Synopsis of 2×03: Pam returns to the series (briefly) in an episode that focuses mostly on Jason for some reason but doesn’t really make me care that much more about him. On the plus side, Theo gets some seriously excellent moments and the series hints more and more at Rebecca knowing more than she lets on.
It seems like every week now we’re going to play a round of “Which Season 1 Character Dies This Episode?” I’m going to throw up a huge spoiler right now and tell you all that it’s Pam. Yes, Pam Pilcher returns in this episode which is mostly about Jason Higgins and his evolution into Wayward Pines’s intrepid little dictator. I suspect that Pam’s return is supposed to be a big deal but ultimately this episode falls a bit flat for me. The first two episodes were pretty great but this one…
I don’t know.
Part of the problem, I think, is that it focuses a bit too much on a very drastic format change. There were some pretty significant flashbacks in the prior two episodes but there were a lot more in this one. Instead of focusing on our more interesting characters they focus on Jason as the show tries to make him increasingly more sympathetic for a dude who routinely finds himself murdering the people of Wayward Pines. But the show also sort of changes things up by framing things through Pam telling a young Jason a story.
See, Pam and CJ – and I guess to a lesser extent David Pilcher and Ms. Fisher – raised Jason. He was the first child born in Wayward Pines and so David pinned all his hopes on the kid. This actually does a great job of explaining just why he’s so fanatically pro-Pilcher. Pilcher was effectively his father.
Anyway, Pam returns and since she raised Jason and sees him as his mother he quickly forgives her for her part in the death of her brother. He urges everyone else to do so which gives Pam the opportunity to go freakin’ psycho and kill everyone by injecting herself with smallpox. I’m just going to say it: why the hell does Wayward Pines have a stockpile of deadly diseases anyway? It’s 2,000 years in the future but they decided, “Oh, well, of all the things we save smallpox should TOTALLY be one of them.”
Ms. Fisher figures it out and Theo is able to contain her before she spread the virus. They just don’t get to her before she kisses Jason and then begs him to let Wayward Pines – and thus humanity – die out.
Oh, and then Jason ends up taking her into the woods and strangling her. Because she asks him to. I guess if you don’t want to live and want to kill everyone else you might as well ask your son to murder you, right? So much for wanting people to have a peaceful send off because I can pretty much guarantee that having your child murder you pretty much means he’s going to have a psychotic break at some point and get everyone killed.
I will say, though, that this whole arc is less interesting than the other things going on. It seems more and more likely that Rebecca isn’t exactly being honest with Theo. Pam let’s slip that she and Pope weren’t just in Hawaii for him and it’s insinuated that they were there for Rebecca. The way she constantly defends Jason and the First Generation it seems more and more likely that she’s a true believer and that she may have volunteered both of them for the project.
Theo is really having a hard time accepting things and part of the reason why is revealed this episode. It turns out that he and his estranged father had reconnected not too long before his disappearance. His father had given him a very special watch the day his mother died and they had kept an on-going Thursday night drinking date ever since. He tells Rebecca this and he wonders what his father did and what he felt when he realized that Theo was gone. He says that he knows that they can’t let things like that eat away at them but that it’s the one thing he can’t forgive.
Another interesting tidbit that gets no further development at all? Fisher and some of the kids talking all about procreation and singling out the girls who haven’t gotten their period yet. Apparently – according to adorable little Lucy who works for Rebecca – the girls are expected to get pregnant by their ‘graduation.’ But there’s no real follow up as to what’s going on or why they are pushing it all so hard and so fast when – biologically – it’s probably not the best idea to force a bunch of 14 year olds to get pregnant.
But, hey! They want to start expanding outside the fence now that the Abbies are gone. So I guess they anticipate a need for more settlers. I mean, I’d probably do some more research into WHY they weren’t storming the fences any more but to each their own.
Basically I wasn’t that impressed by this episode and might have rated it as low as two stars if not for that moment with Theo and Rebecca about his dad. Damn. That was intense. And so well acted. Theo Yedlin is the best egotistical jerk doctor ever. He and Ethan could have been such bros.