The River Episode 106
"Doctor Emmet Cole"
Written By: Michael Green
Directed By: Michelle MacLaren
Original Airdate: 6 March 2012
In This Episode...
The group heads to Sahte Falls in hopes of finding Emmet there. All the find is one of his gear packs - filled with video tapes. They rush back to the Magus and play the tapes.
The tapes show Emmet taking up the final leg of his excursion on foot. Russ has had enough and decides to stay on the Magus. Manny and Rabbit (played by Oren Peli mainstay Katie Featherstone) head into the jungle with Emmet. Four days in, and the crew are starting to get annoyed, unsure what they are really out there looking for. One night, a strange whistling-screeching wind sound scares the trio into one tent. Their dog, Salsa, runs into the jungle and leads them to a bloody monkey pelt. The monkey, completely skinned, dangles from the trees above. The next day, the whistling-screeching starts again and the crew scatters. Emmet and Rabbit find each other, but it is well into the evening before they find Manny - skinned and hanging from the tree like the monkey.
Rabbit is terrified and wants to go home, but Emmet calms her down - at least, he thinks he does. Come morning, Rabbit has fled and left with most of the survival gear. Emmet figures out that the whistling-screeching can be abated by answering it with a whistled tune that he believes he has heard in his head, over and over. Emmet continues into the jungle with Salsa, still in good spirits, believing that he can survive without supplies. But as the days go by, survival becomes more and more difficult. He gets sick from contaminated water. He cannot find enough calories to consume and is literally starving away. He finally finds a tree full of mangoes, and climbs eagerly to pick some. In his weakened state, he falls out of the tree and breaks his ankle. His only option now is to crawl towards the river in hopes of finding a fishing village. But Emmet is too weak to continue. He contemplates eating Salsa, but can't go through with it. He eventually collapses, too weak to even whistle away the unseen force reaching for him. A trio of natives do the whistling for him, scoop him up, and take him (and his camera) back to their village. After caring for him for a day or two, they dump him at a jungle outpost. An aid worker runs to help Emmet before the camera cuts out.
With a renewed hope that Emmet is alive, and a clear idea of where he was last seen, Tess, Lincoln, and the rest of the crew rush into the jungle. They are heartened when Salsa runs to them, alive and healthy. When the group finally makes it to the outpost, their spirits fall - the outpost is completely deserted and looks like a relic of a zombie apocalypse.
Other fun tidbits we learned about our current crew along the way: Lena activated Emmet's beacon because she thought that was the only way anyone would go looking for her father. A mention by Emmet on one of the tapes that Lena was "marked" makes her examine her body until she discovers the birthmark on her nape that matches the magical amulet that Emmet gave to Lincoln. Before Lincoln was born, Tess and Emmet had a baby girl named Alice. Emmet was ready to give up the explorer life and settle down into a stable teaching position. Alice died of a heart defect after only one week, and Emmet didn't handle it very well. Tess got him back on the boat and back to exploring, and this time brought along cameras. Emmet came alive on camera.
Dig It or Bury It?
If ever there was evidence that The River was inspired by Cannibal Holocaust, it is this episode. The format is identical: a crew heads into the jungle to locate a missing crew, locates footage, and that found footage is screened as the main story, interrupted only occasionally by asides with our "current" crew. Even scenes like Emmet being taken away by natives are taken right from Cannibal Holocaust.
I will admit, I freaked out a little bit when it looked like Emmet was going to eat his dog. I am a hardcore dog person, and my two rescue mutts are like my babies. I personally would rather die than eat one of them.
All that aside, I am enjoying the direction the show is going in and eager to see where we end up.
There's Magic Out There
Magic was somewhat secondary this week, as most of the focus was on the human drama. There is a half-assed mention of something called El Tunchi, which Emmet believes is a spirit, but Jaleh informs the crew that El Tunchi is a demon.
Easily the scariest scene was when Emmet, Manny, and Rabbit hide in the tent. A face appears behind the tent wall, and pushes in on them before they escape.
Emmet's fate will "be revealed." I just hope Salsa makes it to the end of the season.