Do you enjoy following blood trails, vomiting at the stench of rotting flesh and running for your life without an axe? The River has a treat for you this week, Gasmii! On first watch this episode was all I wanted, but a second viewing reveals some of the silly horror tropes these writers just can’t get away from. To put this another way: I loved this episode but hated myself for it later. It’s like eating a full size Tolberone while sitting in the boarding area of yet another airport. First you buy it and have a few slices, intending to finish later, and then look up to the gate sign, back down and have an empty tripod of cardboard glaring at your chocolate covered face. I think a four year old just scowled at me in horror and distain.
This recap is insanely long, so I hope it was worth the wait!
Last week’s episode left our intrepid pioneers approaching the Umbrella Corp’s satellite center, the South American Boiúna Campus of Lies!
Come for the adventure, leave with at least 3 limbs. GUARENTEED
But first, it’s back to the past. Trope #1: We’re back at the moment when Lincoln found out his father was missing. Last week, we saw Lincoln watch his father call him from the Satellite phone, stuck out in the jungle and dying an unspeakable death. Lincoln brushed dad off, he’s busy going to learning, yo? It’s great that Lincoln made it to Genetics class, how else could he quickly decipher advanced genetic research later?
South American Boiúna Campus of Lies
You’re walking into an abandoned outpost. Vehicles are scattered around with the keys still in them and gas in the tank. Supplies are scattered across the yard in haphazard fashion. My first reaction? Get out of there! Lincoln and Tess? Start shouting!
Jayne knows something about this facility, obviously. He grabs the Satellite phone he’s been secreting and starts calling a phone number, but only reaches voicemail, for someone named Hana.
I never would have thought she was his type (or legal).
As Lincoln continues to bellow across the open courtyard, inviting all evil things to eat the entire group alive, Lena provides a voice of reason.
So you haven’t completely fallen to the dark side of ridiculous Tess is drowning in.
Of course, all this shouting has drawn the attention of someone (thing). The sounds of Nazi occupation begin wafting through from inside the structure. I don’t even need to watch the next 30 seconds. Tess will insist that the group head into the building towards the drifting and inappropriate music, and the entire group will enable her obsession. Let’s just take that as read, okay?
Glare all you want Lena, you are still following Tess to certain doom.
I hate it when the characters are so judgmental! I’m here to judge you!
Jayne leads the way with his weapon drawn, and this is only the second time I’ve seen him visibly nervous. The interior is a hot mess. Just imagine a large McMansion after a junior high kegger. I have finally figured out what it reminds me of: Fallout 3. I spent so many hours watching my ex with that game, I’m expecting Jayne to shoot a radscorpion or molerat.
It’s just wrong when someone is disturbed during their daily ‘crossword’. Now I’m upset.
Breaking into an office, Jayne finds the offending recording and turns it off. The office contains a piano (still in tune, thanks Clark), Lincoln’s Genetics course curriculum, and bloody footprints. As someone who watches CSI, CSI:NY, NCIS, NCIS:LA, Criminal Minds and every Law & Order ever put on the air, I can make an expert*** observation. Those footprints were made by someone calmly walking through the room and hallway, carefully making as much contact with the floor as possible. I realize we’re supposed to be idiots as an audience, but couldn’t we get a little more accuracy? I say this with the full acknowledgement that I can’t take screen shots of Jayne firing weapons because the blanks are so obvious I want to scream.
***I’m not really an expert, but I play one when watching TV.
The next room is a kitchen, with schnitzel, sausages, and dumplings pouring out of every surface. The group smells something incredibly nasty and suspect the food is the culprit. Actually, Jayne sniffs the food and proclaims the smell is coming from the…freezer! I’ve seen Kitchen Nightmares too many times to believe this. The worst smells and food danger always comes from the walk-in fridge. Rotten vegetables, cross contamination and petrified chicken breasts are scary.
Lincoln spots Emmet Cole’s hat peeking out from under a table. This causes Lincoln and Tess to start their stoopid shouting routine again, until a buzzing noise is detected by AJ. Does this cause the team to pause for some thoughtful consideration of the best move to take? Of course not! Clark opens the freezer, expecting Buffalo Wild Wings to fly out:
I’m sure Gordon has seen worse, or at least more disgusting.
Clark, Lincoln and cameraman need to puke after that sight. Personally, I think I would have turned back at the blood-stained walls and air curtain. Who am I kidding; I never would have opened a freezer with that much buzzing! I think we need Grissom to give a pseudo-lecture on the growth pattern and timing of blowflies.
One dramatic commercial break later, it’s time for another flashback. Let’s see where Clark, AJ, Tess and that Jewish guy who didn’t last too long were up to a month ago? That should be close to the time when the emergency beacon was activated, but before Tess became a manic mess.
It all makes sense now; this is back in her depression phase. She must be in a mania now. Thanks DSM!
Tess is at home in Maryland, sleeping, eating occasionally, cleaning nothing and letting the mail pile all over the place. Basically she’s a messy ball of guilt and sadness. It’s got to be hard to mourn the husband you screwed over for years. First you’re sad, then secretly happy, then even sadder. Vicious cycle. Tess gives us the most genuine moment of all when she covers her face with a blanket at the news before switching over to ‘Fulfilling everyone’s expectations Tess’ we’ve been seeing throughout the Amazon footage. Clark gives her the catch to the network-funded expedition: it will all be taped for a new show and Lincoln must be a full participant.
Great idea! Back to the present. On a side note: normally shows use the flashback ruse as a way of compensating for low funding, reusing footage, or a lack of meat in the current storyline. Which reason do you think applies in this case?
Someone needs to go into the room again and get a really good look around to determine if Emmet Cole is one of the corpses. Remember, it’s a whole other show if he’s already dead! Yes, definitely a more boring show if all we have is a quick escape after finding a dead daddy. Clark immediately nominates AJ to go in for the identification. Give the brother a break! He’s already violated the ‘no caves’ clause of his contract, so back off AJ. Lincoln, ever the morose victim, volunteers next. He’s going to Capital City to partcip….wait, wrong storyline.
Lincoln gets his jungle ‘hood’ gear ready, and Jonas gets completely covered to go in on camera. If Jonas is going along with this, why doesn’t he just run in, pan across the room, then run out and they can watch the footage? I should know better than to use so much logic.
Okay, I’d love to add an American Taliban joke here, but that might be TOO wrong. Let’s just say that Jonas is ready for the sands of Arrakis, okay?
While Jonas, Lincoln, Clark, Tess and Lena are busy examining bodies, Jayne sneaks off in another direction. Oktoberfest must be just around the corner, he doesn’t want to miss any of the warm beer action! AJ sees Jayne sneak off, and rather than stick around for the vomitfest at the freezer, he’s more interested in stalking a heavily armed man on a mission.
Lincoln’s back out of the freezer a few minutes later, with good news and bad news. The good news: Doctor Emmet Cole is not in the fridge. The bad news:
They’ve been storing cooked chicken next to raw. Shut it all down!
Meanwhile AJ manages to keep following Jayne without detection. Sorry, I can ignore a lot but that premise is ridiculous. The only possible reason has to be his distraction from being personally involved in this week’s creature feature spectacular. Jayne calls his gorgeous German lover so he can track her by the sound of the ringing satellite phone. I would have loved to hear that obnoxious ring tone from the Jurassic Park films, would be a great touch. Jayne reaches the room of his loovah, and we’re treated to a little of his character’s flashback.
The writers would like to dedicate this back shot to all the men in the audience.
Back in the present, Jayne finds his stalker, almost shoots him but is too distracted to belt AJ across the face. Based on previous week’s adventures, I’m surprised AJ didn’t deck him. Those two are a regular Tina and Ike revisited. Instead the boys are distracted by the water running down the sink on to the bathroom floor. Obviously an overrun sink indicates someone else is in the room. Wasn’t that the focus of another Japanese classic?
Back at the vomitorium, Lincoln is describing the post-Zombie scene in the freezer. Body parts, some ripped apart with teeth, etc. I’m regretting that bratwurst I just ate at the airport restaurant earlier. After all the bizarre events these people have experienced, why would cannibals be a surprise? I might need to create a website dedicated to the fake shock of Lena, determined fanaticism of Tess, whipped puppy of Lincoln and insincere concern of Clark.
Why create a website when we can see all four expressions here?
The group begins the boring should we stay, should we go dance yet again, but when Clark looks to Jayne for backup, his absence is noted. Should AJ be insulted no one noticed he was gone? The group debarks on a mission to find Jayne and AJ, exploring until they run into a mad scientist lair, complete with bloody operating table, random body parts in jars, and a giant Map of Science/Medical Stuff for Lincoln to translate to the adventurers. So lucky Lincoln took that one class last semester! Just think, he decided on Intro to TV Genetics over the more popular option, Grey’s Anatomy for Idiots. I don’t think that learning how to drink tequila, bang your superiors and ruin clinical trials would be as helpful.
A huge tank is next to the whiteboard, and no one watching is likely surprised to see a huge body floating in formaldehyde. It’s one of the Xulos tribesmen, and he’s dead, dead, dead. The Xulos does have one revelation to offer, in the shape of a tattoo on his chest.
Just like my necklace! I bet Lena can up you one with a birthmark.
I don’t know if it’s the constant watching of this show, the comments from you, the other viewers, or my general crankiness today but Lena needs to STOP GLARING AT THE SCREEN. I feel like I’m in a class where the professor insists on overselling all the items on the test. At first you appreciate this assistance, but after the first couple of weeks you start to feel like your intelligence is being insulted. Lena, we’re not that stupid. I sure hope you’re not that stupid. Actress playing Lena, stop overselling each moment and just learn to live in that moment to take us there.
Since the moron crew can’t find themselves out of a paper bag, Jayne and AJ find them instead with a third person in tow – Rabbit! This is not a white fluffy rabbit, but Rabbit, the female crew member of the doomed expedition who left Emmet Cole to die sans survival gear in the jungle. I think Rabbit was attached to the German conspiracy plot, how else did she end up hanging out at this base? Sure, you could buy the line that Rabbit randomly came across the base while wandering through the woods, but I think conspiracies are more interesting.
Rabbit has arrived at a convenient time, the natives are getting restless. I wouldn’t be able to sleep either with all the screaming Tess and Lincoln insist on, so I relate. We get our first look at these ‘cannibals’ (note how the official episode guides don’t refer to them as zombies) as one rushes towards the group down a hallway.
Can I recommend a double tap?
Reasons these creatures must be zombies:
1) They appear to be undead.
2) They swarm towards non-infected humans.
3) They do not talk or communicate in a recognizable way.
Reasons these can’t be zombies:
1) Zombies do not gather dead bodies in a freezer to eat later.
2) Zombies do not sleep or rest once prey has been sighted.
3) Zombies need to be dismembered to stop.
I think we should have a real debate, if only because I need reassurance I’m not the only person to obsess over minor details like this.
Back to the show, and another obsessive personality. The group has run to a fallback position to hide from the zombies/whatever and learn some more exposition about the situation. Tess is grilling Rabbit on her last Emmet sighting as well as laying on a guilt trip over abandoning Emmet in the first place. I’m sure she would be hating on this girl regardless, it’s never pleasant for wife #1 to meet possible wife #2. Rabbit indicates by her timeline of events that 1) Emmet came to the base, then 2) Rabbit came to the base, then 3) All hell broke loose. If that was the case, where was Rabbit for so long? Emmet went many days after Rabbit abandoned him, and had some recoup time with the Xulos before he ended up at the Death Camp. I think Rabbit is lying. She’s part of the conspiracy, I tell ya!
Lincoln finds an unencrypted, non-password-protected laptop with video files. How very convenient! Lena works some basic computing magic to make the files watchable. This gives the audience time for three main plot devices: 1) Lena and Lincoln flirt to make Jonas jealous, 2) Lincoln appears to be some type of genetic wunderkind to understand all the unethical mumbo-jumbo done at this super-secret lab and 3) we learn that while the scientists were successful in their efforts, Hana was hired to double-cross the researchers and keep the work from being transported out of the lab. Hana and Jayne are a match made in heaven. Hana’s efforts to keep the scientists from transporting the retrovirus cause the entire cannibals/zombies situation to begin with.
This knowledge that Hana is one of the infected puts Jayne right back into his flashback scene in Berlin. Right before Hana left for this outpost mission, Jayne was attempting to get Hana to tie the knot. German mercenaries are so hot! AJ has seen the picture in Hana’s quarters of Jayne, so he knows Jayne knows more than he’s letting on about this entire situation. AJ starts grilling Jayne on what he’s been hiding but Jayne gets a reprieve in the form of flashing lights coming from the infirmary across the quad. These people have the attention span of goldfish. Tess is now convinced Emmet is signaling the group and wants to head over, pronto. Of course she does. I wouldn’t have faith in this universe at all if Tess was making a good decision.
Another abrupt commercial break leads us to Lena’s flashback sequence. All of the talk of selling ski equipment to rich tourists made me believe she was working at some exclusive resort, but really Lena was working at a Dick’s Sporting Goods in Boulder. To get the camera-intensive conceit in place, the producers have introduced security cam footage rather than pretending some spring breakers just happened to be filming that day. This approach provides one major benefit: Lena won’t be gawking at the camera. Two months ago, Lena was folding polo shirts when she suddenly went into a seizure. It was a psychic vision of Emmet’s condition and led her on the path to turning on that distress signal to get the expedition going. If you watch the ‘footage’ closely, you will see the same camera flash we see in other episodes to indicate something paranormal is about to occur. Nice continuity. Also, how messed up is it that a stranger consoled her on Emmet Cole’s death but didn’t say (or maybe realize) that her father died in that same expedition?
I believe I can see the future, as I repeat the same routine.
No wonder she wanted the ‘excitement’ of this expedition.
Jayne leads the way through tunnels under the compound over to the infirmary. Conveniently all the monsters have disappeared. Rabbit claims that they often disappear for 10-30 minute intervals, long enough to breathe but not long enough to escape the compound entirely. Through one section, the group flashes lights on the ground and see that the creatures are sleeping, snoring even, along the floor they’ve been walking on. Yup, not creepy at all. So what — are these monsters in some sort of dormant state, digesting the human flesh they’ve been carving off the freezer bodies? This makes little to no sense. Rather than moving through quickly, Jayne is sighting each monster, looking for his lost love. As soon as the entire group is clear, he blows all the creatures to bits. I approve. At this point, I thought Jayne had blown up his fiancée. I will now promise my boyfriend that if he becomes a nasty zombie-like creature I will hack off his head myself. It’s what you do for those you love, after all.
The group reaches this infirmary, and find the source of the mysterious light signals = not Emmet.
But Emmet must have put these here, he knows I love shiny…what were we doing?
This setback is enough to cause Tess to lose hope. She abruptly crashes down to depression territory, so it’s time for another patron of lost causes to come forward. Cue Lincoln, who spots a daddy-fly.
Fear is the mind killer.
The daddy-fly leads Lincoln out the door, upstairs and up a ladder in a game of follow the mystical creature. Tess and Lincoln are very gung ho on this adventure, with the others behind by many steps, other than whichever cameraman is documenting. It’s not clear which cameraman is leading the way, but I’ll guess AJ. Daddy-fly finally stops at a small transformer room at the top of the facility, full of cobwebs (ick), insects (more ick) and a huge human sized cocoon of gross.
Be afraid. Be very afraid.
We’ve found Dr. Emmet Cole, encased in his pupa of dragonfly loogey. Now even Emmet Cole gets his flashback moment, to an episode of his show from October 2002. It’s an educational bit where Dr. Cole describes how when dragonflies or butterflies begin experiencing a serious drought or famine, they retreat into a nympha stage. This retreat allows them to come out with all guns blazing and repopulate their kingdoms when released. Look out Tess! Heck, this nympha stage has been for a while, so even Lena and Rabbit might need to watch their backs!
It’s safe to say that the dragonfly is definitely Emmet Cole’s spirit animal. The rest of the group catches up at this point, and everyone gawks at the nasty horror of the cocoon. Tess grabs Jayne’s knife and cuts right into the shell. Lincoln and Tess pull Emmet right out of stasis, and I just threw up a little looking at all that puss and goo. Yuck.
And this is when Clark realizes he’s never getting Tess back.
Remember all those monsters swarming all over the outpost? Yup, they’re back. These folks better book it back to the Magus, pronto.
The ship is signaling departure, get back to port! Damn you Carlos ‘n Charlies!
It’s always difficult to get back to the ship when you’re dragging a drunk or dead body back with you. Emmet should have stopped at 3 shots. Jayne is bringing up the rear, shooting monsters as fast as he can. Salsa the wonder dog is back again as well, leading the group through the jungle in the dark. Emilio and Jahel have been enjoying the day off, with all the stupid Gringos out of the way. Tess shouts to Emilio to get the motors running, but Salsa won’t come on board.
I’m a dog but I’m not stupid. That’s a floating deathtrap!
The monsters seem to have abated, and the Magus is moving full steam ahead back up the River. Jahel is navigating, and Lena is working the spotter slot. Tess and Lincoln are tending to Emmet in the Captain’s room but he appears to be in a coma.
Is this one of those memory comas where he will forget about my affair when he wakes up?
Minutes and perhaps hours move by and the crew get back to their usual routine. Clark continues ‘editing’ so he can spy on his former flame. Jayne drinks himself some vodka alone in his room. Lena attempts to take care of Lincoln by bringing him food. Now that all the action is complete, Lincoln confesses to Lena that he has a girlfriend back in Chicago. Lincoln’s transformation to dad is complete: he’s an asshole too. When Lincoln’s been giving off so many conflicting signals to Lena, I can’t blame her for being a little upset.
It’s time for another Cole family conflict to be resolved. Tess heads up to the deck to confront Rabbit.
I will pretend that I’m upset about you leaving Emmet in the jungle, but really I want you gone before he realizes you would make a great Mrs. Emmet Cole.
Tess signals her intention to drop Rabbit off at the first sign of civilization. She also reveals a bit of a veiled threat to avoid creating any negative press for the Emmet Cole legacy. Tess could have been a great Disney lawyer. Before Rabbit can begin planning her Radar campaign against Gretchen, fate intervenes in the form of one particular monster determined to track this ship down.
It’s hungry, time for some Rabbit chunky stew. How does Jahel, the only observant person on this expedition, miss this happening behind her?
Meanwhile Jayne is still drinking below decks, brooding over his lost love. AJ is performing a reboot of all the camera systems (great timing!) so all action can be missed. Jayne comes in just as this reboot and begins to confront AJ about the lost outpost footage. Jayne might be too drunk for talking, as he orders AJ to destroy all footage from the day and goes on a rant about hating him…all in German. AJ is oblivious to all of this, and as usual is poking the bear with a stick.
No really, why is yo momma so fat?
Jayne reveals his true mission (in German): to kill Emmet Cole. Suddenly the camera systems are back up and Jayne sobers really quickly at the view of the deck with Rabbit’s dead mangled body. Jayne runs up to the bridge, AJ grabs his camera and Lincoln hears a strange growling at Emmet’s bedside. The crewmembers learn a little from past experience and all isolate themselves in locked rooms to track the monster outside. Lincoln, Lena and Jahel end up barricaded in the Sliver room. Clark and Tess are locked up in the galley. Jayne and AJ are upstairs on the bridge. The monster attacks the door and Jayne realizes it’s his fiancée Hana. After a few agonizing moments and declaring undying love, he shoots her 3 times.
Who says Germans can’t express emotions? Nothing says love quite like a head shot. Double tap shows you really mean it.
So Jayne’s killed monster #1, where’s monster #2? Tess mistakenly asks this question, so fate answers by sending it through the galley door.
Tess, you’re an ignorant fool.
Fortunately Tess has a willing sacrificial lamb, Clark jumps into the monster’s reach to get Tess to safety. The monster slams him to the side and tosses Tess on to the galley table. Lincoln and Lena barge into the room, deflecting attention and then someone else shoots the monster right through the brains. Who is this man from the shadows? Emmet Cole, of course! He wants to know if his funeral was cool. How many cars were in the procession? Did it make anyone late for work?
“Is it dead?“
“This has me just as shocked as every other thing I’ve seen on this show.“
“Did he mean to shoot me?”
Sorry it took so long to get out of the carbonite.
Are we happy or sad to have Emmet Cole for the final episode? Where were Jonas and Emilio during the final sequence? I’m happy to be home and not traveling while the final episode airs so writing won’t take so long. I want Jayne to try and kill Emmet. I want Lena to finally express some emotion other than panic or shock. I would love Emmet and Lincoln to have a drag down fight over some silly little detail, like what minor he picked in college. Tess and Clark need to come clean, and Emmet needs to call Tess on her shit. I want a full week in my house rather than traveling through Ohio and/or Michigan. Sigh.
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.