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Monday, March 12, 2012

The River "Doctor Emmet Cole": AKA: Will He Won't He Eat The Dog

Intense. I have mulled it over for a few days now, and have come to the decision that is the best word to describe last week's episode of The River.

Armed with the knowledge that Russ had given them about where Emmett was last headed, our fearless crew heads to the Sahte Falls to continue the search. While they don't find Emmet, come on that would be too easy, plus we still have two more episodes to air, they do discover a major find, Emmet's camera bag, chock full of tapes.

What we now get to witness is the good doctor's decent into madness, and what may have been one of the most suspenseful/heartbreaking/gut wrenching hours of television I've seen in a long time. On top of that it was also a very informative episode, we learned a lot more about what made the characters who they are. How Tess was the mastermind behind "Undiscovered Country" as a way of helping Emmet cope withe the death of their first child, a baby named Alice. The want/need to see Alice again also gave us tremendous insight as to why Emmet was so desperate to find "The Source". He thought he had found the loophole between life and death and was desperate to use it to once again see his baby girl.

We learned more about the doomed original crew as well. We saw again how Russ, who'd had enough, stayed behind on the non functioning Magus, while Emmet and his two camera operators, Manny and Rabbit, along with Salsa the dog, headed deeper into the Baunia. One can only imagine that is how The Exodus crew found him, alone and stranded.

Emmet also reveals in an argument with Russ that Lena is "marked for this", which to her credit, Lena goes to investigate and discovers "THE MARK" hidden beneath her hair. A discovery she, somewhat wisely chooses to keep to herself. She does however confide in Jonah, that she is the one who set off Emmet's beacon, the one that gave them all hope and brought them all on this journey in the first place. Apparently now she feels guilty about it. One can't help but wonder then, why she didn't feel more guilt when A MAN DIED in the first episode, seeing as him being there in the first place was her fault, but I digress.

Back to Emmet's suicidal mission to find "The Source". Things start off fairly lighthearted and fun, Emmet even busts out a spot on Clark impression at one point, causing the viewing Clark to smile. It was brief, but in that moment you could see, despite their differences, the mutual love and respect the two men had for each other. Then when Rabbit attempts to make a move on Emmet, while they are sitting around the campfire, he reveals that even though they are separated he still loves Tess.

Of course, things soon take a dark and sinister turn. It starts off small, a skinned monkey, stolen provisions, nothing unsurvivable. Then freaky shit starts going down, there's a weird whistling noise, and poor Manny who just can't keep up, gets himself skinned and impaled on a tree.

Rabbit, gets understandably freaked, and suggests they head back. When Emmet refuses she decides to sneak off and leaves poor Emmet with no gear, save for a bag of camera equipment and a satellite phone. Scared or not, that was definitely a shitty thing to do, and I for one sincerely hope Rabbit got eaten by the jungle because of it.

What we now witness is Emmet's lonely, and treacherous trek on through the jungle. He becomes, feverish, starving, struggling to just survive. Eventually near starvation he finds a mango tree, and climbs it in a feeble attempt to gather food, but at this point he has become so weak he is unable to keep his balance. He falls from the tree, breaking his leg, forcing him to drag himself along the jungle floor in order to continue. At one point he becomes so desperate he even contemplates killing his dog and eating it just to survive. Thankfully this does not occur, despite a few terrifying moments of debate.

But what maybe the most heartbreaking/gut wrenching scene of the whole episode though, was watching Lincoln realize that the last time he spoke to his father, when he kind of blew him off, was while Emmet was on this trek. His father had reached out to him, while he was essentially dying, and he couldn't be bothered. Of course, at the time he hadn't know, but still. It was a great reminder of the fact that Lincoln's relationship with his father wasn't perfect, in fact up until Tess convinced him to come in this search, it was anything but. Watching him sit there seeing his father reach out to him, and now knowing that may have been the last time he would ever speak to him, literally made me feel sick to my stomach for him.

Then, just when we think we've seen the end of Dr. Emmet Cole, as he lays starving, sick and broken on the jungle floor, he is somehow granted a reprieve. What appears to be the tribe he has been looking for all along comes along, scoops him up and brings him to what seems to be a busy outpost.

With renewed hope our crew sets out to find the outpost and hopefully a fully alive Emmet. As the near the. Out post they are happily greeted by Salsa, the lucky he didn't get eaten dog. However, when they reach the outpost it is immediately clear some thing is not right. It no longer looks like the bustling place full of people we see on the tapes. Something appears horribly wrong, the place looks deserted, and as though things were left in a hurry.

The question once again becomes, what happened to Doctor Emmet Cole. Honestly I can not wait till tomorrow night to find out more.

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