The title “City Upon A Hill” insinuates a genesis tale is on the way, but that’s egregiously misleading. Not much about Pilcher’s Eden becomes clear in Wayward Pines‘ sixth episode, but the inferences and visuals are chilling enough to jar even the most hardened stomach. Something wicked (or maybe simply survivalist) is brewing among the Abbies, but once again the episode leaves us with more questions than answers. Not a judgement, just an observation. Shyamalan manages to keep a stranglehold on his secrets while tantalizing the hell out of us without boring us into giving up.
At this point in the narrative, the most interesting question has become who are the real monsters? A brief, though devastating flashback, shows a seemingly peaceful group of Abbies in the jungle before Wayward Pines was built. Children, mothers, and men are ambushed by arial snipers picking off the aberrations like fleas off a buffalo beard. It’s clear humans drew first blood. Perhaps this was creator Blake Crouch’s main message from the outset?
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Say Goodbye To Wayward Pines Crops
The Abbies have returned and they’ve brought all their friends. It’s clear their brief retreat was for the purpose of gathering the surrounding Abbie communities to help defeat the self-centered and murderous human inhabitants. By the end of the episode, swarms of Abbies appear on Jason’s little map of the area.
Upon their return, the Abbies torch the crops, which were pretty pathetic-looking anyway. They also attack the agricultural encampment, slicing and dicing almost everyone including Theresa Burke, who later dies right in front of Adam Hassler, her suitor and dead husband’s ex boss. By the time the damage is done, only six weeks worth of food remain.
As an aside, Theo’s interactions with characters like Xander, Jason, Arlene (especially) and even Rebecca, are masterful. Jason Patric manages to communicate disbelief, exhaustion, disgust and absurdity without saying a single word.
Wayward Pines Experiences a Population Implosion
When the crops are set ablaze, Wayward Pines military and civilian forces swarm the area. Jason and the Argonauts storm the Abbies with a vengeance. Though the Abbies fight back, the humans have the final word as the camera focuses on fountains of blood erupting from the chests and heads of the Abbies caught in human gunfire. The entire battle scene is a bloody massacre, leaving 34 residents and countless Abbies dead. This scene is not unlike the opening flashback where nascent Abbies (looking freakishly similar to humans in every way) are sniped by the first defrosted Pines folk. Again I ask, who are the real monsters here?
In charge of triage is Dr. Theo Yedlin, who does a lot of “Put-on-your-man-pants-and-staunch-that-femeral-artery-with-your-bare-hands” screaming. The M*A*S*H unit does okay, and it makes for great entertainment, but the worst news is yet to come.
When Theo makes his final report to Jason, he announces that many more of the remaining 1178 residents are going to die from the lack of antibiotics, steroids, and other pharmaceuticals that keep us all alive despite the cesspools we swim in. Why didn’t Pilcher plan for large scale calamities such as this?
Jason Has A Meltdown and Starts to Hate Pilcher
Jason has been asking himself the same question: Why didn’t Pilcher plan for all this? He’s also asking some other interesting questions like:
- “What is wrong with the soil in Wayward Pines?”
- “Why is it so hard to grow decent crops around here?”
- “What does it mean if we have to die to get any food we do grow?”
Knock, knock, Puddin Head. Looks like your almighty hero isn’t as almighty as you thought he was.
Facing all of this, Jason starts blubbering again until Kerry gives him a verbal smackdown, telling him to act like the man who was born to lead. “Don’t let anyone see you doubting yourself,” she says, even when the sh*t really has hit the fan. This was the most powerful scene of the episode. That’s saying a lot, considering the opening massacre of innocent human-like Abbie families and the gruesome triage sequence.
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Miss Mysterious Margaret Is Planning Something Sinister
So, while the poo is hitting the propeller, both inside and outside Wayward Pines, Megan is holed up in the research facility with the caged Abbies. When the Abbies outside attack the crops and the battle rages, the male Abbies in captivity go ape sh*t. Margaret, the Abbess, however, remains preternaturally calm. She stares at Megan like she wants to make her die a death of a thousand cuts while bathing her in a vat of alcohol. Can you blame her?
The Abbies Are Smarter Than Us All
Megan does an MRI on Margaret. When Theo sees the MRI film he’s shocked. He says her temporal gyrus, the area of the brain that controls advanced thought, language, and problem solving, is double the size of a human temporal gyrus. When asked, Megan denies that Margaret has responded to communication. (Personally, I think Maggie is watching and waiting. She’s smart enough to recognize the perfect moment to strike. For now, she’s mute, which is her best defense against humanity’s asininity.)
When Theo finally gets a moment with Adam “Still-Looks-Like-Kaczynski” Hassler, he asks if Adam had ever seen the Abbies communicate. When he tells Adam they have a female Abbie locked up in the laboratory, Hassler gets enormously excited. We still don’t know what that’s all about, but what happens next has me on the edge of my seat.
The Abbie Hive Buzzes Before Attack (?)
Just as we learn that it’s pretty exciting that Wayward Pines has captured a female Abbie (though it looked to me like she allowed herself to be captured — and that’s frightening), swarms of Abbies begin a deafening and haunting howl that engulfs the entire town. In the laboratory, the captive Abbies join in the buzzing yowl, but Margaret remains completely calm. What is that all about? I am praying (begging) that we will find out a lot more next week in “Time Will Tell.”
Wayward Pines airs Wednesdays at 9pm on FOX.
(Images Courtesy of FOX)