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Wayward Pines, Ep. 1.10, “Cycle”

Ever since Wayward Pines was announced as an M. Night Shyamalan project, the threat of the twist ending is one that’s hung over the entire series. For better or worse, Shyamalan’s name is associated with stories that try to come out of left field in the apex of the third act and surprise you with the idea that nothing you’ve witnessed is what it seems, ends that enjoy their trickiness so much it keeps them blind to the fact that they don’t bear up under scrutiny. And given the early ads for the show, which were heavy on that symbolism—as well as too heavy on imagery and quotes that invited unflattering Twin Peaks comparisons—it was hard to dissuade yourself of that expectation going in.

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Wayward Pines, Ep. 1.09, “A Reckoning”

Ever since the true nature of Wayward Pines was revealed back in “The Truth,” the idea of sacrifice has hung over the bulk of the show. In order to save humanity, Pilcher, Pam, Megan, and every member of the support team had to give up their lives as they knew them. In doing so, they gave themselves the authority to force the sacrifices of countless other individuals, those they deemed necessary to ensure humanity’s future.

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