It didn’t take Wayward Pines long to make a nose dive into mediocrity. Episode 1 was intriguing, showing promise and originality, but given the escalating list of problems thereafter, the minor sins from the beginning are all back on the table.
At the end of episode 4, the creators gave us another hint of what’s on the other side of “The Wall.” With this I’ve developed my theory of what’s going on. It’s a pretty interesting idea, if I say so myself, although reminiscent of Lost and Under the Dome.
Aliens made contact with earth several decades ago. The government has kept it a secret, but they had to make a pact with the aliens to do so — and, of course, to keep them from invading us. Using alien teleportation and time travel technology, the U.S. government sends humans to an earthling habitat on the alien planet for observation and entertainment.
I wonder what potential this story idea would have in the hands of a great yarn spinner like, say, Joss Whedon.
As far as story-telling, dialogue, and character development goes, you can’t go wrong taking a few lessons from Joss. Here’s where thinking like Joss could help Wayward Pines.
A Girl Fight
Since Theresa Burke was trained as an FBI agent, I think, as soon as she spotted Kate Hewson across the street they should have gone all Buffy and Faith on each other.
It would also be great for Nurse Pam to go fist-to-cuffs with Theresa or Kate or… anybody.
Someone Grudgingly Gets Naked
When Agent Burke woke up in the woods or the hospital he could have been naked. But what would be more interesting is when someone tries to drive out of Wayward Pines, as soon as they pass the “Thank you for visiting Wayward Pines” sign, they become naked. That would keep the ants from running.
Someone Good Becomes Evil and/or Someone Evil Becomes Good
It pretty much looks like Ben is going to drink the Kool-Aid. No shock there.
I think it would be a shock if Beverly turned out to be alive and played the whole reckoning theatrics to indoctrinate Ethan.
It would also be shocking if Pam becomes good. Can’t even wrap my head around that one, she’s so wonderfully horrible.
Stick Up For Each Other
If Burke would quit wandering off on his own, and trust his wife and the others who have reached out to him at great risk, he could have had a Scooby Gang by now: Ethan, Theresa, Ben, Kate, the mayor, and the realtor.
The sexual encounter(s) can’t just be a hookup, or to pair off characters, or to make someone jealous. It has to be a plot element or part of a character’s agency.
What if the romp between Ethan and Kate had resulted in a daughter who, in Wayward Pines, is now twelve-years old. And that daughter hooks up with Ben.
Or sexual liaisons are arranged the same way each person is assigned a house and a job. The aliens herd their little fertile humans together once a month for breeding season.
Kill a Lovable Character
There are no lovable characters. Ethan doesn’t execute logic or strategy. Theresa has so much potential but does nothing but drive the Ethan and Ben characters. They’ve already killed people we could have loved but they weren’t around long enough.
As I’m writing this, episode 5 is airing. As usual, I’ll stream it on Hulu tomorrow. How long will it take Ethan to find answers behind the wall only to return to Wayward to find his family completely enddoctrinated, married off, and running the town.
I’ll Give You a Topic
What other Whendon story-telling characteristics can you think of?
What’s the most ridiculous thing Ethan’s done?
What’s your theory of Wayward Pines?
How many people wanted Ethan to drive through the opening in the wall?