The River: Episode 6 “Emmet Cole” & Episode 7 “The Experiment” (contains spoilers)

The River: Episode 6 “Doctor Emmet Cole” & Episode 7 “The Experiment”

(contains spoilers)

Creators: Oren Peli, Michael R. Perry

Directors: Michelle MacLaren (Episode 6) & Kennet Fink (Episode 7)

Writers: Michael Green (Episode 6) & Soo Hugh (Episode 7)

Starring: Bruce Greenwood, Joe Anderson, Leslie Hope

Reviewed by: Matt Wavish, official HCF critic

In episode 6, cleverly titled “Emmet Cole”, we finally get to see a look at what really happened to him as pretty much the entire episode is based around his trek through the jungle. The crew of The Magus have themselves trekked through the jungle, located Sahte Falls and found a bag containing video recordings. Back onboard the Magus, Clark has sifted through the footage and the crew now sit down to watch what may have been Cole’s last moments. What we witness are Cole’s moments of madness as the explorer quite literally breaks down on screen.

The footage starts as Cole wakes up and inhales a dragonfly, which then seems to give him an awakening and suddenly he knows exactly where the find the source of the magic he is so desperate to find. He believes he knows where a mysterious ancient tribe are located, a tribe immune from disease and who have healing and magical powers. Arguing with his crew, only a cameraman named Mani and a girl known as Rabbit (Paranormal Activity’s Katie Featherstone) join him on his quest. We witness Cole teaching them to live off the land by eating bugs and berries, and all the excitement soon turns to fear as at night a mysterious demonic force begins stalking them and leaving skinned monkeys hanging from the trees to warn them off. This leads Cole to believe they are getting closer, however when Mani is killed by the evil force, Rabbit runs off, leaving Cole to fend for himself. Cole learns to whistle back at the creepy force, which scares it off momentarily, and as Cole continues to starve and come close to mental breakdown, we start to really worry about his sanity, and just what he will do next.

A scene involving his dog is almost unwatchable, and it is here that we learn just how far gone Cole is. His mind is lost, he is on his own, starving and with no hope of finding his way out. Bruce Greenwood expertly plays a man on the edge and makes some of the more harrowing scenes of mental collapse incredibly powerful to watch. Greenwood is on screen for 90% of this thrilling and mesmerising episode, and so when he somehow creates fire in his hands, we actually believe he has really done it! The fear he has from the demonic force is superbly realised, and this has to be one of the creepiest episodes so far. The crew of the Magus can only watch in the hope something good happens. All I can say is thank God Cole took his cameras! There is also a very touching scene as Cole rings his Son, while at his very worst, and Lincoln says he is too busy. A powerful scene, played out convincingly both by Greenwood and by Joe Anderson as he protests to the Magus he had no idea of his Father’s circumstances. Why would he?

This powerful episode leads to an outpost in the middle of the jungle, a place where Cole ended up, and the place the crew head for next…

It is at the outpost where the show suddenly shows its desperation to throw just about every horror cliché into the mix. The outpost is deserted, run down and falling apart and the crew head in hoping to find as trace of Emmet. What they find is what appear to be pharmaceutical experiments gone wrong, video footage found shows how scientists and Doctors suffered the fate of their experiments by unleashing a virus, turning its victims into cannibals, Zombie cannibals. Oh, and guess what, there are still some left! This episode is pretty much a look around the outpost with a final run in with the cannibals, however some flashbacks to before the expedition highlight just how deep and how far into danger the crew have gone.

We see a flashback to when Clark announced to Tess the news of Emmet’s beacon, we also flash back to some back story of Kurt, a constantly mysterious character who hasn’t really had much investigation by the makers of the show. Thankfully here we do learn a little about him, we learn that his girlfriend went missing here, and he is worried she has turned into a cannibal, and in a chilling scene onboard the Magus he whispers to AJ in his own language that he is going to kill Emmet Cole. Much has been hinted about Kurt’s true reason’s for being here, but I feel the makers have left it a little late to develop his character.

Rabbit is found here, hiding and somehow still alive (go figure!!) and while Tess in insanely hostile due to Rabbit leaving Emmet in the jungle, they agree to save her. A dragonfly then leads Lincoln to the place where Emmet is being kept safe, and they eventually find him, cocooned and unharmed. How he came to be like this is just one of the mysteries of The River, but Emmet is found, and with only one episode left, it begs the question: just what have the makers got planned for the finale?

So far we have had ghosts, zombies, monsters, ancient curses, mysterious tribes, creepy dolls hanging from trees, poisons, strange weather, violence and ghost ships. Oddly enough though, no one onboard the Magus has actually died! Bizarre! How this interesting, but now quite desperate feeling show will finish is a question I am looking forward to answering. I feel it could either end very good, or the show will instantly become forgetful. The build up has been intense, often brilliant, but this last episode just didn’t quite feel right for me. We shall have to wait and see with the eighth and final episode to discover if The Magus makes it out of The Amazon, and to find out exactly what Emmet Cole has become. It could be interesting…



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About Matt Wavish 598 Articles
A keen enthusiast and collector of all horror and extreme films. I can be picky as i like quality in my horror. This doesn't necessarily mean it has to be a classic, but as long as it has something to impress me then i'm a fan. I watch films by the rule that if it doesn't bring out some kind of emotive response then it aint worth watching.

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