of her from a tree in the front yard. She sets out a party dress, then injects herself with whatever bio-hazardous liquid she stole from Megan’s lab. However, it’s not a suicide she’s planning, or, not a solitary suicide, at least. She’s infected herself with Smallpox, the 12,000 year old virus that claimed 300-500 million lives in the last century, despite being fatal only 20-60% of the time (80% for kids). So, if suicide is what she’s after, it will be death by a thousand cuts if she’s lucky. But that’s not all.
Megan and Theo Out Pam’s Plot to Kill Wayward Pines
Jason is having a sit-down with Kerry, C.J. and gorgeous Mario in his luxurious lair. The topic: exploring the usability, and expanding the development of the land outside the perimeter according to Pilcher’s original plan. Pam, all dolled-up in her party dress and red lipstick, joins the meeting late, kissing Jason full on the lips. (What? Is she trying to infect the underage cretin? Holy crapola. It’s worse than that.)
Elsewhere, Megan realizes what Pam has stolen and sends the cavalry, led by Theo, to storm the lair in search of Pam and the missing vial of Ebola, er, I mean, Smallpox. It turns out that Pam has decided the best way to end the effed-up inhumanity inside the walls of Wayward Pines is to let everyone die “peacefully” of an infectious disease. The problem with this scheme is that Smallpox, aka the “Red Plague,” is neither peaceful, nor definitively fatal. You’d think a nurse would know that. Perhaps Ebola would have been a better choice — or better yet, letting Pilcher’s intentional invasion of the Abbies finish everyone off three years previously. How is dying (or almost dying) of disease any better, Pam?
Theo is a Hero, Jason Is a Matricidal Maniac
Theo tells Jason that Pam hadn’t infected anyone … but does that include Jason himself? Jason calls Theo a hero, forlornly tossing off that maybe the people will appreciate him for it. Is that what Jason wants for himself — appreciation? In the end, instead of giving Pam the Smallpox antidote as Theo suggests, Jason takes her to the forest and strangles her. Sick bastard.
In the penultimate domestic scenes, zombie-like Jason returns home to Kerry and doesn’t want to talk about what he’s just done. Theo, however, returns home to Rebecca and opens up about how he’s been mourning the loss of his previous life and the people he was forced to leave behind.
The final scene is the burning of Pam’s shrouded corpse on a bonfire as C.J. watches from the shadows while classical piano tinkles in the background. The music morphs sinister as C.J.’s face becomes visible. Eerie. The next epsiode’s title is “Exit Strategy” so we can assume Jason and his posse continue to plan the expansion of Wayward Pines. We’ll have to tune in to find out what other fresh hell awaits Theo, Rebecca, and the rest of Wayward Pines.
We’re Left With Two Intriguing Questions …
We’ve seen smatterings of Rebecca, and even less of C.J. While it’s unclear what, if anything, Rebecca had to do with the founding of Wayward Pines, she seems to have a loving side to her. C.J., on the other hand, remains a complete mystery. We learned in this episode that he was there from the beginning. He seems to be committed to the truth because he insists on being honest with Jason when he was a small child, but what truth does he ascribe to?
Wayward Pines airs Wednesdays at 9pm on FOX.
(Images Courtesy of FOX)