If You’re Lied To & Controlled
Paranoia Is Reasonable

No one in Wayward Pines has any independence at all. And, ironically, it happens to be Independence Day. Yet, what do you do with that? Be paranoid? Maybe. Because when you’re being controlled, it makes sense to be paranoid. Especially in Wayward Pines, where you live in a world made up of lies, secrets, and threats. And, then, you’re left with one big question: What is real, and who – if anyone – can be trusted? Everyone in Wayward Pines lives with this kind of fear. Ironically, even, David Pilcher, that megalomanic man known as Dr. Jenkins, to most. The man who’s stolen people’s lives to create his own version of a Brave New World. Apt title, Episode 7: Betrayal. Yet, paradoxically – who is it that’s being betrayed?

No One Trusts Anyone In Wayward Pines

David Pilcher (Toby Jones), the leader and penultimate betrayer in Wayward Pines, believes he’s being betrayed. And, he is. He’s caught wind that a group of insurgents, led by Kate (Carla Gugino) are plotting to blow up the wall. Gloomily, he asks Nurse Pam (Melissa Leo): “Why are they trying to undermine us?”

Why would he expect them not to? Arrogance is a part of it. Yet, with all of his lies and tricks, of course, Pilcher would feel persecuted. He knows what it’s like to mistreat people and expects it to come back to him. He can’t trust anyone either. So, that’s the reason for his constant surveillance and tight controls.

Isn’t it delusional, though, for him to believe the people of Wayward Pines would be satisfied with the life he’s created for them? For those who won’t or can’t forget the past and what life was like before he took over, it’s quite obvious they are the ones betrayed. But, Pilcher won’t give up on what he needs for himself, the world he needs to create to make himself feel powerful and safe. That’s why Pilcher’s mood dips into despair at the quite real possibility his manic creation is being overthrown. He needs his creation to feel like a big man.

Pilcher Has Created A Paranoid World (A Prison)

Truly, Wayward Pines is a paranoid world. And, Pilcher is its creator. Wayward Pines isn’t only a paranoid world, though. That paranoid world is a prison. And, the only way to survive is to pretend it isn’t. All the “residents” must live within the “don’t think about the past” system Pilcher demands. For them and for himself. Some people have bought into Wayward Pine’s rules merely to get along without abject fear. Then there are some, Nurse Pam and Megan Fisher (Hope Davis) for example, who quite perversely revel in the new powers Wayward Pines allows them to wield over other people’s lives.

And, then there are others – those who refuse to accept this new “reality. Those who have, all along, tried to find the truth. Those like Kate. Kate’s quite sure Ethan’s (Matt Dillon) been brainwashed. Or could he’s on “their side,” Just as the other agent Adam Hassler (Tim Griffin) says, in his phone message. An agent there to test her in the Government experiment he tells her she’s in. Ethan’s sure Kate just won’t believe the truth. How could she? No one knows “the truth.” So, what is the truth exactly?

Indeed. When you’ve been tricked, hurt, and used – it’s impossible to know what to believe. Everyone and everything is suspect – even your own thoughts. Is there anything to trust? Even your own mind? Yet, there’s also a risk in trusting no one at all. Then you are totally alone. And, if you let yourself know that, it can lead to panic. What an awful dilemma to live in. But if you’re too trusting, you could be in even more serious danger. Look what happened to Ben.

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Dr. Sandra E. Cohen

I’m Dr. Sandra Cohen, a psychologist and psychoanalyst in private practice in Beverly Hills, CA. I work with creatives in therapy, story/character development, and entertainment consulting. If you are a writer, actor, or director and want help with a character – or a chance to do some of your own personal work - call at 310.273.4827 or email me at sandracohenphd@gmail.com to schedule a confidential discussion to explore working together.