'Wayward Pines' Episode 2 Recap: "Don't Discuss Your Life Before"

More questions than answers in the second stroll through Wayward Pines.

Rules are meant to be broken, but they can get you killed.

In the second outing at Wayward Pines, Burke gets a clearer picture of how this weird town operates. “The more you see, the less they make sense…. “ says Beverly, the only friend he has here.

It appears the town is exactly aware of the situation they’re in. It only remains what that situation is. Imprisonment? Experimentation? From the signs carrying its ominous rules in every building to the well-oiled machine that is their — can it be called their security system? Is that how it can be described? — the citizens seem to be aware of what kind of bubble world they live in. Most of them are intent to keep it that way. A small minority, as evidenced by the individual close-ups in the final scene, think otherwise.

But if things are going to change, it’s going to be a hell of a fight, now that Burke is alone.

That’s right: We said goodbye to Beverly this week. Burke and Beverly accept a dinner invitation by the Ballingers as a route to escape the town, and it goes wrong quickly. The episode ends with a public execution of Beverly, apparently the same fate given to the missing Agent Evans.

This part of the town’s society and culture have turned them into something grotesque, something far more primal and ancient. Last week, Sheriff Pope was served as an equal-opposite to Burke, but this week as he stood over the hysterical Beverly, he became a monster. His name, Pope, now evokes a higher leadership, a type of authority that goes beyond municipal. 

"You ever hear of Obama? 9/11?" Burke asks. Beverly shakes her head. It remains to be seen how this time distortion is answered, if it ever is.

She also has a daughter, and with her departure this character might not be explored. She was six according to Beverly. If she was six in 1999, then now she’s in her early 20’s. What a shame, she missed her college graduation.

One of the weakest points that plagues Wayward Pines, as I said in my last recap, was the legitimizing of Burke’s family. It’s no longer ambiguous that Burke is just ill, because he does have a family and they’re sick and worried. He is a Secret Service agent (“Are you sitting on the seventh-floor reception desk of the Seattle office?” Marcy replies yes. “There is no seventh-floor reception desk at the Seattle office. Who are you?”) so whoever is claiming to be the receptionist is totally hiding something.

Kate Hewson, Burke’s ex-lover, is questionably a part of Wayward Pines. She’s assimilated, married to the toy-store owner Harold Ballinger and taken his name, so everything with her is hunky-dory. Last week, she showed alarm to Burke, warning him that “they’re watching” and that he needs to be careful. This week, her facade has gotten deeper, and it’s at a point you wonder where her loyalty lies. Is she a sleeper agent? How deep is her cover? Is she actually loyal to Wayward Pines and wants to live as a Ballinger, shedding her previous life as Kate Hewson?

On that note, the Ballinger’s toy store flawlessly translates Wayward Pines’ jarring appearance. Remember: If you look closely, things aren’t what they seem. What kind of toy store in 2015 (although Burke says he disappeared in 2014) sells entirely hand-made toys? There’s not a single Power Ranger or Barbie on that shelf. Wayward Pines is definitely off the grid, and one need not look further than what is or isn’t on the shelves.

Wayward Pines isn’t much closer to answering the questions it posed last week, if anything there are a few more now. What is Sheriff Pope’s true role in the city? How did the town come to be so organized like a lynch mob? How much longer will the citizens take of Burke, as they’re clearly growing more and more fed up with him? What can Burke do to assimilate and take the heat off of him? What is up with Kate Hewson/Ballinger? What are the tracking devices exactly for? As a returning viewer this may be frustrating, but as it’s so early in the series’ run it’s forgivable.

Hopefully next week more can be answered, otherwise all this stress will kill us like Sheriff Pope killed Beverly.

RIP Beverly. We’ll see you on Secrets & Lies.

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