Greetings Earthlings! Sometimes television provides you with some great revelations, and this week’s episode of the River is one of those special moments in TV history. For example, Doctor Emmet Cole will abandon extreme cameramen in the jungle, but doesn’t eat domesticated animals. Bugs taste like bacon (I’m waiting for the next Top Chef challenge featuring leaf cutter ants). This show makes more sense when I’m on Diazepam and bed rest. All important revelations about life, so let’s explore these moments together, shall we?
Let’s examine a few notes on each character at this point in the series, with just 3 episodes to go:
Dr. Emmet Cole: He’s the missing man, convinced he could find the source of all magic in the world.
Tess Cole: She’s the estranged wife of Emmet Cole, determined to find him as a way of assuaging guilt over her long standing affair with the show producer.
Lincoln Cole: Son of Tess and Emmet, he never lived up to Emmet Cole’s expectations and made a new life in civilization. Of course, now on this journey Lincoln is becoming his father on the dark side.
Lena Landry: Daughter of the doomed cameraman Russ Landry, Lena has nothing left to live for right now since her dad is confirmed dead. She’s got a part to play in the magic out there but doesn’t know it yet.
Clark Quietly aka Douche: Show producer and mopey ex-lover of Tess Cole. He will do anything for ratings but has some moments of humanity when Tess is involved.
AJ Poulain: My favorite cameraman, he’ll do anything for a shot as long as no caves are involved.
Captain Kurt Brynilson aka Jayne: Security for the expedition, but secretly working for a German organization determined to keep the magic hidden in here.
Emilio Valenzuela: Ship mechanic, owes Emmet Cole his life and not a very flushed out character in general.
Jahel Valenzuela: Emilio’s hot daughter with a finger on the psychic pulse of the jungle. She has an encyclopedic knowledge of all pessimistic fables and legends pertaining to death and destruction.
Lena’s not taking Russ’ death well. It’s only been 5 days since she discovered Dad was a cursed ghost ship sailor, so I’m not surprised. She’s got the accordion on deck but just can’t bring herself to play. How about Polka Face? Roll out the barrel? Bohemian Polka? Maybe even Polkarama? Of course I doubt any good Svickova or Liver Dumpling soup is available on the Magus so why get in the mood? Is AJ following her with the camera to see if she’ll snap.
I’m about 30 seconds from throwing you off the side of this deathtrap. Just look at my, my, my, my Polka face.
Lincoln wants to divert the mission to get Lena back to civilization so she can grieve in peace. Tess doesn’t want to waste time. Very compassionate woman, that Tess. Lena doesn’t want to delay the mission either, so the group is heading to the Sahte Falls as planned.
Water break in the jungle and Lincoln is pointing out leaf cutter ants as a good source of protein. Tess is moved by this bit of Emmet Cole like camera time from Lincoln, and realizes her plot-line on the reality show isn’t very sympathetic. Unless you’re a very casual reality viewer, this act of contrition won’t fool anyone, Tess. When you act like a tool on camera, the producers have plenty of footage for the ‘Tess is a tool’ storyline. Learn from Camille!
I guess I should acknowledge my callous behavior, but this show is all about ME! Let me squeeze out a few tears…
At the Sahte Falls, the expedition finds a pocketknife and Russ’ camera bag full of equipment and taped footage. No dead bodies = good sign. Everyone rushes back to the Magus to examine the footage. Why not playback on the camera in the bag? Oops, thinking too much. I’ve got to get that back under control. Time for some home movies in Sliver, let’s go back in time, 5-6 months ago.
Cut to the Magus, with a blue dragon fly zooming right into the camera on the ship. Rabbit, Manny and Russ (the three cameramen) are killing time on deck, waiting for Emmet to come out of his cabin after ‘meditating’. Since there’s no active internet connection on the Magus, I can’t imagine how much ‘meditating’ material is available on board. Isn’t Emmet worried about going blind?
Emmet has been on a journey across the astral plane, using the form of a dragon fly to explore the surrounding territory. Great way to save on gas and rations, Emmet! Kind of boring for taping the show, though. Emmet reenters his body to tape a message to Lena, giving the location where he’s headed. Tess seems a little pissed that Lena was in the loop on any of Emmet’s plans. Emmet wants research on the musical notes he kept hearing in the Sahte region.
Please run this through Spotify, Lena. Is it Bjork or Sigur Ros?
Emmet’s ready for the whole gang to head out. Russ decides to stay back; this is becoming a dangerous mission. Now I get why Tess and Emmet fell in love in the first place. Emmet isn’t interested in reason, just fulfilling his obsession to find the Source. Russ mentions 3 people who have died so far in their mission: Cam (the producer who became an evil spirit in episode 1), Jonas (now un-cursed and with the current crew) and Ranier. Who is Ranier? I don’t remember anything about a Ranier and googling isn’t helping either. Any clues anyone?
Despite Russ’ logical arguments, Emmet is heading out anyway. Emmet makes the mistake of mentioning his contact with Lena, and that Lena is marked for this magical destiny. Big fight starts (duh, don’t mention secret communication with someone’s hot young daughter) and Russ decides to stay behind. I’m sure Russ will be picked up by a friendly ship just passing along the river, nothing to worry about. Salsa the dog (remember her from footage found in episode 1?), Rabbit and Manny head out to find the Sahte Falls and this lost tribe who guard the Source.
Four days later the hiking is getting more difficult. Emmet Cole is being his usual charismatic self, waxing poetry and random survivalist knowledge with every pass through a clearing. Rabbit looks like every coed in her first class with a hot professor.
I SO want to hit that.
The crew has a little camp follower in a cute little capuchin monkey. Don’t worry, it’s a different monkey than the creepy doll monkey from episode 2. Just a little warning though, Gasmii. Don’t Google the phrase ‘South American monkeys’ unless you’re fully prepared to see the results. I’m not sure what is worse, the bush meat results or these two:
I can’t decide what is wrong with these two, but I’m sure they would be thrilled to know they are this high in search results.
Manny and Rabbit are sick of the constant hiking without a known destination (4 days in the jungle and you finally ask?) and want some details on the mission. Emmet describes the Xulos tribe he’s looking for, a group of former Mouseketeers attempting a second career in Christian rock. Amy Grant even leads them in a ritual sacrifice designed to give them homemade Angel wing tattoos.
We can’t have 15 minutes without some supernatural, and into the jungle through the trees comes a wicked whistling spirit. Reality check, Emmet. You describe to the camera your intent to find a long held secret, examine it, and expose it to the world. Seconds later the trees begin talking to you. This should be a warning sign.
You have 15 minutes to make these slugs into a delicious sugar-free dessert. Your time starts NOW.
Another night around the campfire, and Rabbit is about to make her awkward move on Emmet.
This is really sad, but I hope Emmet does cheat on you so I can get you back, Tess.
Just a little fumbling and Emmet rebuffs Rabbit, to the relief of Lincoln, Tess and the entire audience.
This is worse than remembering that huge crush I had on Kirk Cameron when I was 11.
Later that night, all three are woken by the whistling in the trees. That same four note sound is vibrating through the area, but Emmet is fool enough to immediately get up and head out towards the noise. Salsa slams into the tent and leads the group through the darkness to a monkey pelt.
Don’t worry; I’m sure no monkeys were harmed in the filming of this show.
The next morning Manny is understandably concerned. Emmet dismisses it as a simple guardian spirit, Il Tunchi. At this announcement Jahel in current time is upset – Il Tunchi is no spirit to mock or ignore. She’s a mean spirited crack addict who usually hangs out at 30th and Pine. Make sure you get your services before money is exchanged, if you know what I mean. She will rip you up! (and inside-out)
Lena has crouched down in the hallway of regrets, crying in grief for her father. It’s never fun to watch your parents fight. Jonas has followed her out to the hallway to awkwardly comfort and continue his quest for Lena’s pants. Lena has a couple of major confessions: 1) she doesn’t realize that all the cameras on the Magus are taping footage to be watched later and 2) she set off the beacon which brought their expedition down to search for Emmet Cole and crew! Lena has been pretty self-righteous for someone so manipulative. Maybe you should give Douche some slack, Lena.
7 Days into the ‘lost footage’
Emmet has caught some fish so no bugs for dinner. Settling in while dinner’s cooking, Emmet has some confessions about life to make. The TV show ‘The Undiscovered Country’ was only created after Emmet fell into a depression. Tess had delivered a baby girl with a heart defect who died one week after birth, Alice. I have a feeling we’ll hear about Alice later. Tess pushed Emmet to film some adventure after his depression set in, and the show was born.
Touching moment behind us, the ominous whistling has started up again. This time you can see a real little whirlwind of vines and leaves coming right for the group. Manny heads off in one direction, Rabbit and Emmet in another. The sound dissipates and no more Manny. The search begins, and cuts to nightfall as Rabbit and Emmet attempt to find their lost cameraman.
No one gets to see the Bodies exhibit without entrance fee, so this one’s been pixelated.
While running from the horrific sight of a skinned Manny, Emmet figures out what the spirit needs to be appeased (and not destroy). He begins whistling the tune envisioned in his astral quest. This does the trick, the spirit goes away. Next we realize that Emmet really is delusional. Rabbit has a natural reaction of horror at the loss of her friend Manny. Emmet just clicks with a look of revelation and seems to act like Manny hasn’t really died, it’s just time to move on to the next challenge.
This guy is Fruit Loops, I’m outta here!
No one watching should be surprised that Rabbit has abandoned camp the next morning while Emmet’s out looking for food. She left only cameras, batteries, solar charger, solar radio and satellite phone. Suddenly I feel like I’m doing one of those weird team building challenges at the beginning of a seminar. Drink the whiskey, eat the chocolate, wrap yourself in the canvas and keep the axe to kill zombies. Emmet is still Emmet, so he treks on through the jungle to find that tribe. Each time the wind picks up, Emmet whistles back to keep the demon at bay. Plus, he’s talkier, probably because that camera has become his Wilson.
Emmet is attempting to start a fire with wet wood but no luck. He stops, and hears a noise from the jungle. The camera flashes a little static, and that motion is this show’s shorthand for ‘PARANORMAL S*T GOING DOWN’…but it’s just Salsa coming out of the trees. Okay, here’s where I have a little theory. Salsa is a shaman in the Xulos tribe. That dog has appeared to warn Emmet, clue him in on how to pass tests, and it just seems a little obvious. Am I alone on this one? This appearance gives Emmet the idea to use his fire starter trick to get dry and start up a campfire.
All those years at Clown College have finally paid off.
10 Days into the ‘lost footage’
Emmet continues to babble, but now he’s licking his lips. Uh, oh, someone’s getting dehydrated! Emmet still is sharing the grubs, etc gathered in the forest with his trusty pal Salsa, but I bet that dog is starting to look a little tasty.
I’m not hungry enough to eat you yet, but how about a kiss for some hydration?
Emmet is starting to look really, really worse for wear. He made the fatal mistake of drinking river water. I’ve always said the Missouri wasn’t a place to swim and accidentally swallow anything.
This is the last time I go tubing in August.
The more Emmet talks, the more he realizes that food is pretty scarce right now and he’s got a living calorie source traveling with him.
Don’t even go there, human.
Emmet is getting pretty bad, and finally notices that he has a satellite phone. Why not call Jimmy Johns? They don’t deliver in my neighborhood, but Tess managed to get a delivery so why not try?
Limited delivery area? I’m only one block off your map; can I just give you an extra tip?
Emmet’s not calling for delivery after all; instead he’s calling for a nice guilt trip from beyond the grave. How many times have your needy parents called when you’re on the way to a lecture (kegger)? This call has two benefits: 1) You can hear a real human voice and 2) Your son will never forgive himself. It’s a win-win.
Worst. Son. Ever.
Back in real time, Lincoln is busy beating himself up on the bridge of the Magus. Lena’s occupied in her cabin looking for ticks, scars and/or tattoos she can’t remember.
Where did I get that tattoo in Cozumel?
After checking out her entire body but depriving all the male viewers of a peak without her pants on (sorry boys), she spots something on the nape of her neck. She’s found the birthmark! The only plausible reason for missing it until now is that she needed to shave her neck a little to see it.
The next tape is queued up for viewing, and Tess soldiers on. Emmet’s beyond rough now, just barely crawling forward to that final destination. He’s starving, dehydrated, and the demon comes more and more often during the night preventing much sleep. If this was a desert, Emmet would hallucinate about water. This is a jungle, and Emmet sees a mango tree. Is it really a mango tree? The dog barks warning as he climbs, so I bet Emmet is just climbing some other non-fruit producing tree. The point is moot because Emmet falls from the tree and breaks his ankle.
I want a smoothie so bad I can taste it!
Did I say Emmet was crawling before? Well now, he’s really crawling, using the camera tripod as a cane to shuffle his body along the forest ground. Why not use that satellite phone now? Emmet has finally given up. His body just can’t continue without food. Speaking of food…
This dog is looking way too tasty. Salsa, why do you have to be so delicious?
Emmet is starting to realize his situation is hopeless. Except for that phone! Seriously, call someone! Why not your two-timing estranged wife? Why not Lena? Anyone?
If I only had some A1.
Emmet makes the best decision ever when he chooses not to kill the dog. It might not feel that way, as he has collapsed and the demon is coming back. Emmet’s too dehydrated to whistle!
In current time, Tess sends everyone but Lincoln out of the room to watch Emmet’s certain death. Just as Emmet looks like a total goner, another whistler begins answering the demon’s call. Salsa’s friends pick Emmet and his belongings up and transport to their village. A local medicine man treats Emmet’s injuries for an undetermined amount of time. Finally the tribe deposits him outside a local Umbrella Corporation subsidiary.
Come for the scenery, leave with non-disclosure agreements.
The tribesmen run away with the camera equipment, possibly to stash it in the waterproof bags and hidden in the Falls for the next group to find.
Tess and Lincoln now know that Emmet was alive, and they’re booking to that super-secret camp where the video last saw him. Everyone’s hiking at double speed for this hidden outpost, where Salsa the dog is waiting to guide them in. These people have never met this dog, yet the dog greets them and leads the way. I bet this tribe has been following these bumbling dumbbells the entire way.
We end with a bit of a cliff-hanger. The group reaches the outpost but it appears to be abandoned. This is supposedly only months after Emmet was deposited there, so how did the people disappear so fast? Are these the Germans?
AFTER the zombie apocalypse. But no blood…
I have a feeling Tuesday will be a Resident Evil kind of day. I can’t wait! Thanks for your patience on this week’s episode(s); I’ll be back to normal form to the end. After the action in this show I’m not sure I’ll survive this season’s snoozer of a cast on Dancing with the Stars.
To get the funniest quotes from TVgasm recaps as they’re posted, follow us on Twitter or like our Facebook page! You can post your favorite lines right back at us. Thanks for being here!
To follow my personal tweets, You Can Follow Me Here.