The River Review: No More Mister Nice Guy

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It cannot be said that the unexpected didn't happen on the Magus. From Lena remembering her days as a child - and hearing "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" - to the death of Lincoln, the first 15 minutes of this season finale were riveting.

They also gave us a plethora of The River Quotes.

The River Finale Photo

Our young, all-knowing boat captain, Jahel, received a call from someone on the Bouina and instantly knew how to use it to bring Lincoln back. While everyone else cowered in their bunks, Tess trusted Jahel and they called upon the Boiuna to resurrect Lincoln. The scene was intense. In the room with Tess and Jahel things were flying about and generally had the "there's a spell happening vibe" while dead Lincoln was taken over by the river. When the water receded, he was alive.

But our good man Lincoln didn't return of the same mind as the one with which he died. He set someone up to take the fall for killing him so he could exact his own revenge. That revenge was to kill Jonas. Of course, it was Jonas who wanted to kill Emmet. Emmet left him hanging in a tree, alive, for months. Dammit, I really liked Jonas. He brought the funny. But this new Lincoln might bring enough scare factor to make up for it. He took out Jonas with a punch to the neck and went on to eat a sandwich, completely calm. The footage? Erased.

We finally found out what was up with Jahel and why she knew everything about every creature they came in contact with. She inherited it from her mother. The story from her father went unfinished, but my guess would be she ended up in a mental institution.

What she let loose in Lincoln was extremely powerful. The demon knew whatever the heck Kurt was up to and with a mere swipe his arm had him in the rafters. Then he went all manly and made a move on Lena. Poor Lena, who truly loved Lincoln, finally found action when he was in demon form. The curse of the Bouina indeed!

Their efforts to save him included having his eat one of the blue dragonflies, but the exorcist moves weren't leaving easily. He was doing backbends and twirly gigs on the kitchen table like a world class gymnast. All he wanted was his father's love. When Lincoln did find his way, though, he asked if his dad knew his girlfriend's name and what he studied in college. He just wanted his daddy. But when it came to Lena, seeing her breasts was high on the list.

A lot of people have wondered whether watching an intense scene can be interrupted in an annoying fashion by a commercial break. YES! Right after the bulging-breasted Lena dropped from the ceiling where the demon was holding her hostage, we were treated to the Chief of Police of Cincinnati for the University of Phoenix. What the frak? Talk about killing the mood. I could have chosen a dozen different places to put a commercial, because right after the breasted wonder fell to the floor was not it.

Lincoln's teeth grinding in a menacing growl... to the University of Phoenix because education is important! Aye yae yae.

In the end, it was Kurt who know how to bring Lincoln back. Stop talking to the demon and start talking to the son. Was there any doubt that Lincoln's love for his father and Emmet's for his son would be able to overpower the demon? Of course not. In that respect, it was kind of cheesy. But the actors did a great job of making the cheese plausible. I wanted to believe they were a family and because of that, I did.

As any good horror movie would do, The River left us hanging. Possibly forever. As they watched, live, the river closed their reentry to the Amazon in front of their eyes and opened new pathways to explore. All in all, The River was an entertaining eight hours. People were freaked out over the jerky camera movement, but frankly, I don't think you feel the effects of that on a smaller screen in the same way you do in the cinema. I might have noticed it for a week or so, but once the camera crew got the hang of it, it was pretty smooth sailing.

Whatever the fate of The River, I thank Oren Peli and ABC for taking a chance on something different and thrilling. In the meantime, I'll keep my fingers crossed for more adventure on the Bouina and more Bruce Greenwood.


Editor Rating: 3.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (68 Votes)

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


I thought it was a great series. Watched every episode! Couldn't get enough of it. If could change one thing about it. It would be that ABC shouldn't have made it. It would have been better on HBO or Showtime. I think they would have done a better job with all of it. But with that said it needs to be another season. I think that everyone that watched it deserves to see what happens next. Make a season 2 or take it to HBO! Spielberg/paranormal activity producer.


I watched every episode from the first minute to the last. I loved, loved, loved it. I was disappointed with the way the final episode ended. I want to see more of this suspense filled program. Hopefully ABC will bring it back for a second round. If not I will always wonder what happened!! (Like the way The Sopranos left everyone hanging.)


Good to see that others agreed with me that this was poorly written, acted, lighted and shot with a stupid primis. I stopped watching it long ago. So of course they will bring it back. I wish your reviewer would let us know more of the shows that have and have not been renewed.


CONTINUED I didn't like the wife at all. Strong character? Not exactly. Pushy, yes. Strong within? No, not at all. She sacrificed her son, put him in danger, pushed him into putting his LIFE on hold, for her husband. Not too good. And the son? He had a life and medical career going - the mom told him if he's not on the boat with them, they won't get the money or the show - he HAD to come. Oh? No, he should have told her to go F herself and stayed on his own medical career path. That is a tragedy, imo. And that's not even the worst of her actions as weak and pathetic. When asking Bojuna and Jahel to bring her son back, she said she would "do anything." OH? ANYTHING? She's talking to a God or Demon and she says that? That "anything" encompasses a whole lot of stuff, like eg, sacrifice the lives of everyone to do it? She dealt with a DEMON, as it turns out, for pete's sakes. And oh yeah, that "anything" probably is what's up next - STUCK there, forever - multiple lives ruined. I do NOT like the mother at all. She's one of those crazy types that just CAN NOT let go and move on. It's sick, weak and pathetic. It's NOT strong at all.


CONTINUED: But those two things, the crappy camera bs and Jahel speaking Spanish - while she had important things to say, said them rapidly, and said a lot. Bad move by the station. I know a few people that stopped watching JUST because of the language/subtitles crap when there really was NO need for that - she could have done like her pop, use an accent! My own plugging of the show (oh, it's SOOOOO good, give it a chance) to try to get them to watch more had no effect. I plug for a good reason. The main stations are way too quick to can sci fi-ish type shows (like THE GATES, an excellent series as good as True Blood) due to a tad lower ratings. If one or more shows gets better ratings, they might show us more shows like it.


I don't think the show was ever going to have another season. I thought it was just an 8 hour "movie" in episodes, like Steven King's 'Kingdom Hospital' was. I could see that ratings would go down (even if I watched it as a sci fi fan par excellance!). I'm pretty good at predicting what's gonna get caned.
For one, the REALLY crappy photography with the cameras (it doesn't look 'real' - it looks CRAPPY) - and Jahel speaking Spanish rapidly, which requires people (some with eyesight issues) to have to READ what she's saying - and people are not really able to WATCH while reading - and yeah, there's much to watch. That was a STUPID move by the makers of this show. Really really stupid. I ALMOST stopped watching and I'm a fanatic sci fi fan, just due to that. Happily, I recorded the show - but I had to do a LOT of rewinding whenever Jahel had a part - rewind, play again, read, ooops, didn't catch it all, rewind again, read, got it - rewind and now WATCH the action - UGH!


It was an intense season finale. However, my immediate thought when it was over was: "PUT A FORK IN IT, IT'S DONE!" I mean, Emmett Cole has been found and The River is apparently NOT going to let them go - - Not much story left to tell. I do not think a second season will be happening.


@Matt there was never such a promo you were on some strong frugs though


am i the only one who wondered how they had enough to eat and enough fuel for 38 days?


FALSE ADVERTISING!!! Before the show aired, when they were playing nonstop commercials for it, what was the one clip they just kept on showing and showing and showing? The big, green monster paw grabbing the edge of the boat. I absolutely LOVE monsters, so I've been watching all season and waiting for something more than spirits and tribes. I thought that tonight's episode, the (probably series) finale would HAVE to have it, right? WRONG! False. F'ing. Advertising.

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The River Season 1 Episode 8 Quotes

There are signs of the impossible everywhere in this place. And now I know they are signs to get out. The Bouina does not want us here. I'm sorry.


I have a lot of making up to do.