Wayward Pines' "Exit Strategy" got away with some things, guys. It feels like Season 2 as a whole is getting away with something. Like it's just too risky, too ambitious, too dark to be on network TV. I mean, come on, imagine for a moment a network pitch room, development executives on one side of the conference table, creatives on the other. Little small talk, everyone sips their water, and then suddenly the guy pitching leans forward and says: "Basically one of the big storylines for this show is a program where 11-year-olds are paired off by their teachers to procreate."
Not in a million years would that go to series. But I'm sure the Season 1's logline was more like, "It's Twin Peaks meets Jason Bourne!" and then for Season 2, development was like, "Keep up the good work" and now here we are, watching this absolute madness unfold. And it's really, really fun, the way getting away with something always is. Like the cult-classic horror movie you and your friends watch at the sleepover. The one you weren't supposed to watch but you waited 'til the parents went to bed and then it made you shriek and laugh and dream about it for years.
Right up top this week there was a huge development: a character came back from the dead! At least, I THOUGHT Hunky Rebel Xander (Josh Helman) was dead, but then he woke up at the bottom of an Abbie oubliette relatively unscathed. Showing a world-class level of moxie, Xander scaled the inside of the well just in time for an Abbie to show up and slap him right back down to the bottom.
After a brief scuffle, he successfully murdered the Abbie, scaled back up to the world above, and grabbed a quick power nap.
Then he slaked his thirst at the edge of a beautiful rivulet.
Hahahaha, poor dude. Fresh off his last grapple, Xander was immediately attacked by a bearded grifter who demanded to know where he'd come from. Xander was like ,"Uh, the last City on Earth, genius, same place you obviously did, Wayward Pines." And the drifter was like "Oh... right. Right."
Back in town, Megan Fischer was giving her weekly report on how many babies were coming down the underage pipeline. Kerry suggested that Dr. Yedlin help Davis out with her Abbie research, which seemed to throw Megan into quite the snit fit.
Megan did NOT want to share her Abbie Labbie, especially not with someone who actually knew biology. I, however, want them in a lab together immediately. Yedlin's cold sarcasm against Megan's snide self-righteousness? It'd be like Tracy and Hepburn but with more bunsen burners and Abbie yowling.
CJ (Djimon Hounsou) wanted to take a small group out to lay down some massive food projects, because after all, you can't fuel a population explosion on teen hormones alone. Babies gotta eat! Especially when they're pregnant.
Speaking of which, Rebecca Yedlin was benefiting from the child labor of her 11-year-old beauty shoppe employee, Lucy Armstrong (Emma Tremblay). Better child labor than child LABOR if you know what I mean (and I pray you do not). Somehow, and exactly how was never made clear, Rebecca understood that Lucy had just gotten her period and also was not feeling great about it.
Lucy was not ready to be a mother and begged for her help. Rebecca, however, was all like, "There's nowhere to run, there's nowhere to hide, chin up, time to make the babies." YOWZA. Three years is all it takes, I guess, to let go of a major social taboo like uh, child pregnancy! Uh-oh.
Meanwhile, Xander and his new drifter friend were headed straight back to the wall, and Wayward Pines totally let them back in because basically they were curious how Xander had even survived let alone ol' Beardy, aka Adam Hassler (Tim Griffin), who was the first of Dr. Pilcher's "nomads" (who had gone out past the wall 12 years ago) to ever actually return.
Yedlin gave Adam Hassler a checkup while asking if there was anything out there, and then Hassler whispered feverishly that the Abbies aren't our enemies, they're our replacements!
This was played as a shocker, but I thought that was kind of the premise? That humans mutated into Abbies because of environmental toxicity? Like basically too much Dorito powder and WiFi turned us all into gollums, that was my impression. Is this news? It always seemed like the most probable part of the premise to me. But Yedlin sure seemed intrigued by what Hassler, as did Arlene.
Girl has an eye for great bone structure, and even a grizzled beard and screaming hallucinations could not keep her from hasslin' this hunk!
Dr.Yedlin sharply chastised Jason Higgins for asking him if the first human being to bring news of the outside world in 2,000-plus-12 years was mentally stable. This seemed like a pretty common-sense concern to me though. Like, whether or not they can trust Hassler's intel is sort of crucial to the human race, and mental illness is not generally self-diagnosed. But Yedlin started speechifying about patient-doctor confidentiality like it was 2016 or something. Come on, bro. Get with dystopian times, man.
Meanwhile, across town, an adorable children's pageant about Dr. Pilcher was playing and it was the perfect balance of creepy and cute, as well as a great way to segue back into Lucy's existential horror by grounding us in the visceral childhood experience that is a corny musical pageant. And while as an audience we can easily sympathize with Lucy's fear and confusion, I have to say she is doing a bafflingly terrible job of hiding what is a very personal function.
Like a baby-lovin' blood hound, Megan Fischer was on the case! A quick talk with Lucy's brother Frank (Michael Garza) confirmed her suspicions: Lucy's womb was officially viable !
Meanwhile, Theresa Burke had recognized Adam Hassler, the man who had condemned her and her entire family to the very sucky future, and had chased him into an alleyway to scold him for getting Ethan killed and to ask him her signature question:
Meanwhile, Kerry Campbell checked in on returned rebel Xander, who was resuming his job at the ice cream shoppe. Xander hinted he had new revelations about the Abbies and a connection to Hassler, which might keep him from getting publicly executed for a little while, despite his known history of chucking grenades at official vehicles.
Also checking in with Xander was an EXTREMELY flirty Rebecca.
What was going on with these two? Lots of coy talk about her husband and suggestive eating of licorice and lollipops. Did these two have a thing? We would learn in the next scene that Rebecca had tried to have (and apparently lost) a baby. Did they have their own little procreation session? Perhaps fueled by this flirtation, Rebecca also got real sassy with Megan and told her to leave Lucy alone and that if Jason Higgins had a problem with her protecting Lucy he could talk to Rebecca about it. It was kind of wonderful.
Rebecca actually brought Lucy home so she could lay low for a few days, which meant explaining the whole Child Pregnancy Program to Yedlin in more detail than I really cared to know. Phrases like "they pair them up" and "procreation rooms" and "they do it the old-fashioned way" were definitely uttered. Good ol' Yedlin just about had a heart attack, which, like we kind of needed a relatable reaction to all this mess at this point and it was cathartic to see him totally squirm.
Though when he started banging on about how this wasn't living, it was just rank survival, I did want to point out the frosty refrigerated beer he was enjoying in his gorgeous un-mortgaged house. You're not quite in the primordial soup yet, Yedlin, though you're about one hole in the wall and 20 Abbies away from it.
Meanwhile, CJ's Extremely Tense Camping Trip got underway, with Theresa Burke inviting herself along and Hassler, apparently already bored by city life, also getting on board the Exploratory Farming Committee's Jeeps.
Once they were out in the open past the wall, CJ insinuated he knew something was up with the Abbies too, something that had to be seen to be believed, which, you know, tantalize me, why don't you.
Then Hassler took off into the woods and came back with a body bag that would answer Theresa's big Ben question. We didn't see the grisly details, but I'm pretty sure that was a heavily chewed boy in that bag, because you really can't end an episode of Wayward Pines Season 2 without the corpse of a Season 1 regular.
Meanwhile, Lucy's brother Frank woke up in the middle of the night, walked out of Wayward Pines Academy, all the way out to the carousel, which then miraculously turned on after he sat down on the bench in front of it. What a moment of magical, childlike delight!
NO OMG AN ABBIE WAS ON IT! What? Guys, what?!!
...what is going on with these Abbies? What does Hassler and CJ know that we don't?
...what's going on between Rebecca and Xander? Harmless flirting or serious history?
...how did that Abbie get on that carousel?