I have to tell you, when I see the words, M. Night Shyamalan I immediately cringe. With one stellar film under his belt, that being The Sixth Sense and a string of films… that just didn’t rise to the occasion, at least for me, I don’t see his involvement as a plus. So, when I heard of the new limited series Wayward Pines, I was more than skeptical.
Now Wayward Pines is out now on DVD and I have to tell you, this series renewed my faith in the director. Ethan Burke (Matt Dillon) is a secret service agent who is trying to find out what happened to two other agents one being Kate Hewson (Carla Gugino). Ethan and Kate had an affair years earlier much to the dismay of Ethan’s wife Theresa Burke (Shannyn Sossamon).
Ethan has an accident and instantly wakes up in the small town of Wayward Pines. He’s disoriented and meets Nurse Pam (Melissa Leo) who tells him to relax even though it seems like the hospital is empty. Ethan forces his way out and discovers that Kate is married and living as a toy shop owner who does not acknowledge her past.
The mysteries of Wayward Pines get compounded and apparently there are rule for the city. The two main rules is that you can’t leave Wayward Pines and you can’t talk about your past. As anyone would in the same situation, Ethan tries to figure out what’s going on and butts heads with Sheriff Pope (Terrence Howard). If any of these laws are broken, the results are a reckoning, where the person found guilty of the crime is murdered in front of the town’s inhabitants.
The secrets of Wayward Pines are vast and are compounded by the chilling environment and the fake smiles on the people who live there. When Theresa Burke mysteriously shows up along with Ethan’s son (Charlie Tahan) the mysteries only grow. As the limited series starts to reveal the secrets of Wayward Pines, things start to make sense and come into light. All is not what it seems and at each turn I found myself wrapped up in what was happening. The reveals were so well done, they didn’t feel like a cheap gimmick which is always a very difficult thing to do.
The thing that really impressed me during the 10 episode run of the limited series was the stellar cast. You have Matt Dillon, Melissa Leo, Carla Gugino, and Terence Howard all in the same show and they are all outstanding. Melissa Leo at once plays Nurse Pam as seemingly evil but yet when we know her backstory, she becomes sympathetic and cares so much for the people she works with. Carla Gugino is wonderful, you can see the pain she has when she’s forced to play the game and the rage that boiling just under the surface. Matt Dillon, has the hardest role and the least showy in the ensemble and he leads the series amicably.
Wayward Pines arrives on DVD sadly with a lack of bonus features. Which is kind of disappointing since it would have been great to see the differences between the TV version and the novel source material in greater depth. There are two small featurettes, Where Paradise is Home which is a “style guide” and Creating a Mythology.
Overall, Wayward Pines started slow but quickly peaked my interest. The twists were exciting and I’m actually curious as to where they will go should the proposed second chapter happen. The characters were fun and their actions made sense once everything was revealed. I think if you start this journey, you will not be disappointed. I really enjoyed it.
Wayward Pines is out now on DVD!