[This is a review of the Wayward Pines series premiere. There will be SPOILERS.]
Fox's new miniseries event, Wayward Pines, takes what is a conventional mystery and turns it on its head in a way that makes it a joy to watch.
Add in controversial director M. Night Shyamalan (After Earth) and what you get is an entertaining hour of television that will leave you wanting more. Yes, M. Night does not disappoint in his television directorial debut.
Unlike the popular ABC series Lost, Wayward Pines doesn't hold back when it comes to divulging its mysteries. Suffice it to say, this is not a subtle series, but that's why it's so much fun to watch. By the end of the premiere, entitled 'Where Paradise is Home', you are already given the big twist. This early gaze into Pandora's Box allows the viewer to sit back and just enjoy getting to know the plethora of Wayward's inhabitants by the beginning of episode two - 'Do Not Discuss Your Life Before'.
Alright, let's take a closer look into this strange world based on Blake Crouch's best selling book. Our hero in this tale is Agent Ethan Burke (Matt Dillon), who is in search of two missing agents. After a violent car crash, Burke awakens in a strange Idaho town where he is being tended to by a Dr. Jenkins (Toby Jones) and his odd nurse Pam, who is portrayed by Academy-Award winner Melissa Leo. You'll quickly notice that Fox has stacked the deck in terms of its cast. Dillon too brings a sense of gravitas to the series, as his slow, deep, melodic voice pulls you into every word he says.
Writer/executive producer Chad Hodge (The Playboy Club) doesn't shy away from making you feel uncomfortable, as you quickly realize that this cute small town is a dangerous place. After quickly discovering a dead body rotting in a forgotten home, Dillon soon comes into contact with the local sheriff named Arnold Pope. The talented Terrence Howard (Empire) is brilliant in this role. He wonderfully toes that line between villain and misunderstood cop superbly. It should be fun to learn just who Pope really is over the coming weeks.
Burke ends up finding one of his lost agents, who also happens to be his former lover. Carla Gugino (San Andreas) plays the character in question, Kate Hewson, who has adapted well to life in Wayward Pines. You learn that she is aware of her past with Burke and the agency, but she has decided to go along with this new way of life for unknown reasons. Her husband Harold Ballinger (Reed Diamond) is a local toy maker - and if that doesn't spell creepy, then I don't know what does.
By the end of the episode, as Burke journeys towards the borders of the town, you realize that the inhabitants are trapped in this existence, but we are still unsure of why. So, there is still a mystery after all, but at least they give you a taste of the larger picture instead of dragging it out over several weeks. This is a 10-episode miniseries event, but the executives said that they would consider producing more episodes if the show is a success. Either way, it's nice to know that we will be getting a complete story by the end of these 10-weeks instead of longing for answers we may never get.
With most of the Fall 2014 shows coming to an end, Wayward Pines is sure to entertain you as the summer months begin. What did you think of Fox's new miniseries?
Wayward Pines will continues with 'Do Not Discuss Your Life Before' next Thursday @10/9c on Fox. Check out a preview below: