Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Harper's Island: Ka-Blam

Ka-Blam (Episode 1.3)
Directed by
Written by
First aired 23 April 2009
Rating: 7/10

For the previous episode, "Crack," please slip through here.
For the next episode, please be patient.

[Spoilers included.]

And the silliness keeps getting sillier (while I keep getting hooked).

Half-way through the episode I had my first suspicion: Sheriff Charlie Mills (Jim Beaver). I figured he was traumatized by his wife's death, the loss of his daughter Abby (they've become estranged) and her return along with the others has made him snap. What's more, I doubt that the notorious John Wakefield is the real killer, but a pawn or a patsy or simply wrongfully accused. The sheriff killed him in self defense, we're told, but perhaprs he was simply hiding his tracks and planting evidence. But then the writers conclude the episode by making him an out-and-out suspect and all I can think is that I've been had. Here I am spouting about conventions and analyzing plot points and death intentions and the writers all along had me guessing precisely as they willed it, just to toss in that ending as though tossing my own self-assured analyses smack-dab in the middle of the face.

The bastards got me good.

Meanwhile suspects are being eliminated as are threads, while a new one has been introduced. Hunter Jennings was killed after discovering Uncle Marty's cash and gun. Good timing for Hunter's death since he's too evil to be the killer and his thread was quickly getting tired. Also, the mysterious money is back in play and should generate fatal consequences, as found money bags normally do (think Shallow Grave, No Country for Old Men and A Simple Plan). Shane Pierce (Ben Cotton) has also been removed, though possibly temporarily. He also cannot be the killer since he's too mean and unstable, and he was also getting tiresome, particularly since his character was among the most single-dimensional. Sure he might be conducting crimes from the prison cell, perhaps working in collusion with another, but I doubt it.

I didn't care for the J.D. kidnapping subplot. It was obvious and didn't lead us anywhere aside from Shane's removal. I'm also indifferent to J.D. as a character and won't mind seeing him getting knocked off, especially if the writers can't manage a better thread. Why was he washing his bloody hands? I don't particularly care. Out, out damn spot. Die, die, stale character.

I did like Kelly though, yet her surprise death proves to the viewer, as Marty's death in the pilot did, that everyone is fair game. I'm expecting to be surprised some more. The shot above is of Kelly post-mortem, the discolouration in the eyes being result of ink. Perhaps a plot to make us suspect J.D. since he's covered in tattoos. Perhaps a red herring. Yet there is a riddle involving red eyes. Ink in the eyeball, Candlewick Inn matches... a few seemingly random clues which I hope aren't just tossed in arbitrarily.


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