The River Review: Emmet's Pupal Stage

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At this point, we are no closer to knowing what "The Experiment" is, but what we do know is The River has no intention of leading us on a wild goose chase. It delivered the shocking news this week: Emmet Cole is alive!

A question that had gone unanswered since the first episode was why Kurt was along on this adventure. There will most certainly be a lot more to learn, but he had a personal involvement. His fiance was working at the outpost. Hana was one of the people he had been calling during the trip, and could possibly be the reason he told AJ his reason for being there: to kill Emmet Cole. He must have known he was alive all along.

Aboard the Magus

We also got some vague allusions to the symbol on Lincoln's necklace and Lena's neck because one of the tribal guys the facility killed had that symbol on him, as well. That had to freak the Hell out of Lena. The dead dude was floating in a big tank and had what appeared to be bone, which looked to me like wings, growing out of his back. They reminded me of the dragonflies, and then I promptly lost that train of thought when cannibalistic pharmaceutical zombies started their chase.

Yes! Zombies. Everybody loves a zombie but we prefer our Zombies to be slow and lumbering. These suckers seemed to fit that bill, but only until they saw food. Then the race for life was on! Like most zombies, they died with a nice shot to the head.

What were the chances of Kurt's fiance a) being the one who let the virus out, b) still breathing and c) being easily found by Kurt? Why wasn't she a zombie, trouncing around looking for food? After all, she was in the room when the virus first escaped. Or... was she a zombie? None of the others were lying on the ground in the same spot they were infected. That was problematic for me.

Whatever her story was, Kurt whispered something about hoping she wasn't in a lot of pain and left her there on the floor, only adding to the mystery of what the heck their involvement with the facility was all about.

After all the frantic zombie fleeing, there was a moment of rest. That's when the dragonfly showed up. Oh yeah! I was wondering if their experimentation had anything to do with all those damned dragonfly varieties that seemed to be all over the Amazon. Using his college education, Lincoln decided they should follow it to find his dad.

I did not expect it to lead them to a pupa, or larvae, or cocoon containing Emmet Cole. When I saw that, I thought he was in there to transform into something with wings, like the dude in the tank. Since when do humans form these things around them? How would they? Did the dragonflies do it to him, and if so, how did they raise him up? Yes, all of those thoughts were flying through my head and then Tess thrust a knife into it to get Emmet out.

Thankfully, from what was immediately obvious, he wasn't in a state of transformation. They got him to the Magus, but not without some unwanted guests boarding. Kurt had to deal with Hana after all, and as Tess was being attacked, Emmet emerged from his coma-like state and shot a zombie in the head. It was such an exciting moment.

The best and most exciting thought is that Bruce Greenwood will be with the cast on a weekly basis going forward. For now, that means one week. Bruce Greenwood. Did he ever lead you astray? No! How I wish viewers had kept the faith, because I truly believe season two would kick ass. Maybe ABC could bring it back as a summer show. Give us more Emmet Cole. He just arrived and I'm not ready for him to go! What did you think of this energized installment? What do you think we'll see in the finale?

Other bits:

  • I hope we see Salsa the dog again.
  • When is Lena going to show them her mark?
  • Finally, a creature Jahel didn't know about. Gotcha Jahel!
  • Poor Rabbit. So close and yet so far.
  • Why did they choose this particular episode to show the weird bits from the past? They weren't even connected. Strange.
  • Thank goodness television isn't smellovision, because some of those scenes made me gag just from thinking about how they must smell!
  • Was Emmet in the cocoon in jeans, or did they really take the time to dress him?


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (44 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.


The season only has eight eopsides and will most likely be on Netflix streaming here in the U.S. this summer which could breathe some new life into it.I feel the same way about serials that you do, Marcel, but American audiences have soured on them for the most part on major network television. Cable television is a different story, entirely. Serials are doing better and better on cable and part of the reason why is, again, that investment in time. Cable series seasons are usually 13 eopsides at the most.Yeah, I hate procedurals for the most part, with the exception of NCIS and NCIS L.A., as well. It is very rare that a procedural ever does anything but bore me because it's always the same recycled crap.


Definitely with you Dorreen! There was one episode I almost lost interest, but now I love it! Such as good show, it's like my replacement now that Lost is over. Season 2 please!


I really loved this show and a couple of friends at work did as well. It kept you on the edge of your seat and now with the river keeping them captive, I would love to see how the writers work around that one! Let's bring it back for another season....everyone with me?


Just wanted to add that all of these shows have to find their footing. The best and longest running ones, like X Files and Lost, often copied plots and or devices from movies and other TV shows for specific episodes. It's possible the ideas for The River will change and grow and include a lot of things we didn't expect. I mean, I've been to the Amazon and like anywhere else on earth, there is only so much folklore they can mine. Speaking of--how come Jahel didn't know there were Amazombies or something wrong on the boat when the dog wouldn't come on board?


AMAZOMBIES!! ON NOOOO! I laughed my butt off. I am really starting to enjoy this show. Some critic said they don't have a sense of humor on this show but I disagree. Last week, when Lena and the hanging camera man got on the other boat, she did the best Blair Witch thing. I love that Emmet and Salsa are back. Salsa obviously didn't get on the boat because he knew Amazombies were there. Dogs are smart. But I have disliked the Tess character since Episode 1. Why didn't they make HER go first all the times she wants everybody to risk their life for her agenda? So pushy and hysterical. Then she turns to wood and looks horrified. Not faulting the actress, just don't like this character the way they are writing her. Maybe they can turn her into an annoying insect that follows the boat next season. Or make her make more sense, now that she has accomplished her mission.


The whole premise of the show was to find Emmet, and they have; so now what? The show started getting a bit retarded for me a few episodes back but I figured, 'Well I HAVE to watch the rest of the season now to see if they find the guy.' I'll watch the season finale but I don't think I'll be back for season two.


Where was Jahel's father and the hanging man during the zombie attack on the boat.


I've never lost faith in the show, though I will admit that virus-created zombies are a bit ... unimaginative. The rest of the supernatural stuff has been suitably creepy, though. As for those complaining about the shaky cameras, etc.? It's a TV series in the "found footage" genre: what the heck did you expect? Of course it's going to have lots of "Blair Witch" and "Paranormal" camera work. It's like watching football and then complaining that "they keep throwing the ball around!" :^P


People still watch this???


I think I'm the only one that didn't lose faith in this show. I mean yeah there have been some parts that are pretty dumb, but I loved this idea for a show. I really hope it comes back for season 2!

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The River Season 1 Episode 7 Quotes

Tess: What's that?
Lincoln: I think it's bone.
Clark: Coming out of his back.

Clark, those are people in there. Those are dead bodies.