Review

Review

Television Tourniquet: We Set Sail for 'Harper's Island' -- Episode 5!

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Harper's Island Episode 1.5 "Thwack"
Original Airdate: 9 May 2009

In This Episode…

Trish and her dad, Thomas, go out for a morning bike ride, leaving Henry to deal with wedding details.  While on their ride, they set off a trip wire, and an enormous tree trunk swings through the air.  The two are knocked off their bikes and roll down an embankment.  Other than Trish's twisted ankle, the two are okay.  As they make their way through the forest, from high above a creepy old man is staring at them, and ignoring their cries for assistance.  Instead, he lets his big, mean German shepherd off his leash.  Trish and Thomas hide in an enclosed garbage dumpster.  When Thomas finally checks to see if they are safe, the dog pounces.  Thomas stabs him with a broken bottle.  The two are slightly shaken, but overall it was a good bonding experience.  Thomas admits that he doesn't trust Henry, but sees how happy he makes Trish.  Trish reveals Thomas's wife's indiscretions.  The dog's owner reveals himself when he goes to collect his dead dog (who is being looked after by Lucy's pup, Gigi, now a stray).  He has a less-intense Two-Faced burn scar going on.  Could be Wakefield – looks similar to the guy in the mug shots.

Jimmy and the sheriff have breakfast plans.  Abby crashed at Jimmy's house, so she tags along.  Breakfast goes well, so when her dad invites her to the house later to pick up some mementos, Abby agrees.  When she arrives, her dad isn't home.  She lets herself in, taking in all the memories.  When she gets up to the attic, she discovers her father's obsession: the Wakefield murders.  Not only does he have an entire wall devoted to the original slayings, but he has a cabinet stuffed full of clippings for other, more recent murders that may be connected.  Copycats or Wakefield resurrected?

Henry goes looking for the MIA reverend.  Heading into the church, he finds a raccoon carcass, split open, disemboweled, and rotting away on the altar.  The sheriff comes by to help Henry clean up.  While cleaning, Henry finds a firecracker on the ground.  It belongs to JD; earlier, he and Madison had been playing with them on the patio at the inn.  Henry goes in search of JD, and threatens him: "We are through.  I want nothing to do with you."  Yeah, I don't think JD actually killed that raccoon, either.

That afternoon, everyone assembles in the church for the rehearsal.  Well, everyone who is left.  Malcolm, throughout the episode, has pled ignorance on Booth's whereabouts.  The other groomsmen fear he either took off with the money, or the owner of the money has killed Booth.  Either way, they all say that Booth went home for a bit, but will return for the wedding.  Trish explains that Lucy is on the mainland retrieving her boyfriend (I think they cut this explanation out of an earlier episode).  But no one has seen Chloe.   She and Cal have been obviously missing the last two episodes.  Anyway, the rehearsal goes off almost without a hitch (see below – someone dies).  The sheriff has found the missing reverend – he has been dismembered and strung out into the lake like bait.

Dig It or Bury It?

50/50.  There are all sorts of sleazy secrets that are being hinted at, that I am surprisingly eager to find out about.  For example, Thomas said there are "complicated" reasons as to why he married Katherine; he can't finish that thought because a bloodthirsty canine chases him.  And is the sheriff lying about shooting Wakefield dead?  But at the same time, I feel like the show is moving slow.  This episode takes place the day before the wedding, so I am guessing that starting next week, time is going to be very compressed.  I would be surprised if the last half of the season wasn't more or less done in real time.  I can't wait until it is just balls-out slicing and dicing.  I find it weird that the murders are trying to be pinned on a maybe-dead, maybe-not John Wakefield.  I think that the murderer is one of the cast.  It should be one of the regular cast members.

Harper's Dead

It's a "biggie" this week.  We've killed off enough inconsequential bridesmaids and groomsmen.  Nope, this week the victim is Thomas Wellington, the father of the bride.  During the rehearsal, Maggie, the coordinator, asks Abby to turn off the lights.  When she does, it triggers a booby trap in the enormous iron chandelier.  A huge knife is exposed, and the chandelier hurtles down into Daddy Wellington's head.  This should have been bad-ass, but, being network TV and all, they cut just before impact.  If you are not Tobe Hooper, the "less is more" approach is not particularly effective.  Technically, we don't know that Thomas is dead, but… yeah.  He's dead.

Harper's Prophecies

No one believes that the sheriff killed Wakefield, so they have a good ol' fashioned exhumation.  I think the killings need to pick up.  Does it make me morbid that, by the last episode, I want there to be a tremendous bloodbath, leaving no one alive except the killer?  Nah, not morbid at all.  I am starting to feel like Abby has a good shot at being the killer.  She's kind of fucked up to begin with.  The crazy apple doesn't fall too far from the tree – Abby definitely gets it from her dad.

This week on Harper's Globe...

The videos Robin found at the Cheshire Cat's house were "disturbing."  They contained random scenes from around the island, lost of random crowd shots.  One that she found particularly upsetting was a video of one of the Wakefield victims strung up in the tree.  Frankly, from the POV and the kinds of things Cheshire is hooting (like the bridge that would lead to Marty's demise) make it seem like Cheshire is the killer.

Cheshire submitted a video of him leaving a video for Sparky (ooh, how self-referential).  Dangerous Wreck posted another video of his college pledges.  This one shows them getting attacked by Wreck himself – who they call Cody.

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