Wayward Pines, Episode 3, TV review: This drama makes your head hurt

*Spoiler warning!* The Twin Peaks-style show features more sharks to jump than Sharknado

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The Independent Culture

‘You think you want to know the truth.’ I do, yes. ‘But you don’t’. No, no, I do. ‘It’s so much worse than you can ever imagine.’ Well, I definitely want to know then, tell me.

Sadly, befuddled Secret Agent Ethan Burke (Matt Dillon from the 80s) didn’t agree with me on this matter and shot Sheriff Pope (the 21st Century’s Terrence Howard) right through the head before we could learn the secrets of Wayward Pines. We got a clue soon after though as the unfortunate Burke family were dissuaded from legging it beyond the electric fence by…. something… All we caught was a glimpse of a creature snatching Sheriff Pope’s body, along with a cacophony of terrible shrieks and howls.

So, er, people are kept inside the brutal dictatorship of Wayward Pines for their own good then? To protect them from what’s outside? What, just like executive producer M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village?

But, hang on, weren’t the creatures in that a smokescreen to protect the villagers from something else entirely? Then how come Sheriff Pope was outside the fence? And why does one character think five weeks has passed while another swears it’s 12 years? And… Three episodes into Wayward Pines and already I feel drubbed by questions and exhausted from trying to second guess the twists headed our way.

Agent Burke has now been joined in Wayward Pines by his wife and son (which is nice), who themselves woke up there following an engineered car accident (which isn’t) following too much snooping on their part. Quite why everyone is there at all is still a mystery but Dr Jenkins (Toby Jones) teased us by suggesting that they ‘need someone’ like Burke in the town. ‘Someone good’ he said.

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Matt Dillon as FBI agent Ethan Burke in Wayward Pines

We also learned that there are bigger wheels turning than Sheriff Pope and the malevolent Nurse Pam (Oscar winner Melissa Leo, stealing each and every scene she’s in), as both seem to be getting orders from above. Who ‘they’ are is – noticing a theme? – another unknown. However, we were allowed a tiny peek behind the wizard’s curtain as Burke snuck inside some kind of space age facility, which was filled with the abandoned cars of Wayward Pines’ involuntary inhabitants. If anything, the more Burke scratches the surface of the town, the less it makes sense. It’s really annoying.

Still very much in its infant years, Wayward Pines has already made a three piece suit and a really rather fetching hat out of all the sharks it has jumped so far. But that’s its raison d’etre. Like the people of the town itself, try to get to the bottom of Wayward Pines and you’ll end up with a very sore head indeed.

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