Wayward Pines (2015) s02e08 – Pass Judgment

So, with “Wayward Pines” entering the season’s final act—there are only two more episodes after this one–it’s unclear where they’re going, but it’s clear they aren’t going to get there gracefully. This episode’s all about female creature Rochelle Okoye escaping and wreaking havoc around town, including leaping between the buildings on Main Street. There’s also lots of running through the woods, which are right behind the houses, and all of a sudden, it’s obvious what a lousy job the show’s done—in the eighteen episodes so far—at establishing the basic geography.

For example, Emma Tremblay and Michael Garza are back this episode (nothing said about her period or him maybe being gay or ace), and they walk downtown from school. Through a forest. Not an inherently terrible idea and certainly better than anything else town architect Nimrat Kaur “designed,” but also a little weird. All of a sudden, they’re in danger from forest-hunting Okoye, but there’s going to be an alley somewhere taking them to Kaur’s shop.

Kaur and Josh Helman are also back this episode—unfortunately—and now they’re both trying to beat the creatures. Kaur is trying to figure out how Okoye got into the town; Helman’s going to take his guns and form a citizen’s militia, which will lead to a trigger-happy Christian shooting the only Black guy in the episode. “Wayward Pines: Season Two” ’s big problem is none of the adults deserve to survive, and most of the teens also do not deserve to survive, and we don’t meet many kids because they need to be in puberty for the show (and town) to care about them.

But, basically, there’s militia versus military on the residential streets, and it’s bad. It’s not as silly as it could be, but it’s not well done. Jennifer Lynch directs the episode and does comparably better with the talking heads stuff than the action or suspense, but only in comparison. Unfortunately, this season hasn’t had many distinct or good directors (only one of the latter, I think) and is heading into the finale with, at best, tepid direction….

Bad sign.

Also, an ominous sign is a big reveal for Kaur and Helman, which manages to make his performance even worse in hindsight. Besides her busy work finding town blueprints, Kaur’s just around for Helman and Patric to glare at each other over. Even when Tremblay shows up and Kaur gets her to safety, they don’t have any real scenes together. Tremblay’s just an accessory for Kaur, who’s just an accessory for Helman or Patric.

Though Kaur does have a good “girl power” scene with Kacey Rohl, who found that she can’t have babies at the beginning of the episode, and now everyone is assuming boyfriend and teen führer Tom Stevens will have her killed for it. That development turns into an almost interesting plot point until the episode screws it up.

Seamus Kevin Fahey gets the writing credit. The most inventive stuff in the script are the details about Siobhan Fallon Hogan’s weird life. Fallon Hogan manages to be excellent despite being the butt of the show’s jokes.

And maybe if Patric’s complaint no one takes any responsibility in “Wayward Pines” is a meta-comment on the show itself, which is an accurate dig. The whole show is what happens when you compound cop-outs.

Anyway. Two left, and it’s not in very good shape.

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