Horror on TV: The River (Part 2)

Closer to the beginning of the series, I made a post about the new TV show, The River. I wasn’t quite sold, as the show seemed all over the place. I was hoping by the end of the first season, I’d have a clearer opinion on whether or not I actually liked it.

Unfortunately, I’m still sort of on the fence.

The penultimate episode had a lot going on, and we ended with finding Emmett Cole, the character who we’ve been searching for the whole season, as he’s been lost in the Amazon. I expected finding him to be crazy and climactic and for it to explain all the weird stuff that has piled up on this show. It didn’t. It was a happy reunion, and then we were waiting for the season finale.

For some reason I thought this show was going to be a one-season type deal. I mean, how much can you milk out of a single expedition to find someone who’s gone missing? This is why I expected to have more answers by the end of the season. On the plus side, they managed to come up with a clever and creepy way to draw out another season (which I’m guessing will involve them trying to escape the Boiuna). On the other hand, we still have pretty much no answers.

[WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD]

The season finale was actually pretty damn good, once we got past the silly monologues into the camera about how happy they are to be going home (bleh!). In an unexpected twist, Lincoln, who is pretty much the lead character, gets shot and killed. But then, because I had a feeling this was going to be one of those shows where nobody stays dead (at least, not the important characters), he is brought back to life by some dark magic. And he brings something back with him: a demon.

"Somebody call a doctor! They just killed our doctor!"

The highlight of the episode was his possession. I don’t know what they did to his voice, but they made it sound damn creepy. There were definite homages to The Exorcist in there with the smoker voice and some of the crazy contortions he was doing, and I appreciated these because they worked quite well. Possessed Lincoln, I have to say, is probably the most entertaining character on the show.

Of course, they manage to exorcise the demon, who is actually an embodiment of the Boiuna itself, and start for home… except all of a sudden, they’re not on the map anymore. The river changes its geography to block their escape, and they are trapped.

Pretty good way to end the season, but we still have a lot of questions. What is the Source? What’s with the CGI dragonflies? What did Emmett tell Lena when he turned off the camera? Who IS Kurt and what does he know? What’s the significance of that symbol on Lena’s neck? Whatever happened to that mystical self-healing tribe? Why was Emmett in a cocoon when they found him? Does anybody care at all that the black guy is gay?

I suspect we’ll find out some of this in season two, and who knows, maybe by then they’ll have their act together and some of the clunkier parts of the show will be smoothed out. If I have nothing better to do, I’ll be tuning in. It’s got potential to keep being a creepy myth-of-the-week for a while longer before that gets stale.

Anyone know when season 2 will be?

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3 thoughts on “Horror on TV: The River (Part 2)

  1. Here’s what i’ve heard about a possible season 2 of The River. ABC most likely will cancel the show. But Netflix is currently into the mix to buy the series and continue it on as a streaming-only series.

    I don’t care who owns it, I just want it to continue. I can’t figure out why people didn’t like it. It was quite a good creepfest. No, it didn’t have the sex appeal as, say American Horror Story or True Blood, but the show had a great story and incredibly potential!

    • Thanks for the info! It’s definitely refreshing to see a show that doesn’t have to plaster sex all over it to appeal to viewers. Looking back at the season as a whole, I feel like it worked out a lot of its kinks by the end and imagine that a second season would be firing on all cylinders if they were given the chance. I would like to see it continue to know where it goes and to see what other creepy things they introduce. For some reason Tess annoys the crap out of me, but I’ve grown fond of Lincoln.

      • I think you’re right. The last episode was just great! And the cast were really starting to gel. Felt it as solid as any other horror series out there. And let’s face it — the Amazon just holds some serious power we do not understand. Perfect horror fodder.

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