We're moving Forums to the Community pages. Click here for more information and updates.

The River: ZOMBIES!!

While zombies may still be a novelty when it comes to primetime television, as a horror device they're about as played out as Tyra Banks. That's why it's important for any new zombie portrayal to bring a fresh spin to the meme. Running! Speaking! Rage viruses! We've basically seen it all. So congratulations to The River for introducing a zombie innovation of its own: Napping! That's right, the zombies of The River stop for a nap every ten minutes or so. That sounds ridiculous—and it definitely is—but like much of the rest of "The Experiment," it oddly just worked. I'm just as shocked as you are, but this was a pretty solid episode of The River! This was certainly the first episode where I thought to myself, "You know, I could watch a whole movie of this." A high compliment for a TV show with such an unrepentant crush on horror films.

We picked up right where we left off last week: The crew of the Magus emerging from the jungle wide-eyed at an eerily abandoned facility of some kind. I'd guessed the place was related to deforestation but the truth was far more Dharma Initiative: It was an abandoned research facility. Mysterious German Kurt decided the place had been empty for months and its dark, disheveled interior suggested foul play. At this point The River turned into BioShock as old-fashioned music echoed through dark, sinister hallways. It was genuinely scary! And I don't know about you, but I really enjoyed not having to deal with the Magus' security camera footage for most of the episode. The handheld footage of Lena, Tess & Lincoln looking terrified in darkness felt more organic and believable than any of the found footage we'd seen so far.

Needless to say, not ten minutes went by before Lincoln definitively concluded that the research facility had been attempting to find a cure for cancer before everything went to heck. Suddenly everyone was following a trail of bloody footprints and a terrible odor toward a mysteriously "buzzing" walk-in freezer. And before you could say, "Um, don't?" Lincoln opened the freezer to unveil one of the more horrifying images ever seen on primetime television: Dozens of rotting corpses! Seriously: Though it was artfully framed to obscure the full horror, I can't recall seeing such casual carnage on TV since, I don't know, the mass grave scene from Lost? Seriously scary stuff, and I immediately respected The River for going there. And go there they did, as what followed was as logical as it was appalling: Lincoln and Jonas had to go GO INSIDE and see if any of the rotting bodies were Emmet! Cue flies and puking. "Is it Friday yet?" - Everybody involved.

Meanwhile Mysterious German Kurt had snuck off to investigate the living quarters, and though he seemed to be using his best instincts to detect the presence of life, he somehow missed the man with the huge camera tailing him. Fortunately for us, A.J. got the scoop: Kurt was looking for his fiancée Hana, who we'd learned in a (surprisingly risqué!) flashback had been stationed in the Amazon to do some nefarious security work of her own. Kurt was disappointed to learn that Hana wasn't in her bedroom, but he DID end up discovering the demon lady from Paranormal Activity hiding in the bathtub. Really not much a consolation prize, if you ask me. Since we last saw her abandoning Emmet in the Amazon, Rabbit had gotten a makeover into a shivering crazy lady who knew just enough to clue in the Magus crew but not enough to give anybody definitive answers about Emmet's whereabouts.

And that's when the zombies attacked!

Now, these zombies are closest in nature to the 28 Days Later variety: They seem to be technically alive and they're also fond of running. After the first attack, our heroes barricaded themselves in somebody's office who just so happened to have the research facility's security footage on his or her laptop! And the battery was still charged! A month later! (Oh, The River.) Anyway, then we got the exposition dump: These researchers had kidnapped and dissected nearby natives (the ones who believed themselves to be angels) in order to isolate the gene that gave them their youthful good looks. Then, immediately upon creating a retrovirus version of it, Mysterious German Lady Hana busted in and shot everybody all up! If you ask me, you should probably wait to shoot up a dangerous lab facility until AFTER the virus has been placed in a sealed container, but that's just how Hana rolled apparently. As a result, she and the doctors' faces began to bubble and melt and so began the facility's zombie shenanigans. Cool plan, Hana!

The best part about the zombies retreating from pounding on the door so that they could lie down and take a nap was a seriously suspenseful moment when the crew had to gingerly step over their sleeping bodies in order to bypass them. The second best thing about the napping zombies was an intensely bad-ass moment where Kurt single-handedly massacred them all with a submachine gun. (Well, all of them except for Hana, who to everyone else was just another ugly face in the ugly crowd.)

After a false lead led the crew to suspect Emmet was hiding out in the infirmary (seriously, mirrored wind chimes?) we suddenly came to a scene that, to be honest, I may have dreamed up? I mean, did the cocoon thing really happen? It couldn't have, right? That was just my imagination? Anyway, in the infirmary a CGI dragonfly caught Lincoln's attention and led the team outside and onto the roof where they found a utility closet (?) full of cobwebs and tons of dragonflies and, oh yeah, a HUMAN-SIZED GELATINOUS COCOON. In another tiny flashback, we saw Emmet talking about how dragonflies and butterflies will often retreat into a "nympha state" chrysalis when they're endangered. So, um. Basically... Emmet sensed a zombie outbreak and created an enormous, translucent, presumably mucus-based shell which he then HID INSIDE. At this point? Fair enough.

But The River wasn't over! In what would seal this episode as being remarkably jam-packed, the crew fished Emmet from his shell, dragged him back to the ship (while Kurt shot up all the zombies) and then enjoyed one last terrifying encounter: Zombie stowaways! The intruders included Hana, who immediately ate Rabbit but annoyingly did NOT eat Tess. After a presumably emotional moment (I have to presume since Kurt is a Mysterious German after all), Kurt finally shot Hana in the face. Then after a second zombie busted in and attacked everyone else, a suddenly awakened Emmet emerged from his cabin, murdered that zombie good, and then gave the laugh-out-loud action movie one-liner of our time: "So how was my funeral?" Perfect. And I mean that: That would've been my first question too!

So now there's only one episode of The River left (possibly ever) and ABC promises it'll be the most terrifying yet! Honestly, this episode definitely gave us reason to trust that claim. It was just the right amounts of terrifying and insane, with little dashes of genuinely compelling moments (like that seemingly random flashback of Lena having a seizure at a Foot Locker). Tess remains awful and Lincoln is still a pretty bad character, but at least everybody seems realer now. And we learned that Kurt's primary objective is to kill Emmet, which is quite a plan. Speaking of whom, it'll be nice having Emmet Cole as a living, breathing character instead of a walking myth. Fingers-crossed the finale will finally capitalize on all these threads!

Please no cliffhanger, please no cliffhanger...

 

QUESTIONS:

... Best episode yet?

... Seriously, did that cocoon thing really happen? Be honest.

... Is Lena literally an angel or what?

... What do zombies dream about?

Comments (31)
Submit
Sort: Latest | Popular
my best friend's ex-wife earned $12164 the previous month. she works on the internet and moved in a $437900 condo. All she did was get fortunate and put to work the tips revealed on this site NuttyRich . c o m
Reply
Flag
Rabbit!?! Nooooooooo! Poor little thing...
Reply
Flag
- Not sure the best, but the most absurd for sure.

- I don't know if the cocoon happened. I found the scene so scary I retreated to my cocoon.

- I don't know is she's an angel, but she's certainly adorable.

- Zombies dream about electric sheep. No, wait, that's androids...
Reply
Flag
TV writers really need to come up with a new way to write the role "the wife of..."



I don't even know who I hate more...Tess or Lori from the Walking Dead...Ugh...
Reply
Flag
... Best episode yet?

Second to Marbeley episode



... Seriously, did that cocoon thing really happen? Be honest.

What's that a cocoon? I thought it was a cesarean operation on some giant womb.



... Is Lena literally an angel or what?

She may just be. Spell angel backwards and remove the g as in God (because she's no God, she is an angel)



... What do zombies dream about?

Being killed by a deranged German dude.





Read more: http://www.tv.com/news/the-river-zombies-28100/#ixzz1pKpL1Z1v
Reply
Flag
I wonder if the jungle tribesmen who saved Emmett and dropped him off at the compoound knew about what was going on inside of the building. That their tribesmen were being experimented on..... are they just so good that they didn't care and wanted to save him anyway (being angels and all)? If this turns into some big metaphore about the lack of morals in society, I'm gonna be ticked!!



I love this show as a horror miniseries, and would love if they did another season (although I read it was specifically written as miniseries). Maybe they could do another and change the cast and location?? Maybe the dog could be the crossover character :-)
Reply
Flag
I do hope the dog's back soon. I don't know what the show's gonna do without it's star character (not sarcastic, actually).



It saddens me how much faster I turn to this show before I hunker down to get through an episode of The Walking Dead, but I'm really not hating it. I rooted for Tess's death, as usual, but this was a good episode. I did wonder what the new character was doing sitting out alone on the boat, but it was quickly answered.



Still, I didn't expect them to find Emmett so quickly...and I still don't. Evolution is not our friend.
Reply
Flag
Best episode yet for sure..even tho there were a few moments that I thought were a lil bit much...the cocoon for one, and the friggin mirror windchimes...I actually started laughing out loud. Oh yeah and did anyone else think wtf when Lincoln and Tess just barge right into that room emmets in without a gun? I mean you just got done running away from a bunch of zombies but oh sure we'll just follow the magic dragonfly into a room with no thought to our safety...



Oh yeah and I think there was something up with Rabbit...she made that creepy comment when they locked themselves into that room in the facility "you should just go ahead and let them in, its easier that way" or something of the like... Maybe shes not really dead from the attack by the mercs gf (Hanna), maybe she was already infected. It seems strange to me that she could have survived in there for that long and she looked pretty sickly. No one else in the group was really exposed so they dont know if it was contagious or not. It was a virus so I would assume it could mutate and become contagious. I thought it was weird that it was never brought up in the episode. In fact before I found out the merc's gf was aboard the magus I had thought that the dog didnt wanna hop aboard because Rabbit was gunna eventually turn into a zombie or something (not to mention the comment she made about how "maybe they should have left her there" when Tess reamed her out.) Of course it may also be because "its not really emmet" or theres something wrong with him. I'm feel like its the real Emmet tho...I dunno.



For the most part it was a very good episode, and I was def happy to leave behind the security cams on the magus for a while. I'm also excited they finally addressed the german merc and at least part of his ultimate role in all this. I think he and his woman are like protectors of the source, I think everything ties back to the source like maybe thats why theres so many powerful spirits around, because they can in a way tap into its power. I think the german and others like him are supposed to keep it hidden and not allow its power to change our world. Because of things like the lab they were in today. I think those "angel" people also protect and use the source, thats probably what their tribes all about (not to mention why their bodies appear to have special qualities?), and when those doctors abducted them and did experiments on them that zombie stuff was the consequence. I think the german had probably planned to kill all the magus crew if they got too close to figuring the source out because if they ever told anyone back home obviously more people would come and try to abuse the source, which as we've seen can have catastrophic consequences. Thats just my thoughts I may be way off but thats the fun of it..

More+
Reply
Flag
Very good episode. If the show can explain the mark and the magic stuff next episode, this show could be over this season. Better than getting cancelled, of course.
Reply
Flag
Aside from Tess -- I thought at some point she was going to step in poo and declare: "That's Emmet's poo! He's here and still alive!" -- I thought this was a very good episode. It was maybe the first of the series so far where I didn't necessarily like an episode for it's silliness but actually enjoyed the thrill and action.



And yes, that cocoon thing really happened... after eating one, maybe the dragonflies thought of him as one of their own... and created a HUGE dragonfly-cocoon for him to keep him safe. Crazy: sure, but this show is all about crazy.



And I think zombies dream about sex... cause, you know... zombie sex would be cool...?
Reply
Flag
1) Second-best, after the crazy doll tree episode.



2) It happened. I don't know how or why, and the writers probably don't know either. But it happened.



3) She's some kind of Chosen One, not one of the angel people. OR IS SHE?!?!



4) Meat.
Reply
Flag
C'mon ABC ! Just a second season and a movie!
Reply
Flag
Boy this episode sure took the series 1 step further than it needed to with regards to believability. Zombies in the amazon? Cocoon man? Angel people? Hanging man that never dies? Ghosts, demons, super intelligent possessed dragonflies, and magic at every turn?

Perhaps if they had picked 1 or 2 supernatural themes for the show that would have been cool, but everything constantly supernatural and magic and unbelievable will only turn viewers away.
Reply
Flag
Definitely the best episode so far. The dog refusing to get on the Magus is something I'll keep in mind. Dogs usually have a strong sixth sense about their surroundings, and Salsa's actions were quite telling of something dangerous ahead.
Reply
Flag
Not to mention that dog is a CHAMP. He survived in the crazy magical jungle by himself for at least a month (how long Emmet was in the camp) plus all that time from earlier when he got seperated from the Emmet and his camera men until he found him again.



He's a survivor.
Reply
Flag
I really liked the episode and the River's take on Zombies was fun. It's the little things and details of this show that make it so captivating for me. I don't think this is the real Emmit Cole because in a previous episode when he was communicating through the dragonfly there was a clip of hip alive surrounded by dragonflies outside, though I suppose it could have been a dream state or the stasis took place after. I like the clone theory too, though wouldn't the dog have led them to the real Emmit? Not sure whats going on with Lena but there is definitely some thing about her to be revealed. I look forward to watching the next episode and hopefully many more after!
Reply
Flag
Every dog owner knows the big clue was that the dog didn't get on the boat. The dog will end up being smarter than the people. Maybe Kurt has a good reason for wasting Emmet.
Reply
Flag
Oh man. I'm really not sure what to think about what I just watched. I think my key reactions were a plain and simple "really??" to the zombies and dragonfly and a "what the Kafka" to the cocoon. This episode had some pretty far-out events, felt super-dense and came back around to that good-natured groan only The River can produce. It felt like there was almost too much in this episode, but it was sufficiently tense, threw the plot miles ahead and was actually a little fun to watch. Not the best (I still think Peaches takes that cake) - I'd put it at number two, though.



That aside, seriously, who gave Lincoln a machete? Who's responsible for that?
Reply
Flag
My guess is the dog didn't want to go because that isn't the real Emmit Cole. I think that cocoon thing was an incubator for a clone.
Reply
Flag
I thought something similar at first, but after seeing the stowaway zombies, I think the dog may not have wanted to go on the boat because of them and not necessarily something to do with Cole.
Reply
Flag
i was thinking the same. The dog part was put in that scene for a reason.
Reply
Flag
An enjoyable episode for sure, but probably only the 3rd or 4th best so far (the Doll tree episode is my fave). It was great to have Zombies in the show but they were not scary to me at all. Zombies dream of bleeding sheep.
Reply
Flag
Seriously??? Did we watch the same episode?

I was constantly groaning at the ridiculous plot turns. Wind chimes reflecting the light? Zombies? A fricking cocoon?

Tess has to be the single most pathetic character on TV and I've seen blank sheets of paper with more charisma than Lincoln, what the hell does Lena see in that douche?

I'll admit that the cocoon thing was surprising, but not in a good way. The use of a zombie virus was just a bit bloody lazy if you ask me. How many different genres are they trying to squeeze into this trainwreck? Tess has remained adament throughout that Emmet was alive, then some wind chimes make her change her mind, rather convieniently about a minute before they find him alive; and how are supposed we to believe that Kurt didn't know he was being followed; and, at the end, why did Rabbit take all that shit from Tess? The bitch had been shagging the producer and she decides she can lord over a 20 something camera girl because she's decided she cares about her estraged husband again? I'd have told the hypocritical cow where to go.



I will agree with you that getting away from the boat and the multitude of random camera angles was a step in the right direction, as was having a bit more of AJ. But those two good points don't make up for the numerous errors in this episode. I will be very surprised if The River gets a second season, I just can't see where else it can go. Regardless of it's future status the next episode will be my last, I just can't suspend my disbelief any longer and can't put with any more Tess.
More+
Reply
Flag
I agree best episode yet. For a moment I thought I saw Xenomorphs in the jars, but then it went al 28 days later on the Cole party. Silly but very enjoyable.



The river being what it is, Kurt and Hanna must be working for, or are part of the Knights Templars or something. Protecting some religious artifact or Eden or who knows what. It might actually pull it of if it's like that.

Reply
Flag
definitely best episode yet. I sure hope there will be another season.
Reply
Flag
This was certainly the best episode yet with the best ending! Seriously, those last few seconds to the point where Emmet came in were just so good!



That womb-like cacoon really happened, but it's okay because "there's magic out there!"



I don't know what Lena is, but even if next week's episode is the finale and probably the last episode we'll see, I hope we find out something more about her, the mark, and what that all means.



Zombies dream about .. actually I can't answer this question.
Reply
Flag
Yeah ABC, Zombies do not nap, what the hell!
Reply
Flag
Yep, best episode thus far!
Reply
Flag
this is up there with the second episode!! Cant believe they left the poor dog behind!!!
Reply
Flag
Staff
That dog did not want to come with them and I think the dog was probably right.
Reply
Flag
you may have a point there... lets hope the dog knows how to whistle that monster-repelling tune!!
Reply
Flag

Like TV.com on Facebook