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Characters / Wayward Pines

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Main Characters


Ethan Burke
"So, how does everybody feel about the, uh, public executions?"
Played By: Matt Dillon

A U.S. Secret Service agent.

  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: He is played by Matt Dillon after all.
  • The Cassandra: After being explicitly forbidden to tell anyone else the Awful Truth of Wayward Pines by doctor Pilcher, he proceeds to do just that to both his wife and Kate Houston. The former, while still loyal, is convinced that he has been brainwashed, as does the latter, although she doesn't keep any of her former loyalty.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Takes everything that happens with a certain amount of dry wit.
  • Hope Bringer: It's revealed in episode six, Doctor Pilcher intentionally tried to invoke this trope, by waking him up so he could rise to be someone to give the people of Wayward Pines hope and trust, as he knew fear was only getting so far.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: He blows up the elevator to stop the Aberrations from getting at the remaining survivors.
  • Ideal Hero: While not perfect, Ethan has shades of this. Being a dedicated, strong willed, moral man who refuses to cowl down to Wayward Pines oppression and is motivated to seek justice for what is happening. He certainly seems exactly like what the town needs. And its revealed Doctor Pilcher intentionally woke him up to be this, so he could provide the people with some hope. However he eventually proved to be better than Pilcher intended, and was willing to trust the people with the truth.
  • Made of Iron: Doesn't let the fact he's broken a few of his ribs slow him down in the slightest.
  • My Greatest Failure: Letting a known and dangerous terrorist go, (because he was given orders to) leaving them free to cause a bombing raid that killed hundreds of people. The pain and stress of this is what led to Ethan having an affair (as the events were classified the only one he could confide in was Kate).
  • Papa Wolf: He kills Sheriff Pope for threatening his son Ben.
  • The Sheriff: He becomes the Sheriff of Wayward Pines after Pope dies.
  • You Kill It, You Bought It: After killing Pope, he is made the new Sheriff.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Had an affair with his co-worker Kate; he's past it, but its left scars on his marriage and relationship with his son.


Kate Hewson
Played By: Carla Gugino

  • Happily Married: To Harold. Played with. At first, it seems like the trope is played straight and she has embraced her life in Wayward Pines with Harold. Then its subverted when we find out that they are part of La Résistance, they were matched by Pam, and Harold has a fiance back home. Kate even promises that she'll help Harold get back to his fiancee. However, they do express concern for each other, and Kate all but admits, after his death, to falling in love with him.
  • Happy Marriage Charade: In order to keep Pam and David from becoming suspicious of their activities, she and Harold practice this.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Upon learning the truth, she realises her former methods have only caused more harm than good and sides with Ethan.
  • La Résistance: She and Harold are the resistance leaders in Wayward Pines.
  • The Mistress: To Ethan, at one time.
  • Sexless Marriage: Their fertility clinic session with Pam, coupled with the knowledge of their desire for their lives outside of Wayward Pines, implies that while she and Harold maintain a Happy Marriage Charade in public, it does not extend to the bedroom.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: She clearly believes she's The Hero, whose leading La Résistance to free the people from the oppressive police state. And Ethan is now a Fallen Hero and Evil Former Friend, who has been brainwashed. Once she realises the truth she immediately switches teams


Dr. Jenkins/David Pilcher
"Perhaps the best things in this world require the biggest sacrifice."
Played By: Toby Jones

  • Affably Evil: Is honestly a cheerful, friendly and well intentioned man. He's so affable in fact it's hard to judge how evil he really is.
  • A God Am I: Post Villainous Breakdown, he begins venerating himself as a God.
  • Ax-Crazy: In episode 10, he's completely lost his mind.
  • Brother-Sister Team: With Pam.
  • Big Bad: Is the mastermind for everything that is going on.
    • Big Good: He's also this considering that he's only doing what he's doing to keep dissent to a minimum (which if allowed in an environment like this, would be horrific in terms of consequences.) Otherwise, he's actually quite nice, friendly and is only allowing things such as "Reckonings" in order to protect the townspeople. However, it's eventually a Subverted Trope after he goes off the deep end and cuts the power to the fence keeping the Aberrations out with the intent of dooming everyone in Wayward Pines.
  • Control Freak: Explicitly described as such in the show.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Used his companies' money and power to research cyonics and illegally test it on people, then kidnap potentially thousands to fill his new society in the future.
  • My Death Is Just the Beginning: He claims his ideas will live on long after he's dead. He's right.
  • Never My Fault: Has a bit of this in later episodes. In Episode 9, he blames the rebels' near success on breaching the fence on Ethan's benevolence, even when pointed out they wouldn't try to get out if they knew what was really out there or if his rule weren't so draconian. Then in Episode 10 he claims Ethan and Kate are responsible for the Abbies' invasion and rampaging in Wayward Pines because they told the truth to the inhabitants; because apparently him deliberately turning off the power so the Abbies would get in is clearly not the real reason. Season 2 also reveals that he may have been the one to provoke the Abbies into attacking humans in his attempts to study them.
  • Our Founder: The teens erect a statue in his honor after taking over, praising him as a "Visionary".
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind: In Wayward Pines he presents himself as the simple minor physiatrist Dr Jenkins. In reality he is in control of everything that is going on.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Pilcher honestly would rather not have use the oppressive and draconian measures to control the town. But as lacks any form of forces, and can't risk telling them the truth, it's his only option.
  • Sanity Slippage: As more and more things go wrong Pilcher slowly becomes more unhinged and paranoid. Revealing he had failed to convert Kate, clearly was a straw that broke the camel's back.
  • Token Good Teammate: Dr Jenkins seems to be the only official in Wayward Pines who is kind, compassionate and sincere. Even with the reveal he is the mastermind, he still seems nicer than the majority of his followers. Right up until he Jumps Off The Slippery Slope
  • Tranquil Fury: His What the Hell, Hero? conversation with Kate is full to the brim of this.
  • Tragic Villain: In the beginning, he really wanted to help save mankind, he really wanted to help people. But in the end, his mind couldn't take it anymore and he just... broke.
  • Villainous Breakdown: He cuts the power to the town and the electric fence, allowing the Aberrations entry after Ethan, Theresa and Kate revealed the truth and the present state of the world.
  • Walking Spoiler: Just look at how much of his article is blotted out.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: His only goal is to save mankind from extinction, and create functionable society for them to continue with. All his draconian methods are towards this goal. The trouble is some of them are truly counterproductive.
  • Wicked Cultured: How wicked the man is, is up for debate. But regardless, as shown by his office he certainly has good taste.


Theresa Burke
Played By: Shannyn Sossamon

  • Bad Liar: Even her own son calls her out on how obvious her tells are.
  • Mama Bear: When Mrs Fisher begins manipulating Ben, she can tell, and politely threatens her to back off.
  • Stacy's Mom: In addition to being played by Shannyn Sossamon, several characters (Big Bill, Pam, a gas station attendant) comment on her beauty.


Harold Ballinger
Played By: Reed Diamond

  • Happily Married: To Kate. Played with. At first, it seems like the trope is played straight and is truly happy being married to Kate. Then its subverted when we find out that they are part of La Résistance, they were matched by Pam, and Harold has a fiance back home. However, they do express concern for each other, and Harold mouthes "I love you" to Kate before he's shot.
  • Happy Marriage Charade: In order to keep Pam and David from becoming suspicious of their activities, he and Kate practice this.
  • La Résistance: He and Kate are the resistance leaders in Wayward Pines.
  • Sexless Marriage: Their fertility clinic session with Pam, coupled with the knowledge of their desire for their lives outside of Wayward Pines, implies that while he and Kate maintain a Happy Marriage Charade in public, it does not extend to the bedroom.


Adam Hassler
Played By: Tim Griffin

  • Apocalyptic Log: Leaves one behind detailing his discovery that human civilisation is no more and shortly afterwards his supposed death. He manages to survive and makes it back to Wayward Pines.
  • Da Chief: Ethan and Kate's boss, in the secret Service.
  • Mole in Charge: He's in cahoots with Pilcher, despite being the one who sent Kate and Ethan to Wayward Pines in the first place.


Benjamin "Ben" Burke
Played By: Charlie Tahan

  • Age Lift: He was 11 in the books, here he's in his teens.
  • Car Fu: He mortally wounds Sheriff Pope with his own car.
  • Eaten Alive: An Abby gets him while he's wandering outside the walls. Truly an undignified way to die.
  • Ordinary High-School Student: Pretty much, only he's not the protagonist.
  • Rebel Leader: Leads La Résistance against Jason's regime after being thawed at the end of season 1. This doesn't last long, though, as Jason starts executing anyone even suspected of helping him, forcing Ben to give himself up.
  • Secret Keeper: As with the other students, he learns the truth about Wayward Pines, as with Pilcher's plan. But is forbidden from telling anyone, even his parents.
  • The Stoic: Almost nothing about the situation he and his family are in seems to faze him outwardly.
    • Not So Stoic: After a girl that he's in love with is stricken to near death by swelling in her brain, he breaks down and cries in Pam's arms.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Megan Fisher plays him like a violin.


Beverly Brown
Played By: Juliette Lewis

  • Oh, Crap!: When she inadvertently mentions her daughter, she panics at the sudden error.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: Dies in the second episode, after being the only one to help Ethan and teach him about what's going on.


Nurse Pam Pilcher
"Looks like you could use a nurse."
Played By: Melissa Leo

  • Arch-Enemy: She quickly grows to share a deep-seated mutual hatred with Ethan. However after Ethan learns the truth, they manage to resolve it.
  • Battleaxe Nurse: Give her a hat, and she could be Nurse Ratched's sister. As the series goes on though, she begins to move out of this, and becomes a genuinely caring nurse, even comforting Ben when Amy is seriously ill.
  • Brother-Sister Team: With Doctor Pilcher.
  • The Dragon: To Doctor Pilcher.
  • Cain and Abel: A more sympathetic version. She kills her brother after he goes off the deep end.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: After Pilcher cuts the power to the town, even she is shocked.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Is constantly sickeningly sweet and cheerful, but provoke her and you'll see just how cruel she can be. Her constant support of draconian executions and threats of Lobotomies certainly don't help her cause. She becomes less of this as time goes on and eventually settles to full on Affably Evil.
  • Honey Trap: Did this to help get more candidates for Wayward Pines when a young woman, by seducing men and getting them under so her brother could kidnap them and place them in cryonic storage, including Peter McCall.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She has quite the Faux Affably Evil veneer, but when things start going to shit she shows a much more humane side to her.
  • Smug Smiler: Just oozes arrogance and contempt, with every attempt to be cheerful.
  • Smug Snake: She is certainly very confident in how much control she has over Wayward Pines. While she undoubtedly has a great pull, and position. Really she underestimates Ethan far too often for her own good. However she grows out of it as the series goes along.
  • Stepford Smiler: Remains constantly cheerful (unless provoked too far) even when ordering executions.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Flashbacks in episode six show her as a supportive, compassionate sister to David Pilcher and a dedicated follower in his cause to save humanity. By the time we first meet her, she's become a sickeningly faux-sweet, brutal draconian enforcer.
    • Took a Level in Kindness: However, her sweeter side makes a return later on in the series; as things go more and more wrong, she begins to see things are going to far and that her brother is changing.


Sheriff Arnold Pope
"This is my town."
Played By: Terrence Howard

  • Asshole Victim: Few people were sorry when Ethan killed him.
  • Ax-Crazy: Can be violently unhinged at times.
  • The Brute: Is Pilcher's main enforcer, who he used to do the kidnappings, right up until Ethan kills him.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: In episode six, we discover that before coming to Wayward Pines, he was just a washed-out security guard with no real malice or psychosis. He's even shown being very torn up by his first kidnapping. Makes one wonder what caused him to become the Smug Snake we know and hate. Seeing Group A go down probably contributed significantly.
  • Dead Star Walking: He's dead by the third episode.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: In a rather literal sense. He's the primary antagonist for the first three episodes, which are compiled together on the first disc of the DVD.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Tries to present himself as a friendly local sheriff, in reality he's a ruthless brute.
  • Jerkass: Even when he's not outright being evil, he still comes across as unpleasant, smug and unhelpful.
  • Large Ham: Really goes all out on his performances during the reckonings.
  • Nice Hat: He all ways wears his brown cowboy hat.
  • The Sheriff: Of Wayward Pines, which basically just makes him an enforcer.
  • Smug Snake: Pope is as deluded as he is maniacal. He thinks everyone in town loves him and that he's untouchable, repeatedly saying that Wayward Pines is his town. He's not the Big Bad, or even The Dragon, and he's easily replaced.
  • Start of Darkness: Shown in episode six, to be him kidnapping a doctor who lost his licenses for Dr. Pitcher.
  • Sweet Tooth: He has a thing for ice cream, and particularly enjoys eating it.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: As shown in the flashbacks in episode 6, he started out as a washed up security guard with no prospects, who was greatly pained by his first kidnapping. By the time we meet him at the beginning of the series, he's become an arrogant, cruel and borderline psychotic thug.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Other than being evil, his love of ice cream is pretty much his one character trait.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Is perfectly happy to beat Ben, in response to the Burkes disobeying him.


Megan Fisher
Played By: Hope Davis

The mayor's wife, principal of Wayward Pines Academy and a former hypnotherapist.

  • Ax-Crazy: A more subdued case, compared to likes of Jason. But it is as obvious as hell that she's a delusional, sadistic bitch.
  • Cheshire Cat Grin: Seems to have a permanent one, and it's unsettling as heck.
  • Evil Teacher: She's nice towards her students, but she is in on Pilcher's scheme, and is specifically the one who prepares the students for the next generation. Likewise practically every scene she is in screams that something is wrong with her.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Constant smiles, and almost always cheerful. She also has almost cult leader levels of control over the children and there's the fact that her voice oozes with fake politeness.
  • Hot Teacher: Unsettling? Yes, but still easy on the eyes.
  • Karmic Death: Has the arteries in her legs sliced open and left to bleed out by Margaret, who she subjected to repeated doses of Cold-Blooded Torture.
  • Manipulative Bitch: Being a former hypnotherapist, she knows enough about psychology to manipulate people. Best demonstrated in her talks with Ben. The final outcome of her work ends up creating several psychotic thugs, such as Jason. She may also have pushed Pilcher to start his preparations without popular support. A careful viewer might notice some telling psychological tricks during the flashback of her first meeting with Pilcher.
  • Psycho Psychologist: School counselor as well as principal and teacher, and happily uses her understanding of psychology to manipulate the students.
  • Psycho Supporter: She seems to hold quite a high regard for Dr Pilcher, to say the least.
  • Pet the Dog: She offers to stay behind at the bunker door and let anyone else the main group missed inside, as well as making her husband promise to make sure that all the children and students make it safely to Pilcher's facility.
  • Smug Smiler: Constantly cheerful, and just oozes unsettling feelings and arrogance. She could rival Nurse Pam if this was a contest.
  • Token Evil Teammate: One of the more unsavoury and malicious of the group behind Wayward Pines.
  • Two-Teacher School: Seems to be the only person working at Wayward Pines academy, being Principal, counselor, teacher and briefer of the true secrets of the town.
  • Villainous Breakdown: After Ethan reveals the truth, she devolves into psychotic ranting, until Theresa shuts her up with an Armor-Piercing Slap.


Jason Higgins

Played By: Tom Stevens

One of the elder students in Wayward Pines.

  • Anti-Villain: He definitely carries this vibe, considering that he desperately wants Wayward Pines to thrive and kickstart humanity off again. It's his methods, and his unhinged Psychopathic Manchild behaviour however, that puts him at odds with the main cast.
  • Ax-Crazy: He is the worst case scenario what the brainwashing of Megan Fisher could lead to.
    • Brainwashed and Crazy: Megan's got into his head to the point where he has a near-complete devotion to her teachings.
  • Big Bad: Is now the new Evil Overlord of Wayward Pines, after Pilcher is deposed.
  • Final Solution: As the Abberation horde outside the wall grows ever-larger, Jason plans to have half the town go into hibernation until the Abbies are gone, and leave the "defectives" (people who have disabilities or traits that he is not looking for) to be left to die at the hands of the horde.
  • Offing the Offspring: Is subjected to this by Kerry.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Much of his reactions come off either as a child who's bitten off more than he can chew or sulking about things not going his way.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Only in the final two episodes, but ends up as the new Big Bad.
  • Teens Are Monsters: Seems to be in his teenage years, and is indeed monstrous.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Kate describes him as a sweet, innocent kid coming to her store when he was 8 and getting a toy from her in order to appeal to his good side. It doesn't work.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: This trope is in effect when Kate tells him about his gentle past self, and you can see on his face that he in reality doesn't like what he's about to do, but he's too indoctrinated into Fisher's beliefs that he feels that it must be done.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: In season 2, he genuinely believes he's genuinely doing the right thing, and some of his actions like starting a farm to produce a renewable food supply most definitely give his arguments water to hold. Although it still doesn't change that he's an Ax-Crazy Psychopathic Manchild who is teetering on the edge of losing it entirely.
  • Villainous Breakdown: As the events of Season 2 progress, his already tenuous sanity disintegrates further and further and further.


Kerry Campbell

Played By: Kacey Rohl

A tough and unflappable part of the new Wayward Pines brain trust.

  • Dying Moment of Awesome: She dies effectively poisoning a thousands strong army of Aberrations.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Eventually she sees that Dr Yedlin may have a point, so she begins to cooperate with him to try and resolve the Abby horde situation.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: She doses herself up with Bubonic Plague, Marburg and a bunch of other nasty diseases and allows herself to be Eaten Alive in order to spread the infection to the entire Abby horde, therefore giving a chance to those in the pods that they will wake up in a safer world.
  • I Have No Son!: By the time she makes her Heroic Sacrifice, she's of this opinion towards Jason.
  • Morality Pet: The only person that Jason really listens to.
  • Offing the Offspring: Kills Jason in a Gun Struggle after Theo told her about the true depth of his plans.
  • Taking You with Me: Injects herself with a cocktail of deadly diseases and deliberately feeds herself to the Abbies as a Trojan Horse, knowing that they'll kill her, then contract the diseases she harbours and die in turn.
  • Teen Pregnancy: She got pregnant before being abducted by Pilcher and gave her baby up for adoption, unable to take care of it. That baby is Jason, who grows up in Wayward Pines and then thaws Kerry, when he decides he needs a girlfriend. For some reason, this also made her sterile afterwards.


Dr. Theo Yedlin

Played By: Jason Patric

A confident, driven surgeon whose leadership skills will prove invaluable to the residents of Wayward Pines.

  • Big Good: Becomes this for Season 2 and eventually takes over leadership of the town after Jason's death.


Rebecca Yedlin

Played By: Nimrat Kaur

Theo's wife, a successful architect.


Xander Beck

Played By: Josh Helman

A confident and charming guy working to undermine Wayward Pines from within.


C.J. Mitchum

Played By: Djimon Hounsou

A historian and an original resident of Wayward Pines.

Recurring Characters


Arlene Moran

Played By: Siobhan Fallon Hogan

The secretary at the Sheriff's office.

  • Abhorrent Admirer: She develops a crush on Theo Yedlin in the second season. He tries to be nice about it, but is obviously very uncomfortable with the situation.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Speaks sarcasm as if it was her first language.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Is one of those left behind in the Season 2 finale.
  • Hidden Depths: Revealed to have a strong moral compass. She bravely stands up to Jason and the other vigilantes in order to protect Kate and the other rebels.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Has yet to actually smile.


Peter McCall

Played By: Justin Kirk

A real estate agent who like Ethan is questioning the mystery of Wayward Pines.

  • Heroic Sacrifice: Kills himself to spare Ethan from having to execute him.
  • Your Cheating Heart: How he got imprisoned in Wayward Pines, he fell for a honey trap (while married) with a young nurse Pam.



Played By: Sarah Jeffery

Ben's friend and fellow Wayward Pines Academy student.

  • Nice Girl: A genuinely kind and caring person. Who is honestly nothing but friendly towards Ben.
  • Secret Keeper: Like the other students, she knows the truth about Wayward Pines.


Brad Fisher

Played By: Barclay Hope

The mayor of Wayward Pines and Megan's husband.

  • Puppet King: He's mayor in name only, the entire town is run by David Pilcher and he has no say in anything. His own wife possesses more power and understanding about what is going on than he does.

    Big Bill 

Big Bill

Played By: Mike McShane

The chief real estate agent in town.

  • Faux Affably Evil: Constantly ties to stay cheerful and friendly, but push him and he'll show a truly cold and uncaring man underneath.
  • Fat Bastard: Misogynistic, smug and huge are all words that describe him.
  • Karmic Death: He sticks behind to grab as much cash as he could. Which gives an Abby the opportunity to ambush and kill him.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: How much villain is presently on the fence. But regardless the guys a huge sexist, and makes several inappropriate comments to towards Theresa.



Played by: Rachel Okoye

A female Abby that the research division found inside the fence.


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