This week is easily the scariest episode since Marbeley — those dolls hanging in the trees were OMG creepy — and this week has much better scares than the drowned girl in that installment.
Day 22 at night and we open with Jonas, Lena, Tess and Lincoln looking at a map of the river. Jonas says Emmet was heading to some tribal area, which is the location of the Source. Tess is now convinced that’s where they’ll find Emmet. And Lena adds in her father too. Next comes a personal interview with Lena where she talks about her dad interspersed a bit with a flashback of Russ and young Lena playing poker aboard the Magus.
That night, Tess drives the Magus upriver and is having a rough time due to poor visibility. She enlists the rest of the crew to watch ahead for obstacles in shifts; even Clark gets into it despite his complaining. While doing this, Jonas gets a chance to tell Lena about his admiration for her father Russ. And she complains about the ability to hear her dad on the tapes of Emmet but never see him.
Kurt is first to notice a ship coming toward them. Despite Lincoln waving flares wildly and Tess honking the ship’s horn, the other vessel plows on. The Magus is soon forced aground to avoid a collision. The scariest part? The ship vanishes without a trace. Bad feeling anyone? Emilio and Jahel are forced to deliver bad news to the crew: A fuel line is busted and critical parts of the engine are damaged beyond repair. There’s no way they’re moving until they can find new parts for the boat. Yes kiddies, that means they’re stranded in the middle of the Amazon.
Tess spends the next 16 hours at the helm repeating a mayday call over and over again. Meanwhile, Clark films from the river and Lincoln tries to clear some branches. Inside the editing room, Jonas finds some footage and then goes to get Lena. On the B roll is tape of her dad recording a message in which he greets her with a “Hi, Peaches.” He even gets Emmet to say hi on tape briefly.
At 9:12 pm the next night, Lincoln marches into the control room followed by Kurt. He suggests riding the zodiacs — those small powerboats — until they gas out and then heading on foot toward their destination. According to Kurt this is a horrible idea, since it’ll take 4 weeks to get there on foot. They’ll never have to find out though, because a ship called the Exodus responds to the mayday call. The four-member crew of the other vessel, in the Amazon to fight illegal logging activities, brings some old parts onto the Magus. After Jahel finds the part they need and everyone else clears out of the engine room, Emilio tells his daughter to stay down there with him. I get the feeling he doesn’t trust the other crew. I wouldn’t either.
Up in the control room, Lincoln and Lena explain to the Exodus captain and his lone female crewmember their quest and what happened to the Magus. The other captain is ambivalent about their chances of finding Emmet and the other crewmen, saying that 6 months is a long time in the Amazon. Then Tess invites them for dinner.
Jonas finds Lena outside and asks her about the “story” between her and Lincoln. He asks if the young Dr. Cole was her first kiss, but she changes the subject and tells him to film the Exodus. Which he does … and catches a face in a window just above the waterline. There’s just one problem. The Exodus captain said there were only four of them. And they’re all on the Magus. Umm … crap?
The Exodus crew stays for dinner and it’s a grand old party in the kitchen complete with bourbon. The other captain offers a toast and Clark asks how their crew came together. The woman crewman, who’s cooking, asks if anyone’s heard of the Belo Monte dam. Kurt asks if it’s the one in Peru, and the captain says yes … they were helping the natives and realized they didn’t want to go home. In succession, the Exodus captain asks for the bathroom and then the woman burns herself. Pay attention to the burning, by the way. Kurt sees the big Exodus man sneak into a side room. He walks into the editing room, where he witnesses the captain and the big man talking about kidnapping the Magus crew. The captain says they can’t just snatch people — that would get messy and the Magus crew is no good to them dead. At least not yet. Ruh-roh, Raggy.
In a personal interview, Kurt emphasizes that he has no obligation other than to protect the crew. This is of course in direct contradiction to other conversations where he’s spoken to some other contact about the Source. Then, we see Kurt pull down a pistol and check it for bullets. The party’s still going on in the mess. Jahel and Emilio remain busy fixing the ship. Well color me confused about the gun.
Lena finds Jonas in a zodiac. He wants to investigate the Exodus, and it’s only after she reminds him of being discovered in a tree that she agrees to accompany him. He also adds that if they’re found out, they’ll just say they were drunk and looking for a place to fool around. A death glare has him stammering an apology. Nice one, Lena.
Kurt comes back into the kitchen and pulls the Exodus captain aside, ostensibly to ask about places to refuel. Meanwhile, the female Exodus member tries to get Tess to relax a bit … and the two other male crewmen quiz Lincoln about Lena.
Over at the Exodus, Jonas switches to night vision and Lena pulls a bit of a Blair Witch project “I’m so scared” bit. And then there’s a noise somewhere in the ship. Good job Lena. You jinxed yourself. So of course after the noise, Lena opens a porthole into the ship and hears it again. Rather than run away, what do they do? Go down into the ship. Idiots.
Inside the Exodus, by the way, is ridiculously old and dusty. Oh, and there isn’t a single bunk anywhere in the joint. Anyone else starting to get freaked out, or is it just me? Then Lena finds a big old door locked with a bar across it. So of course she and Jonas work to open it.
Kurt throws the Exodus captain into the wall. He corrects him on the dam — it’s in Brazil and not Peru. Then Kurt threatens him, saying the man is going to take his crew and go back on their ship right now. The man laughs evilly and refuses just as the camera flickers a bit. Kurt shoots him dead. Or so we think … because suddenly the man grabs Kurt by the throat and hurls him back! WTF???
Lena gets the door open and she enters followed by Jonas. The light illuminates the room as they slowly turn … and falls right onto Russ Landry. A chained-up Russ Landry. This is what we call Very Very Bad.
Especially because after a joyous reunion, Russ flips out and starts shouting that the Exodus crew is collecting people. Kurt is soon thrown into the room and the door slammed behind him.
Jahel has a “moment” with the skinny Spanish-speaking Exodus man. He tries to convince her to come back to his room on the other boat. She refuses, and we see the cameras flicker behind her. A flame flashes in the other room and the man bolts up the stairs before Emilio walks in with the propane torch. Anyone else noticing a theme with flames and the Exodus crew?
Kurt tries kicking the door down while Lena tries to convince Russ they can get out of there. Kurt says those people aren’t people, and Russ explains how he came to be on the Exodus. There used to be 5 other people on the ship. When Russ came aboard, there were five crewmen. Then the sun rose and one of them was alive again and could leave the boat. The Exodus crew apparently needs to find replacements for themselves before they’re able to leave the ship. And there’s only an hour until sunrise.
The female Exodus crewman and Tess chat in the control room about their mission. And then she tells Tess that they’ve got a full map of the Boiuna onboard the other ship. This offer of help takes on an entirely sinister town now. Clark offers to accompany Tess, but she instead tells him to throw up and go to sleep. Because yes, he is drunk.
Lincoln finds Clark coming down the stairs and asks first where Tess is, and then where Lena and Jonas are. Clark suggests the pair of them are doing the horizontal mambo.
On the Exodus, the female crewmember leads Tess into the ship. Tess notices the condition of the lower deck and asks about it. The other woman apologizes, saying the Boiuna changes people and they’ve been there long enough. “It’s your turn now …” the woman says just before her face goes all skeleton! Holy hide beneath the covers, Batman! Lincoln realizes something’s wrong when he can’t find Kurt either. He goes into the man’s room and sees the bullet impacts on the porthole, then immediately grabs Clark and A.J. The Exodus suddenly roars to life and speeds away.
Onboard the Ghost Ship, Tess is thrown into the cell where she joyfully greets Russ. Sadly, he must tell her Emmet’s not there. Kurt reveals the other crew is going somewhere to hide until sunrise. Emilio however needs 20 minutes to get the Magus ready to sail. Unfortunately they only have 12 minutes until sunrise, and that’s when our heroes can’t ever leave the Exodus again.
Jonas fights to get the transmitter on his camera working, while Russ tells the story of 6 months ago when Emmet struck out on foot to reach the area of “the Source.” The transmitter gets working and Lena goes on camera, hoping to get the Magus crew to track the signal. However Lincoln and Clark don’t hear her and instead race off the Magus to the other zodiac. It looks like all is lost for the kidnapped crew members.
7 minutes to sunrise and Clark and Lincoln are no closer to reaching the other crew. Kurt tries to pry the door open. Jahel runs to the kitchen for steel wool to fix the Magus, and on her way back hears Lena talking in the editing room. She calls Lincoln on the radio and tells him where the Exodus is; also informing him to get there by sunrise and take flares. I’m assuming she also tells him those folks are scared of fire.
Lincoln and Clark board the ship just as Kurt finally pries the door open inside. The Exodus crew confronts Lincoln and Clark and the camera drops as gunshots ring out. The rest of the Magus crew races from within the ship. Lincoln grabs a flare and burns one of them to get him off Kurt. He and Kurt force the bad people into the bowels of the ship and lock them in.
Russ has to say goodbye to Lena, since he’s already dead. It’s a sad farewell during which she has to get pulled away by Clark, Lincoln, and Kurt together. The cameras flicker as the ghosts scream against the burning. Lena screams for her father while Lincoln holds onto her.
The episode closes with a scene of Russ and young Lena playing poker. And then, in a nice touch, they have an In Memory of Russ Landry title card to close out the show. These guys are really selling the documentary format huh?
If you missed the previous episode be sure to read my ‘The River: A Better Man’ recap.