There are a lot of better titles for this episode than “Betrayal,” and I’ll give you a few examples. We could go with “The Most Awkward Sex-Ed Lesson Ever,” or maybe “Did They Just Recycle Footage From Last Episode?” But really, the best title would be “What Happened to This Show’s Charm?” And with that, you should know what this review will be about.
The episode begins with Ethan returning home from his journey into the heart of Wayward Pines. Upon his return, Ethan tells Theresa everything that he has learned about Wayward Pines, completely disregarding the surveillance equipment in their home. He tells her about the abbies, the state of the world, and that it is 2000+ years later than they think it is. And, like any good spouse and partner, Theresa completely disregards what Ethan tells her, and says that he’s been brainwashed. Ethan desperately attempts to convince Theresa that he is telling the truth, but she won’t have it. Nice one, Theresa.
Now, if you remember, last week Ethan was tasked by Pilcher to weed out a group of radicals in Wayward Pines who have been attempting some kind of rebellion or coup throughout the town. And in case you did forget, you are quickly reminded when Ethan discovers a pipe bomb under the hood of his vehicle which nearly kills him and his family. Apparently these rebels, two of which we know for certain are Kate and Harold Ballinger, are pretty serious.
Last week, Theresa noticed a suspiciously empty plot of land in town, and when she asked her boss about it, he got upset at her and told her to leave it alone. She went and did a cursory investigation of the land which revealed nothing. This week, she returned to the section of land and noticed a portion of the ground had been dug up and had something buried under it. But I noticed as she walked up to the lot that it looked very similar to when she did the exact same thing in last week’s episode. And, once I cross compared the two episodes, it became blatantly obvious that episode seven recycled the footage from episode six. Now, you might be asking me why that is a big deal, and I’ll tell you why. The quality of this show is great, but the last few episodes have been declining in entertainment value. And if they have to recycle footage week to week, especially when the series is only ten episodes long in total, it concerns me for what is to come. You can watch the footage side by side in the above video, and that’s the end of my rant.
Alright, let’s go to school now. We catch up with Ben and his little lady friend, Amy, in biology class, where the counsellor/principal/teacher Megan Fisher teaches the class about their vital role of repopulating Wayward Pines. She asks Ben and Amy to stand at the front of the class to demonstrate the compatibility of males and females. While Amy blushes provocatively, Ben, as usual, stands there looking shocked and confused while his classmates giggle. Fisher continues and says that her role, in addition to the ones I mentioned previously, is to help determine which couples in the class are the best “fit” for each other. So are we talking about arranged marriages? You know it.
Things get even more awkward when, after class, Amy approaches Mrs. Fisher and tells her that she wants to take Ben out on a date to the secluded woods to, ahem, get to know each other. Biblically. And Fisher’s reaction? Support and encouragement. That crap would be shut down immediately in today’s society. Super weird.
Later, Ethan interrogates both Harold and Kate Ballinger, and together, they confess and admit to everything that the Waywardian rebels are planning, which is to blow a hole in the fence with bombs built by a guy named Franklin. Ethan tries to dissuade Kate to abandon her plan, and even goes so far as to tell her the whole truth that he has discovered. But, like Theresa, Kate doesn’t believe Ethan, and instead of calling off their plan, Kate and Harold move the timetable forward and will set off the bomb that evening.
Simultaneously, Ben and Amy meet up for their date while Ethan tracks Kate and the other rebels to the gate, where they have planted a bomb. Ben and Amy stowaway on a cargo van which, unbeknownst to them, carries a second bomb. Ethan then uses Kate as a hostage, putting his gun to her head and cocking it a total of three times (sigh), and forces Franklin (that bomb guy from earlier) to disarm the explosive, and then be taken into custody. Ben and Amy begin their little makeout session in the van as Ethan learns about the second bomb on said van and hunts it down.
As Ethan runs up to the van, the bomb detonates, and Ethan sees Amy stand up, dazed from the explosion. She points to Ben, lying bloody and unconscious (or dead, but probably unconscious) on the ground. And cliffhanger.
This episode of Pines felt very similar to the last one. The story progressed at a quick rate, but nothing really seemed to happen. Like counting cars rushing down a highway, you see a lot, but very little seems to matter. This is strange and concerning, considering there are only three episodes left. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that the last third of the series can bring back the fun, mystery, and excitement from the first third.