TV Recap: 'The River' Episode 107 - 'The Experiment'


The River Episode 107

"The Experiment"

Written By: Soo Hugh

Directed By: Kenneth Fink

Original Airdate: 13 March 2012

In This Episode...

The crew investigates the outpost cautiously. The place is huge, and has been ransacked, with few signs of life. The group moves towards faint music, coming from a radio. From there they follow bloody footprints into a kitchen full of rotting food. Emmet's hat has been discarded under a counter. The horrible stench is coming not from the food, but from a walk-in freezer that has long since lost power. Lincoln volunteers to check it out and finds bodies - a dozen, maybe more, many torn to pieces. Emmet is not among them.

While Lincoln is investigating, Kurt sneaks off to make a phone call. AJ follows. He is calling Hana, a woman who we learn through home video was Kurt's fiancee. The call is coming from inside the house! Kurt follows the ringing and discovers Hana's phone in a duffel bag. He investigates a noise coming from the bathroom, hoping it is Hana, but instead finding Rabbit, hiding in the bathtub. Kurt brings her out to the rest of the crew. Tess is not thrilled to see her, but Rabbit admits that when she last saw Emmet, he was in the infirmary - and alive. A noise sends Rabbit into a panic. "The monsters are back!" The group barricade themselves in a room while Kurt shoots at the "monsters" - essentially zombies. 

The group learns a few things while looking around the compound. They discover what was at one time a crude operating room. According to  Lincoln, the researchers were looking for a cure to cancer - using less than ethical methods. They find a native child preserved in an enormous tube of formaldehyde. He has gunshot wounds in his chest, bones popping out of his back like removed wings, and the magical symbol that Lena has on her neck is on the boy's chest. They recover some video on a laptop that shows what happened to the researchers. They are autopsying a man when a woman (Hana) comes in, asking if they found a cure. They said yes, and without hesitation, she shoots them all. in the process, she breaks a vial of some sort of virus. Hence, zombies.

Tess sees what she thinks is a mirror signal coming from the infirmary. Convinced this is Emmet, Rabbit leads them through the underground tunnels to get there. They come across a nest of sleeping zombies, which Kurt takes care of. In the infirmary, the mirror signal turns out to be just a wind chime dancing in the breeze. Tess finally comes to terms with reality: Emmet is dead. As Lincoln comforts her, a giant blue dragonfly flitters around, and Lincoln convinces Tess that they should follow it: "Each time a dragonfly has appeared, it has led us closer to dad." The dragonfly leads them to a small room located on the roof. Inside they find Emmet, wrapped in a giant cocoon. Tess cuts him out. He is slimy and barely breathing, but he is alive.

The group wastes no time dashing back to the boat. Salsa joins up with them and leads them back to the Magus, but he refuses to board. The crew sets off without Emmet's faithful dog. Rabbit stays by herself on the deck, her only visitor Tess, who tells her that when they get to the next village, Rabbit will have to find her own way back to the states. Rabbit is just grateful Tess let her leave with them. Alone again, but not for long, an unseen monster creeps aboard and tears Rabbit apart, just out of sight of the cameras. AJ confronts Kurt about his involvement with Hana, and in some sort of daze, Kurt informs him (in German) that he was sent on this mission to kill Emmet Cole. Kurt snaps out of his reverie when he notices on the monitors behind AJ that Rabbit has been killed. He sends everyone into lockdown while he heads topside to take care of what he now knows to be two monsters. One of them is Hana, and despite his hesitance, he finally kills her. The second monster has gotten down below, and bursts in on Tess, Lincoln, and Lena, who are barricaded in the kitchen. Just in the nick o' time, the monster is shot, but not by Kurt. By Emmet Cole.

Dig It or Bury It?

I'm vaguely conflicted over bringing in zombies. On the one hand, it kind of feels like they are cashing in on the success of The Walking Dead and other zombie properties; like they were running out of monsters so they decided to throw zombies in there. On the other hand, the zombies were presented naturally (a virus was let loose), the history of zombies does go back to jungle natives, and none of the characters were like, "Ahh! Zombies!" It was more like "Ahh! Monsters!" Ultimately, I think I am coming down on the "yay zombies" side of things. I am such a sucker for flesh eaters. 

Wisdom of the Wild

After Emmet shoots the monster, his first words to his wife are, "So how was my funeral?"

There's Magic Out There

This episode was strangely devoid of magic. I wouldn't call the zombies "magical;" that is damn near scientific fact at this point.  I am assuming the meaning behind the weird magic symbol will finally be revealed next week.

Spirited Scares

This episode was all about the adrenaline rush, so there was nothing particularly scary. Actually, the rotting food was pretty disturbing. You would think that after however many weeks or months had gone by, it would pretty much have rotted away. But in the shadows, it looks like there were weird, blooming boils of gross. That was way worse than the brief glimpses of body parts.


"The worst is yet to come" on next week's season finale. Someone dies, the truth about Emmet's disappearance comes out, and chaos erupts.