Wayward Pines' Season 2 finale built a bridge to Season 3 that I truly hope we cross, because otherwise I am just not sure what actually happened, even though I do know I loved every moment of the finale. Nothing underscores a high-drama speech about ethics better than a skintight silver wet suit, and watching each character slowly closing their eyes inside a Coke machine as Wooly Willy shavings rained down on them from above was simply beautiful. But I have to say, the story feels very incomplete. Maybe because I expected the series to arc from its nihilistic "No hope for a happy ending" premiere to, well, a happy ending. Instead, the entire town decided "eff this, it's too hard let's go back to sleep for a couple centuries." And you know, to be honest, a thousand-year medical coma is an option I would take five out of seven days of the week, so not judging y'all, Wayward Pines.
I AM judging Dr. Theo Yedlin, who totes broke his Hippocratic oath by killing the series' biggest bad in the most dishonorable (and anti-climatic) way possible. No rallying the townspeople to rebel against a despot or engaging in the brutal justice of hand-to-hand combat for Yedlin. After tricking Jason's wife-mom (GUYYYYS) into shooting him, he killed the unconscious young man via medical malfeasance! Batman would not approve.
Pretty dark way for a supposed hero to take out a villain. Then later Yedlin lectured a tape player about how there is no "greater good" there is just "good" when I'm pretty sure the only justification for Jason's death would be a "greater good" kind of reasoning. I guess Yedlin's hypocrisy was supposed to be justified by his extremely emo plan to sacrifice himself (again for the greater good) by shooting himself up with every disease known to man and then presenting himself to the abbies like a sample of bbq chicken at a food court. Yikes, someone's still butthurt over their wife leaving them, huh?
Not only did he perform a sneaky surgical coup d'etat, Yedlin also told Kerry that she was Jason's mother for — as far as I can tell — no reason. What purpose did it serve, telling the woman he'd just manipulated into killing her partner that she'd also been breaking the sweetest taboo all these years?
My thoughts exactly. The incest twist, which genuinely knocked my socks off last week, seemed to completely unhinge the newly-bereft Kerry. Great job with that bedside manner, Doctor.
Also, despite Yedlin's coup, Theo just let Jason's eugenic plans for the future go forward anyway, which I thought was what he was trying to prevent. Theo mournfully told CJ there was "no time" for a lottery system to decide who got a spot in one of the working pods. What? Write some names on some paper slips and grab a hat, man. But no, they would go by Hitler Junior's playbook, round up the "intact" families and then the pregnant tweens and then all the undesirables (the lame, the sick and the mouthy) would be left behind to enrich the earth in the form of abbie poop.
Xander, being a former terrorist, was on the "undesirable" list and was left behind when Rebecca was summoned for Pod Sleepy Time. Rebecca was horrified that she was losing him, but Xander was weirdly chill about it.
Oh Xander. Meanwhile Frank was being left behind with two toddlers and a ton of denial.
Lucy, a little quicker on the uptake, had a bit of a nervous meltdown about leaving Frank behind. When Frank tried to charge the bus to comfort her, he got knocked out by a soldier. Great job restoring humanity and decency to Wayward Pines, Theo!
As darkness fell and everybody with working reproductive parts got suited up in skintight silver spandex, Kerry was still struggling a little bit with her tough day, can't imagine why.
Kerry skittered out of the mountain despite CJ's pep talk.
Meanwhile, across town all hell broke loose. Total anarchy, as the doomed remainders of Wayward Pines broke every law of church and man, except of course for the legal drinking age. SORRY FRANK! Stay thirsty.
I thought it was common knowledge that in an Armageddon situation there is no drinking age. C'mon Xander, you're an anarchist rebel. Can't you be a bro and hook the kid up with at least a shandy? Must Frank really be at peak mental engagement for being devoured by a horde of golems? Luckily though, Frank and Xander weren't going to get eaten, they were going to get A RIDE TO THE MOUNTAIN?!
Xander and Theo would unite the people denied a place in the pods to make one last final heroic stand to save Wayward Pines! Just kidding, that is not what they were doing at all. Despite all his speechifying about the dangers of playing God, Theo had decided to cherry-pick these two buds out of the doomed multitudes for salvation. Not only were our heroes Xander and Theo totally uninterested in saving the innocent people who had been doomed to the most excruciating death, they actually slaughtered one of them.
Could have just, you know, shot him in the head Xander, versus burning him alive. Our heroes folks: a doctor who kills his own patients and a merciless man burner! The darkest.
After Theo reunited Rebecca and Xander and Frank and Lucy, he hurried back to the lab to, I guess, shoot himself up with all his diseases, but Kerry was already there and girl was diseased.
Yes, Kerry had conveniently decided to listen to Yedlin's super emo recording about shooting himself up with all the diseases and infecting the abbies. Turns out she fully approved of this plan, except since Yedlin was carrying the sum of existing medical knowledge in the world in his head, and all she was carrying was weird sexy thoughts about her biological son, it was a no-brainer who should be the viral sacrifice to the abbies. As in get that brain out of her head before it broadcasted any more sexy memories.
Thanks Kerry, and good luck having your last thoughts not be about making out with your son.
So yeah, after about the fifth speech of the night from Yedlin, everyone got in their pods and let the Folger's Crystals take them away, and then CJ's wife appeared and said something vague and cryptic about him being tired. Then he smiled a sly little smile, got in his pod and went to sleep as his kindle counted down to zero. Was his wife's meddling ghost trying to talk him into canceling the freezing process? Or was she encouraging him that third time's a charm, when they woke up again they'd figure out how to kill the monsters and fix the sour soil and make it so people finally stopped staging public executions? Either way, he went on with the freezing process.
As a final answer to all these questions, we saw an abbie cradling a baby with a lot of peach fuzz on its head.
Clearly this dark, nihilistic season just dialed back a reset so the Season 3 writing room can start with a relatively clean whiteboard. But it's left me feeling somewhat at a loss. Compared to the slow burn and thrilling finale of Season 1, Season 2 did feel like a stepping stone to some kind of larger thematic conclusions, a season more concerned with redefining the perimeters of the world and developing an ensemble of secondary characters than bringing any conclusion to its wide-ranging themes.
The abbies are telepathic, clearly have some kind of civilization and maybe by the time the town wakes up again they'll be more evolved than the humans? Maybe we'll examine, for the first time, what direction the last of humanity would take without the ruthless hand of fascism guiding them? Like, I'd love to find out. Here's two very long, clawed abbie fingers crossed for Season 3!
... What was up with the peach fuzz on that kid's head?
... Can you get typhoid from eating someone with typhoid? (Need to know for Oregon Trail game spec script!)
... Were you surprised how little Margaret's Magical Powers played in the finale?
... Was Yedlin justified in allowing Jason to die on the operating table or did that action make him no better than the totalitarianism he opposed?
... What exactly was the ghost of CJ's wife trying to say with her speech?
... Are you psyched for a potential Season 3? Predictions?