Harper’s Island Episode 4

May 5, 2009 at 10:04 2 comments

Before I talk about the show… I just stumbled onto a blog by Karim Zreik, co-executive producer of Harper’s Island. He is dubbed “The Assassin” because he’s the one who taps the cast members on the shoulder to tell them they’re gonna die this week. He also provides useful info on the show. One line on the blog says, “Twenty-five suspects, but only one killer among them”. There goes my two-murderer theory, mysterycanuck, but Igor theory still remains distinctly possible.

Other lessons learnt from this blog:

  • Cousin Ben was, indeed, Cousin Ben
  • Harry Hamlin as Uncle Marty was killed off early to show viewers that It Could Be Anyone

So on to Episode 4, titled Bang. I must say that I’m feeling a tad disappointed. Why the sudden addition of hocus-pocus in the form of Karena the psychic, Tarot cards and Madison’s spirits? I felt like I must have been watching Reaper by mistake. I’m starting to think that the murderer must be Madison, possessed by Wakefield’s vengeful spirit. After all, it looks like she knows more than anyone else.

The other let-down was the obligatory death in the episode. I’m sorry it had to be Booth, because I have a soft spot for sweet nerdy guys in specs. But it felt a little cheaterbuggy. It looks like Booth died because he shot himself accidentally. I feel like a heel saying this, but does that count as a kill? And many details were rather off. For one, shouldn’t he have been thrown back, or at least stumbled, from the impact of the shot? Instead, he was standing rock-steady. Secondly, he died a bit too quickly. Malcolm was applying pressure to the wound, which was the correct thing to do, and would have slowed the dying process. Thirdly, well, is the improbability of the whole thing. OK, I don’t exactly have the experience, but it’s not easy to  shoot yourself in the thigh while you’re standing. You’d have to reverse the gun onto yourself and pull the trigger, maybe with your thumb. It would be easier to shoot yourself in the foot. And then the timing of the scenes was huh-inducing. I didn’t quite get what was going on till the characters obligingly explained.

Maybe Booth didn’t really die? Maybe this is a red herring, a la Agatha Christie? Maybe he is X, and he faked his death to facilitate his subsequent killing spree?

As interesting as that may be, I don’t really think so. How could Booth have known that he was going to draw the short straw? How could he have known that Malcolm was going to follow him? How might he have prevented Malcolm if he’d tried to bury him or chuck his body over some cliff? In any case, he seemed genuinely terrified on the boat, in the hut and in the forest. No, I’m afraid the evidence points to Booth being genuinely dead, and to sloppy detailing on the show. Pity on both counts.

The bit that really made me tense was when Trish was stoning peacefully in the pool and the cover closed in quietly on her. I would hate to have to go like that. Somehow I don’t think that either Richard or Katherine did it. Their modus operandi is more subtle and underhanded. Blackmail yes, attempted bodily harm, less likely. I think someone tried to kill Trish for real.

Pointless aside: I think Shea is the most gorgeous girl on the island. Among the guys, Jimmy has my vote. He has this Milo Ventimiglia naughty-boy-with-heart-of-gold vibe. Not to mention a Jason Mraz-esque beanie.

So, clues and thoughts after Episode 4:

  • X does not want the wedding to happen. It was probably X who smashed the wedding china and tried to kill Trish. Maybe X did a Tarot reading for Madison, predicting that she would not be a flower girl. 
  • Trish used to work at the museum (previously mentioned, reiterated in Abby’s smooshed album). I’m not sure why this keeps cropping up. Maybe it will be important later.
  • Isn’t Robin creepy in this episode? Watching Abby’s close shave with Karena’s car and never turning a hair. Looks like she suspects Abby of something. 
  • The camera focused on someone’s prescription meds in Malcolm’s room. I couldn’t make out the details. They must have been either Malcolm’s or Booth’s. Anti-seasick pills? Drugs?
  • Lucky for Daddy Welllington, no one discovered his cheque in Hunter’s pocket. I can’t help wondering if the corpse will start floating as it would in real life.
  • I am hoping that Julia and Karena have some tangible, non-hocus-pocus connection to the murders. This is not a show that I want to see psychicism on.
  • Throwback to Episode 3: Kelly’s eyes were injected with red ink. That implies use of a needle and syringe, which are not things everyone would have. Possible needle/syringe owners would be doctors (Cal, coroner), tattooist (Shane) and druggies (Uncle Marty, probably JD or Kelly herself, in which case the injector was someone who knew her well enough).

Nothing dissuades me from keeping my money on Maggie as X. She would have had no problem smashing the wedding china, or closing the pool cover, or taping old articles to Abby’s mirror, or knowing which islander took IV drugs.

But… I’m starting to have niggling doubts. If the show can be careless on details, such as in Booth’s death, or the fact that NO ONE HAS MISSED LUCY YET, then maybe I’m reading too much into what I take to be ‘clues’. If Henry doesn’t start wondering where Booth is, I’m going to start considering this show a big let-down. If things don’t improve by the next episode, I’m not going to spend so much time on it anymore.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. mysterycanuck  |  May 5, 2009 at 23:32

    Thanks for the pointer to the “assassin’s blog” — I see by http://www.televisionwithoutpity.com/blogs/guest/notes-of-an-assassin/harpers-island-episode-4.php#more that if Booth isn’t dead, then he’s just plain lying to us, and I don’t think that’s the case. So it was just that I found something unbelievable about the way that Booth died, is all. I’m thinking he bled out from his femoral artery, but I bet a doctor would know better than I what’s possible.

    Reply
    • 2. Katie  |  May 6, 2009 at 09:30

      You read that before I did! Booth = definitely dead, and I think you must be right about the fem artery. He also says “next week’s victim is BIG”. That means it’s either a primary character, or Malcolm.

      Reply

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Welcome to my blog!


My blog-name is Katie but I will not respond if you call me that in real life because it's not my real name. Yes, I do practise virtual-world paranoia. No, I do not enjoy stalkers. But I do enjoy writing and having folks reading said writing, so welcome to my world. It's nice to meet you.

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Hogfather (Terry Pratchett)

Books read in 2010 and 2011

Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows (JK Rowling) - 'cos the movie's coming out!
Frankenstein: Lost Souls (Dean Koontz) - ah, bugger, it's part of a series! Now I hafta find all the books...
Dismantled (Jennifer McMahon) - oh, good one
Tigerlily's Orchids (Ruth Rendell)
Shutter Island (Dennis LeHane) - reminds me too much of work
Holy Fools (Joanne Harris) - it's official: I prefer her scary books
A Series of Unfortunate Events; The Unauthorized Autobiography; The Beatrice Letters (Lemony Snicket)
The Little Friend (Donna Tartt)
The main books - 11 so far - of the Southern Vampire series; the Aurora Teagarden series except for A Fool & His Honey - that makes it 7; Sweet & Deadly (Charlaine Harris)
The Woman in Black (Susan Hill)
Full Dark, No Stars (Stephen King)
Room: A Novel (Emma Donaghue)
Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children (Ransom Riggs)
The Bachman Books (Stephen King)
Men At Arms (Terry Pratchett)
Carpe Jugulum (Terry Pratchett)
The Fifth Elephant (Terry Pratchett)
Beauty (Robin McKinley)
The Sandman, Vol 1 (Neil Gaiman)
The Burden (Agatha Christie) - her crime novels are waaay better
Snuff (Terry Pratchett)

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