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TV Review: Wayward Pines 1.8 “The Friendliest Place On Earth”
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Wayward Pines
Season 1 Episode 8: “The Friendliest Place on Earth”
Directed by Tim Hunter
Written by Patrick Aison
Created by Chad Hodge
Starring Matt Dillion, Carla Gugino, Toby Jones, Shannyn Sossamon, Melissa Leo, Hope Davis, Reed Diamond, Charlie Tahan
FOX
Air Date: Thursday, July 9th, 2015, 9:00pm

Ethan Burke (Matt Dillon) has undergone a fairly interesting character transformation in the past few episodes of Wayward Pines. He was possessed with getting out of the creepy town, murdered Sheriff Pope (Terrence Howard) and climbed a damn mountain all looking for a way out. What he found was “the truth”, told by scientist/inventor/philanthropist David Pilcher (Toby Jones). It’s actually the year 4028, and humans have mutated into monstrous creatures called “Abbys”. Wayward Pines is all humanity has left, saved via cryogenic sleep by Pilcher and company. Now Ethan has become their new avatar; the new sheriff who must deal with this secret while preventing others from following his initial lead to escape. The leader of that underground rebellion was his former partner and flame Kate (Carla Gugino). Last week’s episode ended with the bomb that was supposed to blow the fence detonating early and leaving Ethan’s son in bad shape.

“Freedom or safety, not both” says David Pilcher at one point. This brings up a continuing theme in our culture and society. Teaching history, I constantly ask my students to think about this when dealing with foreign and domestic policy issues: The Patriot Act, Alien & Sedition, HUAAC… Pilcher is convinced that one of his inner circle of original Pines employees must be conspiring against them. After all, how else to explain an uprising occurring while the whole town is under surveillance? Pam (Melissa Leo) organizes all the employees for “loyalty reviews” while Pilcher observes. Meanwhile Ben (Charlie Tahan) is recovering from his injuries and gets a visit from Mrs. Fisher (Hope Davis), who continues to brainwash Ben against his parents.

We learn more about Kate’s introduction to Wayward Pines, which was not easy. All the same questions remain as we get closer to the finale, with some new ones. For instance, Kate is a trained Secret Service agent. Why would Pilcher relegate her to toy shop owner in his new Eden? That reminds me of Peter Griffin giving people jobs in the post-apocalyptic episode of Family Guy:

“I was a doctor”.
“Oh good we need one, let’s hope you get it… Village Idiot… great!”

What is Wayward Pines really? Are we really in the future? Is the government involved? One thing is for sure, at the end of this week’s episode, we are promised some definitive changes and challenges for those living in the town. 8 episodes in, and I’m still intrigued and confused, but certainly not bored. I just hope that like other mind-bending thrillers (X-Files, LOST) it doesn’t run out of steam and give a phony ending. I guess we shall see.

FX’s synopsis:

“THE FRIENDLIEST PLACE ON EARTH”
CHAOS ERRUPTS THROUGHOUT THE TOWN OF WAYWARD PINES ON AN ALL-NEW “WAYWARD PINES” THURSDAY, JULY 9, ON FOX
THU JUL 9 9/8c

After an explosion on Main Street leaves Ben and Amy (guest star Sarah Jeffery) in critical condition, Ethan is determined to find out who is responsible for the horrific act. Meanwhile, Harold will not continue the covert operation to escape without Kate, and Nurse Pam interviews surveillance engineers to find out if there are any workers responsible for falsely reporting activities of any Wayward Pines residents in the “The Friendliest Place on Earth” episode of WAYWARD PINES airing Thursday, July 9 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.

Image Gallery

Videos

WAYWARD PINES | Most Precious Resource from “The Friendliest Place on Earth” | FOX BROADCASTING


Ethan rushes Ben to the hospital after the truck explodes.

WAYWARD PINES | Concussion from “The Friendliest Place on Earth” | FOX BROADCASTING


Ben confronts Ethan about the truck explosion and questions his actions.

WAYWARD PINES | Software Glitch from “The Friendliest Place on Earth” | FOX BROADCASTING


Dr. Jenkins discusses a possible breach in protocol on the inside with Nurse Pam.

WAYWARD PINES | The Price Of Your Freedom from “The Friendliest Place on Earth” | FOX BROADCASTING


Dr. Jenkins visits Kate in jail and communicates his sadness over her betrayal of his trust.

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