Wayward Pines (2015) s01e02 – Do Not Discuss Your Life Before

Once upon a time, Reed Diamond appeared on a show, but just the pilot. Even though he was billed in the regular cast, his death was meant to shock viewers. “Wayward Pines” waits until the second episode to kill off one of its “regular” cast (though if the show’s just going to keep going killing off characters, it’d be fine). I wonder if someone thought about Diamond’s show when they cast him.

Anyway.

This episode’s better than last time, though the script’s just as insipid. Have you ever read The Lottery? “Wayward Pines” is like The Lottery, but mixed with a bad Invasion of the Body Snatchers redo, shot very obviously on a backlot.

The reason the episode’s better is director Charlotte Sieling. She’s not good, but she’s not bewilderingly inept at the job like M. Night Shyamalan, who directed the previous one. Sieling knows how to compose shots; at least, better than Shyamalan. And Sieling gives the actors better direction. For example, Shannyn Sossamon isn’t jaw-droppingly atrocious. She’s still not good and hopefully fired her agent, but she’s not incompetent like last time.

She’s got a subplot about worrying husband Matt Dillon has run off with ex-partner and ex-lover Carla Gugino, when the reality is Dillon’s trapped in Cracker Falls, Idaho (sorry, Wayward Pines), where the only Black guy, sheriff Terrence Howard, terrorizes the populace into obedience. Gugino’s there, but she’s aged twelve years in the five weeks since she went missing and is now happily married to Diamond. He’s a woodworker. They make toys. It’s inane.

Dillon’s still hanging out with Juliette Lewis, who knows about a plan to escape. The plan didn’t work, but they’re going to try it anyway. They just have to get through a weird couples dinner with Gugino and Diamond first.

Now, Gugino’s aware of Dillon’s mission to find her; she’s aware time hasn’t passed for him, but the rules of “Wayward Pines” mean she can’t tell him. No one can tell him. He’s just got to keep going, tabula rosa. It’s a very contrived setup for the show, enforcing nonsensical obtuseness, but it’s produced by Shyamalan, after all, so it’s on-brand.

There’s some more with Dillon and Howard investigating a dead body—the other agent Dillon’s supposed to find (Gugino and then the dead guy)—but the scenes are all bullshit once we get some of the later reveals. “Wayward Pines” just spins its wheels, posturing like it’s intriguing while writer Chad Hodge can’t find a single compelling moment.

Another nice development is Siobhan Fallon Hogan. She plays Howard’s secretary. She was really bad with Shyamalan’s direction, but without it, she’s good. It doesn’t help the show any, really; it just makes the scenes she’s in less bad.

Also, the music’s loud and lousy. Charlie Clouser does the music. It doesn’t seem possible it’ll improve any.

Kind of like the show.