Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.
Gasmii, friends, paranormal activity lovers, fellow freaks of nature, isn’t it sad when a show like this has come to an end? While The River hasn’t been cancelled, I don’t foresee any more episodes being ordered, and this makes me a sadclownface. I haven’t even had a chance to use my comedic horror musical theater knowledge yet, and without chances to sing ‘What the Fuck Was That’ under my breath how will I get through my day?
Fortunately I have one last chance to explore the world of the River and maybe fit in a ‘Stupid Bitch’ reference for Tess. My favorite work travel memory to date is a great community theatre performance I managed to catch of Evil Dead: The Musical in Cleveland, Ohio. It was almost 3 years ago, and I still remember the dumbfounded look on the CVS clerks’ face when I walked in and asked where the laundry detergent and Oxyclean could be found, as I was drenched in stage blood. Good times…
Previously on the River…
We open in June 1988, with very young Lena and Lincoln sharing a room on the Magus as adorable children. Lena can’t sleep, so she crawls into bed with Lincoln (stop it pervs out there!). Lena asks Lincoln to ‘sing it’ again. Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream. Creepily, creepily, creepily, why do kids sound strange?
Six days after Emmet Cole miraculously shot the last ‘cannibal’ on board and the crew is heading home. Douche is giving a ‘final’ on board interview, and beginning the task of editing and packaging the footage to present a final product to the networks. How great, he’s going to cut together 8 episodes! Hey, I can think of another 8 episode show…nah, I can’t think of an American one. Actually, Douche is spending a little too much time watching Tess resume conjugal visits with Emmet (how much time does it take after chrysalis to get a hard-on, anyway?) while he ‘destroys’ footage which is too inconvenient. You know, like anything that nods towards conspiracy theories, educational tomes on child spirits, extra-marital activities or how Douche can cry like a baby at Tess’ emotional manipulation.
We get some mixed emotions in the exit interviews. Lincoln acknowledges the journey has changed him and his father-son relationship. Emilio admits non-verbally that he wouldn’t make the journey in hindsight. Jahel is convinced they won’t be able to finish the journey at all (what a Debbie Downer). AJ is pushed to out himself in his exit interview (not cool, Douche) and is understandably pissy. Best line of the night again comes from AJ: “I don’t go clubbing when I’m running away from ghosts.” Jonas just wants to have sex, and in an inspirational cutaway we immediately move to Lena’s interview (subtle, editors). Lena speaks of how she used to force Lincoln to sing Row, Row, Row to her as a child.
Everyone’s gotten their interviews in, so time for the one we’ve all been waiting for – Emmet Cole!
Why did Emmet Cole come to the Amazon? He was convinced that only Emmet Cole was destined to find something. What is this vague something? It’s a magical pair of stilettos that can make my legs look amazing but are comfortable enough to walk from the Bellagio to the New York, New York. No wait, it’s a juice cleanse that doesn’t end in a painful bathroom incident. Sorry, it’s actually the long lost exercise routine I can complete in my sleep but lose 4 inches from my waist!
Emmet’s not talking much, actually. He’s all about being a father and husband but is speaking in that “I’m going to tell you what I need to say to get past this court ordered rehab and get rid of the alcohol monitoring bracelet” tone I don’t buy. Lincoln’s not buying this either.
Emmet abruptly ends his interview and storms off. Later he heads on deck to attempt an apology to Lena. Remember the girl with the dead cameraman father? This apology does appear to be sincere, but when Lena demands some answers to her bizarre birthmark he’s not happy to oblige. Emmet now believes that all the magic and spirit nonsense is just a warning to leave the Boiúna, and unlike Tess he can take a hint.
I will say that Bruce Greenwood has a delicious ‘tell’ he inserts whenever Emmet Cole is hiding something. Look for the twitch. It’s the actor’s equivalent to the way the camera screens all flash when a paranormal event is about to occur.
Meanwhile, Douche is putting some old moves on Tess on the bridge. He’s boosting up her ego by praising Tess’ superior skills leading the expedition. OMG, I just threw up a little. I’ve got to remind myself this man will do anything to get that piece back in his life. Nope, didn’t work, I’m still nauseous.
Tess aint buying what he’s selling. Maybe she’s turning a new leaf. Maybe Tess will decide to do something ‘normal’ and WASP-y, like join the Rotary or lead an effort to ban Judy Blume books from the local library. Regardless, Douche is now pissed and jealous of Emmet Cole. I think this time it’s more serious because Emmet Cole is present. Anyone else think Douche was convinced Emmet Cole was dead? I bet Douche started this whole ball of wax for two reasons: 1) to further his career with a great television show to his credit and 2) get Tess back once and for all after forcing her to face Emmet’s corpse. Alas, it just wasn’t meant to be.
In steerage, Emilio and Jahel are performing the underappreciated work to keep the old Magus going, but the generator is overheating. Can’t support all the equipment needed to film a television show without a huge generator, I’m sure. Emilio powers down the generator for an hour to ‘clear it out’. Huh? Generator overheating to me equals turn it off to cool it down, not ‘clear it out’. What would need to be cleared out, exactly? Jayne’s paranoia, Lincoln’s petulance, Emmet’s delusions of grandeur? Wait, I get it now. Really the generators need to be off so all the static onboard cameras can be conveniently off. How else can we have a Mrs. Marple style whodunit?
Lincoln heads to the deck to have some daddy and me time but just like most Disney animal family adventures it doesn’t end well. Lincoln calls his dad on his shit a bit, they’re bonding over the thought that Emmet plans on destroying all the expedition evidence when suddenly gunfire erupts from the navigation room. Lincoln shoves Emmet out of the way and takes the bullet in the neck. Lincoln bleeds out in seconds, with Tess and Lena screaming and screeching and not being useful in any way.
Lincoln’s body is placed in the Cole parental bed (why not on the galley table of doom?) and Tess drags everyone together for a find-the-killer scene. It’s kind of dull, but the end result is Douche revealing Jayne’s secret satellite calls and overheard promise to kill Emmet Cole if he found the Source. This makes him suspect #1 for the team. Jayne’s pretty disheartened in general (remember, he killed the love of his life less than a week ago) and surrenders his gun but no one is blamed for the death.
Later that evening, a fog is drifting over the Magus, and Jahel is alone at the helm and ready for a more prominent role in the storyline of the week. The radio suddenly begins transmitting static, and Jahel begins talking back and forth to the static. Hey, it’s ghost friend redux! Ghost friend has some f’ed up voodoo ideas to impart, and Jahel brings them straight to Emmet and Tess. The Boiúna can bring Lincoln back! Tess is gathering materials and preheating the oven, but Emmet is immediately not down with this plan. The Boiúna isn’t just another name for this section of the river – it’s the god of all demons. Tess doesn’t care, and you can tell. Emmet has a healthy respect for sanity and doesn’t want the two girls messing with this message at all.
Tess waits a whole 5 minutes I bet before finding Jahel in steerage to begin the ritual. Sigh.
Lena is up on deck but can tell something is wrong. Maybe she’s developing a Tess bad idea spidey sense? Lena feels a shiver and heads back inside.
The ritual starts out simple enough, with some destruction of tarot cards, a short game of solitaire and dangling Lincoln’s necklace to hypnotize Tess. As Jahel continues, however, the Magus experiences some lighting changes, a storm begins rolling in and Emmet is beginning to feel something is up all the way on the bridge. It gets really freaky, though, when Tess needs to sacrifice blood from both of her arms to the Boiúna. Lincoln’s shrouded body is revealed by an unseen hand, and Emmet rushes out of the room to find the disturbance he can’t ignore any more. Lincoln’s necklace offered as sacrifice bursts into flames, and a loud shrieking wail overpowers the ship. The Cole cabin is filling with River water, and shoots of Jersey Jacuzzi nastiness are streaming towards the Magus. Lincoln’s body is completely submerged by the water, Jahel and Tess roll around shrieking and suddenly it’s all over.
Emmet races down below decks to confront Tess. “What did you do?” Emmet, I think you can guess. Tess says nothing and heads to the Cole suite to comfort her reincarnated son. Emmet might be realizing that he should make all the important decisions in their relationship now. You know, like making grocery lists, choosing new cars and determining what voodoo rituals may or may not be a good idea. Lincoln opens the cabin door to say hi to mom.
Is this whole reanimation business too good to be true? Of course! Have you ever seen Pet Cemetery?
Tess is just overjoyed to have her son, but Jayne is muttering this isn’t good and Emmet appears to not believe this is good fortune either.
De-Lincoln immediately reports Jayne as the person who shot him, before the group can think about this too closely. Jayne surrenders peacefully to being locked in a storage closet, but warns “Be Careful”.
It is breakfast time and De-Lincoln has some father-son time with Emmet. The camera is flickering just about every moment De-Lincoln speaks. If Emmet wasn’t sure something was funny about De-Lincoln’s actions before, he’s sure when De-Lincoln hugs him and proclaims love after every conversation. This isn’t the sullen hipster I raised!
Emilio is doing some tough parenting of his own. When they get back to America, he’s sending Jahel to live with some aunt in Montana.
Jahel is having none of it. If a crazy Gringo like Tess can make stupid choices and get by why can’t she? Jahel wants to embrace her talents and live life without hiding in the Engine room (physically and metaphorically).
On the bridge Tess is plotting her way home through denial but Emmet is attempting to drive her to reason station. Give up Emmet! I’ve had too much experience with this type of personality. You can attempt to drive reason into her brain but it will never happen. Try manipulation instead. Fight crazy with crazy. Emmet knows Lincoln is really De-Lincoln because he offered affection! Foiled by feelings, demon!
“Your son tells you he loves you, and it’s a reason to be suspicious. Must be some kind of father.”
Yes, you have been a bad father, Emmet. Join the club! At least you noticed when De-Lincoln wasn’t your son. Did Tess notice, and does she believe you?
Meanwhile, De-Lincoln is making a roast brain beef sandwich in the galley, getting his knife skills ready. Jonas trails him into the kitchen, camera in tow. De-Lincoln allows Jonas to make him a sandwich before he admits that De-Lincoln saw the shooter.
Can we keep De-Lincoln? He’s got a great sense of humor, justice and isn’t afraid to express his feelings. No passive-aggressive moping from this guy!
Some more time has passed and that sandwich is long gone. De-Lincoln is getting some fresh air after lunch, but Emmet is down in Sliver catching up on all the footage of the expedition. The many gaps in the footage are very convenient. Emmet just misses any references to Tess and Douche’s affair. Douche even jumps in to check what Emmet’s watching. After Douche steps back out, Emmet switches over to the sandwich tape we just saw (but with a very different ending). In this alternative tape recorded by the ship static cameras, Jonas makes the sandwich, De-Lincoln eats it, Jonas walks out, and then De-Lincoln stares right into the camera. The camera sputters as De-Lincoln stares to reprogram it and then it cuts to static.
Emmet has seen enough. Watching footage I think was his way of convincing himself the journey had just changed Lincoln, but instead convinced him Lincoln is dead and De-Lincoln is in charge now. Emmet heads to find Lena and formulate a plan.
Emilio is attempting to show Jahel just how bad her choices are by giving her some backstory on her mother. Jahel’s mother, remember, is also a medium. Jahel thinks her mom is dead, but apparently she’s just hidden away somewhere. My guess is in an asylum, rocking back and forth, asking ghost friend to please quiet down for the night.
De-Lincoln is pacing the ship, causing camera failure up and down the hallways. He’s heading for the storage room where Jayne is being held to catch up on old times. I have the feeling Jayne is a modern day Knight Templar. Rather than protecting pilgrims on journey to the Holy Land, he’s protecting the secrets of the Boiúna. De-Lincoln calls him a Guardian as he beats the crap out of Jayne. De-Lincoln doesn’t kill Jayne; he wants Jayne to tell the ‘others’. Leave it to the writers to open some new secrets we probably won’t have explored in a season 2.
In the Death Galley, Douche is drowning his sorrows in whatever alcohol he can scrounge. AJ creeps up on Douche to revel in his ‘epic self-pity’. I love AJ! AJ is egging Douche on, because it’s obvious that Douche has been mooning over Tess so now AJ is calling him on his shit. I have a feeling AJ was leaving Douche alone about this before on purpose but after that last interview all bets are off. Since AJ doesn’t appear to be too frightened of Jayne, a few glasses thrown from Douche don’t faze him a bit. Before Douche can come over to smack AJ personally, drips from above change the conversation. The Hanging Man has become the stuffed-into-the-ventilation man.
Lena and Emmet have started to implement their secret plan up on the deck.
Lena brings up Lincoln’s girlfriend back in Chicago, but De-Lincoln is more interested in putting the moves on Lena. He’s pretty hot for her, in an aggressively dominant sort of way. De-Lincoln’s been watching Lena for a long, long time. Maybe the secret symbol is some sort of a phallic hotness gauge to demons. Lena gives De-Lincoln the wet kiss he’s demanding and then asks him to drink the beer she’s holding and follow her…(to bed). Like horny men everywhere, De-Lincoln falls for it.
The beer was spiked with demon repellant, and De-Lincoln starts convulsing as Emmet Billy-clubs him to the back of the head. That’s pretty harsh. Won’t Lincoln feel that when De-Lincoln surrenders the body?
De-Lincoln is now strapped to the map table, and the entire group has convened in Sliver. Tess is ridiculous. She is staring at this demon, contorting into crazy motions on a table, being confronted with the gnarly death of Jonas at its hand, and still won’t admit that De-Lincoln is not Lincoln. Delusional doesn’t begin to describe this woman’s problems. I’m as obsessed with her denial as she is obsessed with ignoring every other unpleasant truth in her life. This woman could watch De-Lincoln bite the head off a kitten and praise him for killing that dangerous tiger.
Lena and Emmet head up to exorcise the demon from Lincoln. They start with some sort of a flashlight in De-Lincoln’s face to paralyze him, and then stick a jar with a dragonfly over his mouth and nose. Yuck. This whole dragonfly crawling down the throat thing is disgusting to me. I think the dragonfly is really just a conduit for Emmet to enter De-Lincoln’s body and force the demon out. Or something.
The demon doesn’t allow the procedure to be too easy, though. He overheats the flashlight and spits up the dragonfly in Emmet’s face. Boiúna is pissed that Emmet came to steal his secrets, and plans on stealing Lincoln’s body in exchange. No pea soup is thrown up, but we get a whole lot of snarling, growling, contorting and raging.
De-Lincoln decides to air some dirty Cole laundry. He announces Douche and Tess’ relationship (I won’t put it quite as crudely as the demon did) and Emmet appears to be surprised. While Emmet is a self-absorbed person, I can’t believe he didn’t know about the affair.
Emmet begins dropping a concoction down De-Lincoln’s body to expel the demon. Jayne is chanting in Latin to assist in removal of the demon (from his cell). See – Latin – who else wants to put some money down on Knight Templar?
De-Lincoln appeals to Lena and she falls for it for a bit, and is pushed up to the ceiling by the Boiúna. The demon begins to work her over, and Emmet is lit on fire to get him out of the way. De-Lincoln begins singing Row, Row, Row in child Lincoln’s voice as Lena’s shirt is ripped open.
De-Lincoln releases Lena, and Emmet and Lena run out to regroup and form a new plan. Since Jayne obviously knows something more than previously released about the Boiúna, the group heads to his cell. Jayne starts talking. Yes, he planned to kill Emmet. No, he doesn’t still plan on that. Yes, he can help with the exorcism. So the situation’s this: no one can extract a demon, but if the soul is still in the body it can push the demon out. All Emmet and Tess need to do is talk directly to Lincoln, and ignore De-Lincoln. Obviously Tess is not capable of this, so it’s up to Emmet. He admits to a ton of parental negligence. First steps: missed. First kiss: missed. First lie: okay, that he managed to witness.
Four years of couples therapy condensed into four minutes has the desired result. The demon leaves Lincoln’s body after shattering all the glass on the deck.
Lincoln appears shocked, but Lincoln is definitely back again.
Like many episodes before, we jump ahead to daylight and everyone’s acting like not much has happened. Tess is ignoring all around her and steering the ship to avoid eye contact with others. Emmet is glaring at Douche and Douche is backing off because we all know who the alpha dog is. Lincoln is apologizing, but what should he apologize for? Did Lincoln ask to be resurrected from the dead? Lena is hesitant and heads over to take the wheel from Tess. Emmet holds out his hands to Tess to take her right back, so obviously he sees Douche as the only bad person in that affair.
Less than 2 minutes left in the episode, and the crew is all gathering topside to watch as they leave the Boiúna for the boring old Amazon. It couldn’t be that simple! Nope, it’s not.
Just as the ship heads for the last turn, the jungle begins to warp and change. The GPS goes out so the crew has no idea where the Magus is. AJ sends up the helicopter camera for a better look:
Life is but a dream, indeed. Maybe they’re all just living in Lena’s reality. Like any good Christopher Nolan film, the series leaves me with more questions than answers. Unlike Christopher Nolan’s work, I’m not satisfied in spite of all the questions.
I would love to see a season 2 for this series because I love heartbreak, but I’m not too optimistic. Ratings weren’t as high as hoped, and I think ABC has more expectations before it will get another green light. I do hope we see more of the Magus crew, if only to answer some of my immediate questions: Just how ‘special’ is Lena, anyway? How good in the sack must Tess be to have two guys making fools of themselves for her crazy self? What secret order does Jayne belong to? Where exactly is Jahel’s mother? Will Lincoln ever grow up? Has Emmet learned to be less selfish? Why hasn’t AJ just abandoned these fools to get home himself?
It’s been an adventure! I hope you consider following me over to my new tag-team gig with T-Cake on Dancing with the Stars! It’s just like a jungle horror adventure, with better hair, makeup and costumes. Actually, it’s much more snark. I love me some jiggle and glitter, even if it’s not just my own stomach (jiggle) and nails (glitter).
To follow my personal tweets, You Can Follow Me Here.