'Wayward Pines' Season 3 Would Tackle Intense Questions About Mankind, Extinction & More

For years, Game Of Thrones fans fretted about what would happen when the HBO show caught up to its source material by author George R.R. Martin. Executive producer M. Night Shyamalan had no such qualms about his FOX sci-fi series Wayward Pines , based on a trilogy of novels by Blake Crouch. In fact, the first season of Wayward Pines sped through all three books in 10 episodes, which means that the surprise second season (renewed five months after the supposed "limited series" had finished its run) featured entirely original content. So even though a hypothetical third outing is still far from a sure thing, fans probably can't help but wonder: What would Wayward Pines Season 3 be about, if it comes to pass?

With half the population of the futuristic town back in cryogenic slumber (and the other half presumably dead after being left to the mercy of the encroaching abbies), Season 3 could literally be about pretty much anything. After sleeping for centuries — perhaps millennia — the citizens of Wayward Pines, Idaho will undoubtedly wake up to a brave new world; but will it be a hopeful one, or one that will doom any chance the human race has left at surviving extinction?

The biggest clue viewers have to what Wayward Pines Season 3 might look like is that ambiguous coda in the Season 2 finale, in which an abbie is seen cradling a surprisingly human-like child. This raises a lot of questions: Did Kerry's virus gambit fail? How long after the events of the season did that epilogue take place? Was that really a human baby… or something else entirely?

"Evolution has always pushed forward, and [the scene] suggests that the Abbies are changing also. The Abbies will evolve into something else," author Blake Crouch told Entertainment Weekly in an interview about the Wayward Pines Season 2 finale. "But evolution doesn't have reverse gears. Yes, it looked like a human child, but would it be something perhaps more a stop even beyond the Abbies?"

Crouch points out that the other key clue in the finale as to the future of Wayward Pines was a seemingly innocuous piece of vegetation. Thematically, that plant and the infant abbie have a lot in common. "I think it's like that scene from Jurassic Park. 'Life finds a way,'" Crouch told EW. "Even in the face of everything, there's a shot of green coming up through the soil in C.J.'s greenhouse, and it's the idea that life continues, and as bleak as everything seems, is there a way forward? It’s a question. That shot was not an answer."

OK, themes and questions are all well and good, but what will actually happen in Season 3, if the show is lucky enough to score a renewal? "Wayward Pines has always been about man's final hours, and I think that's what Night [Shyamalan, Crouch's co-executive producer] and I were brainstorming when we were hemming and hawing about whether to push forward the series," the author said about the decision to continue the show past the end point of his novels. He elaborated:

One of things that we kept coming back to was this idea of man facing his own extinction. What does that look like? Mankind would be the first self-aware species to go extinct. The last saber-tooth tiger didn't know it was the last saber-tooth tiger, but the idea that man knows he is in the sunset of his species is fascinating material to play in. And I think in a way, we push through season 2 to get to have that discussion in a potential season 3. What are those final hours, what are those final moments like? Are we resilient and brave? Are we afraid? We're probably all of those things. What does that mean for art? Does art still matter then? It’s a bunch of really profound philosophical questions just about the nature of being, and so that's the space we could play in.

So Wayward Pines Season 3 will be about humankind facing its own obsolescence… and also facing off against a species of abbie so evolved they will now likely more closely resemble telepathic aliens than the rudimentary homo sapiens they evolved from. Sounds awesome.

Considering that producer M. Night Shyamalan has previously stated his and Crouch's plan for the series ends with Season 3, here's hoping that FOX renews Wayward Pines for one final round so the show — and its fans — can get the proper conclusion they deserve.

Images: Ed Araquel (2), Sergei Bashlakov (2)/FOX