The River 1:6 "Dr. Emmet Cole"

Previously on The River: characters we don't like, make stupid decisions for reasons we can't quite comprehend.

Day 28...9:26pm...What happened during the previous six days?

Lena and Linc have a moment regarding her father. Tess says they can't wait for Lena to leave because they are so close to finding Emmett. Since when? Linc leads a group out to the falls, Dr. Coles last location. He eats ants along the way, why? No Kit Kats in the Amazon. Everyone is still feeling bad about Lena's Dad being dead, or on a ghost ship, or whatever when they find the stream and the waterfall. They are there for literally 5 seconds before someone finds Emmets pocket knife (aha!). Twenty seconds later they find his back pack full of tapes (aha!). How convenient.

We're suddenly back on the ship. Everyone but Tess is watching the tapes found in the bag. She's warned that watching the tapes could be difficult for her. Not fair, no one warned me before starting to watch this show! She's game anyway.

We get footage of Emmett on the ship. He's in bed, he meditating. He's quite mad, you know. He claims to have heard a song in his dreams that is now stuck in his head. That happens to me a lot too. Usually it's Styx "Renegade" that I wake up humming. Apparently the Magis is stuck on an embankment. Emmett wants to go it on foot. Lena's dad objects. They get into it. It gets physical. Lena gets upset. Emmett, two camera folks and the dog leave Lenas father behind and head into the forest.

As Emmet and crew hike deeper and deeper into the forest things get weird. Another ill willed tribe is stalking them (that makes three in six episodes). One night a cute monkey is skinned and strung up in a tree as a warning. Emmett and Co. push on. He continues talking to the camera, showing various survival tools, what to eat, where to sleep etc. His speeches are dotted with odd references to spirits and the occult. He starts to sound like a crazy person more and more.

They continue to be stalked by this tribe, or spirit or ghost or something. Emmett figures out whistling the tune that's stuck in his head diffuses the thing coming to kill him. It's like a giant puzzle. I wonder what whistling "Renegade" will get me? Apparently nothing but weird looks from the people I work with.

Back on the Magus, Daughter who doesn't speak English, warns everyone that this thing doesn't fuck around and wants to kill folks. Doesn't she ever have any happy news? Just once I'd like to see her show up and tell everyone she made cupcakes or something. Lena takes the time to tell Jonas that it was her who remotely set off Emmett's beacon. She says she did it hoping
everyone would finally get off their asses and come look for Emmet and her dad. She also stresses that it must remain a secret, despite the (at least) four cameras on her when she tells Jonas this "secret."

As Emmet and the camera folks get deeper into the forest, the spirit gets more demonstrative. But not after the young girl camera person makes a move on Dr. Cole. He respectfully declines, he is a gentleman after all. This makes Tess feel better, obviously. They wake up to find other camera guy killed in similar fashion as the monkey earlier. The thing continues to stalk Dr. Cole and the slutty camera girl. Finally she's had enough, she leaves him and takes all the food, but leaves him with the camera equipment. How nice. The dog is still there though, so that's something.

Alone, starving, and now feverish from drinking stream water, Dr. Cole presses on. He's getting more and more delusional. He waxes intellectual about the beginning of his show. He reveals that he and Tess lost their first born child. We get a flash back of his last call to Linc. British Joe Anderson gets pretty broken up about being a dick to his dad on the phone. Luckily the dog is still there to keep Emmits spirit up.

Lena has broken away from Emmet Cole movie night to check herself out in the mirror. She's got some weird thing growing in the back of her neck. She should definitely get that checked out. She keeps it under wraps though and heads back to the home movies.

Dr. Cole has pretty much lost it at this point. He needs food desperately having run out of grubs and the like to eat. Luckily he spots some mangos in a tree (aha?). He's still a mess though. Not in best climbing shape, hence he falls out of the tree. One broken ankle later and a desperate situation has become impossible. The dog picks the wrong moment to lick his face. Suddenly we are watching "Cannibal Holocaust" as Emmit considers killing and eating the dog. Cooler heads prevail however as we remember we are watching ABC. The mysterious thing that turns people inside out is back and Emmit decides whistling isn't worth it. Luckily for him a mysterious tribe...maybe the same one as before, who knows, come and rescue him (aha!). They leave him at the doorstep of a compound in the middle of the woods.

Linc and crew take off after him. They cover ground quickly. The mysterious skin shaving thing leaves them alone. They meet up again with the dog (aww). They get to the compound only to find it looks like it has been deserted for some time. The end.

Finally. Finally! FINALLY! A pretty good episode of this show. Why? Two reasons: First, there was very little of the Magus crew. Nothing about any of the characters on the ship makes you miss them. Their performances are tepid. The characters are unlikable. The less of them the better. The second reason this episode works? Bruce Greenwood. Note to the rest of the cast, this is acting. He makes you care more for his character in one episode, than the other actors have in the five previous hours combined. This episode was focused. It made sense. Well, except the stretches with the camera work. The natives that pick up Emmit suddenly know how to work a digital video camera? They must be fast learners.

So we have a good episode of The River, rejoice and bask in it. Hopefully they will stay on this path and stay away from the Magus and the main cast.

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