Wayward Pines

There’s a big question at the end of the second season of Wayward Pines – did C.J. decide that humanity no longer deserves to go forward?

With all of the humans – well, at least all they could accommodate – safely tucked in their stasis pods, C.J. is the last man awake. He is prompted by the computer whether to terminate the pods. At that point, the fate of mankind is in his hands, and a hallucination of his late companion is there to goad him during this fateful decision.

The last shot is ambiguous, showing a clock counting down. But elsewhere on the Internet, concept creator and author of the original Wayward Pines trilogy Blake Crouch claims C.J. does not end the world. And so, we are left with the possibility that there could be a season three of this fascinating summer replacement series, one that can answer all of the lingering questions left unresolved by this conclusion.

This week’s recap:

*** We open with the death of Jason Higgins, who was shot in a struggle with his mother/girlfriend in last week’s episode. He’s on the operating table and passes away. But the surgeon, Dr. Theo Yedlin, has long been an opponent of Jason’s political style. And his assistant, Oscar, later notes that there were some irregularities in the surgical procedure, ones that the normally careful Dr. Yedlin never makes. The conclusion is that Yedlin did a minimal job of attempting to save the life of his nemesis, who was allowed to die.

*** With Jason gone, Dr. Yedlin goes to the steps and makes a grand speech to the worried townsfolk. He assures them that the future will be better, but that today’s troubles require heading home and awaiting transport to the stasis pods. It’s an effective ploy, because he knows that not everyone can be saved, since there aren’t enough working pods for everyone. Thus begins the painful separation of those who will survive and those left behind for the tender mercies of the Abbies. Families are broken apart in this decision, which was the last choice made by Jason before his fatal confrontation with Kerry last week.

*** There’s just one bit of business left. Oscar informs Dr. Yedlin that Jason had a very, very rare blood type – one shared only by his adoptive family and by his girlfriend, Kerry. Dr. Yedlin knows the history – Jason was put in a stasis pod days after his birth, while Kerry followed just days after giving birth. Both have the same blood type. Without stating it, he informs Kerry of this news. Since she already suspects that Jason was upset about something major before their struggle, the dawning realization causes her to vomit into a garbage can. She slept with her son, caused his death, and now has to live with those guilty memories.

*** The roundup is going as well as can be expected. Announcements that there are first round evacuees and second round evacuees has largely kept the populace from panicking, although everyone suspects the truth – there is no second round. But finally, those left behind suddenly freak out, and start tearing the town apart. Conveniently, Frank the gay brother and Xander the rebel wind up in his shop, sitting across from each other. Suddenly, Dr. Yedlin pulls up. He’ll take them to the mountain, since there are a few pods that have opened up thanks to the violent outburst that has left some brown shirt defenders dead. There’s even room for Arlene, the daffy secretary and former hockey mascot!

*** Dr. Yedlin has a plan – he’s not going into stasis. As the Abbies marshal their forces outside the gate, he will inject himself with three strains of virulent plague. Then he will walk outside the fence, be devoured by the Abbies, and spread his disease to them, thereby killing them off and saving at least some of the town. Shades of Indians and smallpox. For some reason, he feels compelled to share this plan with a tape recorder, along with his ruminations on whether David Pilcher’s philosophies were correct. “This idea of the greater good? There is no greater good. It’s only good, no matter how small the act.”

*** But before Yedlin can inject himself, he’s confronted by Kerry. Somehow, she entered the research lab, saw the tape recorder, and felt compelled to listen to his message. This string of unlikely coincidences means she has injected the plagues into her body, and will allow Yedlin to go into stasis, since he’s more valuable to the future and she’s just a girl from Idaho. Yedlin thoughtfully provides her with some morphine, so even though she’ll feel the Abbie attack, she won’t suffer pain.

*** Outside, Wayward Pines is shutting down. The electric grid is going offline, and the remaining townsfolk, who now realize their fate, are making their final preparations. One fellow decides to paint his house, but halfway through the task, slips a noose over his head and steps off a ladder. After that lovely scene, we pan to the greenhouse where CJ was experimenting with growing crops. There is a lone green shoot – apparently, the problems with the soil have been overcome, so perhaps there is a future filled with food when the stasis chambers are open. Except for Kerry – as she steps beyond the electric fence that kept the Abbies at bay, we hear them snarling and descending upon her disease-ridden body. Talk about the Last Supper!

*** The final scene adds intrigue. We see an Abbie female in the woods, nursing what looks like a very human baby. Are the Abbies themselves evolving?  Has mankind again made a terrible mistake, killing off its next evolution with the plague tactic?  Will Adam Hassler be the lone survivor, left to wander the earth by himself?

The finale could serve as a series conclusion. But it’s likely there’s more to tell on the Wayward Pines saga. Here’s hoping there’s a third season to tell it.