Wayward Pines Season Two (2016)
Developed By: Chad Hodge Starring: Jason Patric, Nimrat Kaur, Josh Helman, Tom Stevens, Kacey Rohl, Hope Davis, Djimon Hounsou, Charlie Tahan, Shannyn Sossamon, Tim Griffin, Melissa Leo, Carla Gugino, Toby Jones
Certificate: 15 Running Time: 42-44 Minutes per Episode, 10 Episodes
Tagline: "Who shall inherit the earth?"
Even though the first season was expected to be the only season, and despite it ending with what could be considered a (fairly) satisfactory conclusion, a second season of Wayward Pines did nonetheless stagger into view eventually. As we discovered around the middle of the first season, the shocking truth mentioned by Sheriff Pope was indeed 'worse than anything we could imagine', or worse than the poor old residents of the town could imagine at least - namely, that it's now the year 4028 and the human race is all but extinct, having evolved (or devolved?) into snarling carnivores with sharp claws and fangs known as 'abbies' (short for aberrations) who now run rampant over, presumably, the entire planet.
The town's founder, David Pilcher (Toby Jones), had predicted this happening and created the town as a way for us to start over. I'm not sure how realistic that is with the town, our only colony on the planet, surrounded by hundreds, thousands, even millions of seemingly-primitive but very hostile creatures who are very keen to gain access to the town and chow down on its occupants, and that of course is exactly what happened in the gripping finale of the first season.
These oafs are the first group of residents actually born in the town and are led by Jason Higgins (Stevens), and they rule with an iron fist, hunting down and executing anyone who defies them. This includes a new rebel group which Ben Burke (Tahan) finds himself mixed up with. Jason and his group of Gestapo-wannabees soon find they have a bigger problems than a few seditious nincompoops though.
This actually makes for what is in my view one of the best episodes of the show as we get to see, from CJ's perspective via a series of flashbacks, the gradual decline of mankind, the first signs of the mutation which turned us into Abbies, and how the town originally came into being under the tutelage of Pilcher and C.J. It might not pack the punch of some first season episodes in terms of action or drama but it's very well done and is fascinating to see. Imagine how you would feel if you were effectively the only (conscious) human on the entire planet!
Mainly though, the season is about Jason and his cronies who just aren't particularly interesting. They spend most of their time trying to impose their rule on dissenters while apparently remaining blissfully ignorant of how to actually lead or govern. This may have been the intention - they are basically the main bad guys after all (not counting the Abbies of course), but sadly the result is a much less compelling season than the first. You'll (almost) want them to get eaten before long!
In spite of its troubles though, it's well worth visiting for us lucky souls who can actually leave! The first season is excellent and definitely worth your time but this season has its moments too. Some stronger lead actors and a more polished story would've helped but it's still too intriguing to ignore altogether. Besides, whether you like it or not, you're unlikely to see any other shows like this!
RKS Score: 6/10