‘Wayward Pines’ Finale Can’t See the Forest For the Trees (SPOILERS)

Wayward Pines Season Finale Review Fox
Liane Hentscher/FOX

Wayward Pines” started with one of those “The Twilight Zone”-like mysteries and rode that for several episodes, before belching out its big secret in one long bit of exposition halfway through its run. And frankly, whatever one might think of the novels on which the program was based, it never recovered, dramatically speaking, from that juncture, leading up to a season (and possibly series) finale that was chaotic, violent and unsatisfying. When an hour of television is most memorable for its fleeting “The X-Files” tease, something has been lost in translation.

Yes, there were some big deaths in the final hour (and SPOILER ALERT if you haven’t watched), after the genetically aberrant monsters humankind has become in 4028 penetrated the town’s defenses, feasting on the populace. Yet one can argue that the dramatic tension oozed out of the show shortly after the midway point, once it became clear Wayward Pines was actually an island from which there was no return, with the characters’ lives back in the 21st century having long since evaporated.

Would humanity survive? Frankly, once everyone but those suspended in cryogenic freeze has been dead for centuries, it was hard to really care.

For those who still did, getting caught up in whether what amounted to a small rebellion could break the authoritarian control of founder David Pilcher (Toby Jones), “Wayward Pines” engaged in a considerable cheat. After playing out that narrative, the producers abruptly skipped an enormous amount of story in having the main character’s teenage son, Ben (Charlie Tahan), awaken from a coma, only to discover that — during his extended slumber — the town’s creepy First Generation had taken over, fulfilling Pilcher’s original vision of control through surveillance and fear. At that point, it seemed almost irrelevant that Pilcher, along with intrepid hero Ethan Burke (Matt Dillon), had died.

It is, obviously, a rather bleak appraisal of humanity’s present as well as its future. Still, the show’s principal failing is that — even with all the big-name actors who passed through, some dying early on — the program didn’t succeed in conjuring any more incentive to care about these people individually than it did the town collectively. That seemed especially true as an assemblage of anonymous extras flanked the Burke family as they raced down the tunnel and up the elevator shaft, with Burke and his one-time partner Kate (Carla Gugino) bravely leading the way.

Although the producers are still talking about the possibility of another season, it’s hard to see what would be enticing about continuing this story, given where this arc concluded. Because while “Wayward Pines” began with the premise of whether people could find a way to achieve forced harmony and peace under these confined circumstances, it gave them precious little to aspire to — no hope of escape or redemption beyond its walls.

If those sadistic, sneering kids wind up representing humankind, hey, at least the rest of us have been dead a couple of millennia and don’t need to worry about whether these children are our future. So goodbye, “Wayward Pines,” another series that started with mystery and promise and, ultimately, couldn’t see the forest for the trees.

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  1. Latz says:

    “Frankly, once everyone but those suspended in cryogenic freeze has been dead for centuries, it was hard to really care.” — So having a situation where there is even more emphasis on the success of the place and it’s inhabitants for you “it was hard to really care”. This seems so much at odds with my opinion and even reasoning in the plot, or reasonably viewing the situation presented in any sense that it painted the rest of the review completely for me…

  2. I have never read a review that could so totally be reduced to nothing more than one person’s opinion. In my opinion, the “mystery” of the first half of the Wayward Pines episodes was far from compelling. We’ve seen the same plot device before, where people wake up in a town where they are being watched and they cannot find out what is really going on (remember Persons Unknown?). But from the episode where the truth is revealed to Ethan on, Wayward Pines became an intriguing drama, unlike any sci-fi story line I can remember. Contrary to the reviewer, there were several characters you could really care about, especially Ethan, Theresa, and Ben. But where I do agree with the reviewer is that the concluding ten minutes were very unsatisfying. Word is they are now planning a season two, but I can’t imagine how they will build a sustainable story arc out of the mess they left behind. The one thing that kept us coming back during those frustrating early episodes was Matt Dillon’s great character, but he is now dead.

  3. That whole first generation crap was annoying and unsatisfying. This could’ve been a great 10 or 15 episode event if it had faithfully followed the books but instead good old M. Night had to go fiddle with something that wasn’t broken and in the process managed to screw it up quite well.

  4. Diehtra says:

    Barely anything about this show matches the books. I am so Very disappointed that the books weren’t followed more closely. Ethan doesn’t kill sheriff pope, David pitcher does. Pam is young if I remember correctly, like 20 years old and is a vicious psychopath. Ethan kills David pilcher not Pam. The Abbies aren’t that human like, I’m 90% sure they are on all fours, like a wolf except twice as big as a wold and with see through like skin. I understand changing the abbies but not the main plot line…. Ethan Burke doesn’t die. They All go back into suspended animation. The list goes on and on. Watching it was extremely weird and not enjoyable because of the Major Major changes.

  5. Barry Scholles says:

    One of the things I found particularly anachronistic about this show was the mismatch of people and things like cars. People were driving what looked like 2015 vehicles, somehow preserved much as the characters were, for 2000 years. AND the cars looked brand new! This made absolutely no sense whatsoever and was never explained at all.

    • Gregory Orme says:

      Yes. Despite the evidence to the contrary, I could never believe they really were in 4028 because of the cars and the things that happened in the first episode that didn’t square with that concept. The whole premise is ludicrous. Why did people need to be frozen so long? Did the electric fence work for 2000 years with no one to maintain it? Maybe I should watch it again, but knowing it goes nowhere, I am not inclined to. I will say Matt knocked it out of the park and his character deserved better.

  6. sheila says:

    I loved the show but I did not understand the ending at all its very confusing and to me all the main characters die??? Also, at the beginning there was civilization inspite of wayward pines being there so don’t understand that part either

    • lisa says:

      As for the ending: The first generation kids (including the a-hole “first class” guys, Jason, Sean, and what’s-his-name) made it into “the ark” that Pilcher had created for them, which contained “everything they would need” and lots of it. Apparently, they took over WP during the 3 years and 4 months Ben was in a coma, and jammed the adults that survived into suspended animation pods (so they’re not actually “dead,” but they may as well be). And then the first generation creeps proceeded to follow Pilcher’s original vision of the town, with most everyone living in fear. (Weird thing: The corpse hanging from the lamp post had the sign “Do Not Try to Leave” on it. Since it would seem that everyone in the town must know what’s out there at this point, why the heck would anyone be so anxious to leave?… Who knows, maybe they woke up some newbies who are still in the dark as to what’s up.)

      As for the beginning: They were showing us flashbacks to times when Pilcher, Pam, Pope, etc. were abducting people. So it’s 2014 (or whatever) during the flashbacks, but Night deliberately didn’t make it clear in early episodes that those were flashbacks when the story flips back to scenes in Wayward Pines in 4028. So it seemed in some episodes as if the two things (civilization and Wayward Pines) existed at the same time, but they didn’t.

    • teri says:

      I loved the show !!! will it come back?

  7. Harry O in Mexifornia says:

    I feel I just wasted 10 weeks of watching this show after the absolute worst ending chapter of TV history. Which “Special Ed” class did you find your writers at?

  8. Ron says:

    I might not agree with him about “the following,” but I’d have to be an absolute dope not to be able to admit that tv is getting more and more “unsatisfying” and that wayward pines (not worthy of quotations) is a prime example of practically every show ever. except for “the blacklist.” I gotta admit “the blacklist” has remarkably mellow finales despite its violent nature and if it ever gets cancelled I wouldn’t be heart broke for lack of conclusion. but this… this wayward pines was a headlining disaster. the show started off amazing, but went out on a simmer. I will admit that I had a craving for this show in the beginning that I still had halfway through the “series finale.” I even had a tear in my eye when ethan died. it was sad. it was convincing; promising. But I had that craving because I was manipulated from a lie. that lie being that the tenth episode was a series finale of a “ten episode event,” you know the kind of show that has a beginning, middle, and end. after watching the last 5 minutes of the finale, I realized, not only was I lied to, but I had just witnessed summer’s best show crash and burn because of it’s last 5 minutes. I will now forevermore remember this show as a dishonest hoax. And all because of 5 crummy minutes out of the other 450. defined by its lightning screenplay delivered by the cast like thunder, how can a show so good go downhill so fast because of 5 minutes? Just watch wayward pines all of the way through and you’ll find out. buyer beware, wayward pines promises a full wrap up (beginning middle and end) but hardly conjures a beginning. Talk about getting nowhere. Or about how humanity is doomed to be ruled by ignorant teenagers. Either way that was a completely sarcastic comment.

  9. Nikki Smith says:

    Absolutely agree with the article. I hated the way the show ended and the fact Ethan Burke is portray as the devil and David Pilcher is a saint like he wanted. And what in between Ben’s coma and when he woke up? There’s lot gaps to me that the show didn’t fill.

  10. wendy says:

    My issue was, I did not Care about most of these characters. Not even enough to remember all their names. why do the writers feel the need to kill off main characters. do they feel we need to feel loss and sorrow because we don’t have enough in real life? The crazy mad scientist, come ON, the teacher was so annoying and the children were so annoying. Too many unanswered questions. I couldn’t watch it.

  11. 10/10! Just like the series itself, the ending was AMAZINGLY GREAT…. until about the last 5 minutes. Then it was terrible and anti-climactic, which was very reminiscent of another great show that ended on a sour note – Battlestar Galactica. This show would be an instant classic if you just hit the “power off” button after the final scene in Pilcher’s office (where they cart off his corpse and show that Big Brother is always watching.. even in death). The director should have just left the true ending up to the viewer’s imagination. I give this series 5/10 in the end (what a twist!)

  12. I must have watched a different series because I was enthralled and thought every episode had a new twist to keep me obsessing for next week. It was cool having an OCD guilty pleasure type show to watch that wasn’t on HBO showing sex or curses every 5 minutes, and I’m not even conservative. I felt the show had a great arc – collective humanity fears the unknown, yet the individual spirit can rise to fight when called upon. Can’t believe you thought this was bleak compared to critic darling True Detective – both seasons of which are boringly depressing and overly gratuitous to overcompensate, IMO. It’s great that quality written, directed and acted programs like Wayward Pines (and Hannibal!) are being supported by network television. You’re probably too busy watching Shonda Thursdays, SMH.

    • Wlccx says:

      Quality written? The walls the equipment the massive amounts of food and supplies were two thousand years old and functioned and looked like new. The plot
      Line is beyond insulting. Abbie’s are allowed to live in such numbers that it takes down a paranoid well armed populace like we are? As soon as they were considered a threat they would have been killed at birth or even before. I was hoping for a better twist ending. This was a lazy low grade ending. As bad as Battlefield Earth was it made more sense than this…..and that’s a low bar to lose to.

      • NR says:

        Ihab, all those questions were answered. Maybe you missed them because they didn’t write the show for first and second grades. (sorry, but you took it there). 1-Pilcher and his loyal supporters were the first to awaken. They’d set a timer to 2k years in the future, according to Pilcher’s calculations of when human genetics would mutate to become less/other than human. 2-They did draw attention, which is why they had 3 FBI agents in stasis. And their boss was working with Pilcher, helping them cover it up. Besides, they showed that the abductions where from all over the country so that made them harder to track to Wayward Pines. 3-Maybe they came back with the video or sent it via VHF transmissions. No internet required. 4-That’s a good question. For now, they have fuel etc. in storage, but that won’t last forever.

      • Unto says:

        The wall was build 25 years before the time of show. Pilcher and his people put the wall up when they woke. Abbies, well how you handle something like that when only thing that born from humans is those aberrations. You think that humans would just say”well, let’s stop breeding” and stop? Food and most of supplies were frozen too with people, and they have livestock in Wayward.
        Ihab, for you
        1. Pilcher calculated that Earth’s pollution and all that shit would been clear in 2,000 years, he did not know about abbies, only that human genome started to turn. The cryocapsules were some hightech shut that woke people up automaticly.
        2. Nope, only Hassler knew about things, feds were looking at the missings at Wayward, that’s why Kate was sent there.
        3. What internet, what e-mails?
        4. Check my last sentence in first dude’s question.

        You guys should read the books too, better than show.

      • I totally agree with you about “quality written”!! I would like to add more examples:
        1- Who was the first one to be awaken? and by whom? and who decided that it was the time to do so?
        2- So the government knew of a mad scientist abducting people – thousands of them- and keeping them sedated for 2 thousand years without drawing notice!
        3- who was running the internet and the emails! the guy who took videos at the GG bridge!
        4- how do they fuel their cars and power their electricity?

        I can go on and on.. I know some would say it is a science fiction story … ya you are right if it is written for first and second graders :)

  13. Thussie says:

    I agree with most of this review. Started off good and them just lost momentum. The ending quite frankly sucked. I knew Pilcher would die (Toby Jones’ movie career is too good to move to TV) but taking out Matt Dillon? Deal breaker. Near the end I had hopes that the show would move forward with the rebuild of the town and how they’d do it different (And what that would look like) but I am not interested in watching if the kids are running the show, they were the weakest link in the season.

  14. AlexSy says:

    I enjoyed Wayward Pines but I had many questions initially and at one point I too thought it was some crazy government experiment. After watching the episodes it’s something that totally reminded me of what Stephen King would create. The ending of the final episode was a let down because at one point it looks like they are going to make it and then you have the Star of the show basically take himself out! I always heard you never take out the Star of a show, movie or whatever,big mistake! Then the final few minutes I’m thinking to myself, what the heck! How do you fast forward three years and it’s like nothing happened and now things are back as before! What happened to all those crazy a##** abbies running around!! What about the broken fence? Who the heck was watching on the screen at the end? What did the little sign say on Matt Dillion,heck I couldn’t even see it. I personally hated the ended and really don’t care for a new season of it, it’s like everything they worked for was somehow taken away in a moment and now the teens took over and to me it’s just like dejavu all over again, No thanks I’ll pass.

  15. I had no problem caring for these characters. I really enjoyed the show. It seems like you couldn’t get over the fact that the outside world was gone. But that was the whole point. It sounds like you had a theory that you were attached to and once you found out you were wrong, you stopped caring about the show. If that’s the case then write the show you wanted to see.

  16. A Harris says:

    Idiot TV columnist, just because you didn’t like it don’t mean others didn’t enjoy it’s original storyline

  17. I did not know there were books. Now I have to get those. Anyway, I did not like the way they ended the show. I think they should have left it with the women talking (Pam and Kate) so it would have had a happy ending just encase they don’t pick the show up. Also, I’m still not convinced it isn’t a huge government set up. Love the show, hopefully they pick it up for a second season.

  18. Caramel Butterscotch says:

    I have read this 3 book series and have enjoyed this show!. I would love to see this show continue . Matt Dillon and the nurse as well as Pilcher were great . I am hoping they renew the series and find a way to have those supposed killed characters alive. Both could be as there were no bodies.

  19. Glenn says:

    how much was the reviewer paid to trash the show? I have faithfully followed this show from the beginning and I think it still shows a lot of promise if given half a chance. 10 episodes of 45 minutes a show don’t give you a lot to go on. To the reviewer, what exactly what you were looking for? If you have read the books and are comparing the series to them, very few shows rarely stick to the book formats if they did we would have no reason to watch the show. Perhaps you were looking for a reason to get us to stop? Enough said here. Think my point was made. Opinions are fine for a review but perhaps point out the good points and not just the bad.

  20. trey says:

    absolutely loved this show. watched it for what it was, entertainment. i dont get why everyone has to spread so many comments of hate. its almost like no one likes anything anymore, with no reason behind it.

  21. KC says:

    I thought the series was pretty good overall – all except the last couple of minutes: it really was a ridiculous turn of events. One moment the ‘mutineers’ have won the day and then next somehow the First Gen end up in control 3 years later. Presumably they used the resources Pilcher left for them in the school’s ‘safe room’ but still a disappointing deus ex machina.

  22. Bob Price says:

    The series was a great example of TV escapism. Forget reality and enjoy the ride. My only disappointment was no explanation of all those contacts, phones, etc., of the future people communicating with current ones. Never did understand that.

  23. watcher says:

    seems the tv series hopes that viewers are also readers of the books? for a finale that could have been at least 3 eps, i do admit they handled a lot of storyline well if not choppy in one go. too much abbie time – should have used for more storyline/emotional set ups. All in all i give the finale a 4.8/5 stars. I will say if “Gone” isnt aired soon, prior fans and hangerons will lose interest.

  24. OK.. most of the comments (including mine) hated the ending and were disappointed by it. Can anyone tell me what -in your opinion – a logical, proper, or great ending would be?

    For me would be adopting Kate’s idea of the whole thing being a CIA or FBI secret experiment and they all go back to the current year 2014.

    • I have another nicer ending.. Ethan wakes up after his car crash where he was hallucinating and he made up the whole story out of people he encountered at the hospital were he was drugged or in a coma.. Peltcher is really a Dr. Jenkins, there is also PAM is receptionist and BOB is a nurse the school Lady is a lawyer for the hospital … etc. you see where i am going with it :)

    • That was my dream for the ending. A fake town created to see what people would do if/when an apocalyptic event occurred run by CIA or FBI. Their manipulation of the people would give them the ability to plan for a future where anarchy and mayhem could go unchecked if not carefully planned and managed. M. Night sure knows how to kill a good fantasy!

  25. Vanessa Eggert says:

    Doesn’t anyone question where did they get their vehicles, gas for the vehicles and stoves? This is 2000 years in the future, and I know cars, appliances, electronics last longer than ever, but… I doubt there’s a refinery, pharmaceutical factory. or that WP is sitting over a natural gas well.

  26. stevo66030 says:

    I really thought when Ben woke up it was all going to be some elaborate dream, and he was going to be in 2015 … a most unsatisfying ending to be sure. I watched mostly because it was pimped as a show with a definite ending after ten episodes. I much prefer that over some of the open-ended series that show promise and abruptly end without any real resolution because the writers had no imagination. The other series option, is of course, when they keep dragging it out season after season, and finally meander into a conclusion that is neither logical or in keeping with the originally intended theme. I may try and watch an episode or two of a new season, but they’ll be on a very short leash.

  27. David Dimon says:

    This show started out with a lot of promise, even coming from a mediocre book series, but soon it went spinning out of control. Or spinning into mediocrity. Like ABC’s Lost, it was all a build up to nothing. With leaps and bounds to get from one ludicrous plot point to one even more ludicrous.

    The prologue of the kids somehow overpowering the adults in the magic mountain, the place that is the freaking control center for everything – including the Ark the children of corn 1st gens went into, is the biggest pile of contrivance of them all. Particularly when the magic mountain folks had hundreds – HUNDREDS!!! – of people in cryo sleep to awaken for help. Not to mention those thousands of cameras and microphones to spy on Malachi and his creepy cohorts. It just didn’t make any sense, but it needed to be done in order to get to the point of hanging bodies from poles.

    The series was just a disappointment from the get go.

    • John says:

      “This show started out with a lot of promise” / “The series was just a disappointment from the get go.”

      …K.

  28. Joseph says:

    The show wasn’t intended to go on for longer then a season, so I don’t know what everyone is talking about that they have no reason to watch cause Matt Dillon died. I loved the show and think a lot of people are missing the point. Sometimes life is full of bad endings, no matter the sacrifices made (Ethan). Pilchner, in the end got what he always wanted, the first generation took over and will control Wayward Pines HIS way, even after his death. Happy endings are boring and unrealistic, I really think with time many will change their views off this show.

    Ps, it’s the journey you should enjoy and look forward to, if you didn’t like the finale that doesn’t make it a waste, unless you just didn’t like the show period.

    • Wlccx says:

      To make a show
      Like this entertaining it has to have more reality than this did. The ending made this show ridiculous. For this to actually be a town two thousand years in the future with Abbie’s is not worthy of the skills of the author. Where was the ending that explained everything? Way too many unexplained major details! I understand this is a fantasy type show and I let some
      Minor things go but this ended up insulting peoples intelligence!

  29. Em Annett says:

    I liked the series but didn’t like the ending. I didn’t like the book ending either. The finale wasn’t great, but I could have lived with the ‘good guys’ taking over the town and then working things out. The kid could have awakened to find a new democratic freer society, and why not? It didn’t really make sense for the Nazi types to take over since once everyone knew what was going on, why keep people from talking?

    Also Pilcher’s sister changed COMPLETELY from what she was at the beginning. Still, with the dirth of anything even decent to watch on TV these days, I enjoyed the series.

    I could have easily gone through another season worth of working things out, more revelations etc. They could have hinted at the big reveal and let it come out more slowly. LOTS of material there. The kid’s girlfriend could have gotten pregnant etc.

    Plus it looks like the series will not be renewed anyway. Looks like they didn’t know how to end it.

    Spoilers ahead

    At the end of the three book series it is discovered that there is not enough food left for them to survive that much longer anyway. The ‘good guys’ have taken over by this time (after the creatures went through town killing everyone yada yada. So they decide to all go into hybernation hoping to wake up when there’s more of a possibility to survive! That makes NO sense! WHO is going to wake them up!

    Which brings up the point that Pilcher could not have prepared enough food to last forever so why didn’t he settle someplace where they could GROW their own yada yada? Why not let people know how they got there and then work on raising cattle etc? It really doesn’t hang together very well.

    And I dunno, we’re all in the same boat anyway-nobody is going to live forever, personally I would still want to live even if the rest of the world were gone.

  30. Very Disappointing! I thought the premise of the story had some merit, but that finale was a fiasco. This summer has been very poor for any new shows. If they try to push another season, Good Luck! Shows like Under the Dome is going way off track and Zoo, is it the animal of the week? Then another show that looked promising Mr. Robot just completely went off into a drug induced coma. The best thing this summer is the return of The Strain and I will definitely stay away from any of those network shows, they just get worse every year.

    • AlexSy says:

      I agree Frank, tv to me has been really boring this summer but between Wayward Pines, and even crazier now Under the Dome, and Zoo, I choose Zoo, it has become my fav show thus far, I didn’t even bother to watch the final episode for Under the Dome yet it has gone way off course.

  31. Disbeliever says:

    Stupid waste of time to watch this thing. They never did explain how Sheriff Pope could be in two time frames at once. And it was shown that someone within Wayward Pines called Ethan’s boss at one point. That couldn’t happen if WP was 2000 years into the future. And at another point, Kate said that a week or two after she was in WP, that she found an unsecured phone, and got a hold of her boss. And that he said WP was some kind of experiment. Must be some kind of new phone, that can call across 2000 years. Pointless, stupid show.

    • who woke up the very first one after 2000 years? one more thing I remember when Ethan’s supervisor asking Dr. Peltcher if he can exclude Ethan and bring him back from the experiment he said nop its already done and its too late!!! i thought cause he was in Wayward Pines not asleep in a capsule where he could have simply been awaken up and he did not have to be in the abducted bunch anymore.

    • Kelly says:

      Those were just flashbacks. Most of the characters were woken up at different times out of cryogenesis, and other than the ones who were aware, like Pope, they were told, or made to believe, that it was the same time period. They remembered arriving in Wayward Pines in their present, and then were put to *sleep* and woken up in the future. In the books, for example, Kate has been there 12 years and aged by the time Ethan is woken up. Beverly had only been awake for a year before Ethan was woken up, which is why she told him early in the season that she had been there for a year, but she had actually first arrived in Wayward Pines in the 90s. She was awake for a year, so she thought it was still the 90s. It’s easier to understand if you read the books. It wasn’t actually Pope being in 2 places at once, but the show flashing back. As for Kate reaching her boss, keep in mind, he was part of the ones who were aware of everything when Pilcher first started it all, so it would have been easy to make it appear that he was talking to her in the present time, and not in the future time of Wayward Pines.

      • Adria says:

        FINALLY! Someone other than myself that didn’t need to be explained each detail about the back and for the! I just got the fact that it was same people, different times. Now everyone is wondering what, if anything, will happen on a season two. Let me first say that ANYTHING could have or have not been” real” for Ben in the last sequence! He’s knocked out pretty good there! Did look a little slow and foggy like maybe he’s having a bad dream and barely any time at all could have ACTUALLY passed. Ethan could well have survived the elevator scene. Come on we’ve ALL loved,loved, loved a movie or show with an action sequence that the guy survives and we loved it!! Same could happen here. Could be a great second season. Explore the possibility of human kinds survival when these types of “entertainment” become our reality. Explore some of the descent and even a couple good characters further. Show how civilizations are forged and ruled made and enforced. RAMBLE RAMBLE RAMBLE! LOL

    • NR says:

      They way I understood it, Pope was among the last to go into stasis. Before that, he was the one gathering up (abducting) all the others and placing them in stasis. So Burke’s family would remember seeing him before they went into stasis. We were seeing flashbacks. As for the phone Kate got ahold of, we saw that the boss was part of the conspiracy. He was among the first to awake and may have spoken to her on the phone after awakening. He died near San Francisco trying to find human survivors not long after.

      • John says:

        Disbeliever, You seem to not understand or have the patience and attention span for how the mystery genre works. Of course there was no indication they were flashbacks — the big reveal that the show was taking place in the future had not happened yet. Were they supposed to have “2000 years earlier” come up on the screen and ruin the twist?

      • Disbeliever says:

        Sorry, not buying it. When each of those scenes was shown, there was no indication whatsoever that any of those 3 different, discrete events were flashbacks. You’re presuming that’s so, in order for the show to make sense. But me watching it? No indication at all that those were flashbacks. Maybe it is clearer in the books, but the TV show should have made sense on its own.

    • Dean Speir says:

      Precisely! And no one else is concerned about the number of lies Shyamalan told the viewers, particularly at the beginning of the series?

      • I had the same thought. Where did the SS agent go who was supposed to be searching for Ethan and who was meeting with Pilcher? THAT would have made a perfect ending because it would have shown that WP was a fake town created by the CIA/FBI that was used as an experiment in human propensity for self-preservation in the face of apocalypse. THAT would have been a really good ending that could have either ended the show or gone into a second season. M. Night always knows how to wreck a good premise!

  32. Jason Becker says:

    Pilcher was right….you could kill him; but his ideas would live on. I think in time, the ending will be appreciated more. Don’t want to get too deep, but there is a lot to ponder about our own future. Controlling governments, more surveillance, etc.
    One way to bring back Matt Dillon…….go 30 years into the Future from where it ended and he can play his son.

    • Janet Luce says:

      Hey that’s an interesting idea about Matt Dillon playing the part of Ben in the future. I would like to see him change his personality and mannerisms to fit.

  33. Jason Becker says:

    I loved the Series….especially how it ended. Very creepy beginning to end. To have a happy ending would have been a joke imo.
    (Note: You might consider spell-check….I don’t believe Feneration is a word).

  34. Everyone complaining about Matt Dillon dying and not wanting to watching anymore: The show was a limited run! They never intended on you watching anymore. And it’s Hollywood…they can figure out how to bring him back, if they do renew. I’d love to see more, but I thought it was perfect as is start to finish; anything else might make it Under the Dome-esque drivel.

  35. Geefive says:

    Well, when I first heard that the series was probably done this year (before the final episode), I was highly dissapointed as I rather enjoyed this show. The first half of the season was definitely better, almost David Lynch-ian, but i stuck it out the 2nd half, hoping that maybe next season we’d see a corrected, better written story. Now that the finale is over, I realize that season 2 would basically end up being the same storyline as season 1, without most of the good actors. Probably for the best that it ended now. A shame….another “What could have been”. Sigh.

  36. James Edwards says:

    I believe this show was absolutely fantastic, probably the best new show of the year. I do agree the show did lose some of its intentity and wow factor after the first few episodes but it could stay like that for the whole show, the story line actually has to progress and we had to find out what’s going on. The season finale was very entertaining, but the end just puts you back on the edge of your seat and shocks everyone. I will be very disappointed if another season doesn’t happen. It is a very clever show and you are completely wrong about it.

  37. Rayna says:

    So you wanting a happy ending; how droll.

    • Agree. Thought it was fantastic and brought something different to the screen. I wasn’t disappointed at all and found that the ending made sense and left the door open for another season, if they decided to do so. Many people who hate it aren’t genre fans, so I’m confused why they even bothered to watch in the first place.

      The main gripe seems to be the ending, which I found satisfying, and does leave the door open for the show to return if they decided to do so. Getting the lead cast back is another question. Matt Dillon and Terrence Howard are dead, so two big names wouldn’t return. I know T. Howard was only in a few episodes, but he made a great impact. Perhaps they can set something up if Matt Dillon signs on for another season where he escaped the explosion only to be captured by the crazy new leaders and put in stasis with the rest of the adults?? It probably isn’t the smartest thing, but in a pinch it would allow the show, which didn’t plan on having another season, to keep its lead.

  38. Daevery Hsr says:

    Unfortunately, every word of this review is true – so much promise so much disappointment.

  39. Jordan Rodriguez says:

    At least the ending wasn’t predictable or cliche. The show brought a lot of unexpected twists and brought redemption to nurse pam, so even though you hated her at first you kind of ending up rooting for her at the end. Overall, I would say the series kept me interested to see what would happen and how it would all play out.

  40. catonahottinroomba says:

    Such a terrible show. I have never seen so many sharks jumped in such rapid or spectacular succession. That was the only remarkable thing about it. I fear for the future of entertainment.

  41. Who cares says:

    I personally loved it once it got the half way point. I thought the beginning was slow. I loved the ending. To each his own.

  42. Worst ending to a limited series ever! Can’t believe I wasted time watching. Was going to bail out after 3 or 4 episodes but stuck with it just to see what the finale might bring. What a mistake.

  43. The First Defenstration says:

    Man, you’re the one who can’t see the forest for the trees. You aren’t a science fiction fan, I take it? So, once the rest of humanity is dead, you couldn’t care less about the survival of the human race? And how is it not “our future”? All future is our future. Beyond that, you clearly didn’t understand the ending or maybe you just weren’t paying attention, but you’ve ignored tons of content and intent with this review. Eh, whatever. Others have already laid out most of what you missed. I loved the show and thought that the finale was great. Agree with other commentator that Matt Dillon’s self-sacrifice seemed unnecessary, but overall thought it was solid with an appropriate ending to the story they were telling. I’d love a second season, personally.

  44. IceManKent says:

    I agree.
    The show was excellent up to the halfway point reveal and then lost its way.
    Characters that started out as inherently evil (for example filchers sister) who was a psycho nurse and was hell bent to be the sherrff and do the reckonings somehow changed completely to be a good person ! What ?!
    There are many other examples of character changes but this is unforgivable storytelling.

    I also took offence to how they started to turn the show into “every other tv show” by introducing needless teenage romance side trips. All that they needed next was a bunch of love triangles to catapult it into soap opera territory. Gag !

    This show was EXCELLENT in its first half and had me captivated and wanting more.
    They sure killed it in the second half which is a shame and a waste.

    To make matters worse they go and kill off matt dillon who CARRIED the whole show from the very beginning.

    There is absolutely NO compelling reasons to continue watching this after the finale. I have no interest in watching a show about a bunch of wayward teens living in this place.

    Everything that made it good is gone.

    What a sad disintegration and extreme disappointment as it WAS my favorite show of the year (first half anyway).

  45. Dean Speir says:

    I can’t believe that I watched all ten episodes of this! Shyamalan is a fraud, a charlatan, a mountebank and a cheat!

    I can now safely go back to ignoring him for another ten years!

    • Steven says:

      I couldn’t agree more regarding M. Night/WP … All of his future work should be put in Hollywood cryo-freeze. In another ten years, if he is permitted to produce another “thing” like this, it’ll have been because the same “Lord of the Flies” studio rulers let him out of suspension and won the revolution.

      That would be a better story ending than this one.

      It’s not about a “happy” or “unhappy” ending, its about the fact that there was NO development (character, plot or otherwise) behind the ultimate ruling children and their abrupt emergence out of nowhere in this cut of the production. Any follow-on regarding ‘what happened during the missing 3 1/2 years’ simply doesn’t matter.

      Even if it’s because it’ll cheaper to produce with a bunch of unknown actors (plausible), it’ll just mean lower losses to the producers when a handful of viewers return. The fact that the “adults” were all re-suspended hedges the bet that they can bring someone back so a properly executed ending might be possible in the future. But by that point – I will have already moved on to something worth watching that holds my attention and suspends my disbelief in entertainment. (I hope). And it won’t be another M. Night-mare.

      The premise itself was a stretch: “an entire town and its supporting technology surviving the ravages of two millennia and still looking pristine, perfect and functional when the rest of the world’s infrastructure went to hell in a handbasket.” Not sure about anyone else, but until my cable provider can keep an internet connection alive for more than 72 hours, that’s hard to buy into.

      Okay – so I’ll let the “movie magic” suspend my disbelief. But then from the partially-developed characters to these WEAK children’s performances and then make them the “victors” – total cop-out in the guise of a not-so-clever “twist” that was executed in the most ham-fisted way possible.

      It’s 10 hours of my life I’ll never get back.

  46. Guest says:

    Honestly, I do not understand why so many people dislike the ending. Tell me there wasn’t one moment when the Abbies didn’t freak you out or put you on edge. But beyond the scare factor, the ending, in my opinion, was pretty good. A simple happy ending outcome would have been nice, but that’s the easy way out. An ending like that leaves the rest to your imagination. It’s unusual and you won’t forget it. And I will be having nightmares, thanks. Btw, “First Feneration”? Okay.

  47. John Sheffield (@cubeslave) says:

    The ending, along with dimming the glimmer of hope that people would come to their senses, also seemed designed to make a second season easier and cheaper to produce.

    The story is simpler now that the main mysteries are dealt with and they can concentrate on the tried and true “rebels in a fanatical , repressive surveillance state” stories letting them reuse stuff from history to Battlestar Galactica. They never have sweat the “how do we survive in this world? ” questions as long as they the “how do we survive in this town? ” question is never solved.

    All the more expensive adult actors were either killed off or put back in suspension. No need for them unless you do a flashback or need to boost the ratings.

    • IceManKent says:

      Your assessment is EXACTLY why this show is to be hated. All the reasons that made it a good show which was unique and full of mystery are now gone.
      If it is now to be yet another story about teenagers and their struggles to grow up (because all the talented adult actors are gone) then what a complete waste of time it would be to watch that drivel.

  48. Tracie says:

    Honestly disappointed. The ending was very unclear. Actually many things were unclear and unanswered. I thought the ending would reveal everything like an actual finale should but it didn’t it really just pissed me off. This all just proves that spoiled rotten brats will always get there way. What a good example you guys have set here!!!

    • Ali says:

      I don’t think they were the “spoiled rotten brats” you make them out to be. It was literally fear of what they had gone through. Watching people being eaten alive would make kids susceptible to fear…

    • Helen says:

      How was the ending unclear? The First Generation took charge and Pilcher’s ways still ruled just as he said they would before they shot him, so nothing changed. It was a comment on real life where we are prevented from living in harmony by people who impose their beliefs on others and bring violence and hatred. Surely you could follow that?

      • nivekious says:

        How? How did 20 kids surrounded by those monsters in the town at the bottom of the mountain take over the fortress at the top of the mountain, full of hundreds of heavily-armed adults and force them back into sleep? How did they rebuild the town when they are all children with nothing beyond a partial high school education and no work experience? Why were they so sold on Pilcher’s “ideas” (I’m still not entirely sure what his ideas were other than “I should be in charge and anyone I don’t like should die”) after he was proven wrong about the adults all immediately killing themselves if they found out about the abbies? They made no attempt what-so-ever to explain anything that happened in the ending, Shyamalan just had to put in one of his famous twists for the hell of it.

  49. Keith says:

    This columnist has to be a reality tv shoe fan. Wayward Pines was a thrill ride to the brilliant season finale!

    • nivekious says:

      What exactly was brilliant about it? The show started out with a strong premise: man wakes up in a creepy town, unable to contact the outside world, and is constantly being watched. Then it turned into a generic zombie apocalypse story, and suddenly ended with a complete reversal of everything we had watched up until that point, with no explanation whatsoever. A plot development being unexpected doesn’t automatically make it good. It would have been even less expected for Ronald McDonald to show up at the end in a spaceship and fly everyone to Pluto, but would that have been better?

    • Jaci says:

      Lol, probably. Pretty great finale.

    • I agree with Keith! Great TV show with very interesting (and unexpected) season finale. I really like WP :)

  50. Jacques Strappe says:

    Spot on assessment, Mr. Lowry. Once the mystery was revealed, it was easy to lose interest in this series. Wayward Pines, season 2 holds zero appeal, especially after that awful ending, the worst episode of the entire series. Talk about leaving your audience wanting less.

    • catonahottinroomba says:

      The other reply actually thinks that wasn’t a happy ending- all the B list zipping themselves up and out, leaving all the smash-faced kids to fend for themselves pending renewal? Couldn’t get merrier if you inserted an actual merry-go-round in the final frame… Oh, wait.

      I’m just so sad that everyone didn’t die.

    • Jaci says:

      So a happy-go-lucky ending instead?

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