Wayward Pines Season 1 Episode 1 Review: Where Paradise is Home

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What the heck is this place?

Secret Service Agent Ethan Burke has found himself stuck in the creepy little town of Wayward Pines, and so far, escape appears to be futile.

Wayward Pines Season 1 Episode 1 introduced us to the mystery and produced a whole bunch of questions which we now get to spend the rest of the season trying to answer.

I want to mention that I have not read the books, so for those of you have, please do not post any spoilers in the comments. I'm looking forward to seeing how this thing unravels!

I love the cast. It's hard not to when it is full of Oscar nominees and winners. Melissa Leo's Nurse Pam is seriously scary. Listening to her describe how Ethan was going to be awake, but immobile, during surgery sent a shudder through me. Terrence Howard's Sheriff Pope didn't get much screen time, but so far he's got me intrigued.

Okay, so what exactly is going on here?

My first question relates to how time moves in this place. Beverly has been there since 1999, but thinks it's only been a year. Kate on the other hand, thinks she's been there for 12 years, but Ethan tells her it's only been five weeks. Why is whoever is behind all of this making them believe time has moved faster or slower than it actually has? How long has the decomposing agent been dead?

The psychiatrist and Ethan's boss, Adam, met at the end and Adam told the doctor that he wanted to call it off. So, we can reasonably assume these two are behind this sick experiment, but what is it they're hoping to accomplish? I'm assuming Adam sent the first two agents there, and now Ethan is replacing the one who died trying to escape.

But why Ethan and not the other guy who died in the car crash? Is there a reason he was chosen? It does seem like there might be something going on with him and Ethan's wife, Theresa. That, and we saw in flashbacks that Ethan had something going on with his partner, Kate, who is the other agent stuck in Wayward Pines. I'm guessing it's not a coincidence. But if Adam is hoping to get with Theresa, it would have been a lot easier to let Ethan be the one who died in the crash.

There was a lot of talk about hallucinations, which makes me wonder if there's a possibility that this is all in Ethan's head. Maybe he's in a medically induced coma somewhere being pumped full of a drugs and none of this is real. Or, maybe he's having a psychotic break. He blames himself for a bombing and he does ask Kate if he's having a relapse. It sounds like he has a history of mental illness.

I don't actually believe that though. I think he's really stuck in this city and there's something fishy going on. We don't know much about the town, but we do know that it is surrounded by an electric fence that promises death to anyone who tries to leave. It also seems like everyone in town except for Kate and Beverly are in on the secret. I wonder if Ethan will find more allies as the season continues.

I'm also curious to see if Theresa and Ben will serve a bigger purpose than just the worried family.

Your turn, what are your theories? Are you sucked into the mystery? Do you have a million questions or are you content to just go along for the ride? Sometimes that can be more fun than trying to solve the puzzle.

Don't forget, you can watch Wayward Pines online  any time!

Where Paradise is Home Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.8 / 5.0 (31 Votes)

Stacy Glanzman was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She retired in March, 2019.

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Wayward Pines Season 1 Episode 1 Quotes

Ethan: I'll walk you over there.
Arnold: Not necessary.
Ethan: No, no I want to.
Arnold: I don't want you to.

Ethan: Where's my phone and the rest of my things?
Nurse Pam: Oh, we don't have anything of yours, but I can certainly put on my Nancy Drew detective hat and check into that for you.