ByDallin JD Schmidt, writer at Creators.co

The end is nigh in Wayward Pines, and the penultimate episode in the summer’s creepiest TV series began to wrap the epic story up. The past few episodes have started with equally attention-grabbing opening scenes, and “A Reckoning” is no exception.

Episode 9 begins with an eerily familiar scene. A chorus of phones throughout town starts to ring, and the people of Wayward end up in town square to witness a Reckoning. Ethan Burke holds a knife to the throat of his ex-lover, Kate Hewson, and asks the bloodthirsty crowd if this is what they really want. Cue opening credits.

A few of the abbies have attempted to break into town through the hole that in the gate that was created last week, but in a pretty cool scene, Ethan shows up and blows them away. This scene, as well as the opening Reckoning scene, set the whole for the entire episode, and likely the series finale as well. The entire episode is a dark and bloody mess, and the panic in Wayward Pines, created by the “terrorist attacks”, is beginning to bring out the worst in people.

As Ethan is out and about doing his Sheriff duties, a couple older teenagers, led by Jason, who seems to be pretty unstable and on edge, roll up to the police station, and start given Ethan’s desk sergeant, Arlene, an earful about how the Sheriff doesn’t obey the rules in town, and that the rebels that he has in custody, which include Kate Hewson, deserve to die by Reckoning. Doesn’t sound good for Ethan or Kate.

And now, Ethan, fed up with the lies, secrecy, and deceit of Pilcher and the rest of the town, begins to offer proof of what lies beyond the gates to some people of the town, beginning with Harold Ballinger. Ethan shows Harold the remains of his buddy that broke through the gate, and Harold falls in line, beginning to understand why the rebels can’t continue their attempts to blow the gate open.

Now, let’s talk about something really interesting. Last week, Nurse Pam went from being a creepy psycho-nurse to a caring human, and that evolution is even more exaggerated in this episode. Of all the characters in the show, I never would have guessed that Pam would be the one to undergo the most radical character change. And even furthermore, never would I have thought that I could actually like Pam, or care about her. But as she visits Ben and Theresa Burke in the hospital, takes Theresa’s side on issues, gives her inside information, and comforts Ben when Amy’s (Ben’s lady friend) condition worsens after the bombing, Pam’s character solidifies her place as one of the most interesting and understandable characters of the whole series.

Now things start to get crazy. MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD. I’ve been waiting for weeks for all the crap that goes in Wayward Pines to hit the fan, and finally it happened. The group of teenagers that threatened Arlene earlier show up at the Sheriff’s office again, but are even less friendly than before. Arlene tries to lock them out, but they break into the building, physically assault Arlene, and take her keys to Ethan’s gun cabinet. They lock and load, and get ready to take out the rebel prisoners. Kate tries to talk the crazed Jason out of it, and even Jason’s buddies tell him that they’ve made their point, and they don’t need to actually kill anybody. Jason doesn’t hear it, and begins to shoot the prisoners. When Kate is the only one left alive, Jason puts a gun to her head, but in a groan-worthy case of Ethan ex machina, Sheriff Burke shows up and kills Jason before Jason kills Kate. This whole scene is a crucial moment in the series, because now the town is really beginning to turn on itself, and the line between those who believe in the sanctity of Wayward and those who don’t has been clearly drawn.

Remember that empty lot that Theresa has been obsessed with for weeks? Well she finally got to explore it, and found an underground bunker with a single computer inside. On the computer are hundreds of video files that document various exploration teams and their discoveries of what lies beyond the gate, and what has happened to other cities in the world. We’re treated to a cool shot of a broken and rusted Golden Gate Bridge, which signifies the state of the world outside of Wayward Pines. Theresa shows the videos to Kate and Ethan, and with this evidence in hand, Ethan hatches a master plan to educate the citizens of Wayward Pines.

Now we come full circle with the opening scene. Ethan has Kate up on the Reckoning podium, but rather than killing her, begins to tell all the residents of town the truth. He tells them about David Pilcher, the control freak who created the town. He tells them about the condition of the world beyond gate, and that there is a reason they can’t leave. His speech is met with mixed reactions, and an especially unnerving and creepy response from Mrs. Fisher. But just as Ethan’s plan beings to gain momentum, Pilcher cuts the power to the whole town, including the gate, and the last thing we see is the hand of an abbie reaching the top of the gate and preparing to climb over.

As expected, the momentum garnered from last week’s episode carries on in “A Reckoning.” This was such an important episode, not only in terms of continuing the plot, but also in regards to character development. I can’t wait to see what will happen in our final forty minutes in Wayward Pines, where paradise is home.

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