Wayward Pines: The Truth
June 11, 2015 7:52 PM - Season 1, Episode 5 - Subscribe

Ethan goes on a walk. Ben attends orientation.Theresa gets a gold star.

The nature of the town is revealed as each of the Burkes gain insight.
posted by trunk muffins (27 comments total)
Wow. This episode was great. So many answers -- and now so many more questions.
posted by davidmsc at 11:45 PM on June 11, 2015

Watching it right now.
My first thought was "So - they're human velociraptors?"
posted by Major Matt Mason Dixon at 8:39 AM on June 12, 2015

So that's the twist?
posted by Catblack at 9:27 AM on June 12, 2015

I really loved this episode and they way they presented the twist -- and the twist itself. Having Ethan, Theresa, and Ben make discoveries separately and to different depths was really effective.

The books don't show anything that goes on in the school itself. (By the time the story starts, Theresa and Ben had been living there for four years, so Ethan naturally wigs out about how his 8-year-old is now 12.) Here, they moved Ben up to 15 or so. I think it's pretty smart of Fisher (and Them) to indoctrinate kids who are in their early teens -- old enough to understand but naive enough to think they can handle it. So many kids that age try to protect their parents and that only serves to strengthen Fisher and the program.

AV Club Review

In the books, this is the point where Pope dies.
posted by mochapickle at 10:56 AM on June 12, 2015

(I'm not sure if talking about the books is OK here. I am avoiding stuff that happens later, but if you want me to knock it off with the book comments, I can... )
posted by mochapickle at 10:58 AM on June 12, 2015

I have Some Thoughts about how changing the timing of Pope's death impacts some characterizations, but I'm leaning against discussing the books in these threads -- it's just way too easy to get into spoiler territory. (The books are good fun though! If you like the show you should give them a try, but hold out until the series has finished airing.) Maybe we can do a read-along when FanFare Books debuts?

This was such a stellar ep this week. The decision to have us sit with Ben while Mrs. Fisher delivers her orientation could have easily been an interminable infodump, but interleaving the presentation with Ethan's wordless journey on the outside and Theresa's own discoveries was powerful and well-executed. mr muffins observed that Theresa could have easily just been plonked into the role of Long-Suffering Wife, but she's very much got her own story arc going on.

Even though Ben's initiation is happening rapidly, it makes sense for his character and seems authentic to me.

Downside: it seems we're seeing the limits of the SFX budget, which is too bad.
posted by trunk muffins at 3:28 PM on June 12, 2015

Oh also! Episode 6 airs June 25 -- no ep next week.
posted by trunk muffins at 4:29 PM on June 12, 2015

I haven't read the book, but when I saw the title of this show I thought "And here is where they show us PART of the truth." I'm fairly sure there are more twists to come as even if we accept the whole orientation. I could be wrong, but I don't think this is the big reveal.
posted by miss-lapin at 5:58 PM on June 12, 2015

Sooooo, Fallout 4: Wayward Pines?

The one thing bothering me is, if all this was planned, why bother with teens when they could have snatched a bunch of toddlers and pre-schoolers with little memory of current times and no concept of time for their little glee club of the damned?
posted by lmfsilva at 4:44 AM on June 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

Correct me if I'm way off, but Pope played a role in Theresa and Ben's accident, right? Doesn't that render the whole "We were frozen for two thousand years" idea bullshit, or did he just do that before he got frozen?

Maybe I'm just overthinking it because I highly don't believe "Adults go crazy if they know the truth" combined with "So they don't bother asking what the fuck they're doing here."
posted by Etrigan at 1:04 PM on June 13, 2015 [3 favorites]

Yes, Etrigan. And how is Dr Jenkins able to communicate with the FBI about how Ethan is adjusting? I really hope this isn't a big hole they leave unanswered.
posted by LizBoBiz at 1:31 PM on June 13, 2015 [3 favorites]

The show implies they have both backwards and forwards time travel. But if they have forwards time travel it should not be necessary to talk about how Ethan is adjusting. One could simply travel further forward in time and see how it turns out.

So either they're lying about the situation or there are, indeed, plot holes you could drive a truck through.

That's leaving aside the question of why, even if we take everything as gospel, the plan for dealing with a zombie cannibal apocalypse is to try to recreate a Stepford Wife suburban hell filled with former bus drivers and real estate agents. That doesn't seem like a cunning plan thought all the way through.
posted by Justinian at 3:37 PM on June 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

Was the helicopter frozen for 2000 years too!? This episode really strained credulity - in a show that already had it stretched paper-thin. Where are all the resources coming from to keep a whole damn town with cars and electric lighting and the networks and IT equipment necessary for mass surveillance on the scale they're showing? Where's the wood and fiberboard and the shiny new (and branded) appliances coming from? The manufacturing infrastructure for Jenkins/Pilcher's fascist utopia must be immense! Colour me enraged.
posted by prismatic7 at 4:29 AM on June 14, 2015 [2 favorites]

The question I have now is if there's a two-way portal to the 21st century. I missed the first episode, so I don't know what was shown there. But since we saw Sheriff Pope fake Theresa and Ben's car problems in 2014, does it mean does Pope (and others) can go back in time to collect people for Wayward Pines, or was he collecting people before he was put into suspended animation instead? And it there's a portal, it explains where resources (and the helicopter) can come from.
posted by ShooBoo at 6:34 AM on June 14, 2015

The Burke family car was in storage somewhere with only a layer of dust. No way it's been 2000 years straight time.

Those Greek church ruins looked very gothic to me. I don't know if that's a clue or just bad production values though.
posted by cardboard at 6:59 AM on June 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

I got a very The Village vibe from this episode.
posted by phunniemee at 7:22 AM on June 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

Yeah, after finishing this episode, The Thing That Bothered Me Most was the whole "How the heck did Sheriff Pope get back to 2014 to sabotage the car?"
I read an interview with the producers who said they were going to tidy things up and wrap it up in 10 episodes, but that they also had some ideas about a second season should that opportunity present itself.
I have faith in neither of these statements.
posted by Major Matt Mason Dixon at 1:05 PM on June 14, 2015

I read an interview with the producers who said they were going to tidy things up and wrap it up in 10 episodes, but that they also had some ideas about a second season should that opportunity present itself.
I have faith in neither of these statements.

After this episode, honestly, I'm watching about 45 percent to see how many Underlying Premises they burn through.
"It's not really 4098, we're on a different planet!"
"It's not really a different planet, it's Hell!"
"It's not really Hell, it's a reality show!"
"It's not really a reality show, it's..."
posted by Etrigan at 3:53 PM on June 14, 2015

Who says it must have been 2014 when Pope fiddled with the car? It looked like it the way it was presented in the show, but it could also have been a ruse to make the "car crash" and the wake up in the hospital more believable.
posted by KMB at 5:42 AM on June 15, 2015

Your theory is that they were unknowingly frozen for two thousand years and then awakened only to be knocked out again?
posted by Etrigan at 8:00 AM on June 15, 2015

That would certainly make the disorientation more believable.
posted by phunniemee at 8:05 AM on June 15, 2015

Maybe Shyamalan is going for the Twofer!
He can reclaim former glory AND go down in a burning pyre of failure in ten episodes or less.
posted by Major Matt Mason Dixon at 11:38 AM on June 15, 2015

Two possible explanations:

1. This is a massive Truman Show-esque reality show that we are watching. It is still 2015, and (sadly) Fallout 4 isn't really here yet.
2. This is the gollum-ravaged future, and humanity has responded in the most convoluted and least logical way possible.

Unfortunately, #2 seems most likely.
posted by jbickers at 2:06 PM on June 18, 2015 [1 favorite]

The helicopter in the year 4098 bugged me as well. It has WP stenciled on the side, and If I recall in an earlier episode where Ethan sneaks into the food distribution warehouse there are signs for Wayward Pines. I think it implies that there are other villages/sites elsewhere. But it also kind of implies that they're not in the year 4098. Where are they getting jet fuel?

Or gasoline for the cars inside WP for that matter?

Or electricity to power the fences, and the village?

Or all that packaged food in the refrigerator? And where are the cows making the milk for Pope's ice cream?

Echoing prismatic7's thoughts, but I'm hopeful there's a reasonable answer for these questions in the show.
posted by ben242 at 6:06 PM on June 19, 2015

I've also been watching the minisodes of Gone on demand, which is also online. Aside from making me want to buy a Surface and a Chevy Volt it also might be filling in a bit of side plot, like where the baby came from that Pam was holding. Its enjoyable and I'm hoping they weave the main character from Gone into the main series.
posted by ben242 at 6:13 PM on June 19, 2015

There's something kind of hilarious about the idea of resurrecting humanity only to create an unsustainable society of ice cream-munching consumers unable to produce any of their own goods (save for a music box or two).

I... also don't think that's how evolution works.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 6:29 AM on June 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

I'm coming into this way late, but am hooked thanks to this episode. I too question the plot holes related to time. But I started to wonder; did they really say Ethan wasn't adjusting in 2014- or was Ethan's Boss concerned about Teresa and Ben continuing the search, and some parallel seen in Wayward Pines talking about Ethan not adjusting and so the audience conflates the two. I haven't gone back to rewatch, but I wonder if that is not the case; cuz that's how I'd do it. Boss man is having second thoughts about Ethan- we then those second thoughs are about him being physically separated from his family. Teresa begs Ethans's boss for information about Ethan, then cut to Ethan trying to get home. It seems to be happening in real time. But Pope might not be frozen yet. Nor Dr. Creepypants.

Just an idea- because I do agree there are questions, like the helicopter, the dusty but not that dusty cars.

If the tail the kids are being told is true, then the whole reckoning business is weird and a stupid way to both model humanity and keep people controlled. Or are they ham-fistedly trying to show why maybe humanity isn't much better than it he Abbies.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 10:20 PM on July 18, 2015

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