Skip to content

The River: Season 1, Episode 5 – Peaches

This week’s episode begins on day 22 of the search for Dr. Emmett Cole. It’s something of an anomaly because it begins with some foggy footage aboard the Magus instead of with the flashback we’ve become accustomed to.

As the team sails on toward The Source (or Jonas’ best guess of where it is), Tess has everyone on “visibility” duty to fight the fog. Jonas, who recently spent months hanging from a tree by his neck, thinks that returning to his breezy perch might be preferential to holding a flash light and keeping watch for obstacles on the water. It’s an odd tone for the character to take, and it feels completely unrealistic. Where’s the PTSD, the crippling fear, the inability to sleep?

During the night, with Tess at the helm and the rest of the crew watching the water, they see another ship approaching them. The team honks the boat’s horn, lights flares, waves their arms … and are eventually forced to run the Magus aground to avoid a collision. Except, of course, when the creaking stops and everyone is back on their feet, the other ship has disappeared. Ghost ship!!

Even worse, the ship is pretty messed up. Emilio and Jahel are adamant that they can’t continue on without replacing some gears and a coupler. That’s when A.J. points out what’s entirely obvious to the audience, but apparently not to the crew: they’re stranded. Cue suspenseful music.

Over the course of the episode, Adventure Barbie reveals that she misses her father in a series of personal interviews. That’s to be expected, but 22 days into the trek is a little late to be crying about the fact that everyone has forgotten about your missing dad. Her sudden distress is a bit late to the party, but it does serve as a great plot device.

Jonas’ degree in The Art of Pickup prepared him to recognize Lena’s growing vulnerability, and he tells her that he hasn’t forgotten her father. With the ship run aground and nothing much to do, he goes for the emotional kill and plays some footage of her father talking to Peaches, his nickname for her and the name of this episode. Lena is wrecked, and Jonas is all too happy to try to cheer her up with his roguish charm.

Their increasing closeness angers Lincoln, whose frustration leads him to make the case for abandoning the Magus and going ahead on foot. Realizing that this would lead to lots more footage of people tromping through the jungle, the writers introduce a little deus ex machina in the form of Exodus, a boat full of eco-activists who happen to have the exact part the Magus needs.

If it were my boat, I’d have sent them on their way with a howdy and a handshake, but Tess invites them to dinner. Big mistake. Turns out the crew of the Exodus failed geography, which makes Kurt suspicious. Even more suspicious: they’re also bound to the Exodus unless they can find others to take their place—permanently—before sunrise. At least that’s what Lena’s father, Russ, tells us when they find him chained in the belly of the Exodus. He’s bound to the ship, himself, so he’s intimately familiar with the process.

By the time we put all of this together, the Exodus crew has managed to get Tess, Lena, Jonas and Kurt onto Exodus. The dramatic irony is that the folks aboard the Magus have no idea that their compatriots are just minutes away from being bound to the ghost ship forever. Most of them are too drunk to care anyway.

Luckily, Lincoln notices the bullet holes in the bulkhead, where Kurt shot one of the ghost crew, and is able to connect the dots. He realizes that half his crew has been kidnapped … just as the Exodus speeds off into the soon-to-be-sunrise with its brand new crew locked below deck.

The dramatic tension rises, as sunrise approaches and the folks locked on the Exodus begin transmitting live from Jonas’ camera onto the screens in the Magus’ video room. Clark, Lincoln and Jahel walk by the room, but none of them see or hear Lena’s wide eyes and desperate voice. Finally, Jahel notices and then things start to happen quickly.

As Lincoln and Clark catch up to the Exodus in their dingy, Kurt manages to break out of the holding room. But the ghosties aren’t going down without a fight. Kurt remembers that one of the crew burnt herself during dinner and tells his friends to light the flares. This works passably, turning the undead into ash in a pretty gruesome special effect.

As the Magus’ crew flees, Lena shares a heartbreaking moment with her father. Poor Russ. Stuck on that ship and then burned to ash. Too bad he couldn’t take Jonas with him.

With just three more episodes to go, the show seems to be winding toward some kind of end point. Whether they’ll find Dr. Cole alive or at all is still unclear. A whole host of other questions remain, as well: Will Lena see through Jonas? Will Lincoln and Jahel pair up? What is The Source? And what will Kurt do when they find it?

Throughout this episode, I felt like I was watching Kurt’s allegiances shift. He may have come aboard Magus to find The Source and kill anyone who knows where it is, but he is starting to get really pissed off with the people who sent him out into the horrible jungle. Who knowingly sends someone to deal with selfish dead little girls, ghoulish Natives and liches??

Clark is still unimpressed and suspicious of Kurt, and the two men continue to build the tension, Clark with his sarcastic smirk and Kurt with his stony resolve. I’m waiting for this to come to a head. I think the bang when these two collide is going to be big enough to take down the Magus herself.

Dead Crew Members: 1—Poor, roasted Russ
Cumulative Dead Crew Members: 2

3 thoughts on “The River: Season 1, Episode 5 – Peaches”

  1. Pingback: The Disney Blog

  2. Pingback: The Disney Blog

  3. Pingback: Weekly Round Up: March 6 | Mouse on the Mind

Comments are closed.