A Mind Of Your Own?
Think Again.

We’re being led astray in The Truth, just like the people in Wayward Pines. The big reveal seems far from the real story. Otherwise, why was Dr. Jenkins (Toby Jones) AKA David Pilcher in Seattle telling Ethan’s boss (who wanted to call it off), “It’s been done, Adam? Nothing for you to worry about.” Why did Ethan (Matt Dillan) ask, just before he crashed, “Who is David Pilcher?” I seriously wonder if this town is a place that wayward people are sent when they ask too many questions, know too much, or have gone over some line somewhere.

Mind Control IsWayward Pines Game

Or maybe M. Night Shyamalan has some other big surprise in store for us. But, no matter where Shyamalan takes us, one thing is clear: Wayward Pines is a place that keeps its inhabitants under very tight controls. And it does so, under the watchful eyes of a megalomaniac psychiatrist (if David Pilcher is one), a hypnotherapist head of Wayward Academy, and a sadistic nurse. Mind control is the name of their game. To title this episode “The Truth” is an oxymoron. There’s nothing honest in Wayward Pines.

In fact, there’s a concerted effort to be sure no one asks any questions.  Remember how Teresa’s (Shannyn Sossamon) new boss says to her: “My advice. Don’t think too hard, sweetie. I’d hate to see anything happen to that pretty little face.” No. Don’t be a free thinker like Peter McCall (Justin Kirk). You won’t make it. And, thank your husband for killing him.

No Hunger, No Greed Allowed, But

So who is out there running free? Abbies. Aberrations. Greed – gone rampant. Mutated humans who eat whatever they get their hands on. Take whatever they want. Kill when they please. Sounds strangely like those in charge of people’s lives in Wayward Pines, don’t you think? How did these mutants run so amok?

Any hungry desires are exactly what the inhabitants aren’t allowed. Those in control tell them: don’t want anything but what we say you can have. We’ll give you a free beautiful house – but want something of your own? Not going to happen; especially not a mind. That’s the biggest taboo in Wayward Pines.

Yes, Break The Free Spirited Down

So, go after the kids. Teenagers. Well known for various ways of proving they think for themselves and rebelling against authority. Those are the impulses to break first. Teenagers, like Ben (Charlie Tahan) have both a tinge of normal grandiosity and shaky self-esteem. Use that.

Tell them they’re the chosen ones. The “first generation.” Scare them with videos of horrors. Threaten that their parents will die if they tell. That the only way to survive is to “follow the rules.” Then, induct them into a secret society. That’s brainwashing. Those are the tactics of abusers. Those are the tactics of cults. That’s Wayward Pines. The whys and wherefores are yet to be seen.

This I can say. For the helping professions (psychiatry, psychology, hypnotherapy, nursing) to use exploitation and power over the minds of those in their care or people, in general, is not a good thing.  Ever.

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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.