First things first, if you haven’t watched the most recent episode (“Splash”) then you might want to skip to the next post, because there are major spoilers ahead.
I’ll go ahead and insert a jump here so that anyone who proceeds does so willingly.
I haven’t written about this show since I criticized the premiere, but I came back for the second episode, then the third, and the fourth…well, you get the idea. The first few episodes were a little rough, but as the actors settled into their roles and the plot moved forward — really, it seemed like it took forever for the characters to realize that they were actually in danger — the show started to get addictive. Since it’s a one-off that is definitely going to have closure, somewhere around the halfway point, I knew I was sticking around just to see how this sucker ended.
Enter episode 1.11, a.k.a. “Splash,” a.k.a. “The One Where Everyone Acts Like an Idiot”…John Wakefield is our killer, even though he’s supposed to be dead, and we really don’t have any idea how he survived. He’s running around the island, killing everyone in sight, and it’s all because of Abby. Why? We don’t know, and I’m not too optimistic that we’ll ever find out. There was an opportunity to get a few answers at the beginning of the episode (after John killed her dad), but chance to get some insight into the mind of a serial killer was wasted.
So John attacks the bar, and for some unknown reason, the bartender has to go behind the bar to retrieve the shotgun. Maybe it’s just me, but if I’m holed up in a bar because there’s a killer on the loose, and there’s a gun nearby, I’m damn well going to have it somewhere where it’s a little more handy.
The bartender could have retrieved the gun and backed up a few steps (taking advantage of the fact that she had a shotgun and he had a long knife), but she dumbly swung the barrel around so that John could grab it, stab her, and pull the gun away from her. Mind you, there are three other adults in the room and at any time they could have called a blitz and probably would have had a good shot at overpowering him. Instead, the bride, her sister and the kid run into the other room while Shane decides to stay and get into a knife fight with a serial killer.
So as the kid escapes through the bathroom window, the bride has a shotgun trained on the door. Where did she get the gun? I don’t know. Maybe it’s the same one that the bartender pulled from behind the bar, maybe it’s a spare, but why in the hell isn’t she out in the bar helping Shane?
John kills Shane (sort of) and then goes to the bathroom. The bride wastes a round on the bathroom door and apparently runs out of ammo. John stands at the door menacingly. And then here’s the kicker — Shane, who’s still alive, says “hey” to get John’s attention instead of just coming up from behind and trying to stab him. John kills Shane again.
Later on, in the woods, John appears out of nowhere and stands there as a perfect target. Abby fires a shot. Miss, of course. John runs off. Abby and the groom start after him, but they let him get away when they start arguing about whether or not it’s okay to take a shot if the other person is in the way. At the start of the show, Abby could have had a shot at John who had just fled the scene, but the groom stopped her. I’m starting to think the groom is in on it. Either that, or he prefers there to be a serial killer on the loose.
In another part of the woods, Cal has just retrieved Chloe (whom John kidnapped but elected not to kill, with no explanation, of course) and when John reveals himself again, Cal fires off a horrible shot into the dirt before leading Chloe across the bridge that he knows is blocked. It’s not entirely blocked, mind you. Someone — actually, two people — could scoot around the side if they didn’t waste time arguing about who gets left behind. But that’s exactly what Cal and Chloe do…argue. Cal, who’s no bigger than a hobbit, tries to go hand-to-hand with a serial killer and is unsurprisingly killed, and instead of scooting around the side in an attempt to stay alive and live the life that Cal would want her to live, Chloe hurls herself off the bridge so that John can’t have her.
Was anyone else incredibly frustrated by this episode? I thought the previous five or six were pretty good — reasonably tight, well crafted, logical — but this one went off the rails. It was intense, but there was seemingly no attention to detail. What’s sad is that it was completely avoidable. Maybe there’s an ammo (or a gun) shortage because the killer snuck in and stole it. Maybe Chloe takes off across the bridge and ignores Cal’s calls that it’s blocked. Maybe there isn’t enough room to scoot across, and when Chloe realizes that, then she jumps. Maybe someone actually shoots the killer but he’s wearing a bulletproof vest.
Two episodes left — I hope the series recovers and finishes strong.