[This is a review of the Wayward Pines season 2 premiere. There will be SPOILERS.]
Wayward Pines has been given new life with a second season that allows season 1 veterans and newbies alike to sit back and watch a crazy town set in 4032 rip itself apart. Too bad this new iteration doesn't do more to distinguish itself from its predecessor.
If you were a fan of the first season, then you should find yourself right at home, as we meet Dr. Theo Yedlin - who like Ethan Burke before him, wakes up in a strange town in Idaho with no recollection of how he got there. Instead of a hospital, Theo awakes to find himself alongside one of the First Generation, who are the children that were born in Wayward Pines. In typical fashion, the weirdness begins right away with Kerry (Kacey Rohl) taking the good doctor to an operating room where kids no older than 16 watch the gifted surgeon operate.
It was nice to see the lovely Carla Gugino, if only for a short time. She will be missed, but these new colorful cast of characters seem willing and able to fill her shoes. Hope Davis' return was another welcomed revelation with her creepy portrayal of Megan Fisher. Davis did a superb job with her take on one of the town's most influential teachers. Her interactions with Gugino's character (Kate Hewson) were some of the best moments from the premiere.
Ben, the now-older, more emo version of Ethan Burke's son, is helping with the rebellion to stop the First Generation from controlling the town. As far as we know, things haven't changed much since we last visited Wayward Pines, with Abbies still trying to get through the fences and public executions for entertainment can still be seen on public streets. So, what's left to tell that we already didn't see in season 1? Well, there is definitely potential here for some good story telling, even if the premiere felt like more of the same.
Firstly, some of the new cast members are worth further exploration. Dr. Yedlin's relationship with his wife Rebecca seems interesting enough, as we see them quarreling in a flashback on one of the Hawaiian islands. Like Theresa Burke before her, how will she adapt to living in this new place? There's also Ben, who is now in a leadership role looking for answers and trying to stop the tyranny that's engulfing Wayward Pines. Now that he's trapped outside the fence, perhaps we can now explore more of what lies beyond the city walls. After 2000 years there has to be something else alive out there besides the Abbies.
Veteran actor Djimon Hounsou (Guardians of the Galaxy) is another reason to stick around this season. We didn't see him in the premiere, but his presence alone commands respect. Hopefully he won't be misused, as he's one of the more underrated actors in Hollywood. Australian-born actor Josh Helman (X-Men: Apocalypse, Mad Max: Fury Road) is being cast in everything, so his bravado too helps bolster this already stacked deck of talented actors. Which story lines are you most interested in following as the season progresses?
Wayward Pines may not be the most unique show on television, but it can be a fun way to spend an hour when the series isn't taking itself too seriously. The cast and setting are the show's strengths, so let's hope they can keep this train moving to a better second half than the season before it. Jason Patric appears to be a worthy candidate to take the mantel of hero from Matt Dillon's Ethan Burke. Only time will tell. What did you think of 'Enemy Lines' and are you excited to see more from this crazy little town?
Wayward Pines continues with 'Blood Harvest' next Wednesday @9pm on Fox. Check out a preview below:
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