Who Is David Pilcher On 'Wayward Pines'? The Books Paint The Town Creator In A More Sinister Light
Who saw this coming? On Thursday night, Wayward Pines finally revealed the truth behind the titular town: The townspeople were suspended in animation for thousands of years by a scientist and billionaire named David Pilcher and dropped into this strange, creepy town as the rest of humanity died out and/or devolved into horrifying monsters known as "Abbeys" or aberrations. So who exactly is David Pilcher? Well the television series follows the book series upon which it is based pretty closely here: David is revealed to the unassuming town psychiatrist Dr. Jenkins to whom we were introduced in the television series' pilot after Burke's "car accident." Ethan discovered the truth about the town at the same time as his son but in a much scarier way as he encountered the "Abbeys" himself and then was told the rest of the truth from David himself. The television series so far portrays David in a rather mysterious light, and while he gets that portrayal in the book series at first, David is more nefarious than he seems.
Here's the thing, David Pilcher in the book created Wayward Pines as a "safe haven" from the destruction of humanity. That's his selling point about the town when people find out the truth. But he's no angel.
Even without really giving anything from the book series away, it's obvious that David is a much more sinister character than he seems. First of all, he abducts people and puts them in suspended animation to add them to this town that he's created. He may think himself to be a "god" — and in fact many of the townspeople who have been drinking David's crazy kool-aid really do believe him to be a kind of god — but he basically took away people's humanity in order to save from the devolution of humanity. It's kind of odd and ironic don't you think?
Plus in the series, chosen children from the town are allowed to learn the truth of the town but many of the adults are told nothing except the strange and extremely strict rules of the town and then are forced to adapt to the surroundings and change who they are as people which, in many ways, takes away their humanity as well. And speaking of those insane rules, what's that about? Only a person with terrible secrets to hide, more fear than sense, and a serious leader complex would do the things that David Pilcher does.
And then there's the Pilcher from the book that has yet to be revealed on the television series. At the end of the second novel, Wayward, Ethan manages to tell the entire town the truth about Wayward Pines and what David Pilcher has done to allow the citizens to make their own choices about their future. David, in a fit of so much anger, turns off the fences to Wayward Pines which safely seals off the town from the Abbeys and all the horrors of that the destroyed Earth, and makes the townspeople fend for themselves.
Overall, it will be interesting to see how the show will evolve the character of David Pilcher. He's a complex man who believes his reasons for doing his seemingly evil deeds are totally justified but he's clearly more nefarious than he believes. David has so many contradictory and controversial emotions and moments in the book series and I can't wait to see how the last five episodes of Wayward Pines, Season 1 shows this off. So far, the writers have showcased the important elements of the book in different ways and it'll be interesting to see how they incorporate this style for David's character.
Images: Liane Hentscher/FOX