The River

Episode 1.04 : A Better Man

  • The River
    • Episode Premiere : February 21, 2012
    • Distributor : ABC
    • Genre : Thriller, Mystery
    • Seasons : 1
    • Show Period : 2012 - 2012
    • Production Company: ABC Studios, DreamWorks Television
    • Official Site :

Cast and Crew

The Story

Up till now our brave crew comprised of friends, family and unknown enemies has had a sense of direction or, at the very least, a clue to go by in their search for the illustrious Doctor Emmet Cole. That ends now.

The Magus crew have reached the final destination on their roughly drawn map and have nothing but instinct left to go on. But despite their trepidations, they decide to press on and travel further into the reaches of the Boiuna, headed straight into uncharted territory.

When the Magus comes to a fork in the river tempers flare between Kurt and Tess as to which direction to take. This lack of direction and slow decision-making is likely to get one killed in the Amazon and Clark realizes that on this ship, with this crew "the problem isn't that we just don't have a lead. It's that we don't have a leader."

Seeing this as an opportunity for drama and always the reality producer trying to stir up some excitement, Clark goes from crewmember to crewmember asking who they think the ship's Captain is. Lincoln shirks away from the responsibility just wanting to help in any way he can. Emilio, can only see The Magus as having one Captain, Dr. Emmet himself. Kurt, would prefer to lead by example and if people listen to him, that isn't his fault.

As they plunge deeper into the Boiuna the crew comes across something dangling from a tree on the bank of the river. What is it? Closer... closer... it can't ... it is. Hanging from a vine, tied like a noose is a man! Lifeless. With a pair of binoculars Lincoln is able to get a good look and concludes that the body is fresh and has been hanging there only a few days at most. Then without warning the dangling and lifeless body tenses up and thrusts forward with life!

The crew rushes to try and save him. The boat inches closer but it's not moving fast enough. Kurt, with some quick thinking and a steady hand, raises his rifle and shoots the young man down freeing him.

Hustling to save his life the crew brings the emaciated but still breathing body on board. He's ridden with Malaria and inches from death but still alive for now. While on the table our crew recognizes the man as Jonas Beckett one of Emmet's new cameramen. At one time Jonas was the good humored, confident daredevil willing to risk himself to get the shot, but now his lies still hoping to have a second chance at life.

Knowing they don't have anything in terms of direction, Tess goes through his pockets and finds a phone and tries to save the data on it hoping that something on it leads to Emmet, or at the very least offers a clue.

Tensions flare between Lincoln and Kurt as they debate over the best course of treatment for Jonas. Lincoln speaks with his degree in medicine. Kurt from years of survival training. But it's Lincoln that concedes his hand and does what Kurt asks against his better judgment.

It doesn't take long before Jahel senses something strange about their new passenger. Down in the engine room, Jahel pleads with her father to listen to her. But Emilio shoots her down with vigor snatching the tarot cards she gestures with from her hands.

Suddenly, as if they lost the ability to fly in mid air hundreds of birds plummet to the earth! They smack dead against the boat breaking cameras and glass forcing our crew to vacate the deck of the Magus.

Lena discovers on the radar that a massive storm is coming. Our crew knows what it must do. Baton down the hatches to protect themselves against it. Meanwhile, Clark is curious of what he saw Jahel say in the Engine room. He asks her and Jahel warns them of the curse of El Colgado and that this is no storm coming.

Now awake but certainly not well, the new member of The Magus, Jonas, is up and about and acting strangely. He has snuck into Clark's editing room and stolen a tape.

Off on the horizon the crew spots storm clouds coming in but accompanying them is an eerie buzzing. A second later the clouds are moving entirely too fast to be a storm with the irksome sound growing. Then before they can prepare themselves against it The Magus and her crew is engulfed in its most disgusting attack yet... thousands upon thousands of giant cockroaches the size of a fist and with razor sharp pinchers descend upon the ship and cover our crew! They hiss loudly and it's a race between the insects and how quickly our crew can seal off every hole on the boat to keep them from flying and crawling in. A local fisherman wasn't so lucky as he is torn apart and eaten alive by the hungry swarm.

Trapped inside, tensions mount. Jahel can no longer stay silent and Clark knows that when Jahel is scared they all should listen. With an encouraging hand from Tess, Jahel tells them all that Jonas is to blame. At that very moment the crew turns suspiciously to Jonas who keels over suffering a genuine overdose from the treatment that Kurt chose to give him.

Jahel goes to Lincoln to try and make him believe her. She carries a deck of tarot cards and asks him to pick one. He turns one over and it's El Colgado. Puts it back. She shuffles. Lincoln picks again. El Colgado. Again. El Colgado. Every. Single. Time. El Colgado. Lincoln doesn't believe her and flips over all the cards... this is not a trick deck like he suspected.

Meanwhile, Tess finds a video on Jonas' phone that reveals him to have directly disobeyed Emmet's orders and recorded the sacred burial ceremony of an elder tribesman. Jonas insulted the spirits. Emmet knew it was his fault that brought on this exact same storm with his crew and now our crew knows as well.

As the cockroaches give way our crew is not out of the clear as a torrential storm rumbles in and threatens to rip The Magus from the very bolts that hold her together.

The Magus is thrown about as it lets water in . It's life or death once again on the Boiuna but this time the fix seems clear. If they toss Jonas overboard the jungle will claim him again like it did once before and strangle him, keeping him within an inch of his life for all eternity. This seems like the only solution, and it's the exact decision that Emmet made that resulted in Jonas being hanged to begin with. However, Lincoln fights the crew on this idea and asks them to consider the notion that his father was wrong. They cannot allow themselves to cast off another human being. It's essentially murder and he won't stand by and let it happen.

The lines have been drawn. Lincoln and Jonas on one side and the rest of the crew on the other. Jonas tries to save himself by offering them something he knows they want. A clue to where Emmet is. He tells them Emmet was looking for something called The Source and points them to a part of the map they don't have documented yet to show them where Emmet was looking.

But with that Jonas has given up the thing about himself that is most valuable to the crew and Tess proclaims that "saving Emmet is more important than dying for Jonas." But Lincoln refuses and draws a firearm to save him. With the gun pointed directly at Kurt, the Magus is shook hard and nearly tips over resulting in Lincoln losing his footing giving Kurt the ability to snatch the gun.

With this distraction Jonas finally takes responsibility and offers himself up to the jungle to try and make amends. He rushes to the top deck and lets the vines reclaim him as they wrap around his throat once more but not before he can destroy the phone that he captured the elder ceremony on.

Now hanging like we first met him and the storm wailing around them the crew is lost amongst themselves left to watch this man as he hangs. However, it was Jonas' selfless act and breaking of the phone that releases the spirit and ultimately the curse that is bestowed upon him. The vines drop him and the storm lifts. It appears that life goes on for Jonas Beckett, and our brave crew of the Boiuna and hope is restored with a strong lead as to where Emmet may be and what he was looking for.

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