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Spoiler warning for anyone who hasn’t yet watched “Choices.” Get on that.
After the last episode of the increasingly enjoyable Wayward Pines blew our minds with one of the biggest shocks in recent TV memory, it’s only right that the series should spend most of an episode delving into what all these new changes mean, providing substance for the many WTFs we had in the minutes following the discovery of when this show actually takes place. (And after making us wait for an entire week, which was just cruel.) Usually an exposition-heavy episode drags a bit as one fact after another is dropped on viewers, but literally everything Toby Jones’ Dr. David Pilcher said tonight was attention-worthy.
So here are the three biggest questions we had after “The Truth,” and the answers that “Choices” delivered. And as a bonus, we also got to see how Terrence Howard’s Arnold Pope got mixed up with Pilcher, and that his favorite kind of ice cream before Rum Raisin was Rocky Road. Score!
What Happened to Everyone in The Past?
In the late 1990s, Dr. Pilcher’s company figured out that there was a modification in human DNA that began to mutate people – later become Aberrations – but no one in any official capacity listened to him. (Except for Nurse Pam, his formerly drug-addicted sister.) Because the changes would probably never be reversed, Pilcher (somewhat sarcastically) decides that he can be mankind’s savior by keeping a select few people alive with cryonic suspension, keeping his experiments secret. Authorities only started looking into it in the 21st century once enough people started disappearing in occasionally heinous ways. Pilcher put everyone to sleep for 2,000 years, and he awoke to find that he was correct about the Earth’s population doomed fate, and that he was responsible for saving the only remaining human beings on the planet.
Where is Everyone In the Present?
Dr. Pilcher has this massive facility inside a big mountain, which would be a nice hiding spot from the Aberrations if not for the giant walkway leading up to the door. Anyway, there are a couple hundred volunteers working inside the facility, which is where all of society’s documentation is stored. This is also where all of the new generations of Wayward Pines citizens are being kept – they’re in the hundreds still – to be woken up in the future. The Pilchers and Ethan spend a little time with one unfrozen person, a teacher named Sarah Barlow, so we can probably expect to see her come alive at some point. Ethan and Pilcher have a conversation about a young child, which leads to an explanation about how the subject-choosing process happened, and that leads to how Pilcher met Hope Davis’ Academy teacher Megan, who is currently teaching certain students (the First Generation) about the truth.
Why Can’t Dr. Pilcher Tell Everyone About Everything?
As it happens, he did exactly that at one point with Group A, the first batch of survivors that were woken up in an effort to bring Wayward Pines to self-sufficiency. He told them all what really happened, and everyone went apeshit and either died while trying to leave or they met their demise while still in town. (And boy did they ruin that place, as everything seemed to be on fire.) He decided to keep things quiet when he woke up Group B, cluing people in very slowly and only a little at a time. Pilcher knows that there are those who have their suspicions about what’s actually happening – and we all know what suspicions get you in Wayward Pines – and he woke Ethan up specifically to keep the peace in town and to find these people who are removing their tracking chips. It’s a task that Ethan has been kind of successful at, but without even knowing that he was supposed to be doing it. One can only assume he’ll have a firmer grip on his job and taking down the “reckless group” once he returns. But will it be too late?
We do still have some questions, both new and old. Like what is up with that location (Plot 33) that Theresa is looking into? What’s going to happen with Kate and her husband’s big bomb plan, and how many people are going to get Aberrated if and when they set it off? How will Ben’s knowledge help or hurt him? And, something that has been bothering me for ages, how did Ethan make one big loop around the town when trying to escape Wayward Pines in the series premiere? Magic? Hopefully I’ll get some answers next Thursday, when Wayward Pines returns to Fox for “Betrayal.” See you there.