Gasmi, I’m back, and that means it’s time to plunge into the dark enchanted forest of Harper’s Island, that eerie place “37 miles off the coast of Seattle” (just over the Vancouver city limits I have a feeling), for another terrifying hour of psycho-killer bull-pshit. We’re about to be 1/13th closer to solving this mystery. No, not how CBS was bamboozled into making and airing thirteen of these things when dozens of superior pilots get tossed in the garbage before anyone so much as yells “Action!” That’s one mystery that will never be solved.
Now let me knock back my Appalachian speedball (a 20 oz. Mountain Dew and four Xanax) and we’ll plunge right in!
We open in Abby’s room at the Candlewick Inn. She wakes up in her red cocktail dress, having been so paralyzed with fright at seeing the news clipping about the massacre her mom died in stuck to her mirror that she apparently passed out fully dressed. Or maybe she didn’t mix her Appalachian speedball correctly and nodded off. I’m a recap artist, not a psychic. Abby was in fact so scarified she propped a chair under her hotel room door!
Cut to Harper’s Island woodland trail. Abby jogs through the misty dawn, obviously not too concerned with anyone trying to kill her now, since she’s JOGGING THROUGH THE SAME MISTY DESERTED WOODS HER MOTHER WAS MASSACRED IN. Oh, my bad. The woods aren’t deserted. She sees a doe frolicking in a glade. Lovely, but from the look of stunned rapture on Abby’s face you’d think it was a goddamned unicorn! And she grew up on the island. Where her mother was massacred IN THESE VERY WOODS.
Wait, I’ve seen one of these things in a book. It’s an elephant, right?
Cut to Picturesque Isolated Island Locale. Trish pensively awaits the arrival of her studly stubbly former flame Hunter Jennings. Putting the ex in exposition, these two provide us the following information: Hunter had his chance. Three years ago she was his, now she wants him to go. They don’t want a repeat of what happened in college, do they? Hunter’s not worried about her fiance Henry. Clearly.
Cut to Forest Glade. As the doe nibbles on some moss, taking Abby’s breath away, a bloody hand clamps over her mouth! It’s her former flame Fish Hunk! “This will only take a second,” he murmurs, obviously not about to attempt acquaintance-rape. Abby was so taken with the deer she somehow didn’t see Fish Hunk and his bonehead pal Townie standing a few feet away from her with a big bow and arrow, which Townie has aimed squarely at Bambi’s heart. Abby stomps Fish Hunk’s foot, and his grunt scares the deer away. Yay! I don’t mind watching a whole isle-full of pretty tards get slaughtered, but when you start bringing innocent woodland critters into the mix, we here at TVGasm draw the line.
The boys explain that deer are overrunning the island and if they don’t kill the weak ones, they’ll starve come winter. Whatever, douchebags. Townie brusquely cautions Fish Hunk that Abby left him once, she’ll do it again. I think that would require Abby and Fish Hunk to actually become a couple again, but Abby doesn’t correct this. She says they can kill all the animals they want, but SHE doesn’t need to see anymore blood on this island. She jogs away.
Cut to Harper’s Island Maritime Museum. Abby’s dad, Grizzled Local Cop, peers through a borken windowpane. There’s been a break-in. The only thing missing is something called a hand-spade, which someone filched from a whaling bulletin board display. It looks to be just right for gouging someone’s head off!
Cut to woods. Fish Hunk and Townie head down the path, their nice morning of bloodsport ruined by Abby’s meddlesome cardio. The fact that Abby is a writer in L.A. is wedged in. She really ought to try pitching pilots at CBS because it obviously ain’t brain surgery. Townie and Fish Hunk stop short at a grisly sight: a deer they’ve already shot has had its throat torn out and is splayed out on the hood of their pick-up, “PSYCHO” written in blood on the windshield. D’OH! As the guys start to quiver in their man-panties, a sinister dark figure watches them from behind some trees.
Paid for by Palin For President 2012
Candlewick Inn. Goth Guy’s room. Henry lets himself in and calls out for his brother. He’s in the bathroom. Henry takes a gander at the copious kook-meds arranged on the dresser, then asks if Goth Guy has seen the late, bisected Uncle Harry Hamlin today. Nope. Henry asks Goth Guy to behave and not ruin the wedding. GG says Townie started the fight last night. They remind each other that they were never locals, just summer residents and that Townie and Fish Hunk only tolerated Henry because he was Abby’s BFF. Henry just wants this week to go swell. Good luck with that, GG snips from behind the bathroom door. Henry exits and we see GG scrubbing his very bloody hands in the sink. OMG! Did he just rip the deer’s throat out? Was he playing with Uncle Harry’s easily accessible entrails? Or maybe GG’s just having a really heavy period. I’m not trying to be gross– GG kinda looks like an F-to-M tranny. Main Titles.
Candlewick Inn veranda, a short time later. The guests prepare for a scavenger hunt. Spiky Haired Blonde Guy from Henry’s bro posse strong-arms Preppy Blonde Snot into swapping buffs with him. Spiky wants to be on the yellow team. Preppy’s girlfriend, Slutty Blonde Bitch is also on the yellow team, which consists solely of penises to her whorey delight. Preppy looks vaguely disturbed. Abby shows Preppy her blue buff– they’re teammates. As they head out, Goth Girl from the bar last night shows up for her job at the Inn. Abby politely says hi.
Harper’s Island Church. The nice old minister beats at a spiderweb with a broom. Bosomy Middle-Aged Redhead hotel manager approaches him with the “props” for the scavenger hunt. The teams are supposed to take photos of themselves “on the altar” with a top hat or a bridal veil. Sounds kind of sacrilegious to me. And don’t forget the wedding rehearsal is on Friday. Minister: I’ve lost my hearing, not my mind! Which means one of two things. A) The deaf reverend will be puttering around, oblivious, while someone is loudly slashed to death, or B) He actually has lost his mind and is the killer. I’m thinking A.
Candlewick. Trish finds Henry and says she was off running an “important wedding errand”. Then she smears chocolate icing on her neck and he starts slurping it off. So not hot.
Thank you, O Lord for these thy scones…
Cut to woods. Reverend Deaf wanders down the path enjoying breakfast. He adjusts his hearing aid and seems to perceive an odd noise, which sounds like two sharp blades being rubbed together. Then he steps in a snare and is hoisted up like a pinata. His hearing aid drops to the ground. The Reverend cries out for help but ends up getting his head whacked off by a whaling tool. So the correct answer is C) None of the above.
Cut to Merlotte’s, I mean “The Cannery”, the local dive, which in the cold light of day reveals itself to be an artfully weathered double-wide. The blue team, consisting of Abby, Preppy, a Soror-Whore and some Ivy League extra, is quizzed by Sookie Stackhouse, I mean Pierced Tongue Girl, who doesn’t appreciate Soror-Whore putting her teeny white purse-dog on the bar. Soror-Whore and the extra exit in a huff. Goth Girl enters and Abby realizes they knew each other in high school. Goth Girl sure has changed.
Hey, do you mind?! People have to pass out on this thing!
Goth Girl and Abby sit alone at a table. Goth Girl amazes Abby by reciting from wishful-map-memory only the main L.A. streets north to south: Franklin, Hollywood, Sunset, Santa Monica, Melrose, Beverly, Olympic, Pico… You forgot Fountain, bitch! Goth Girl thinks living in L.A. must be so rad, since no one there would have any idea what happened to you, i.e., survived a massacre. Turns out Goth Girl’s mother was a victim of John Wakefield, too. Abby asks if Goth Girl has anyone to talk to here, family, a massacre-survivor’s crisis center, a kindly deaf minister (just kidding)? Goth Girl is so envious of Abby– she got out. Actually, Sheriff Dad sent her away. But now Abby has to use the ladies’ room. Wow! People from L.A. actually urinate? Awesome.
So, like, have you have ever met a Kardashian?
Cannery Crapper. Abby exits a stall and starts to wash her hands. Then jumps when Goth Girl appears in the mirror behind her. Maybe Abby can have that hearing aid since the reverend’s not gonna be using it, being headless and all. Goth Girl says “I see John Wakefield.” Not here in the bathroom, not in her dreams, but for real. He’s baa-aaack. Abby reminds her Sheriff Dad killed Wakefield– he dead, gurrlll. The door bangs open, spooking them. It’s Townie. “John Wakefield killed my mommy… WAAAH!” he actually sneers. That’s mommies, plural, you tool.
Goth Girl hurries outside after Abby, apologizing. Townie is her ex. Abby tells her not to worry about Wakefield. Easy for Abby to say– she’s not suffering from post-traumatic stress-related mental illness… OR IS SHE, GASMI!??!? Preppy emerges from the bar. He’s passed the quiz and has the bottle of wine they needed to win. Now he wants to find his girlfriend Slutty. He can probably catch up with the yellow team. Just follow this secluded path through Massacre Woods, Abby helpfully suggests.
Interesting. In the Shire, we’re UN-circumcised!
Preppy takes off with the map. Abby decides she better follow the little troll but before she can, Fish Hunk intercepts her. They make nice and swap flirtations and information we already know, and then Townie appears, dead-set on protecting his homie’s tender feelings from man-eater Abby. Fish Hunk was devastated when she skipped island for Tinseltown. I’m sensing deep gay repression on Townie’s part. Fish Hunk assures Abby he’s OK, then takes off in the truck with his platonic life-partner. Abby looks vaguely disturbed. And if you could see me, so do I. I just noticed we’re not even halfway through this yet.
Cut to Harper’s Island Cemetery. The yellow team, consisting of Dreadlocked Guy, Hot Nerd, and Spikey Haired Blonde wonder what they’re doing in the graveyard. Oh, that’s right, Slutty asked the museum curator where John Wakefield is buried. As if on cue, Slutty jiggles out of the nearby woods and says “I found it!” Spiky Hair follows her a few feet to a lone tombstone. You see, they wouldn’t let them bury Wakefield on consecrated ground. A few candles and some rusty beer cans festooned around the marker indicate this may be quite the party spot for the local sullen teens. Slutty is all into killers and death and stuff. Spikey quite reasonably makes a discreet pass at her, which she shockingly rejects before shimmying back to the others.
She says go sniff your own ass… she’s busy.
Candlewick corridor. Soror-Whore and purse-dog find Trish waiting in their room. She tells SW that Hunter is on the island but of course Trish is not interested in rekindling anything. SW, played with the brittle, vacant delivery of an actress boffing on the network executive level, says that she herself dated plenty of creeps in college so she knows how great it is to find someone like Henry. SW thinks Trish should totally tell Big Daddy Beef Wellington, and Trish agrees.
Cut to deserted pathway. Abby is marching along when out pops Goth Girl, who says she called out but Abby mustn’t have heard her. Seriously, Abs, I’m sure the blood can be washed off that hearing aid. Look into it. Goth Girl is even more twitchy and stalky than earlier and is clearly thrilled at having a brand-new Los Angelena BFF. Abby makes the mistake of telling Goth Girl she oughta get off the island and Goth Girl spins into Jennifer Jason Leigh in Single White Female-mode minus the brilliance and asks if she can move in with Abby. Um, er, studio apartment, awkward pause, cat, uh, um… Goth Girl backs off, then pitifully slinks away. Abby watches her meet up with Goth Guy, who definitely has enough prescriptions for both of them.
Candlewick. Abby tries to sneak into her room but Henry catches her. She admits she and her team bailed on the scavenger hunt, and that Townie was giving her shit.
What was your safe-word again?
Cut to Harper’s Island Marina. Henry finds Fish Hunk on his boat. They’re old friends. If only Henry’s brother Goth Guy and Fish Hunk’s gay-panic not-yet-lover Townie could get along. Henry told Goth Guy to cool it for the sake of the wedding… can FH do the same with Townie? Henry knows damn well that Townie won’t listen to reason. Henry invites FH to the big beach bonfire tonight. He can even bring Townie. FH doesn’t think he can make it. In keeping with this show’s signature motif of straight dudes acting like women, Henry attempts to matchmake and tells FH Abby will be there. FH is non-committal.
Cut to woods. Preppy, looking more than ever like a hobbit in a Jane Lynch wig, consults his map and looks lost. He steps in one of those pinata snares and goes ass-over-tea-kettle, bellowing for help.
Candlewick Inn, honeymoon suite. Henry enters, looking for Trish. He finds a huge gory smear leading up to the bathroom door, which he throws open, revealing the blood trail leading up to the empty bathtub. Is Trish dead? Is she the killer? Or is she having a really heavy period? At least that would mean she’s not pregnant. Henry peers into the tub and sees a severed deer head. This time with antlers! Does this forest have NO security personnel?
Trish’s dad’s suite. Beef Wellington isn’t happy with Hunter (yes, “Hunter”– will the rich ironies never cease). Why did BW spend all this money bringing him here if he can’t stop Trish from marrying Henry? Hunter is defensive– he and Trish aren’t exactly on good terms. He just needs more time. Perhaps some well-placed frontal nudity might be in order. Sorry, thinking out loud again. BW says there is no more time– the wedding’s in four days, which will feel exactly like eleven weeks. Trish opens the door and is stunned.
Are my roots showing, luv?
Yes, are mine?
Cut to Woodland Glade O’Carnage. Is Preppy dead?! No, he’s just resting his eyes and muttering to himself like Sam Gamgee. But Mr. Frodo can’t save him. But Spikey Hair can. Preppy is delighted to have been discovered. As soon as Spikey gets him down, they can follow the map back to civilization. Map, you say? Spikey scoops it up, tells Preppy un-hoisting him is a two-man job, then books out of there, leaving Preppy trussed up like a young squab in a Yorkshire butcher’s window. Oh, bother!
BW’s suite. Trish hugs a pillow, freaking out. BW comes back in. He sent Hunter away. He tells Trish that Hunter came to him asking for help and he of course refused. Trish of course buys this. Oh, thank you, Daddikins, she weeps. Gullible much? She gives BW a grateful hug. Over her shoulder, BW looks vaguely disturbed.
Cut to honeymoon suite. Henry scrambles to clean up all the elk blood. I know he’s a former deckhand unused to the finer things, but there’s this button on hotel phones marked “Housekeeping”– try it! Abby walks in on this PETA crime-scene clean-up and Henry tries to hide it, but then confesses what he found. Abby tells him Fish Hunk and Townie were hunting deer this morning. Henry is enraged and starts to go settle the score, but Abby says she’ll handle it. The last thing Henry needs is a fight with those guys. No, he intensely replies, the last thing I need is a deer-head in my bathtub. I shit you not. Abby hurriedly exits.
Ext. Merlotte’s The Cannery. Abby and Fish Hunk swap info we already know about Goth Guy and Townie’s deadly feud deer head psycho windshield blah blah fucking blah HAND-SPADE ME NOW. Now that anyone who’s stumbled onto this show three minutes ago is up to speed, cue tender music as FH keeps trying to win Abby back. “You know, most of this time this island’s pretty great. The only thing missing is you.” And suspense. And nuance. And penises. FH wants her to give the islanders another chance. Meaning him and his destined-to-remain-off-camera penis. Abby looks non-committal.
Goth Girl’s gorgeous sea-side house . Abby knocks. Goth Girl announces “total-take-backs” for her previous no-boundaries behavior. Oh, no, it’s fine, come stay with me and my cat in my studio, Abby says. Just then, topless Goth Guy slinks through Goth Girl’s kitchen, possibly having just fueled up on Monster Energy Drink after a bout of Goth Sex. Abby leaves and Goth Girl prances up to her bedroom, crowing about her upcoming move to Hollyweird. As they strip down for more Goth Sex, my Australian model boyfriend calls from the other room, “Are you watching porn?” If only, Model Boyfriend, if only.
Twist, don’t pull!
Goth Girl’s house, that night. Pierced Tongue approaches the kitchen door with the hilariously remedially expositional announcement “It’s your best friend! Open up!” She doesn’t see Goth Girl swinging from a noose in the darkened house. Oh, well. Studio apartments in L.A. have really shit parking.
Bonfire. The guests enjoy cold beer, oysters on the half shell… and juggling. Henry is canoodling with Trish when he gets a text message from long-dead Uncle Harry. “Found a live one. CU at wedding” That lovable 50-ish sex addict! Townie shows up, thanking Henry for the invite. “I know what you did [this summer]“, Henry growls, then slugs the big galoot right in the kisser. OMG!
As the gang waits breathlessly for retaliation, Townie dusts himself off and gives Henry a “you’ll get yours” smirk. Uh-oh. Soror-Whore’s lost track of her purse-dog. As she prepares to chase after it into the dark woods, we see a sinister figure peeping from the trees. I’d know those Italian loafers and well-developed arms anywhere. It’s Hunter. He clenches his well-formed jaw and looks vaguely disturbed.
Cut to Goth Girl’s house. Apparently the killer or the lighting designer cut the power, because now Grizzled Local Cop is shining a flashlight on Goth Girl’s swingin’ “suicide”. Pierced Tongue frets in the corner. No, not Goth Girl! Why? WHY?!
Honey, we’re right behind you.
Bonfire. Slutty Blonde Bitch is looking for Preppy Blonde Snot. Spikey Hair Guy remembers what he forgot to do. Cut him down from that tree. Zoinks!
Cut to search party (Abby, Spikey, Slutty, and Fat Party Animal) wandering through the woods. Abby says she’s heard of snares and pit-traps on the island before– it’s probably the work of some old-school hunter.
Hey, you said there was a Wendy’s out here!
Cut to Soror-Whore trying to find purse-dog.
Cut to search party finding Preppy, still hanging upside down. They don’t call his name or even rush over to help him. Director to search party actors: “No, just hang back and slowly wave your flashlight. Trust me, I’m setting a mood here. It’s all in the editing.” Cut to director not getting hired for True Blood.
Soror-Whore topples through a pit-trap. A what?! (See above.)
Slutty gingerly caresses Preppy’s upside-down face. Quick, check his pockets! There may be a diamond in it for ya! Preppy flickers his long blonde lashes. He’s alive! Abby watches the reunion, touched.
In the pit, Soror-Whore clambers to her feet. Is somebody up there? Help! Suddenly she’s showered with a torrent of piss. Oops, it must be gasoline, because now a black-gloved hand is lighting a Candlewick Inn match, tossing it down, and… presto! Soror-Whore Flambe du Pit-Trap.
“You want to want me/But you can’t let go/Come on, let go!”
And with that we conclude tonight’s recap. I had every intention of coming up with another Top 3 Suspect List but then THE CBS EXECUTIVES WIN.