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Jason Patric Replaces Matt Dillon: Trying to Survive in ‘Wayward Pines’
May 24, 2016  | By David Hinckley  | 1 comment

New faces don’t mean things have gotten any kinder and gentler in the rustic town of Wayward Pines, Idaho.

Season 2 of the spooky summer series Wayward Pines premieres Wednesday (5/25) at 9 p.m. ET on Fox, and new blood has arrived. At the same time, not much of anything about the dynamics and mission of Wayward Pines seems to be much different.

The producers and creators, who include M. Night Shyamalan, wisely lay out the new order right up front.

Season 1 featured Ethan Burke (Matt Dillon), a Secret Service agent who found himself trapped in Wayward Pines and through whose eyes we gradually got an idea what this strange, menacing world was about.

Now Ethan is dead, and some of the characters we got to know in the first season, including Sheriff Arnold Pope (Terrence Howard) and Ethan’s ex-girlfriend Kate Hewson (Carla Gugino), have shifted to different or lesser roles.

Our new main character, this season’s Ethan in a sense, is Theo Yedlin (Jason Patric, left). He wasn’t planning to visit Wayward Pines, but he’s a doctor and Wayward Pines didn’t have one, so he was involuntarily imported.

Now he too gets to try to figure the place out, with occasional help from his wife Rebecca (Nimrat Kaur). There are a few points that remain unclear, though, like Theo thinking he just got to town and Rebecca saying she’s been there for three years.

Theo wouldn’t be plagued by questions, of course, if he’d just accept the explanations of the new sheriff, Jason Higgins (Tom Stevens, top, right, with Patric and Kacey Rohl).

As Jason explains it to Theo, and to viewers who might have missed some part of the first season, Wayward Pines is a survival colony.

Seems mankind messed up the environment so badly that it created genetic mutants known as Aberrations, or Abbies for short.

Abbies have overrun almost the entire land surface of the Earth, and that’s not good, because they tend to kill any non-Abby they find. Think zombies with greater speed, strength, agility and strategic intelligence.

Wayward Pines is a heavily fortified refuge, thought to be the last place on Earth where mankind survives.

Its mission is to stabilize the small population by having girls begin to reproduce as soon as they are physically able.

It also aims to modify human behavior so that if the race does survive, it won’t just make all the same errors again.

This means strict behavioral discipline codes, which are enforced by military-style troopers in brown uniforms.

Yep, it’s about that subtle. The only choices available, Jason explains to Theo, are rigid, ruthless fascism or extinction of the species.

Executions of anyone who challenges the sheriff and his system are swift and public, though this has not deterred a small band of holdouts from rebelling anyway.

This leaves someone like Theo, who apparently will be this year’s focal Everyman, trying to parse the nuances of this either/or world. He’s a doctor. He wants to save lives. Will he sign on for Jason’s promise to save the whole world, even if it means sacrificing anyone who displeases Jason along the way?

A major reset is never easy for a TV show. Wayward Pines does it quickly and efficiently, while effectively retaining the disturbing tension of Season 1. The question is whether viewers will get equally attached to the new characters facing the same big issues.

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Tried to program Wandering Pines on Direct TV, not listed yet. Is the date wrong in the article?
May 24, 2016   |  Reply
Linda Donovan
It's scheduled to start tonight, Don, but thanks for letting us know. Just in case.
May 25, 2016
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