After a brief recap of past events, the episode opens with more footage from “The Undiscovered Country.” This time, Emmet’s on camera explaining about sharks killing each other in the womb. After a cut, Clark comes on and makes a joke about fratricide, Tess reminds Emmet they’re making a family show, and Emmet replies that it’s natural to turn on your brother. He points to Clark and says “He’d do the same to you.” The image freezes on Tess, and we cut to present-day Clark in the editing room. Uh-oh–Harry Dresden does not look happy (yes, the gent who plays Clark also played the title character in the short-lived ‘The Dresden Files’ TV show. One of my favorite short-lived fantasy shows).
Lincoln comes in because it turns out Clark’s got a lead on where to look for Emmet next. Turns out our Dr. Cole kept sending his crew back to film a cave about a day’s hike into the jungle. Lena figures out where it is, and the crew packs to leave at dawn. As they’re packing, Clark and A.J. go around asking people why they’re still here. Kurt says it’s because they’re paying him. Emilio says it’s because he owes Emmet his life–the good doctor gave him a job after he got out of prison.
They hike into the jungle, with Tess pushing them forward against Clark’s objections. At last they find the cave, and Jahel discovers the mark of the Morcegos nearby. The Morcegos, by the way, are a tribe of warriors who consider themselves the Guardians of the Forest. Why do I have a terrible feeling about this? Jahel explains to the crew and viewer that the Morcegos are used as boogeymen to frighten selfish children; they’re always watching, after all. Yup! Bad feeling.
Clark wants A.J. entering the cave and doing reaction shots from people. A.J., however, refuses to do this … and we get an interview of him explaining that he was stuck 300 feet underground in a mine collapse. The deal when he became a cameraman was that he would never, ever go underground again. So rather than follow the crew into the cave, he stays outside. This will turn out to be a veeeery smart move on A.J.’s part methinks.
Instead Clark hands the camera to Emilio, and everyone except A.J. picks their way through the cave. They discover a dead man who’s been disemboweled with his eyes and heart cut out to boot. Ewww. I guess something didn’t like him very much, huh? Jahel says the Morcegos could’ve done it, and I’m inclined to agree. Especially given that outside A.J. hears some movement in the jungle while he sets up mounted cameras.
Inside the cave, the team continues on until they find an opening full of something shimmering like starlight. Lena comments on how beautiful it is, right before Emilio flicks on his camera’s lamp to get more light. This causes bats to fly at the Magus crew. They run outside waving their arms to knock the bats away. Lincoln asks if everyone’s all right, and when he walks up to A.J. we realize the cameraman’s laughing because they’re all covered in bat guano. Which is admittedly rather funny. At camp, Kurt throws A.J.’s stuff into the jungle in response to the cameraman’s laughter. Tit for tat, looks like. And now A.J. made an enemy. Lincoln is meanwhile trying to cut his own hair, until Lena takes the scissors from him and says she’s been dying to cut his hair since they got on the boat. Awww, they’re so cute aren’t they? Lena asks if it’s safe to sleep out in the jungle, and Lincoln responds if it’s safe then Emmet wouldn’t have gone missing in the first place.
The team goes to sleep, and after a fast-forward through much of the night, we see natives creep into the camp. All slow and creepy-like too. When A.J. wakes up the next morning, he films strange symbols painted around the camp. Jahel says it’s the Morcego; the tribesmen who live in the jungle. They’re out there watching the explorers, judging to see if they deserve to pass. Oh, and Emilio’s missing too … so that’s not ominous or anything.
The explorers find him against a tree, blinded by those spores, which he says happened after he got up to use the toilet. Lincoln wants to turn back, but Clark tries to say if the tribesmen wanted them dead they’d have killed them in the night. However Kurt, Lincoln, and the rest aren’t taking any chances. So they hike back to the Magus. One of the cameras left behind catches a native, right before it gets smashed.
A.J. flips out about the broken camera, and then they hear a noise in the jungle. Several noises join the first one, as the explorers look around in fear. Clark fires his pistol into the forest, and ends up killing a pig. Jahel says they took a life that meant them no harm … this selfish act is a mark against them. Tess shuts everyone up when she says that she can’t see. Oh crud. The blindness is spreading!
They get back to the Magus, where Clark helps both Emilio and Tess onto the ship. Kurt suggests isolating them, but Lincoln says it’s already too late. Lena decides to check Emmet’s journal to see if they found a way to cure it. Lincoln sends Jahel to try the radio and see if they can call help. Clark meanwhile reveals to Kurt he knows about the radio, and demands the security guy call his friends if someone’s life is in danger.
Clark looks through video tapes, and is staring at a label when he loses his vision. Kurt decides to drive the boat to the middle of the river, in case the Morcego try to board the Magus. Jahel’s lost her vision now too. Clark and Tess run blindly into each other, and reveal a bit of a secret. “Twenty years, I’d never forget your face,” he tells her. Uh-oh. Lincoln hears them, and I bet he’s wondering what they meant to each other too. Can someone say affair?
Kurt runs around the boat looking at the banks, while inside Lena tells the crew about a tree that grows at 700 feet elevation with the possibility to cure their blindness. There’s a noise outside, and Kurt and A.J. see a pig float to them. Clark walks up to Kurt from behind, and Kurt knifes him without thinking.
Lena declares she and Kurt will go for the tree while Lincoln stays behind to watch over Clark. They take A.J. along with them, seeing as he’s one more person who can see. Lincoln watches them leave, and then we get a few more shots around the boat. Then a painted hand grabs the ladder, and the next image is the painted face of a Morcego.
Tess tells Lincoln that Clark feels hot. His coughing split the sutures on the knife wound, and Jahel runs for Emilio’s tackle box to get some fishing line. As she passes a doorway, a shadow moves across it.
Out on the river, Lena spots a clearing they can hike from to get the tree. She scratches at her eye, and A.J. asks if she’s all right. Might she be losing her sight?
Back aboard the Magus, Emilio and Tess go looking for Jahel. Lincoln asks Clark how long the affair went on, and suggests it happened after Emmet went missing. Clark replies if that’s what Lincoln wants to believe, then that’s all right.
Jahel finds the tackle box and we see the Morcegos move around outside. Jahel dives down the ladder and shouts to close the doors. Lincoln and Emilio both slam their doors closed just in time.
Kurt and A.J. argue out in the jungle, until Lena shouts the Morcegos are behind them. Shots are fired and the three of them bolt for cover. Lena nearly screams at leeches crawling on her, but a hand over the mouth from Kurt stops that. Good thing too, because the Morcego are right behind them! ZOMG!
Lincoln runs for the intercom and calls Tess. He’s waiting on that suture line, but unfortunately Jahel’s locked in with Tess and Emilio. Lincoln declares he has to cauterize the wound … and he also can’t see. Fun times, eh?
A.J. holds out the rifle to Kurt, who’s been faking sight for awhile. Lena hands him the map to the tree. However the cameraman decides that instead of helping, he’s going to hike out and find an eco-hotel somewhere. Oh and then call a chopper for them. Awesome thinking, jerkwad. Lena cries for him to stay, but of course he ignores her.
While the Morcego try to beat down the doors on the boat, Clark explains to Lincoln that Emmet decided to leave Tess in order to take the journey down the Amazon. Tess never cheated on Emmet. She was trying to move on. And then Lincoln inserts the flame-sanitized knife into Clark’s wound to cauterize it.
A.J. stumbles on the needed tree while’s jabbering away about finding a good hotel. Then he realizes the bulbs under the tree, which happen to be the cure, are literally under the tree. So he climbs underneath the tree into a tiny cave and slices a bulb free. While the Morcego bash against the doors on the boat, the cave beneath the tree begins collapsing in a shower of dirt.
Clark gets off the operating table, knocks Lincoln out, and opens the door into the hallway. He shouts for the Morcego to kill him; he’s the selfish one, he declares, explaining they weren’t going to come down to the Amazon. He cries for the tribesmen to take him and leave the rest, but instead they slip away.
A.J. gets buried under the tree, and says his final goodbyes as he looks at the camera. Suddenly something yanks him from underground, and we see a Morcego man for a few moments before he slips away. Kurt speaks in his native language into the radio, saying the crew will never find Emmet or the Source. When Lena asks what he’s doing, he says he’s praying. A.J. comes tromping back with the bulbs.
Back on the ship, Lincoln is able to inject everyone’s eyes with the solution. In the hallway A.J. confronts Kurt, telling him this doesn’t change anything. Out in the night, Lincoln tells Tess it’s OK for her to move on if she wants. After they find Emmet of course. And while Clark looks on from the editing room, Tess says she wants her family back.
Kurt joins Clark in the editing room. He apologizes for stabbing Clark, saying he got scared. They stare at each other for a time, and then Clark tells him to “bleep off.” Nice response!
So Kurt’s still an enigma, and I’m ecstatic Tess and Clark didn’t hook up behind Emmet’s back. Jahel is so far the character I feel for the most–she seems to know every single legend about the Amazon. Man that must suck when you know all the terrors lurking around the corner. Apparently there’s been loads of backlash over this series … what did all of you think?
If you missed the previous episodes be sure to read our ‘The River: Magus/Marbeley – Series Premiere’ recap.