Wayward Pines – Episode 1 – Where Paradise is Home Review

Episode 1 - Where Paradise is Home


After all the waiting, M. Night Shyamalan’s next project, the highly anticipated Wayward Pines is finally here! It hit screens last night, and after a clever and direct approach from the marketing team, the team here at The TV Ninja was shaking with excitement. Thankfully, we weren’t disappointed.

There’s a lot of people online comparing this show to Twin Peaks, and it’s not surprising. Any show that drops a detective in an unknown town shrouded in mystery is going to draw those comparisons, but tonally, it’s totally different. Let’s not label it and give it a chance to just be Wayward Pines, guys!

Time for a quick recap. Ethan Burke (Dillon) wakes up in the woods in a pretty shocking state, and manages to stumble his way to the town of Wayward Pines before collapsing on the floor of a cafe. We get an establishing flashback where Burke talks to his therapist (go figure), and it was a decent way to spit out a chunk of information without it feeling too clunky. We’re told that Burke was a secret service agent, he’s been in a relationship with another agent called Kate who’s now missing, and he’s got a history with hallucinations (so there’s that). Are we going to have to second guess EVERYTHING he thinks? Thanks, Shyamalan!

Burke comes round in the hospital, with maybe the creepiest nurse of all time hovering around him. It doesn’t seem like anyone else is there, Burke can’t hear anyone else, and it’s all just a bit tense. There’s no phone (there’s never any phones!), and his mobile is gone, but the nurse reassures him, as much as anyone as shady as her could, that he just needs to rest after a car crash that he doesn’t remember. Then he flashes on it, and has an oh, yeah, that crash moment. Still, he’s not buying what she’s selling, and rips the IV out of his arm and takes a hike. Later, Nurse Wacko.

We find out, courtesy of the good guys (cough) at Secret Service HQ that the guy who was in the car with Burke was burned to a crisp, which kind of doesn’t sit with the fact that Burke has all his hair where it should be and none of his clothes were fire damaged.

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Burke then drops into a bar, and meets Beverly, our winner of the Wayward Pines Nicest Person award. She hooks him up with a free burger, and even give him an address so he can ‘give her the tip later’ (I just can’t!). Again, I found myself wondering if he was imagining it all, or if he’d really hit it large by meeting the only nice person in town but I just had to add it to my list of questions.

Nothing is what it seems in this place, and Bev’s note on the receipt led Burke to find this out in another WTF moment. He’s pointed toward the crickets, and finds there are mini speakers that are pumping out the crickets call all across town. He goes to Bev’s house to find out what the hell is going on, when he steps into another WTF. It’s not her house, and when he steps into the crumbling house he realises why she sent him. Agent nobody is lay out on what used to be a bed, burnt to a crisp. Ladies and Gentlemen, the winner of Shortest Role in Wayward Pines award! I could do this all day. Where’s the freaking car, btw?

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Finally, Terence Howard!! Burke can’t deal with his facebook withdrawals anymore, and goes to have a word with the Sheriff about his cell coverage. Cue standard receptionist, and you have the man himself. Sheriff Arnold Pope. Firstly, what was with the ice cream? Secondly, Pope’s no fan of technology, and he pretty much ignores the phone request to talk about the dead body that’s supposedly hanging out in his town (cause, I don’t know. Maybe. That’s. What. Sheriffs. Do) Still no twitter for Burke, he’ll just have to wait.

We then see Burke’s family. His wife is pretty concerned, as you think she might be, and she’s really worried about her husband. She hears he’s been in a car accident and turns into a hot mess in a second. Guess I’m not the only one wondering WTF is going on.

Burke goes back to the bar, and Bev’s no where to be seen. He starts talking to a guy who claims to be the owner, a guy that loses it at the mention of Beverly’s name. The owner beats Burke around a little, before pulling a walkie and calling Burke, ‘1019’. Seriously, I can’t say it again, what are you doing to us Shayamalan!?

He wakes up in the hospital again, and Nurse Wacko is hovering again. She brought a friend to the party this time, and a psychiatrist tells a chained up Burke that he’s got blood on the brain and is going right in for surgery. They stick him with a sedative and wheel him off down a hallway. Bev stops the operation from happening, and once the psychiatrist is out of the way, and running out of time with the sedative, Burke wails on her, leaving her bloodied and on the floor. Bit harsh, mate.

In maybe the biggest WTF moment of the pilot, they’re now clear of Nurse Wacko and chilling in a crypt, of all places, when Bev tells him that she arrived to Wayward Pines in 1999, and has been there for a year already. But, wait, it’s 2015…what!?

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Reeling from this information, Burke heads out the next day and comes across the agent he was looking for. He follows her and a group of people, and comes to a house that she’s in with her husband (brain overload at this point). Of course Burke just creeps up and bangs on the door. Real subtle. Burke realises that Kate is about 12 years older, and she tells him that ‘they’re watching.’ If the unreliable narrator alert didn’t spike at hallucinations, it would be off the chart at this point. I just want to know everything now, and above all else, how long they’ve been in Wayward Pines, because a few things ain’t adding up.

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All there was to do was run out and find that there was no where to go, BECAUSE THE WHOLE FRIGGING PLACE IS FENCED IN.


– How come he found Kate already? We learned quite a bit in the pilot, so maybe these 10 episodes will be packed full of plot.

– Just what the hell is Wayward Pines?

– How long have they really been there for? Seriously.


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