What I Thought Wayward Pines Should Have Been.


(Also, NEGATIVE OPINIONS, I don’t really like this show)

Yes, I easily guessed the stuff that was revealed in episode five.  But I had another theory that I was rooting for.  Because this show is often eyeroll worthy, and my theory would have changed that.

Basically, my idea was that Burke was delusional.  And was probably a murderer in denial.

I thought this would be the reveal.  Very similar to another story I’ve seen, but I don’t want to name it because that would be a spoiler for that other story.

Now for some details so you can understand my theory better.

I thought eventually the psychiatrist would try to confront Burke with reality, and most of the story we have seen would be the delusion that Burke has constructed to deny everything the psychiatrist says.

Think of the story he’d be telling to the psychiatrist.  He killed “the bad sheriff” who was killing innocent people.  But now he himself is the sheriff.  “So” the psychiatrist might ask “that means now you are the one who kills people?” and think of how silly his answer would sound “no, the person I was supposed to kill, in my duties as a sheriff, killed himself on an electric fence, because he believed in me and told me I’m good”.  See how this looks like it has a lot to do with switching his identity from a bad killer to a good person (who still killed someone)?  Repressing/killing his former self (the bad sheriff) from his memory?  As if he’s in denial?  That’s what I thought it would all turn out to be.  And that would make all the eyeroll worthy moments actually meaningful.  Because they would be part of the delusion.

Instead, this show just has people behaving illogically and dramatically for no reason.

I was especially convinced when so many bizarre changes were occurring during Burke’s absence (as he was wandering through the woods).  These changes looked to me like they were bridging the gap between Burke’s delusion and the reality he was denying. Of course, in reality, he would be bridging this gap in the reverse order it was presented to the audience.  He would be making up this weird back story after the fact.

Which sounds more like reality: that his wife has a job and their kid is in school there, or that they were kidnapped and forced into pretending this was their life?  Oh, and they are being watched by sinister forces, and the kid has to keep everything a secret.  Clearly the latter sounds like something a paranoid delusional person would make up to deny reality.  The former sounds completely normal.

Maybe he doesn’t like that his wife has a job, because it reminds him that he is in psychiatric care, which may have been why she got a job to begin with.  And in his delusion, she doesn’t even get paid.  And her boss is a creepy jerk.  These details seem like they could have been his coping mechanisms against reality and against his own anguish over the situation.

Ok that’s about all I can remember for now.  Just for fun, I’ll also express my annoyance with the superficial similarities between Wayward Pines and Twin Peaks.

The first episode begins with a mysterious murder being investigated by an FBI agent, has a visit to the Sheriff’s office of a small town with an antique aesthetic in a pine tree filled mountain area, a visit to the hospital, to the local restaurant, and an encounter with a psychiatrist.  The sheriff sure does like his ice cream.  Why?  Well I’m guessing because Twin Peaks had a guy obsessed with Coffee and there were always lots of sweets such as donuts and pie for the sheriff and FBI agent.  But the writers couldn’t copy this exactly, so they went with ice cream.  And that phrase “there are no crickets in Wayward Pines” reminded me eyerollingly of the implications and tone of the phrase “the owls are not what they seem”.  And there’s even an ominous view of a spinning ceiling fan.  Are ceiling fans ever placed outside like that?  Is that a real thing that people have?  I don’t know.  Even finding the dead body in the cabin (try explaining that in terms of post-apocalyptic zombie survival mumbo jumbo) was familiar to me, because it harkened back to Mulholland Drive.