The River Episode 105
Written By: Wendy Battles
Directed By: Rob Bailey
Original Airdate: 28 February 2012
In This Episode...
Visibility is shot, so the entire crew takes lookout shifts. Ship lights in the distance worry the crew, especially when it comes closer and closer with no signs of slowing down. The Magus is sideswiped and run aground, but the phantom boat has just disappeared. The damage is severe enough that Emilio and Jahel can't just patch it; they need new parts. Tess puts out a mayday.
After a full day goes by without any answer, Lincoln is getting antsy and wants to head into the jungle on foot - a journey that would be an almost certain death sentence. Their maydays are answered just in time. A boat with only four crew members - tree-hugging Greenpeace-types - called Exodus responds. All four crew members board the Magus and sell them some spare parts. Tess invites the crew to stay for dinner and drinks. Things seem jovial, until Kurt sees the Samoan and the middle-aged white guy (they have no names so I am resorting to stereotypes) go into a room. He watches them in the edit bay: the Samoan wants to just "grab them now" but the white guy worries that it could get messy. Kurt arms himself and accosts the white guy, telling him to take his crew and get the hell out. White Guy refuses, Kurt shoots, but this does nothing to slow White Guy down. He comes after Kurt.
Meanwhile, Jonas and Lena see a fifth person on the Exodus, despite the fact that the captain told them that their crew was only four. They venture over and creep into the cargo hold. Behind a heavily-barred door, they find Russ, Lena's dad, chained up. She is overjoyed and works to free her father from his restraints. They are not in there long before Kurt is almost magically thrown in, and the door is shut behind them. Russ reveals what is going on: the crew of the Exodus is a ghost crew. Russ was alone in the jungle, starving to death, when the Exodus found him, took him aboard, and immediately chained him up. They are already dead, cursed to wander the Amazon until they can find others to take their place on the boat. If Lena, Kurt, and Jonas don't leave the boat before sunrise, they will suffer the same fate. Tess soon joins them, lured there by the only woman on the crew, and the Exodus heads off down the river to wait out the rest of the night. Kurt, being a badass, immediately works on prying open the door.
On the Magus, Lincoln realizes that half their crew is missing, and no one from the Exodus is left on board. They see the Exodus's lights fading in the distance, and Lincoln grabs Clark into a dinghy and sets off after them. Jonas gets the transmitter working on the camera, and Lena sends a message to the Magus with their location. Jaleh happens to see the transmission while passing by the edit bay and radios Lincoln with the group's location. He and Clark find the boat easily, and arrive as Kurt has pried the door open, freeing the captives. They board the dinghy as the Exodus crew tries to keep their chance for escape from leaving. The Magus crew locks the Exodus crew inside, and sets the boat on fire. Russ cannot leave, as he has become "one of them" and is already dead. He says goodbye to a hysterical Lena and goes down with the ship.
Dig It or Bury It?
I appreciate that this episode broke from the format that was already becoming rote. Watching it made me feel like I was watching a creepier (and much shorter) version of Pirates of the Caribbean. I don't know if that is a good thing or a bad thing. We never find out who these Exodus people are, or what they have become. That's obnoxious. I do feel like the nitpicky things are getting harder to ignore. For example, why did no one come running when they heard Kurt shoot? The Magus is like a giant tin can; that sound would echo everywhere. And how do the Exodus people get the Magus people to the other boat, seemingly immediately, and just dumping them in the storage hold without opening doors?
There's Magic Out There
The magic here is the ghost crew. We don't know who they are, how they became what they became, why, or even what they are called. Every once in a while one of the cameras skitters a bit and you see the ghost crew's "true" face, which looks something like a gaunt, ashy version of their regular face.
This episode just wasn't scary. Nothing jumped out at you, nothing particularly eerie or sudden or unexplained. Most of the "action" sequences take place off-screen, as the cameras are conveniently dropped.
The crew finds Emmet's camera bag, and the footage contained within is terrifying, but will lead them closer to their goal.