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!!

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The River: Season 1, Episode 1 – Magus

Editor’s Note: Please welcome Melissa Sue Sorrells Galley who will be reviewing ABC’s thrilling new drama The River.

The River is a found-footage style genre mashup of science fiction, horror, drama and suspense, and its first hour is just as complicated as that description sounds. It moves quickly—too quickly. But here are the basics:

Beloved television personality and explorer Dr. Emmet Cole and his cameraman went missing six months ago, and even though the official search party has broken up, his wife and friends refuse to give up the search. They head to the Amazon, track down Cole’s insanely tricked-out boat and find the panic room welded shut.

Believing Cole to be locked inside, they open the panic room, only to be greeted by … well, we’re not sure what. But it moves fast, and it seems pissed off. You can tell because it totally starts destroying everything and generally making spooky noises. Oh, and it kills someone. That’s a big clue.

When the explorer’s family and friends are finally able to regroup, they manage to trick the bad thing into a bad thing lock box so that they can get back down to the business of trying to find Dr. Cole. And we can move on to episode two.

But before we do that, let’s meet the cast:

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