After an inglorious character arc in the regular story, Djimon Hounsou finally gets his own episode, albeit a flashback one. Turns out Hounsou’s job—before “Wayward Pines: Season Two”—was to wake up every twenty years and take care of the people sleeping in cryo-pods for two thousand years. He also tested the soil, played chess with himself, and did some cardio.
The flashbacks also reveal Hounsou met the creatures (Homo sapiens superior?) early on before they’d turned into Gollum-looking things when they still just looked like Paul Bettany. One time out of the cryo-pods, Hounsou goes hiking and runs into Dakota Daulby. They hang out, but Daulby lives in a post-apocalypse and is miserable and suffering, and Hounsou’s just observing, so it’s very uncool for him.
It does, however, lead into Hounsou’s character motivation after he wakes Toby Jones. They discover a settlement, complete with huts, on the land where they want to build the town. Hounsou says, let’s sleep until they’re gone; Jones says let’s kill them because we’re white men. Well, he’s a white man, and Hounsou gets to work for a white man.
There’s also some ret-conning to explain why he wasn’t in the first season (other than they only let one Black person on the show for ten episodes). Hounsou thought it was gross to wipe out the creatures and isn’t cool with the human settlement, so he was antisocial all first season.
There’s an okay Simone Missick cameo. She’s Hounsou’s wife, who he hallucinates depending on how lonely he’s gotten.
The present-day action has Jason Patric and Hope Davis trying to communicate with the female creature (Rochelle Okoye, who glares well, the only role requirement). They have some success until they have to tell Tom Stevens, and he loses his shit. Kacey Rohl tries to reason with him (a weird flex since last episode she told him to white man his way through everything), and it just pisses him off more.
Stevens’s character arc has pretty much stalled out at this point.
There’s also no update on Nimrat Kaur, Josh Helman, and Patric’s love triangle, with Kaur and Helman not appearing in the episode. Tim Griffin’s around a bit to assist Patric (broadly speaking). He makes little impression, which is a compliment for Griffin.
The end twist is really good—Jeff T. Thomas’s direction is competent throughout the episode without ever being exciting. The Hounsou flashbacks all seem to be done on the cheap, and the present-day action takes place in one or two locations. But when it comes time for the twist, Thomas does a phenomenal job with it.
This episode also lets Patric and Davis really act opposite each other and not just for exposition’s sake. Credited to Anna Fricke, the script breaks through Davis’s caricature a bit and lets her show some personality. Davis’s a good villain; this episode’s the first time we’ve seen more to her. The way she’s startled when Patric’s nice to her is very cool.
Patric’s really good too. He should’ve done a doctor show.
It’s a good, affecting episode. Lots of tension in the present-day plot, and the flashbacks are interesting to a point, especially with Hounsou doing it.