Not including the people who watched on their DVRs, Hulu, or through other means, there were about 4.6 million overnight viewers who watched Fox’s Wayward Pines at its peak in season one. In season two, barely 2 million overnight viewers stuck around, and for good reason. Once the twist was revealed midway through season one, Wayward Pines ceased to be an interesting series, limping toward a more conventionally disappointing M. Night Shyamalan twist in the season one finale.
The Abbies won.
For those of you who quit after the first season, let’s back up a bit. At the end of last season, during the midst of a kind of civil war between the citizens and the administration of Wayward Pines, a lot of people died (including the lead character played by Matt Dillon), but ultimately, the First Generation kids put the adults back in their sleeping pods, only to wake them again two years later once the First Generation had things back under control.
That’s where season two picks up. It resets, essentially. The First Generation is in control of Wayward Pines, but they are having problems. Not only are there food shortages, but the Abbies are getting smarter and trying to figure out how to break through the walls and destroy the community. They begin by burning all of the humans’ crops. Medicine is also low. Things are looking grim for the future of Wayward Pines.
To deal with injuries inflicted by the Abbies, the First Generation wakes up a new lead character, Dr. Theo Yedlin (Jason Patric), who helps deal with medical emergencies, foments revolution against the First Generation, and navigates his relationship to his wife, who had married someone else and gotten pregnant while Yedlin was asleep in his pod. In other words, he essentially recycles the character arc of Matt Dillon’s character in the first season. Along the way, just about every character who didn’t die in the first season is eventually killed in the second (Melissa Leo, Carla Gugino, Hope Davis, Shannyn Sossamon).
The big story this season is about the First Generation’s attempts to procreate. Basically, they pair men and women together and force them to fulfill their duties by continuing the species. Turns out, like everything else this season, it was a moot point. It was all for naught. In the end, they capture and experiment on a female Abby, Margaret, who has telepathic powers. She summons all the other Abbies to overrun Wayward Pines.
How do the citizens of Wayward Pines deal with this? Jason (Tom Higgins), the leader of the First Generation, decides to put the entire city back into their sleeping pods for another thousand years in the hopes that the Abbies will die off in the meantime. Jason, however, finds out that the woman he is sleeping with is actually his mother. During an argument with his mother-lover, Jason is killed.
Meanwhile, there are only working pods for roughly half of the 1,000 Wayward Pines citizens, so the other half is left behind to be devoured by the Abbies. The mother-lover, Kerry (Kacey Rohl), decides to make a bold sacrifice by injecting herself with various strains of diseases, like botulism, and allow herself to be eaten by the Abbies in the hopes that the disease eventually wipes out the world’s Abby population. When the survivors of Wayward Pines wake up in 1,000 years, she hopes they will be welcomed into an Abby-free world.
It doesn’t work. After CJ (the criminally wasted Djimon Hounsou), who is in charge of the pod chambers, puts everyone back to sleep, there’s a quick shot of the Abbies, who appear as though they survived the attempt to wipe out their species. Should Fox renew the series for another season, the Abbies may return in another evolved form, at least that’s the interpretation of the final moment given by producer Blake Crouch.
In other words, after 10 more episodes in season two, Wayward Pines is essentially back where it was at the end of season one, poised to reset again if Fox brings the series back for a third season. They shouldn’t.
Season two of Wayward Pines was a total waste of time.