(Contains plot spoilers)
Bag of Bones Part 2 unfortunately didn’t live up to my hopeful expectations that the second part would save the day!! In fact, the story got worse, made little sense, and some of the acting was just appalling!!! Let me explain as I review the second part of this TV mini-series:
At the end of Part 1, we saw Mike holding on to a young girl who appeared to be drowning in his bathtub!! Mike’s cleaner, Brenda, then walked in and the girl was gone. Brenda then makes some passing comment about going “Dark Score Crazy”, Mike questions the comment after hearing it a couple of times, and Brenda proceeds to tell him that a few people in the town had gone mad and then drowned their daughters!!! One of these persons was Mattie’s late husband who went “Dark Score Crazy” and Mattie shot him as he was trying to drown Kyra.
Mattie’s custody battle for Kyra, also finally comes to an end. She turns up at the summer house, eager to tell Mike the good news and it would seem it was all down to Mike and the fact he had suspicions that Max Devore (the father-in-law trying to gain custody) was using bribery to get his way in the custody case!!! Hmmm!!!! There seems to be so little substance to these characters, and it all just seems so unrealistic with very little character or story development!
Anyway, back to the story of Dark Score Lake, one I am much more interested in, and Mike starts to do some digging after coming across a load of books his late wife, Jo, had borrowed from a local library on the history of Dark Score Lake. Part of this history includes Sara Tidwell, the young black blues singer from the late 1930s who mysteriously disappeared. After Mike’s conversation with Mattie, her goes inside to the summer house, only to find his living room has been trashed and books and papers are everywhere.
Another very bizarre scene takes place as Mike goes off for a jog and comes across a very sexy looking tree stump, almost resembling the figure of a woman. As he touches the tree he gets some sort of image shockery, like an electrical charge that goes through him and throws up in what I can only describe as the most ridiculous image, something that reminded me of the scene in Team America where one of the puppet characters throws up!!! Ridiculous!!
During his jog by the lake, Mike comes across Max Devore and his gothic looking wife, Rosette, and they threaten Mike for his involvement in Kyra’s custody case and the plans that Max has for Kyra!!! Mike dismisses their threats and unbelievably, Rosette punches Mike, and he falls into the lake, with Rosette throwing rocks after him as he clambers onto a platform in the water!!! I’m sure I’d feel pretty ashamed about myself if I was punched by an old woman who looks like she’s decaying by the minute!!! Poor show Mike Noonan!! Later, the Devore’s agree to leave Mike alone if he drops the assault charges but warns Mike that “custody has its responsibilities”!!! Even weirder, we then see Rosette nursing Mike in the bathtub and quickly realise is an assisted suicide act as she injects him with something and then suffocates Max, with Max consenting!! I wasn’t sure what was happening at this point, as to be honest, I thought they were doing some sort of sex act with the almost erotic noises coming from Max!! Weird!! And that’s the end of Max Devore for the moment!
Now, another strange scene! Mattie calls Mike to ask him round to dinner the following night as she tells him he will be going to Max Devore’s funeral and he needs to report into her!!! Eh!!! A bit strong I thought! Anyway, Mike agrees to go to Max’s funeral, and in the distance sees an old man in a wheelchair who appears very upset. Mike locates the man at a nearby care home and after a conversation with him, revealing he was friends with Mike’s grandfather, but also Max Devore, enlightens us all in the tale of Dark Score Lake. The short story is a group of them, including Max and Mike’s grandfather, attack Sara Tidewell and rape her (which was the most awful acting I have seen in sometime), Sara’s daughter witnesses and screams (again, the most awful acting I have seen), and the gang drown the girl in the lake. Before Sara’s last breath (and a long one at that, bearing in mind she was whacked around the head a few times with a rock) curses the gang of boys and their families in that they will drown any daughters they have, in the same way her daughter was killed! Right then!!!! A very cruel curse to inflict on females if you think about it!!
What should have been a horrible, evil scene to watch was awful, just awful. Badly acted and again underdeveloped. The gang had no character, no substance, and the evil Max Devore shooting orders to his troops whilst doing the dirty sex act on Sara was just too comical and too painful to watch! Honestly!
Moving quickly on, there now seemed to be a relationship between Mike and Mattie, even though Mike still seemed betrothed to Jo! Early in the episode Mattie identified the man that Jo had dinner with as Mike’s gay brother!!! There’s me thinking, maybe he’s not gay, maybe they were having a relationship behind Mike’s back! But no, they were not, and all of a sudden, all the build up to Mike’s paranoia that his wife was cheating was now gone! Ok then…
Anyway, during a meal with Mattie at Mattie’s house, Mike relays the story to Mattie, who again like Mike, isn’t shocked, or taken aback, just very accepting!!!! He and Mattie figure out that Jo was researching the curse and the pregnancy test she bought was to make sure she wasn’t pregnant, as it may have resulted in Mike killing it, if they had a daughter. Obviously Mike is infertile and his brother is gay, so was this the work of the curse too??!!
Mattie is then shot (that I wasn’t expecting!!!), while they share a cuddle, by local men who know of the curse and believe the curse won’t end unless Kyra is killed!!! This is where Max Devore’s “Custody has its responsibly” makes sense as custody of the child means you have to kill it, which is what Max planned to do.
Mike rushed Kyra away from the locals and hides her at the summer house while he figures out what to do next. It then becomes evident that Jo has been sending Mike messages through his writing as he discovers a cryptic message. Through this, he figures out that he needs to get some Lye (a corrosive alkaline substance), hidden in the attic, and go to where Sara and her daughter are buried, which is at the bottom of the tree stump, shaped like a woman. Now, this was the most comical scene of the whole bloody series – Mike getting beaten up by a tree, literally, as he tries to dig up the bodies! He succeeds and covers the bodies in the lye without using any gloves or protective gear, and I swear he managed to get it on himself what with the torrential rain and wind, but of course only the dead bodies disintegrated and Mike remained untouched!
Jo appears for the last time, and they share a moment before she fades into non-existence! Aww
Finally, (thank god) we get to the end of the series, with Mike now the sole guardian of Mattie’s daughter Kyra, having met her all of what, 3 or 4 times!!!!! Maybe if we had seen more of them together this scene could have been more believable, but as covered before, character or even story development is definitely a huge weakness in this TV mini-series!!
So there you have it, a huge disappointment that had me cursing at the TV far too many times. I do believe that Brosnan and George still gave good performances, but the script they had to perform was really awful and badly executed, time after time. It had such potential and some of the effects really were very good. Hey ho, we await the next Stephen King adaptation to be made – one day they might actually make one that is good from beginning to end!!!!!!! (I live in hope!!!!)
By Kirsty Wavish