Sorry so late Gasmii! Work, travel, site problems and general laziness have all collided this week to create a perfect storm of Indonesian dog poo. On top of that, I’m a little bummed out that it’s looking like this series will definitely be a limited 8 episode run (opening night was two episodes). I have mixed feelings – I think some shows are best as a limited series, but I’m enjoying this one and don’t want it to end. Look at the brilliance of the BBC Office versus the never-ending march of the US version. How awesome was the BBC limited series Jekyll? What kind of TV snob am I to only think of British examples?
Seriously, check this series out. Crazy, awesome stuff.
So enough with my BBC fixations! Back to The River, and the obsessional search for Dr. Emmet Cole:
It has six days since we last spent time with our Magus WTF crew, and perhaps it is acceptable that all are perfectly healthy? I’m so happy that the ships’ stores appear to be just fine food-wise, which is suspicious due to the last farmer’s market being wiped out by the plague:
Remember me, guys? Buy local!
A dense fog of doom has overtaken the ship, and Jonas is guiding Tess on her path to self-destruction with some hand drawn maps of the uncharted River, and a healthy dose of sarcasm.
“…And then the jerk abandoned me to die hanging from a tree without a forwarding address!”
“I’m the only one allowed to be sanctimonious on this bridge, jackass.”
Lena reminds Tess that Emmet Cole isn’t the only missing person here, Russ the cameraman is gone too. Wait…wow, I’m a horrible human being! I completely forgot about Lena’s father! Of course, when you are the second banana on a high profile group I bet all the families of the other people just love how much attention the ‘talent’ gets over the support staff. Just as I’m feeling guilty, the sound of an accordion reminds me why I sometimes find Lena ridiculous.
Even Weird Al has a wife and child. Accordions only have a 90% pregnancy prevention rate in Ohio.
Clark is right back to being Douche during the personal interview. Douche wants Lena to list the reasons her dad is special. Russ cheats at cards, calls Emmet on his shit and even tried to keep Lena away from this hellhole. I don’t know, Douche, why is Russ so special again? Lena’s bringing the attention to her father being just as missing as Emmet Cole. I can’t disagree with her. We’re treated to some flashbacks of Lena as an adorable tomboy living on the Magus. Who would have thought that such a peaceful table in the galley would be treated in the future to stab wounds and active malaria?
In present time Lena and Tess are synching up their bad-idea cycles on the bridge. When women live or work in close quarters this sometimes happens. Very sad. These ladies are getting very antsy to get moving faster on the river despite near-zero visibility. What can possibly go wrong?
The crew divides up spotter duty to speed up navigation of the uncharted territory. I kept flashing back to 1997 and a bad accent “Iceberg! Right Ahead!” Lincoln, ever the good soldier, is pretty alert. Jonas, the doomed slacker, is busy flirting with Lena by telling good-time stories about Russ and empathizing with her pain. Anyone else convinced the ship would slam into a rock while Lena and Jonas are busy dallying?
You are really sad, Lincoln. I’d say this jealousy is so junior high, but I don’t speak English that well.
Jonas stops his fawning just long enough to see something ominous ahead. The sudden flash of static on the cameras clue in the audience it isn’t a natural phenomenon. It’s a ship! Tess starts sounding a collision warning, and I immediately flash back to almost missing the ship in Cozumel (Cheap or free tequila is a harsh mistress). Rather than moving to the side, the ship heads directly for the Magus WTF.
Those are warning flares, not landing strip lights!
The Magus WTF bottoms out on the side of the river in a shallow area as the water below boils. Not so good. The hostile ship? Gone.
The Magus is going nowhere fast – even worse than the ratings.
Emilio and Lena deliver the bad news – one of the fuel lines is torn, and some sort of bad gear thingy is useless. Hey, I’m not a mechanic! Here, I’ll translate this into some terms I can understand. Multiple capacitors have blown on the motherboard and at least half the sectors on the RAM are unusable. The operating system is Pre-Vista, so I can’t order the OS to bypass so we need to get some replacement hardware before this machine can get back online. See, just as incomprehensible. I’m not a mechanic, but I do play one in IT.
Tess wants to ignore reality, but this time denial is also river in South America. Lena is all for ignoring truth too, but the crew faces facts: they’re stranded. Tess starts transmitting mayday. Hours later, she’s still transmitting.
The ship might be at a standstill, but Jonas is continuing his long game into Lena’s pants. Jonas is scouring Emmet’s tapes for any sign of Russ, and finally hits paydirt.
Nice or calculating on Jonas’ part? How about both?
We get to learn a little bit about Lena’s father Russ: 1) He calls Lena ‘Peaches’. 2) Russ motivates his daughter the right way and 3) Russ lets Emmet call him over like a dog. Seems like a genuine, wonderful guy. Obviously he’s doomed. Lena breaks down in tears.
Many hours later, Tess is still calling mayday. Lincoln and Jayne are arguing over the next step. Lincoln is all for abandoning ship and heading into the jungle, but Jayne thinks that is suicide. The area is 4 days by boat, 4 weeks by land, 4 seconds by transporter. Just as Tess attempts to justify abandoning ship, a voice comes over the radio. It’s the Exodus. Yes, the Exodus. So is the crew of the other ship escaping from slavery? What type of slavery, exactly?
Jayne is cautious, Tess is thrilled. The Exodus crew claims to be a group of Eco-Evangelists, saving the rainforest from clear-cutters. They’re looking for ‘donations to the cause’. Warning: paying too much attention to this dialogue is dangerous to my foreshadow-meter.
Jahel is very interested in the spare parts Exodus has brought over. Exodus Crew-member #1 is more fascinated by the tool chest Jahel is displaying. Emilio is not amused either way. The needed part is found, and Emilio and Jahel get to work installing.
Tess invites the Exodus crew to stay for dinner, why not? Lena and Jonas are busy flirting outside. Panning over to the Exodus, something strange is seen:
How much is that daddy in the porthole?
Wait a minute – something is visible in the porthole window of the Exodus. Supposedly the entire Exodus crew is on the Magus right now, so what is it?
Meanwhile, over at Chili’s…
Everyone but Jonas and Lena are busy in the mess, getting naked wasted on bourbon. Jayne is drinking with the rest, subtly prying information from the Exodus crew about their history. Warning sign #1: Exodus crew doesn’t have a consistent story about how they all met. Warning sign #2: Exodus Crew Member #3 sets her arm on fire when the flames leap over to her arm like a set of BuckyBalls to an inquisitive 3 year old. Warning sign #3: Exodus Crew Member #2 asks Lincoln his shoe size for the future.
Jayne heads for ‘burn first aid’, but really heads to Sliver central to spy on the Exodus crew. He spies Captain and Crew Member #1 plotting to steal the people and trap them on the Exodus. What kind of kidnapping plot is this?
Jayne has heard enough, he’s heading straight for his stash – of handguns and other weapons. Both crews are drinking more firewater, leaving all the challenging repair work to the Help. Jonas and Lena are up to no good, with Jonas leading the way as always.
Seriously, did you learn nothing from last week?
Not only does Lena allow Jonas to lead her into danger, she performs a wicked Blair Witch impersonation on the deck of the Exodus.
Night vision is spooky!
Lena demonstrates a complete lack of self-preservation by following some noises down a sealed hatch to the bowels of the Exodus. The accommodations are just outstanding on the ship, a cross between the Crystal Serenity and the Costa Concordia (in its current location and condition). Fuel barrels provide the perfect surface for grilling sausages, old fishing nets supply optimal temperature control and old crates provide luxury seating for all occasions. No bunks, no radio – hey! How did they contact the Magus? Lena finds a barred door, and true to form decides to open it. I’m sure that the discovery of an evil spirit behind another sealed door has been completely forgotten by now. Perhaps Lena’s memory was erased along with her injuries on Day 3?
Meanwhile on the Magus, Jayne is interrogating the Exodus captain and manages to shoot him. Checking the body for a pulse leads to the ‘dead’ captain tossing Jayne’s body across the cabin. Lena heads deeper into the dark room to find…Russ, her father!
Please tell me Two and a Half Men has been cancelled.
Russ is at first happy to see his daughter, then screaming the house down. “You have to get out of here now! They’re collecting people!” With no Jahel to tell us the audience this week’s legend/horror cliché, I’ll have to elaborate. The Exodus is a Ghost Ship, with 5 crew members who are tied to the bowels of the ship by a curse. Their only salvation is to trick 5 replacements into the hold.
Even an Emmy can’t save this crew from this curse. Yes, I’m talking about you Julianna.
So…ship holds 5 cursed people. Russ is already in the hold of the Exodus, so only 4 are needed. Lena and Jonas headed right over like idiots, no deception required. The Exodus Captain managed to trick Jayne; he’s plopped right down into the cell like Maryanne in Poltergeist. Crew Member #2 has stopped eyeing Jahel’s cleavage and is attempting to lure her with the promise of alcohol and some Mary Jane. Fortunately Emilio intervenes with his presence.
Russ clues in Lena, Jonas and Jayne on the circumstances: when a new person is added to the ship, a doomed crewmember is released from the curse. New people need to be stuck on the Exodus when the sun rises for the curse to transfer, so the Magus members have only one hour to get off the Exodus. Jonas, you’re such an idiot to get caught in a second curse! Only one more mark needed to complete this con…where can they find a last gullible sucker?
I would say Tess is naive, but I don’t want to waste my breath.
Like any good con artist, Exodus Crew Member #3 begins reading all of Tess’ weaknesses to find a pretense to get her to the Exodus. Takes her about…2 minutes to find the right button to push. “Come get some great detailed maps on the Exodus”. AJ and Douche are too drunk to care much, the ladies head over to the doomed vessel. Lincoln must be the most sober person on the Magus, he’s looking around for the missing people but not having any luck.
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: moisturize.
So the Exodus is now fully stocked with victims in the hold. Lincoln is wandering around the ship, but mainly pouting at the thought of Lena getting it on with Jonas. AJ and Douche know that Tess is over on the Exodus, but are too drunk for it to set off any warning bells. Jayne’s missing but no one cares until Lincoln finds his gun and some fresh bullet holes in Jayne’s cabin.
Now Lincoln’s trying to sound an alarm, getting both AJ and Douche up and moving through the Magus to find the missing people. The sound of the Exodus leaving (is that some weird type of double speak?) sparks a true alarm.
Let my people go!
In the Exodus hold, Tess falls into the room with the other victims. Very telling that Russ isn’t alarmed to see Tess there. Remember how he was alarmed about finding the other people trapped? Here’s his reaction to Tess: “It’s good to see you”. I bet he was the cameraman capturing all those precious moments between Tess and Douche over the years. Tess’ first instinct is to ask about Emmet. Of course, Tess is a woman of singular vision.
Just 12 minutes to sunrise, but 20 minutes to finish repairing the Magus. Where’s Scotty when you need him? Lincoln’s first instinct is to take the raft out in pursuit, despite the lack of a direction to head. Just like his parents, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
Jonas starts working on a way to transmit the camera feed back to the Magus Sliver room. This is both a good plot device to add tension and a detail that solves some of my mental issues with the ‘footage’ we have been seeing. It makes a little sense that the Magus could be a receiver for footage, maybe that’s how some of the Emmet tape has been received for us to watch.
Of course this transmission is headed for an empty room. Where’s a Baldwin when you need one?
Lincoln, AJ and Douche head right off the ship, missing the mayday to the Sliver room completely. Where’s Jahel? She seems to be the only person with any common sense on this ship. She’ll notice. Ah, finally Jahel runs past the Sliver room and sees the transmission. Jahel notifies Lincoln and tells him to bring flares to hold back the ghost crew. Of course, technically Jayne should have been fine earlier when he shot at the Captain with that stage gun (sorry, hard to miss the blanks when you’re capturing frames). Remember that ‘burn’ the crew member received during dinner? Flames are attracted to these ghosts.
Bullets: Nothing. Flare: Instant Implosion
Lincoln and Jayne herd the Exodus crew back into the hold with flares, while everyone runs for the life raft. Jayne throws some flares down on the deck to start the ship on fire for good measure.
Just time for one last reveal: Bruce Willis was dead the entire time! Spoilers, I know.
Russ has been dead but not at peace, and now that he knows his daughter is okay he can finally rest. He goes down with the doomed ship happy, with Lena screaming as she’s torn away.
Think of me when you order your peaches flambé!
Russ, we hardly knew you, but I can already tell you’re too good of a guy for this group. RIP.
Great action and character development in this episode, but the next one’s the real game changer! Just three episodes left (sob) but I have a feeling Russ is the one guy in this crew other than AJ I would want to have a drink with. AJ better keep on surviving!
Speaking of surviving, thanks again for your patience and I’ll have ‘Dr. Emmet Cole’ up this weekend, never fear! Lots of reveals, including a first look at the awesome set so many cast members were injured at (it’s haunted).
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