wayward pines melissa leo

Wayward Pines Recap: May He Sleep With Mother's Danger?

Quick, somebody slap me! I think I just felt a little pang of sympathy for Wayward Pines‘ maniacally monstrous leader Jason Higgins.

Don’t get it twisted: I didn’t put aside my disdain for the lil’ dictator because he had to choke the life out of the woman who raised him — that was a necessary evil to save the last remaining members of the human race. Rather, I wanted someone to momentarily dry his tears because Pam shot herself up with smallpox and planted a maternal kiss on his lips in the hopes that he’d be Patient X in the town’s demise. Couldn’t she have done it quick and dirty with a bomb or a fire or even a wave of Abbys?

Indeed, while “Once Upon a Time in Wayward Pines” may have been Pam’s brief comeback, it really served as Jason’s origin story. Can you imagine being raised from infancy to lead all of humanity, then having said power handed to you before you turned 20? I mean, Justin Bieber’s annoying enough — and he’s only in control of the Billboard charts and the regrettable tattoos he’s put all over his body!

It’s hard out in the post-apocalypse for a sociopath. So let’s recap the action from Season 2, Episode 3.

LET HIM STAND NEXT TO HER FIRE | As Jason reveals to Carrie that the Abbies’ retreat has him thinking about an expansion of settlements past the wall (based on Pilcher’s plan), Pam returns from exile on the outskirts of town — punishment for killing her brother on Invasion Day — and seeks his forgiveness. She plays him like one of those old-timey records the local radio station fancies, using phrases like “the evolution of a great leader,” but there’s only tepid applause when he marches his mother figure into the town square and tells everyone she’s being allowed to re-assimilate.

Of course, we soon learn that the vial Pam stole from Megan’s lab contained a strain of smallpox — and that it was part of her terrorist plot to end this grand experiment. “Wayward Pines was supposed to be the salvation of the human race!” she howls, after getting caught. But her definition of “gift” and “peaceful end” don’t conjure up the warm fuzzies among Jason, Theo, Megan or anybody within earshot. “You can let me die of smallpox — or you can kill me,” she finally realizes, once she’s been put in a quarantine facility that sort of looks like a giant iPhone case. Jason chooses the latter option, taking his “mom” to the woods for some heavy strangulation. As her body is hurled onto a bonfire on the wrong side of the tracks — I kid! There are no trains in Wayward Pines! — out pops C.J., looking forlorn. I’m pretty sure he and Pam didn’t vacation platonically in Hawaii back in the day, if I ain’t being too subtle.

FAIRYTALES CAN COME TRUE, IT CAN HAPPEN TO YOU | The hour kicks off with Pam’s voiceover, sharing a storybook version of Jason’s status as the first child of Wayward Pines. She and Pilcher recognized he was special from an early age — grooming him to one day take over as the leader of the planet’s remaining humans. Over the course of the episode, we see how that upbringing forced Jason to confront ideas of punishing/executing reluctant residents from a really young age. We also see how Megan savvily wormed her way into Jason’s inner circle/the town’s power structure before he was old enough to see her true motives. When Pam ends her tale, she admits she’d always told it to young Jason as a “fantasy of what this place should be. I never [told] you the reality or the horror.” Ultimately, though, she gives him a sad ending: As young Jason comes of age and craves a life beyond the wall, desires something more, he realizes “the more belonged to the creatures.” And it made him feel sorrow, so he closed his eyes and he wished for grace. (That’s code for “Choke the life out of mommy,” yes?)

THE DOCTOR IS IN (BETTER STANDING WITH JASON?) | Theo, meanwhile, is immediately suspicious of Pam — thanks to some freaky-tense conversations at the hospital. But his efforts to contain the smallpox outbreak score points with Jason, so it looks like he’s bought himself another couple weeks of life without possibility of being fed to Abbies. Still, dude might want to whisper his sarcastic zingers — “Well, this is festive! Who are we executing today?” — rather than blurt ’em for everybody to hear.

Pam unearths an uncomfortable truth about Theo and Rebecca: “Oh! You haven’t even reconsummated yet!” (Damn, woman!) But we also get introduced to a kernel of an idea that perhaps Rebecca wasn’t abducted, but rather chose to come to Wayward Pines. (At least that’s what I read into all those cryptic conversations between Theo/Rebecca and Theo/Pam). Oh, and Pam was in Hawaii when Rebecca and Theo were taken! Innnnteresting! Theo ends the hour by telling a sad story of only connecting with his dad after his mother’s death — and how now he’s haunted by the fact that his father spent the last years of his life wondering about Theo’s sudden disappearance. (Hey now, maybe the old fella’s in cryo down in the basement! Don’t lose hope!)

What did you think of this week’s Wayward Pines? Did you feel any sympathy for Jason? Sound off below!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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27 Comments
  1. Jolene Wipf says:

    I don’t feel sympathy for Jason. Is there something wrong with me?

  2. SUSO says:

    Question: if you keep killing off all the interesting characters, why should viewers stick around? The first season certainly killed off its fair share, but the show now feels soulless. Shocks for the sake of shocks.

    • laurelnev says:

      I was typing my comment (see below) while you were typing yours, but I really like the way you put it. This season is soulless compared to last. Megan is just too mustachioed to carry the show, and who cares about any of these new main characters!

      • SUSO says:

        It’s like “Oooh! Kate’s back!”… aaaaaaaaand she’s gone in the most grisly way possible! Then it looks like Ben is actually going to step up and be a great character… and he gets killed off in a way that kind of spits in the face of the entire first season of the show and what it represented, not to mention what his father died for. And now we bring PAM back, who was my favorite character of season one. By the end you so loved her and really were engaged in her journey… and now gone too.

        What’s left? More villains and a blander version of Ethan. zzzz…

        • Jack says:

          Lol. That was my exact reaction when I saw Kate…”Oooh! Kate’s back!” Was actually looking forward to seeing her. With Ethan gone, she was the only other bad ass on the show. But oh well. Btw, I don’t think Ben or Xander are dead. I’m thinking they were captured by the Abbies.

          • Jag says:

            I think they are bringing S1 character to wipe them out. Cause you know group C is now existing. I think they are also slowly killing d show which is again from S1. I watch this to vent and rant out on my boss when im at home. So i guess its not useless show after all.

    • cej says:

      I agree! I was excited to see that Pam was returning and then she was gone. I hoped the show would start getting interesting. Maybe next week…

  3. laurelnev says:

    I knew last season was just too good, and deciding to revive a stellar, limited run series might not be the best idea, and was initially disappointed to hear there would be an S2. But then I got into the books, and some of the kindle world stuff, and I had hope. Quite frankly, I’m not sure why I’m still watching, as the first couple of eps have lived up to neither the original nor the kindle world books. Tonight showed some promise, but was just disappointing in the end. They brought back Nurse Pam just to retcon Jason as her son? And brought her back from exile just to kill her? She and most of the other adults refroze themselves at the end of last season, unaware of the 1st Gen contingent hiding in the barracks. Did they unfreeze her and Kate just to have them kill themselves off to show the absolute horror Wayward Pines had become post-Pilcher? I had thought this season was going to focus more on Abbie culture than on Lord of the Flies. This new doc is just too boring, and the remaining adults are just too scared. Like I said, I’m not sure why I’m still watching. I think it’s like S3 of Lost–I’m so hooked on “the world,” I’ll hang in through a cycle of mediocrity in hopes of a return to the former glory. I’m hoping WP will likewise come back. And it probably is some of the best mid-season TV on network (Orphan Black and 12 Monkeys are cable.) But it’s still disappointing it’s not the greatness that was WP S1.

  4. Michelle says:

    I love CJ’s creepy conception classes. So creepy but so funny.

    I do miss the S1 cast though.

  5. This season is so disappointing. And killing off one season 1 character a week isn’t convincing me to stick around.

  6. big cheddar says:

    I agree with everyone’s comments so far. I’m starting to lose interest in this show, especially since they keep killing off the important characters from Season 1. I do love Theo’s snarky lines, tho.

  7. scsherman says:

    Smallpox would only likely kill half the population at best considering natural immunity as well as residual immunity from the vaccine that anyone over 45 received in addition to medical, military, and first responders. Should have gone with Ebola or a toxin like Ricin.

    • skyebright8 says:

      Agree people survived smallpox before vaccines and inoculation against it started in the 1720s, it won’t destroy the entire remaining human population.

  8. Maryann says:

    I loved season 1 until that horrible epilog to the final episode. I have not been watching season 2, just reading recaps, with the idea that if the season is good, and the few remaining survivors from season 1 triumph in the end, I will go back and watch it. So much for that. I guess like someone else said, they just brought them back to kill them. Guess I can stop reading recaps now.

  9. Al says:

    Season one was filmed almost 2 years before it aired so many of the actors are now committed to other things and can only film as much as they can. But I agree with how they shouldnt kill all of them off!

    • drb999 says:

      They should’ve left the season one characters in cold storage. Bring them back to kill them off is annoying and senseless. It adds nothing to the story.

  10. Jane says:

    So now we are only left with whiny brats and boring characters. This season is just losing me. Nothing of interest.

  11. jr. says:

    There is no mystery this season. What’s Wayward Pines really? This season it’s a boring show with no mysterys, and it’s just watching characters kill each other. But in the previews for next weeks episode, who was that bearded man wandering outsides the gates? Was that
    Ben’s father? Has he established an understanding of the Abbies ( i.e. like Jane Goodall with apes ), and is aware the Abbies just captured Ben for than own Abbie plans? And wasn’t Pam
    Jason’s biological mother? And because Jason is related to Pitchard, he was born to reign over WP?

    • MSQueen15 says:

      I would LOVE it if it was Ethan outside the gate. Not sure how in the world he could have survived that blast, but this is science fiction, so lets give it a try. We need him. Also need Ben to be alive. And more Theresa scenes that don’t include her babbling, “Where’s Ben?” from between the blinds of her bedroom window (FYI, to the PA in charge of continuity on Wayward Pines, if you’re gonna have her yell from a window that clearly has blinds, might want to show the blinds when you show the outside of the house). Wondering if Rebecca is Jason’s bio mom. She might have been pregnant, even though Theo didn’t want kids, so she agreed to have him frozen and let Pilcher raise her child as long as she be awaken to see him later on in life. Also thinking she had another man in her life because Theresa told her, “I know you’ve had your share of losses,” or something similar.

    • RedReddington says:

      I’m pretty sure the bearded man is going to be Adam Hassler..who we saw in the first couple of episodes of season 1 as Ethan’s boss or whatever. :)

      • MSQueen15 says:

        I was just coming back here to say the same thing. It’s Adam Hassler for sure. Ugh! Who’s the one with hoodie in the hallway?

  12. kirads09 says:

    What a great episode and increditble performance by Melissa Leo. I know I am in the minority – but enjoying S2 thus far. Be interesting if they “woke up” a different person every season in sort of an anthology way? Just as a study in how they react to the situation? It is only the 3rd ep of S2. Hope folks give it a chance. Feel the best is yet to come. I LIKE Jason Patrick.

    For me the line of the night was Arlene – People gotta have hope ya know – otherwise they just lose their crap. (paraphrasing slightly)

  13. Jeanne says:

    Jason needs to be taken out. I don’t feel sorry for him at all.

    Is Pam really dead? Last week’s episode showed previews of Dr. Yedlin asking Pam detailes about WP, but that was not shown on the latest episode. It’s confusing, at least to me.