I’ve been holding off best I can from watching Wayward Pines. I’ve been meaning to get into the new television series that premiered on Fox in late May, but there’s something about binge watching the full season that makes the final review a little more consistent.
Anyway, a big part of the first book is the origin story of how people have ended up in Wayward Pines. The weird thing is that most people have a pretty consistent story: the last thing they remember is being hit by a Mack truck. They then wake up by the river, go to the hospital, and start their life as a brainwashed citizen of the town.
What is real and what has been implanted into their memory is a little dubious. We know from the books that the memories of characters can be manipulated with subconscious suggestion and drugs can be used to steal them away – as seen in Ethan Burke’s case. However, the Mack truck is something that is always there, and it doesn’t make any sense.
Since the 1980’s, David Pilcher has been abducting people in order to find his perfect citizens for the town. He does this by having them get into an accident while in the town and making them disappear from the face of the Earth. There were also over 2,000 individuals in the little cryogenic tubes within Pilcher’s mountain fortress that keep them freeze dried until they’re chosen to be integrated into the town, and at least a portion of those people were hit by the Mack truck in order to be abducted.
And from what we’ve seen during some previews, the truck that smashes into them isn’t exactly going at a snail’s pace.
Do you know what happens to a car when it’s hit by a semi-truck? This:
Well the video above might not have the results, but I’ll clue you in on the status of the blue-clad passenger: busted. The passenger is definitively dead, permanently passed on, given up the ghost, sky rocketed six feet under, pining for the fjords, and so on.
So why would David Pilcher choose this destructive method to steal away his “genetically pure” citizens?
Most would likely die in the crash and those who survived would suffer from massive internal and external injuries. They would also likely suffer a severe concussion, which can lead to depression and an increased chance of that person committing suicide due to the effects of their traumatic brain injuries.
As we saw in the first book, the method he uses to abduct people gets a little more refined as time goes on. Pilcher uses this weird silvery liquid to immobilize Theressa Burke and her son before they’re spirited off to the town, which seems a little more intelligent than the whole truck thing.
Again, what is real and what is not in Wayward Pines isn’t exactly cut and dry, black and white. We’ve seen that Pilcher and his crew can manipulate memories, so maybe the truck wasn’t even real in the first place. There’s a good chance he implanted that memory through hypnotic suggestion to give the person a reason why they are in hospital.
They would know there was no way they could have survived and thus they suffer from a kind of Cotard delusion where they believe that they are dead and now in heaven, or hell depending on how you look at the idyllic town.
If it was real, Pilcher would have had to go through thousands of Mack trucks over the years as, if you watch this video clip, a huge semi-truck takes a significant amount of damage from any crash. It wouldn’t be feasible to fix up the truck every single time. (I also wonder what Mack thinks about having their brand being used in the books. “Mack Trucks, your best option to abduct people through crashing into them for your convoluted plan to save humanity”, not the best slogan.)
So on one hand we have a very real Mack truck slamming into the would-be citizens of Wayward Pines presenting a severe hazard to their health. On the other hand, David Pilcher has developed a way to implant memories in order to make citizens believe they were hit by a Mack truck, but they would still have to inflict injuries on the people to simulate the crash in order to make it feel real.
Both options are equally insane, but hey David Pilcher is a pretty crazy guy.