Warning: Wayward Pines Season 2 premiere episode spoilers to follow.
After viewers finished watching Season 1 of Wayward Pines, they knew at least one thing: the Abbies were bad. In the year 4028, they lurk outside the town’s electrified walls, the mutants into which humanity has evolved. In Season 1, the Abbies seemed only to attack, and do so viciously, and staying in the town’s rigidly defined territory provided the only protection.
But at the end of the Season 2 premiere, the Abbies weren’t acting according to expectations. After newly awakened Dr. Theo Yedlin, played by Jason Patric, was shoved into a truck with a few other threats to the town’s authoritarian leadership and left to die outside the town’s walls, viewers might have expected certain death. But the Abbies, instead of attacking the humans in their midst, attempted to scale the town’s walls. In a teaser clip for Episode 2, a Wayward Pines surveillance officer is seen saying she doesn’t understand what the Abbies are doing.
— Wayward Pines (@WaywardPinesFOX) May 26, 2016
According to the new Wayward Pines showrunner, Mark Friedman, the Abbies’ strange behavior is no accident. In an interview with TV Line, Friedman reveals that there’s much to be learned about the monsters in the woods. Their roots in humanity are an important part of the mystery.
“[I]n Season 1 we saw the zombie version where [the Abbies] eat and scream and run. We’ve only seen that side of their nature, but obviously they’re evolved from us in some way, and there are probably some residual human traits that may be part of the world. Also the only ones we’ve seen so far are males — I’ll just leave it at that.”
Audiences have only seen brief, shadowy glances of the Abbies, and have probably given little thought to whether they might have a community of their own outside the gates of Wayward Pines. Friedman’s comments are all the more intriguing given a promotional photo for Season 2 that shows the hand of a human baby grasping onto the finger of an Abbie.
— Wayward Pines (@WaywardPinesFOX) May 28, 2016
Friedman told TV Line that Season 2 is less about the mystery of what Wayward Pines actually is — since viewers already know — and more about the day-to-day life of this last vestige of humanity. The emotional life of the characters will be more fully explored, unlike in Season 1 when the town’s citizens seemed almost entirely mum due to the overarching rules. The only exceptions were underground meetings of some dissenters.
“In upcoming episodes, people cry. Death means something. And the things that happen happen. You don’t just move on from it. You unpack it. You talk about it.
“With a show about humanity, I wanted to get past the mystery at the core of it, and make it more about the characters and what it would be like to try to live in this kind of place.”
"WAYWARD PINES" returned last night! Did you catch the second season premiere? pic.twitter.com/2mGRlyfpD1
— Fangoria (@FANGORIA) May 26, 2016
In his review of the first couple of episodes of Season 2, Daniel Fienberg of The Hollywood Reporter gave hints there is an exploration of survival in the isolated town, including “limitations on their food supply.” Viewers saw acres of what appeared to be greenhouses and fledgling gardens from outside the car window as Dr. Yedlin was driven through the town in the season premiere.
According to Variety, 3.1 million viewers watched the Season 2 premiere when it was broadcast on Wednesday night. Last year, the new show brought in a mere 1 million fans but grew in numbers over the summer and through DVR playback, ending the season as the most popular new scripted series in the 18-49 demographic.
Wayward Pines airs Wednesday night at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Fox.
[Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images]