‘Wayward Pines’: How The TV Ending Differed From The Book [Spoilers]

Wayward Pines finished off a successful summer run on Fox Thursday night. Variety reported the finale brought in 3.9 million viewers. The show has been the top-rated scripted television program this summer for adults aged 18-49.

But those loyal viewers who want to re-experience the show’s twist ending by going back to the show’s source material, the novels by Blake Crouch, are in for a surprise. As showrunner Chad Hodge told Entertainment Weekly, the novel trilogy ends on an entirely different note.

Warning: spoilers ahead from the Season 1 finale of Wayward Pines.

During last Thursday’s television finale, three main characters died: Ethan, played by Matt Dillon; David Pilcher, played by Toby Jones; and Ms. Fisher, played by Hope Davis. Ethan’s son Ben was struck on the head by falling debris and awoke more than three years later.

Ben learned the “First Generation” of Academy students now run the town and have put the adults back into suspension. Wayward Pines has the same atmosphere of complete surveillance and harsh punishment that Ethan helped expose. Pilcher, the scientist who controlled the town and died shortly before the episode’s end, is worshiped as a savior.

According to Hodge, things are different in the Crouch books. But it only adds to the mystery of the town and the story.

“In the books, everybody goes back into suspension realizing that we can’t survive against the Abbies for now. Everybody goes back into suspension for several thousand more years.

“They wake up and you see Ethan’s eye pop open and that’s the end of the book.”

In a separate interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Hodge discussed the character of Hassler, seen on a television screen inside the bunker where the town citizens eventually find refuge. Hassler has been on the outside, sending video journals back to Wayward Pines as he searches for civilization.

In the books, Hassler is alive in the wild. Hodge encouraged people to read the books because there is more to the mythology of Wayward Pines, specifically connected to Hassler’s character.

In theory, Hassler’s character could be further explored if there is a Season 2 of Wayward Pines. No such announcement has been made and the show was intended to be a limited-run series.

Executive Producer M. Night Shyamalan told Deadline he was happy with the finite nature of Wayward Pines. However, he admitted he and Crouch had discussed an idea for Season 2.

“We have an idea we’ve discussed. That’s all I’ll say.”

Wayward Pines aired on Fox.

[Image: Wayward Pines cast members Melissa Leo and Matt Dillon. Photo by Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images Entertainment]