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.
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.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA), enjoys mentoring writers, wine, and passionately discussing the nuances of television. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.