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[Warning: This story contains spoilers from the season finale of Wayward Pines.]
Death and destruction enveloped the season finale of Wayward Pines as Ethan Burke (Matt Dillon) and the town’s citizens faced off against the humanity’s “savior,” David Pilcher (Toby Jones).
After Ethan revealed the truth behind the town’s existence in the penultimate episode of the Fox limited series, Pilcher shut down the power, allowing hundreds of Aberrations to cross over the fence protecting the town and swarm what the puppet master now viewed as a failed group of survivors.
As the Abbies invaded the town, Ethan and Kate (Carla Gugino) brought the remaining survivors of Wayward Pines into a secret bunker that led to Pilcher’s superstructure in hopes of returning power to the fence. Unfortunately for Ethan, the Abbies had made their way into the bunker and were close behind the remaining survivors.
Ethan sacrificed his life to stop the Abbies by manually detonating bombs in an elevator shaft, stopping the monsters from slaughtering those he swore to protect. The debris in the aftermath of the explosion hit Ben (Charlie Tahan) in the head rendering him unconscious. In Pilcher’s office, Pam (Melissa Leo) confronted her brother and ended his life with a bullet because he had clearly lost his way.
In the final moments of the finale, Ben came to from his head wound and found himself before an older version of Amy (Sarah Jeffery). She informed Ben that he was placed in stasis for over three years along with the adults. It was only with Amy’s pleas with the new leadership of Wayward Pines — the First Generation — that Ben was even let out. Ben left the hospital and found new denizens of Wayward Pines, as well as bodies of those who had tried to escape hanging in the streets. Shadowing his father’s journey, Ben ventures into an unpredictable and possibly more violent version of Wayward Pines.
The Hollywood Reporter spoke with showrunner Chad Hodge to discuss the finale’s big deaths, what’s next for the surviving characters and a possible second season.
A hero and a villain faced off in the finale. The First Generation chose Pilcher as their hero and Ethan as the villain. Do you think they made the right choice?
Everything is a gray area, so we’re not really sure what was right and wrong. On one hand, Ethan tells the town the truth, which is ostensibly a good thing — people deserve to know the truth — but it resulted in mass chaos and death because of Pilcher. There is no right or wrong. It’s never good for people to die, but the circumstances are so extreme it’s hard to put judgment on the choices people make in the world of Wayward Pines.
With Ethan revealing the truth, it seemed as if Group B could accept the truth and work together towards a better future. Why does Pilcher still pull the plug on the power grid?
The way that he wanted to do it didn’t work, so the power and control became more important than human life. So he really did lose his way, which is what his sister Pamela realizes. She hasn’t lost her way so she puts an end to it, maybe a little too late, but at least they’re able to get the power back on and save as many people as possible. One of my favorite things in Wayward Pines is Pam’s arc. At the beginning you think that she is the most evil, crazy person in Wayward Pines when really, she’s the one who cares about it the most.
Pam decides to kill Pilcher because he’s lost control and is willing to sacrifice humans to maintain control. Pam has been such a big part of her brother’s plans, and they’ve taken away people’s lives to save humanity’s future. What does this action mean to her?
It’s a horribly hard decision and not something she wanted to do at all. She knows they are the caretakers of the last people on the planet and if she didn’t stop him, they would all die. You kill one to save many. It boils down to that. Because it’s her brother, it makes it that much harder. … It’s her brother and she loves him, but she finds herself with no choice.
Pam and Kate decide to work together to run the town as some sort of democracy that would be more transparent. We don’t get to see this. Do you think that would have worked?
There was a chance it would have worked, whereas with Pilcher there wasn’t a chance for it to have worked the way he was running things. And usually when you put a woman in charge of things they make better decisions.
You also introduced Hassler (Tim Griffin) at the end of episode nine as if he was in the future; he was outside of San Francisco. In the books, [spoiler alert] he survives in the wild. Is Hassler dead? Or is there a potential for him to still be alive?
There’s a potential for anything in Wayward Pines. But yes, in the books he is out there and he is alive. That doesn’t mean something couldn’t happen to him. Of course it could, there are Abbies out there. Hassler is definitely the key to the mythology of Wayward Pines. I would encourage people to read the books because there’s much more of that in there, and it’s one of the things we weren’t able to explore as much as I wanted to in the series.
Was the plan for both Ethan and Pilcher to die in the finale when the series started?
We did make changes to exactly what happens at the end of the show but it was always designed to be this one season, 10 episodes. We didn’t change anything about the ending to leave room for a season two. It all wraps up, as you see.
Ben wakes up three years later in a Wayward Pines that is run by the First Generation. Amy tells him that they came, they took over and they put all the adults in stasis, but there’s no timeline involved. Did they take over directly after the events of the Abberation invasion or did Pam and Kate have an opportunity to run the town the way they wanted?
That is for you to imagine. It’s sort of a choose-your-own-adventure. There are many ways for it to have happened. I have my own ideas. The important thing is that the First Generation somehow put all of the adults back into stasis and took over the town. And now Ben wakes up, just as his father did, in this town with a nurse standing above him and, in this case, it’s his girlfriend who is now a nurse at the hospital. He encounters Wayward Pines the way his father did, implying that things change but they stay the same. The violence obviously endured, and is this the way this town should be run? Probably not.
You can look at Wayward Pines as a microcosm for our real world. It’s easy to look at that ending and say, “Well, they’re still being violent and they’re still killing people and they’re running this crazy town. Why are they doing this?” But even in our world today, as many lessons as we learn about war, killing and the horrible things we humans do to each other, we still do them over and over.
Ben walks around town and witnesses hanged bodies of those who tried to run away. Knowing the fate of what Wayward Pines becomes, was Ethan’s sacrifice for a better future in vain?
I don’t think his sacrifice was in vain because he still saved a lot of people. If he hadn’t exploded that elevator and killed the Abbies, then the Abbies would have gotten into the superstructure and killed everybody, so there wouldn’t have been any chance. What Ethan did was heroic and a major sacrifice but what the people after that did, we’ll see. I don’t know.
What were the fates of Pam, Kate and Theresa, and the other survivors in that group? Can we expect they are still alive and in stasis?
Again, it’s up to you. There’s no exact answer and I want to leave that to people’s imaginations. Obviously Wayward Pines could keep going but it was meant to be these 10 episodes. To leave you with a few questions/possibilities for your mind to wander is a good thing.
What lies in store for Ben?
Hopefully, he will do the right thing and maybe he will be able to change things. Or maybe this is the way things should be.
Do you think he can become part of Wayward Pines’ community again? Or will he be one of the more renegade types?
What Ben does and how he responds will be up to your imagination to decide. There is no official season two yet, no talks yet. Nothing to report on that front.
Has any of the cast been asked to return?
Not yet. We haven’t had any official discussion.
What did you think of the Wayward Pines finale? Would you watch a second season? Sound off in the comments section, below.
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