The fourth episode begins with film from 5 to 7 months ago aboard the Magus. Emmet and his crew are chopping vines off the ship, which are preventing them from going anywhere. I’ve got the feeling these are the vines we found the Magus trapped in before. Emmet chops away all the vines, only to turn away and hear the vines instantly grow back.
Back in the present day, Tess trades with a local for supplies before heading into the helm to discuss directions with Kurt and Lincoln. She berates our security guard, saying the only thing he’s been securing lately is dinner. Tess does admit that what the team needs is a lead for which way to go. Some sort of win, if you know what I mean.
Lincoln is the one driving the boat, and asks which way to go when they hit a fork. Tess says north; however they end up heading south, which causes Clark to later ask her if the decision to head south came from Kurt. She declares, quite adamantly, that she’s the captain.
The next few scenes involve a lot of talking about who’s the leader. Emilio maintains it’s Emmet even when he’s not onboard. Kurt says he leads by example. Lincoln demurs, which sparks Clark to ask if he’s afraid of stepping into Emmet’s shoes. Lena admits she thinks they work well together, everyone pitching in and making decisions that way.
One side of the boat has Lena and Lincoln leading a song. On the far side, Clark explains his poor opinion on people. Which is a nice lead-in to the crew finding a deceased Jonas Beckett (a cameraman for Emmet) hanging from a tree. Or at least we think he’s dead … until he starts moving! ZOMG!
Kurt shoots the rope Jonas hangs from, knocking him into the water. This allows the crew to pick him up and carry him into the infirmary. Jonas has malaria and is already suffering from impending liver failure. They rush to save him, but Lincoln has no idea if they got there in time.
An intermission of Jonas shows him pre-journey with Emmet before flashing back to the present day. Tess asks Clark what he knows about Jonas, but apparently this kid got hired after Emmet fired Clark and everyone else. And we find out the only tapes they looked at had Emmet in them. This means, you guessed it, Clark and AJ go back to the editing room. Kurt tells Lincoln to scrape some bark off a tree for quinine. Lincoln refutes the idea initially, but Kurt says he’s had malaria and treated malaria and then sends Lincoln to do it.
After Lena calls a mayday in, she reveals to Lincoln that she hired Jonas for the crew. The whole “I blame myself” routine gets kind of old in these stories, don’t you think?
Clark and A.J. are in the editing room looking at tapes, when Clark catches a spooked Jahel showing something to her father in the engine room. Emilio slaps the paper down and walks away, but Jahel picks it right up. Hmm …
The next Jonas tape they load shows up trying to film an Amazon elder funeral. Emmet takes his camera away, declaring that death needs dignity and not ambition. However, Jonas takes out his cellphone and films the ritual regardless of Emmet’s decree.
Kurt injects quinine into Jonas just before the engine stops. Lincoln convinces his mother to take a 2-day trip back the way they came so he can treat Jonas. It’s a week of time lost, but worth it because Jonas can tell them where Emmet was going. Tess gets on the radio and tells Emilio to turn them around.
Something hits the windshield, leaving a smear of blood. Lincoln finds a dead bird outside, which he theorizes broke its neck flying into the window. Then a sudden hail of dead birds begins all around them, forcing Lincoln and the others racing inside to avoid the barrage. Umm … why do I have the feeling Jonas was an offering?
Lena tells Lincoln and Tess about a storm coming, which they think explains the birds. Tess invites their local supplier to wait the storm out with them, but he begs off and speeds away. Clark sees a freaked-out Jahel slide a dead bird into the water. This makes him go inside and pull the words “El Colgado” off the tape. As they prepare for the storm, Clark asks her about it repeatedly. Until Emilio explains it means The Hanged Man, and is nothing more than a fairy tale. Jahel doesn’t think so; she believes that Jonas is cursed. If he doesn’t leave then they’re all in grave danger.
Lincoln finds Jonas gone from the infirmary. He’s actually in the editing room, watching the tape of when he tried to film the elder funeral. He puts in another tape, where a woman is grabbed by a vine. Emmet and Jonas try to save her, and Emmet tells Jonas that he was warned. Jonas did a very, very baaaad thing and cursed them all. Good work, dumbass.
Jonas takes the tape out and heads into the corridor, where Lincoln finds him against the stairs. Lincoln examines him and asks what happened. Jonas says the options are either to tell the truth or give him the lie–the easy story. Jonas spins a lie about suicide at first; then he admits he doesn’t remember how he got lost or when. And that scares him even more. To be honest, it’d freak me out too.
Lincoln takes Jonas to the rest of the crew. He immediately hugs Lena, and asks where everyone is. Everyone’s silent, until Lena says the rest of the crew disappeared. Tess reveals Jonas was lost for 8 months, which shocks him. As it relates to where Emmet was going, all Jonas says he knows is Emmet talked about magic tribes and legends that were real. Tess maintains he has to know something, but Jonas says he’s just the cameraman. Yeah, not sure if I believe that.
Everyone goes outside to watch the storm for some reason. Why do people always do this? A.J. comments it’s coming really fast, and when Jonas and Jahel come outside to see… the “storm” breaks on the ship. And it’s a flood of flying bugs! Anyone else see a Ten Plagues parallel?
A personal interview with Lincoln explains why he wanted to be in a lab instead of outside. Everyone runs inside and seals the vents against the bugs, but not before we see the native supplier dead and covered in the things. Clark says Jahel believes Jonas is bad news; none of this crazy crap happened until he came on board after all. Clark shows a glimmer of smarts when he admits that he listens when Jahel gets scared. Good man! It’s the same reaction everyone should have when they see a bomb squad member hauling ass… get the hell out of there.
Jonas suddenly falls into a seizure, which Lincoln says means he’s overdosing on quinine. He jabs a needle full of epinephrine into Jonas’s chest, hoping that’ll wipe away the overabundance of the anti-malaria drug. Meanwhile, Tess and Clark have a brief argument outside about Jonas… and Tess goes to retrieve the cameraman’s cellphone. Mayhaps that will tell them what he knows. And who he pissed off …
The bugs are crawling all over the ship by now and destroying a few exterior cameras and glass. Inside, they rigged up a breathing apparatus to keep Jonas alive. Jahel holds tarot cards out to Lincoln, saying the Boiuna speaks through them. Three times he pulls out the Hanged Man, despite Jahel shuffling the cards in ever-increasing randomness.
Tess finds Clark in the editing room. She shows him a video from Jonas’s cellphone of him filing an elder’s soul leaving his body. The soul then flies at Jonas and the picture goes all snowy. This is all during a voiceover by Kurt telling the story of the Hanging Man, a grave robber who was greedy and arrogant. He was forever condemned to feel the torment of dying but not the satisfaction of death. Kind of puts a damper on your day, huh?
Tess sees a noose of vines out on the deck in the middle of the storm. Inside. Jahel tells the crew that the Boiuna wants Jonas back. It wants him to hang. Yeah, that’s what happens when you don’t show respect to forces beyond your control. It’s like rules 1 through 15 of the paranormal.
Tess shows the cellphone video to everyone, and Jahel says the Boiuna won’t stop until it gets Jonas back. He maintains he was just doing his job. Until Clark comes in and takes the cassette that Jonas spirited away. It’s the middle of a rainstorm on the tape, and Emmet tells Jonas he’s put them all in danger. Then the lightning flashes, and Jonas is on the shore shouting that Emmet can’t leave him there. Another flash, and a vine wraps itself around Jonas’s neck and pulls him skyward. Emmet tells Russ to shut the camera off. Oh my great googly moogly.
Present day Jonas says all he felt was pain. He wanted it to end so damn badly. Jonas runs for it, but Kurt captures him. Lincoln fights the security chief off, and everyone gets inside out of the storm. There’s a brief vote about giving Jonas back to the Boiuna, during which Lincoln tries to argue in favor of keeping him. Jonas is the best hope for finding Emmet though. So Tess asks him what Emmet was doing, and he explains the good doctor was looking for the Source. The one place magic comes from.
Jonas points out a spot on the map, and then says that’s all he knows. Bad choice, my friend. Tess confirms that’s all he knows, and then says to get him off her ship. Lincoln tries to convince her otherwise, but she declares this is the choice she has to make. Kurt grabs Jonas, and then Lincoln pulls a gun on him. Jonas shoves past all of them, grabs his cellphone, and smashes it against a pole of the ship. He slips the noose over his head and it pulls him skyward.
Down on the ground though, the elder’s spirit floats up from the cellphone. The noose snaps and Jonas is saved! Huzzah! During clean-up, Clark offers Jonas a job as their second cameraman … even though, you know … he voted to kill the guy.
Tess finds Lincoln watching the tape of Emmet leaving Jonas again. It seems so alien to the guy that his father did that. And then a message from Emmet comes on the screen. He explains why he came down to the Boiuna without them, and discusses how terrible he feels about leaving Jonas behind. “Maybe a better man could have found another way,” he tells the camera. After this heartfelt missive, Tess and Lincoln share a hug. And that’s a wrap.
So what’d you think folks? Are you still watching?
Did you miss an episode? Check out our recap of ‘The River: Los Ciegos’.