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Headscratchers / Wayward Pines

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     David Pilcher saw the end coming? 
  • How did David Pilcher know that the destruction of human civilization and the evolution of the Abbies would happen 2000 years before it did? I don't care how good his science is, nothing is perfect. Seemingly reasonable and sound predictions turn out to be wrong all the time. If he turned out to be wrong, he was going to be guilty of assault, abduction, and possibly a couple of things there aren't even names for yet. What was he going to do if that happened? For that matter, are we to believe that over 2000 years ago, people took everything that this lone scientist was saying at face value? Because there is no way he built this town and acquired all the supplies that were needed for it by himself. He would have needed a large number of people to buy into what he was saying.
    • If episode 6 is to be believed, only a handful of people actually believed Pilcher, but they were responsible for forcibly abducting most of Wayward Pines' residents over a number of years, and Pilcher had enough money to put the infrastructure in place.
    • Pilcher seems to have been able to get a few hundred people (-ish) to believe him. Most of the rest (probably a few thousand) were abducted. Also, Pilcher seems to have figured that //something// was going to go wrong but it is also made clear that he mis-guessed //what// was going to happen (e.g. he expected civilization to collapse but didn't anticipate the Abbies).
      • Whether or not Pilcher anticipated the abbies is debatable (at least in the show), since his entire crusade began because he was detecting an increasing number of genetic anomalies in people, although it's probably safe to say he did not have a good handle on the reality of the situation.

     Where did they get the damn helicopter?? 
  • OK, so per episode 5 ("The Truth") and David Pilcher's Info Dump, the show is telling us that Wayward Pines is actually in a Bad Future where the Eldritch Abominations ("Abbies") are running around, civilization is ruined, etc., etc. Every man, woman, and child in town was a Human Popsicle in Pilcher's little "save humanity" scenario. Pilcher says they've got about 100 volunteers who run the place, and they kidnapped a few thousand people in the early 21st century to be part of their experiment. So ... tiny town with a wall, civilization is dead. Yet, Wayward Pines has multiple well-built houses, armed guards with very high-powered rifles, and a freaking helicopter!! Where did these things come from? If they are from 2014, then the tech would have fallen apart centuries before the show. If they are from 4028, then where is the town's manufacturing capacity?? This makes no sense!!!
    • Pilcher most likely had all the necessary parts and materials stored away carefully and safely, to preserve them for when they were necessary (say large amounts of raw materials), they clearly took quite a lot with them as shown inside the Bunker. Likewise they clearly keep all there manufacturing underground, the town is only for the people to live in and interact. All the real work goes on behind the curtain.
      • Preserve it all for three or four decades? Sure. Preserve it for a century or two? You're straining credibility. But preserve it for 2000 years? I'm sorry, not enough Handwavium here.
      • It really depends outright what they were preserving. If it's pure raw materials, it could potentially make it, if stored specifically to preserve it for that long (not sure about the fuel though).
    • In the books, Pilcher managed to create a perfect vacuum, thus allowing everything to be preserved and not age a day. Presumably they did the same here.
      • Then why couldn't they say that on the show? A few ounces of Applied Phlebotinum. Is that too much to ask???
      • Please, don't get me started. I enjoyed the show but that didn't stop me being constantly frustrated by huge blocks of great plot being jettisoned and inexplicably replaced with less logical, far inferior plot instead. While understanding that you have to lose something when transferring book to screen, half the time the reason for the changes were baffling. A case of "You had a great idea there, so why did you just dump it for this nonsense?"
      • According to American guild rules (Writer's Guild, Director's Guild, etc), production companies have to pay less for non-original material. 99% of changes are not made because "it doesn't translate to screen well"; they are made because it gets the makers more money.

     Does this really solve... anything? 
  • I haven't read the books, but in the show, Pilcher claims that ecological damage was causing human beings to evolve, presumably into the Abbies. However, it looks like Pilcher's just reconstructed a late 90s/early 2000s small American town. Is he planning to keep the population small enough so they never have to expand outside the fence? If he plans to eventually expand, which would be necessary to re-establish human civilization, what would prevent the processes that changed the non-frozen population from eventually affecting the formerly-frozen? Is the idea that the passage of time has "reset" Earth's ecology to the point where it's no longer trying to force-create Abbies via human evolution?
    • He didn't foresee the Abbies, so it's a major monkey-wrench in his plans and going back to the drawing board isn't really an option at this point.
      • Season 2 confirms that Pilcher did foresee the mutation that resulted in the Abbies as well as what would result, saying so explicitly upon emerging from the bunker and seeing an Abbie; he apparently assumed they'd have all died and he'd inherit an empty planet. The fact that he knew about humanity's future de/evolution means he was either too arrogant or just failed to consider what he knew to its fullest extant: Why would a mutated variant of humanity capable of surviving an environmentally-ravaged, disease-plagued Earth conveniently die out as all of the pollutants and diseases disappeared?
      • There's some indication that Megan pretty much forced him into this extreme path. A flashback reveals their first meeting. He was reluctant to proceed without support, but she grabbed his hands and convinced him, likely using a few psychological tricks to implant a suggestion.
      • If true, then it was only building on what Pilcher himself already believed: He was already sure that he was right and had the answers, but maybe wasn't convinced he could afford to act without outside support until he realized that people like Megan could be convinced. Suggestion isn't the same as mind-control, but if it was something Pilcher was already considering it might have been easy for Megan to convince him that he was right.

     David Pilcher is several sandwiches short of a picnic 
  • Item 1: He goes straight from "Well, I told Group A the truth about it being 2000 years in the future with genetic abberations running around and that didn't work out, so I guess I'll just have to keep Group B in the dark, have strict rules and kill anyone who asks too many questions
  • Item 2: His grand plan for saving humanity involves kidnapping people and sticking them in cryosleep for 2000 years then forcing them to live a pretend happy life and never speak of the past
  • Item 3: We know he's got loads of volunteers running the surveillance of Wayward Pines. Why not use them as the townsfolk instead of random people he's kidnapped and out in cryosleep for 2000 years?
  • Item 4: When Ethan tells the whole town the truth, David Pilcher's response is to Cut all the electricity, including the fence keeping the genetic abberations out
    • Do we really need to ask? I think its pretty clear the guy isn't stable, just the same way most of his followers aren't stable.
    • Pilcher seems to have come unhinged from two things. First was the revelation about the Abbies: He pretty clearly thought that he'd be starting with a clean slate after humanity had more or less burned itself out, carrying forward enough for civilization to get a fresh start (and possibly "bringing civilization" to whatever humans had survived). Second, when he let the first batch in on the secret, he was likely shocked by the reaction of the townsfolk turning on themselves/killing themselves off. That pair of shockers likely did a pretty good job of breaking him, and he didn't seem to react too well. It seems clear that his sister was trying to work with him to keep his head on (the pie bit comes to mind), but that's probably what caused him to crack. From there he held on to control tightly for fear of another meltdown (that motivation appears sincere), and combined with a rather overpowering paternalistic streak you get where things are at the start of the series.
    • He's definitely got a few bats in the belfry, but the finale shows that's he's terrifyingly ... sane, I guess? Even as he cuts power to Wayward Pines, he's clearly planned for this contingency, or at least a contingency like this one. The first generation kids pretty clearly had instructions to go to the one room in the school if everything went to hell, and the Head Boy (whats-his-face), in turn, had been given the keys to that massive storeroom full of survival stuff. So I think Pilcher planned pretty well (from his perspective). If Group B got uppity, he'd let the Abbies in to clean the place out, while his first generation Kreepy Kulty Kids holed up in the "ark." If Group B got real uppity and executed Pilcher himself, then the Kreepy Kulty Kids would reassert order and carry on Pilcher's work.

     How exactly do unarmed teenagers fight armed adults? 
  • I really really hated the ending. I would have been less angry if there was a believable answer to my question. And I don't think there is going to be a season 2.
    • To quote the M. Man himself "What a twist!"
      • It's not the ending of the book - although this troper enjoyed both versions - but there is no reason to assume the teens were unarmed and every reason to assume they were. We're told the secret room contains everything they'll need to survive. Just because we don't see shelves of weapons doesn't mean they're not there. And it would be foolish NOT to include weapons. With the Abbies around they would be a necessity to survive just in case they ever breached the fence and would possibly be required to keep the rest of the population in line, besides. It would have been extremely short-sighted of Pilcher not to include weapons in the supplies, all things considered.
      • OP here: ^ Yes, and it would have taken 5 seconds to actually SHOW the room supplied with weapons, and I (and probably a lot of other people) would have been satisfied. Or more so. I hope there is a second season, because at heart, I am a softy that enjoys a happy ending. I do plan on reading the books now, as overall, I really did enjoy the show. Thank you both!
      • They do show exactly that, though I do admit it doesn't exactly stand out. The supply room hidden in the school has two gun racks right by the door the camera shows us. I think it's safe to assume there are more too.

     Tunnel security 
How was Pilcher expecting to remain safe in his hidden mountain complex if seemingly all the security in the tunnel beneath the abandoned lot was a card-protected metal door and a flimsy wooden trap door? Did he count on the fact that the abbies simply wouldn't bother with the tunnel?

    The world outside 
  • Exactly what had humanity been doing for the 300-400 years it took the human genome to mutate? I mean, we went through Industrial revolution and technological boom in that amount time. No way the humans just watched it all idly for that long. I don't know, space colonies?
    • For all we know, M. Night might introduce a new twist later on, with a spaceship arriving from the terraformed Mars, asking questions like "What the hell are you people doing in this nature preserve?" Or, better yet, humanity has moved on to other planets. To quote Johner from Alien: Resurrection, "Earth, man. What a shithole."
    • Partly resolved with Mitchum being forced to watch the world go to hell in snapshots every 20 years. There are hints of a flu pandemic, "bombs falling like rain", contamination of the West Coast, etc. After a few of these snapshots, all Mitchum gets on TV and radio is static.

     Why "Reckoning"? 
Even if people who try to escape or talk about the past do constitute a disruptive element, does it really make sense to execute them for it? If there's really only a few thousand humans left, and if cryogenic technology sufficient to preserve people for thousands of years exists, then why not send such people "off to prison" for their offenses, tranquilize them en route, haul them back to the underground facility, and freeze them again? Let them be revived at some future date, when Pilcher's reborn civilization is stable enough to cope civilly with troublemakers. It'd save lots of precious breeding stock for a recovering humanity, while drastically reducing the stress-levels and incitement to escape among the town's unwitting residents.
  • I'm unfamiliar with books but in the television series season two is set three years after the finale of season one and food is being rationed. We don't know for how long but we know it's gotten bad enough that some of the children are malnourished and a major plot point is securing land outside the fence to farm. Which means in general Reckoning people to keep them in mind isn't terrible from that standpoint. There are a few jobs like doctor for example that I'd prefer to have actual trained professionals working on rather than people who learned it from a library book but in general they can make do with what they have. Even if it's never directly shown they probably have in the past and would in the future manage to not notice someone who was too valuable to kill getting uppity unless it was just too much to forgive.

Where did they get food in the first season? Food production is a major issue in season 2, but we're shown no farms in season 1, and Mitchum states in season 2 that the land in Wayward Pines is infertile for some reason.
  • One assumes it was laid away before everyone went into stasis; looking at at the overhead shot from the opening, it doesn't seem like there's enough cleared land to grow enough food to feed everyone. It's possible that the available soil is somehow contaminated as a result of the apocalypse, either killing off pre-War crops or imparting dangerous metals/toxins to harvested plants, but that doesn't explain why the soil outside the walls would be any better. They do seem to have been planting corn outside the walls in Season 2, and corn is a nutrient-heavy crop: Plants need nitrogen as well as other minerals in the soil to grow well and corn saps those minerals fast, so maybe planting a lot of go-to but mineral-hungry crops on the same land sapped the soil within the walls so it's no longer productive? Mitchum would know that crop rotation would keep the soil fertile but maybe he was being pressured to grow plentiful food crops now; the rest of the leadership (Pilcher, Pam, etc) expected to get new land soon by killing the abbies and expanding the town, but never got to that stage.
  • Somewhat-related: Are the citizens of Wayward Pines now vegetarians/vegans? I remember Ethan had a burger in Season 1 and no mention was made of it being imitation meat (as far as I know), but I can't remember anyone eating meat in Season 2 and they definitely don't seem to have livestock. We also haven't seen any animals outside or inside the wall so I don't think anyone's hunting, though I assume animals do exist. They probably brought frozen meats but they would likely have been among the first things to run out without a fresh supply. And what about dairy products? We see people eating ice cream a lot and the town has an ice cream parlor but we haven't seen any cows or farms/ranches, so is that reconstituted milk or some kind of substitute?

     Pilcher was not good at planning. 
He decided he needed to 'start fresh' with a select group of people but either didn't think they'd be bothered by the whole "kidnapping them out of their rightful era" thing or didn't think they'd be cranky enough to cause problems. He foresaw the possibility that humans might devolve into Morlock-esque predators but decided that they'd probably die out on their own. He planned a town but didn't make room for farmland or machinery that could be used to clear the woods, although he had space for the cars of the people who went into stasis because you'll be doing a lot of driving four millennia after all roadwork ends. He had time and resources to make Wayward Pines-brand labels for soda and ketchup (and the resources to make said soda and ketchup) but couldn't stock a little more medicine, or components so the doctors and chemists could at least make basic medicine when the stores ran out. It's clear that Pilcher was the Idea Guy, but how did it not occur to him that he should get some people on his side who knew about city planning and social management and so on? The only non-Pilcher specialist we see until CJ is Megan and she's a hypnotherapist. They did claim they thought the Abbies would be dead so they wouldn't need excess supplies, but they seem to have brought a lot of bullets for an "empty" planet and not nearly enough medicine for a world where all pharmacies have been reduced to ash.

     Where did Amy go? 
That is, Ben's girlfriend from Season 1. In the last episode of that season, when Ben wakes up in the hospital, Amy's now a nurse and cues Ben (and the viewers) to the fact that the surveillance is back in place; when we come back in Season 2 Amy's gone and they never so much as mention her.

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