I have been a huge fan of Wayward Pines since the show first aired. It has all of the things I enjoy-suspense, mystery, a little dash of horror, and elements of sci-fi. M. Night Shyamalan is involved which is a definite plus for me as well (yes, I am still a fan although his last couple of movies have missed the mark for me...really looking forward to The Visit after seeing the trailer though). But I digress. Back to Wayward Pines. The show based on Blake Crouch's three-book series is one of those shows I tell people about and try to convince them to watch. Suffice to say, I'm a fan (both of the books and the show itself).
However, in the past couple of weeks, I haven't felt that same jolt of adrenaline or the drive to keep watching as I did in the first five episodes. What could be the reason for that? Simple. They pulled back the curtain and revealed Oz to be an ordinary man with an over-sized voice. What do I mean by that? The reveal in episode six about what was really going on in the sleepy little town of Wayward Pines ruined the show for me in some ways. I enjoyed Wayward Pines better when there was still a sense of mystery about the town's purpose and the people running it. It was more fun when I didn't know the answers to all of the questions that were swirling around in the ether. Now, that's not to say I wanted them to go all Lost on us and add more questions in each episode without answering any of the ones posed in previous episodes. Far from it. Everything just went from being completely steeped in mystery to completely answered in one episode. Instead of leaving some of the answers to my imagination (which added to the show's enjoyment for me), the writers of the show showed all of the cards in their hand at once. One of the reasons I was most hopeful about the show is that I knew there were only ten episodes which meant that the story was already planned out and had a definitive beginning, middle, and end. The writers weren't going to take seven seasons like Lost to address questions that even they didn't know the answers to (as an aside-I did enjoy Lost despite it being problematic in a lot of ways for me). I only wish they had taken more than one episode to reveal the truth in Wayward Pines. Of course, I'm sure the constraints of having only ten episodes to tell the complete story may have hampered the pacing in some ways.
Another thing that I feel has severely detracted from the show is the complete shift in tone within the town. The threat of saying or doing the wrong thing no longer seems to have the teeth it did in the beginning. At the start of the series everything about Wayward Pines was creepy and bizarre. Menace lurked around every corner. Make an off-hand comment about the past and you would find yourself being reckoned in the square in front of everyone. Neglect to answer the phone and bad things would surely befall you. The rules of living in Wayward Pines were hard and firm and any deviation from those rules would result in bodily harm or death. Now, as the show focuses more on Oz behind his curtain (or for those watching the show...David Pilcher in his bunker) and the inner workings of the town, the suspense is largely gone. The town seems to move about much more freely than it did in those first few episodes, and those in surveillance aren't nearly as malevolent or omniscient as we were led to believe initially. The threat has a face now, and it isn't quite as scary or intimidating as I imagined. Oz is just a nerdy little guy with glasses who has developed a god complex and convinced himself that it is his job to ensure the survival of the human race at all costs.
All of that probably makes it seem like I have lost fondness for the show which would be incorrect. Wayward Pines is still my favorite show on television at the moment, and I suspect there are some twists and turns that we haven't foreseen yet. The fact that the show has caused me to think in such depth about plot twists, character motivations, and the like is a testament to how good it really is given that I purge my short term memory of most shows I watch not long after I turn the television set off.
Favorite parts of the show thus far: The first five episodes are creepy, suspenseful, and had me scratching my head in a good way about what was really going on in Wayward Pines. Terence Howard really chews up the scenery as Sheriff Pope. Matt Dillon is equally great as Ethan Burke. Melissa Leo gives an effectively creepy portrayal of Nurse Pam that made me want to reach through my screen at times and choke her myself.
Least favorite parts of the show: The town's secrets are revealed too quickly and in one fell swoop in episode six. Ms. Fisher, the teacher at Ben Burke's school, is annoying to watch in just about every scene. I'm still undecided on whether I like the explanation for Wayward Pines' existence and its reason for being (it still seems unlikely that they could have such a town with so many modern conveniences after being in cryogenic sleep for 2000 years...how would they have kept all of their supplies in tact for that long?).
(Note: I haven't finished reading the first book so I don't know how things end in the original version. My opinions thus far are based entirely on the show.)
Overall: I definitely recommend Wayward Pines. It's a great show with a great premise. I have been interested since Day One and I plan to finish the both the series and the books.