Friday, March 2, 2012

Review: The River "Peaches"

Non Spoiler Review:
While travelling at night, the Magus hits a mysterious ship, which brings them into contact with a crew of environmentalists. All is not right, however. Lena is annoyed that everyone seems to forget her father is missing, too, while Lincoln begins to show some jealousy about the relationship between her and Jonas. 

Peaches was the weakest in the series so far, obviously set up to hit some key plot points. The paranormal feature this week is a classic horror cliché, so it didn't offer any new twist (nor any scares), and really, the crew doesn't even bat an eye anymore at anything less than a horde of zombies. It all didn't wrap up very well, either, with hasty explanations, if any at all.

Spoilers Now!
Day 22. Lena notes that everyone keeps forgetting her father was on the expedition and is so focused on Emmet. Jonas is one of the first who tells her he admired Russ. They're still following Jonas' route down the river where Emmet was searching for some people who would help show him the way. While making up time by travelling at night, the Magus hits another boat. Then it disappears.

The engines have taken enough damage Emilio needs parts. While they're stranded, Jonas finds Lena some tapes of her father, prompting some obvious jealousy from Lincoln at all the attention she's showing him.

Lincoln wants to take the boats ahead instead of trying to call for help. Then Tess picks up another ship on the radio, the Exodus, and they rendezvous with the crew. They're environmentalists who are after some illegal loggers and can exchange spare parts for donations to the cause. All very convenient.

Emilio begins repairs, while both crews are on the Magus having dinner. Jonas spies someone on the Exodus so convinces Lena to come with him to investigate. Kurt gets suspicious so goes into the control room to check out the surveillance, overhearing two of the other crew members talking about getting them to their boat, and they're no good to them dead. Kurt takes the Exodus captain aside and orders him to get his crew off the boat now without any trouble. Kurt shoots him twice when he tries to attack, but he doesn't die.

On the Exodus, Lena and Jonas open up a locked room and find her father! Russ freaks out and yells that they can't have her too. Kurt's in there too (somehow), and explains these people aren't people. Russ recounts he was brought on board, chained, and when the sun came up, one of the Exodus crew was alive again and could leave. Yes, it's a ghost ship. The crew can't leave the river unless they find someone to replace them. There are four of them in the hold, so they only need one more to replace everyone.

In the engine room, one of the crew comes down to see Jahel. He suggests she come back to his boat with him, but she sends him away. Tess is talking with the other woman crew member about Emmet. She informs her the map is all wrong but they have an accurate one on the Exodus, so Tess goes over to their ship. That's when she apologizes to Tess and tells her it's her turn to be trapped now.

Tess wakes up in the hold and is reunited with Russ and the others. They're being taken east to wait the sunrise. She wants to know about her husband so Russ (given they have some time on their hands) explains Emmet was losing it, believing everything was connected and obsessed with finding the source. He went off on foot when they lost the Magus. 

Lincoln is finally starting to question where everyone is and concludes they've been kidnapped, so wakes Clark to find the Exodus leaving. Jonas rigs up a camera to broadcast to the Magus so they can home in on the signal. Lincoln and Clark don't see it and take off in pursuit of the Exodus in the boat, but luckily Jahel does see the mayday and radios their position to Lincoln and fills him in about the phantom crew.

Kurt busts them out while Lincoln and Clark climb aboard. They shoot the crew, and that does nothing, but fire seems to scare them inside. Russ explains he can't go given there's no one to replace him and he's already dead anyway. He tells Lena to go on with her life so he can move on. Lincoln drags her into the boat and they leave the Exodus as the sun rises and it burns away.

The Verdict:
Peaches was a lazily written episode, leaving lots of stuff unexplained and rushed. It dragged in the middle (during the overly long dinner scenes) and then charged to a last minute ending which I didn't really understand. I guess I could have missed some key dialogue (likely from Jahel) that burning the boat would send the spirits on their way (and not condemn them to eternal torment).

The ghost ship idea is nothing new either, and its crew sparked suspicion from the start. It was a story of convenience—supplying the Magus the parts they needed to repair the ship and get some further information from Russ before dispatching him (hopefully) to the afterlife.

That's all I have to comment on. Otherwise the characters were their normal selves (though this captain thing seems to have gone to Tess' head). And it's really getting noticeable (as I mentioned in last week's recap) how at ease the entire crew is about the crazy stuff they see on a regular basis and Jahel's ability to provide the paranormal background on every encounter. Maybe Emmet should have taken her along with him.

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