The Magus team is terrorized by a cannibalistic entity while exploring an abandoned research facility for clues that Dr. Cole might still be alive. Perhaps most interesting this week though is that Kurt’s role as security chief puts his personal safety at great risk.
The episode opens 7 months ago in Chicago, with a woman filming Lincoln during a class on genetics. Kind of wondering who the woman behind the cell-phone camera is, but I bet it’s his girlfriend. Then Lincoln gets a call from Tess, who’s freaking out because of Emmet’s disappearance. He tells her he’ll be out on the next flight, and then tells the filmer about it before leaving.
The Magus crew enters the facility, calling for Emmet, and investigating the torn-apart outpost. Clark corners Tess, asking what she thinks the place is, and she suggests it’s a mission or a research outpost of some sort. He offers up the bullet he found, and says something happened there. Clark suggests no one would blame Tess if she wanted to turn around, but she is adamant that won’t happen without Emmet.
Kurt slinks off to the side and dials someone on his cell phone. It goes direct to a woman’s voicemail, which leaves me wondering who the devil he’s calling.
Lincoln calls for his dad as they get closer to the main building, until Lena suggests they not make so much noise. Smart girl, that one.
Music begins playing through the door. Kurt cautiously leads into the facility, and we’re treated to a few shots of torn-apart rooms and ransacked hallways. Then at last they enter the room where a radio is playing. Kurt turns it off, and Tess comments someone had to turn it on. Clark strikes the piano and agrees that means someone’s here. Lincoln discovers genetics textbooks on the bookcase, which raises some questions about what’s going on here.
A.J. discovers bloody footprints on the floor, so of course everyone follows the prints through a door. The door leads to a kitchen full of food so rotten that everyone’s gagging at the smell. And then Kurt says the smell isn’t coming from the food. So what is it coming from, then?
Tess finds Emmet’s hat under a counter, and then she and Lincoln call for him. Clark mentions a strange buzzing sound, which turns out to be a bunch of flies behind a freezer door. Clark opens the door… and we’re greeted with a crop of dead people. Mmm, tasty. Precisely what I want in my walk-in freezer.
The episode switches to a month ago in Silver Springs, Maryland. Clark and Sammy walk into Tess’s house and find her lying depressed on the couch. Tess tries to shoo him away, and then Clark tells her about Emmet’s beacon going off in the Amazon. He admits she might have been right all along, and then she’s immediately interested in funding an expedition. Except they don’t have money… but Clark already raised it.
Back to the present, and Tess asks Clark if he thinks Emmet is in there. Only way to find out is to check, and no-one wants to go in there. Until Lincoln volunteers. He ties a bandana around his face, opens the freezer door, and steps on in accompanied by Jonas.
Outside the freezer, A.J. films Kurt walking away. Lincoln stumbles out of the freezer before he can see if his dad’s there. The smell is too terrible apparently.
A.J. continues to follow Kurt, who’s investigating something in another part of the base. I wonder what – or who – he’s looking for?
Tess stares at the freezer door until at last Lincoln comes out, pulls his mask off and says Emmet’s not in there. Lincoln promptly throws up.
Kurt stops and dials a number. A phone goes off in the distance, and Kurt runs off to find it. A.J. follows close behind, and watches Kurt inspect the room through a window. He picks up a photo and looks at it.
Four months before, Kurt’s shown in Berlin with the woman in the photo. He’s filming her because he wants to remember her as she is, and she explains it’s only a few months in South America.
In the present day, Kurt finds her phone and shuts it off. Then he sees A.J. and declares the cameraman shouldn’t have followed him. At the same time, they realize that they’re not alone there.
Lincoln tells the others about the condition of the bodies in the freezer. They’re piled up in there, and it takes Jonas to put the pieces together that the bodies are stored like food. It’s only after Clark and Lincoln decide to leave that they realize Kurt and A.J. aren’t there.
Kurt meanwhile investigates the bathroom where water seeps down from what looks like the sink while A.J. accompanies him.
Lincoln and the others find a surgical lab complete with whiteboard full of genetic maps. They find a xulos man in a tank with the same symbol on his chest that Lincoln has on his necklace. And then they see bone spurs on his back.
Kurt and A.J. reappear, accompanied by Rabbit. Kurt found her hiding in the bathtub; Tess demands to know what happened here, and pushes despite warnings. Rabbit left Emmet to die, Tess says, and deserves whatever happens to her. Except then there’s a screeching noise, and Rabbit says “they’re here.” Umm, wait what?
The Magus team try to book it, but a man appears at the end of the hallway and runs at them. Kurt has to shoot the man – or what looks like a man – three times before it falls. More of the creatures (I’m not calling them zombies) appear behind them and rush up the hallway. They barricade themselves in the room from before, and Jonas counts three milling around outside. Just waiting for dinner…
Rabbit tells Tess that Emmet was in the infirmary when she got there. The doctors said he would be fine, but then the change happened. Meanwhile, Lincoln finds a laptop with some video files. Lena unecrypts the files, and they realize this facility was a lab where scientists sought a cure for cancer.
The ethics were… ahem… sticky. The scientists isolated a specific gene inside the xolos tribesmen and reverse engineered it into a retrovirus. Then the Magus crew watch the head of security walk in and start shooting. The bullets break open vials of the retrovirus, and the team watches in horror as everyone in the infirmary gets turned into one of the cannibalistic creatures.
A.J. realizes the woman on the tape is the same one in the photo he saw Kurt holding, and confronts the security chief about it. While Kurt’s trying to get A.J. to shut up, the team gets signaled from the library by someone using a mirror. Tess of course assumes it’s Emmet, but I’m not so sure.
Lena’s shown two months ago at sports warehouse in Boulder, Colorado. A customer realizes who she is and says he’s sorry about Dr. Cole. The tape speeds up and suddenly Lena collapses to the ground. EMTs come in and bring her around. She rips the tube out of her mouth and says her dad and Emmet are still alive.
The Magus team tries to figure out how to get to the other building without alerting the creatures. Rabbit tells them sometimes those things will disappear for ten minutes and then come back. She talks about tunnels connecting the buildings, and Kurt makes her lead the way to the connection points.
Except they hear snoring, and realize they’re standing in the midst of the creatures. Everyone tiptoes through, careful to not wake a single creature. And then they realize Kurt and A.J. aren’t there. Kurt flips over a creature sees that it’s his girlfriend. Gunfire opens up when the camera pulls back, and then Kurt appears to tell them the creatures won’t be following. Hooray for automatic weapons.
At the infirmary, they find only windchimes reflecting the light. Turns out no one was there. Tess can hardly believe it; Emmet’s dead, and everyone else was right. She breaks down right there, and Lincoln comforts her… until they see a dragonfly appear. Remember how Emmet possessed Jahel? Lincoln does too, and realizes it’s not over.
Lincoln and the rest follow it to the roof, and he says every time they see a dragonfly it feels like they’re getting closer to finding Emmet. Lincoln and Tess enter a room on the roof of the facility, and fight through cobwebs to discover Emmet in a cocoon of what looks like amber. Holy crap!
Tape from 2002 is Emmet explaining about the cocoons surrounding dragonflies and butterflies when food is scarce. It’s a preservation mechanism, in point of fact. And I get the sense that’s what Emmet did.
Tess takes Kurt’s knife and cuts the cocoon open. While the rest of the team looks on, wide-eyes, Tess and Lincoln pull Emmet from the cocoon. And they realize he’s alive and breathing. The team high-tails it out of the facility with the creatures following behind. Kurt fires multiple rounds back at the creatures, even bringing one down, to cover their harried escape through the jungle.
They reach the Magus and pass Emmet to Emilio on the ship. Tess calls for the dog, Salsa, to come aboard but he keeps barking and won’t budge. They shove off, and next we see Tess and Lincoln caring for Emmet in his private quarters.
Clark sits up in the editing room, scanning the cameras throughout the vessel. We get to see a smattering of everyone working around the ship. Lena brings Lincoln some food, but he doesn’t really want to eat. While they have their “moment,” Lincoln feels the need to tell Lena he has someone back in Chicago. Awww, I wanted them to hook up.
Tess finds Rabbit on the deck, and tells her their plan to get Emmet to a hospital at the next village. And that Rabbit will have to find her own way from there. The camera switches to Jahel driving the ship, when through the window we see Rabbit tackled by something. It’s one of the creatures!!! The last view of Rabbit is a streak of blood on the deck and kicking legs. Well that sucks.
Kurt’s down in the bowels of the ship. Kurt finds A.J. in the editing room, and orders him to erase all the video he shot today. A.J. asks Kurt why he’s really here, and in German he answers that he’s going to kill Emmet Cole.
Lincoln’s with his dad when Jahel suddenly appears, terrified because there’s a monster upstairs. Kurt is the only one up there when the creature who used to be his girlfriend beats against the window. Kurt tries to reason with the creature, but A.J. shouts to just kill her. Kurt finally blows several holes through the creature, tears in his eyes.
Tess is on the intercom in the kitchen and asks Lincoln what’s happening. He tells her Kurt just got one on the deck, except Kurt said there were two. The second one bursts into the kitchen and attacks Tess. Lincoln, Lena, and Jahel rush into the room to help… and then a shotgun blast knocks the creature off.
Guess what? Emmet Cole saves the bloody day. He walks into the kitchen, shirtless, and after a few silent beats asks “So how was my funeral?”
Next week: The season finale… when we finally get some answers about this entire thing.
Did you miss an episode? Check out our recap of last week’s ‘The River: Doctor Emmet Cole’.