Harper's Island: Week 2 Recap

The episode begins the next morning with Abby waking up, still wearing her dress from the night before. Apparently she went to sleep without alerting anyone about the whole ‘a stalker put a news story about my dead mom in my room’ affair. At least she wedged a chair under the door for some semblance of protection. Next thing we know, she’s running through the woods alone, getting her morning exercise. Not the first thing I’d do once I found out I was being stalked, but hey, I’m not an emotionally fragile chick who hasn’t gotten over the brutal murder of her mother seven years earlier.

Wait, wouldn’t that make her less likely to go running off alone after finding out about being stalked?

Out in the woods she comes across an adorable baby deer (fawn? I don’t remember the term) and the two hunters who are intent on killing it. She scares the deer off, and the hunters, Shane and Jimmy are annoyed. They claim the deer population needs to be thinned out, because they can’t migrate off the island.

How did they get onto the island in the first place?

Abby isn’t taking any of their excuses, and leaves in disgust, much to Jimmy’s chagrin.

At the same time, over at a run-down dock, Trish has decided to meet with Hunter. She tells him to leave, and he says he wants her back. Trish announces that he ‘had his chance’, and says they don’t want a ‘repeat of what happened in college’. Hunter responds that he’s not worried about Henry. That’s a telling clue, isn’t it? So, does Henry have a violent streak? Did he beat up Hunter in college? Did he try to kill himself?

Somewhere in town the Sheriff is looking the local library/museum which was broken into the night before. Only one thing was taken – a head spade, a monstrous cutting tool used by whalers to slice bones and decapitate whales as they’re being hauled onto a whaling ship. Yeah, it’s called a ‘head spade’ because that’s the part of the body you cut off with it. Based on the size of the missing weapon, it was probably used to sunder Uncle Marty last time:

Yeah, the sketch on the white paper is what it looks like.

Back in the woods, Jimmy and Shane come across their truck, which has been… decorated:

Someone really didn’t like that deer. Or them. Probably them.

As they find the deer someone is creepily watching them from the woods – presumably the same creepy woods-watcher from episode 1, and unless there’s some really dishonest editing going on here, that means the watcher can’t be the Sheriff, who’s in town, or JD, who, in the very next scene, is washing huge quantities of blood from his hands, identifying him as the one who killed the deer. Probably.

Henry comes to talk to JD, asking where Marty is. They also discuss JD’s fight with Shane the night before, and how JD has always been hated by the townspeople, while Henry needs to get along with everyone.

After the credits, we find everyone preparing for a day to be spent hunting scavengers. Everyone is broken up into three colour-coded teams of four, and they’re supposed to travel the island, answering questions about the couple to get points. Conspicuously absent from the group is Thomas, Trish’s father, and prime suspect in the Marty murder from the night before.

In plot-related developments, Cal gets bullied into changing teams by Sully, the ‘douchey’ frat boy. This leaves Cal on a different team than Chloe, annoying him further. He is on the same team as Abby, though, and as they walk out of the hotel they run into Kelly, the goth chick from the night before who works at the hotel. Abby doesn’t recognize her.

Over at the chapel where the wedding is supposed to be performed, the pastor is cleaning the place up when Maggie arrives to give him the props for the scavenger hunt. Apparently the rehearsal is on Friday, which would be more useful information if we were sure what day of the week this was.

Then it’s back to the hotel, where Trish explains that she was running ‘wedding errands’, which is why she missed the orientation. Henry isn’t quite convinced, but that’s also because he’s worried about Marty’s sudden disappearance. Trish distracts Henry by luring him into the kitchen for unsanitary food-related lovemaking, which is the second time in twelve hours that she’s had a secret meeting with Hunter and then immediately ran back to Henry for sex. Kind of creepy.

Over at the church the pastor goes for a walk when he hears someone digging in the woods nearby. Then he’s caught in a foot snare and pulled into the air. As he screams for help a mysterious figure approaches with the spade and swings it, beheading him in a surprisingly brutal fashion:

Don’t get a lot of neck-stumps on television, do you?

Down at the bar Abby and Cal’s team are trying to answer trivia questions right, along with their other two team-mates, Lucy, the girl who brings her dog everywhere, and a guy we haven’t really met yet, but who might be Trish’s brother-in-law.

Kelly walks into the bar, and Nikki the bartendress reminds Abby who she is – they all went to high school together, and Kelly’s mother was one of the other murder victims seven years ago. Abby and Kelly get into a deep conversation, the gist of which is that Kelly wishes she could get away like Abby did. Abby drops an interesting clue by explaining that she didn’t leave, her father sent her away. “I think I scared him.” She explains. Why would she, though? Was she somehow responsible for the mother’s death? Was Wakefield targeting her? Kelly agrees with the assessment, though, and says that she scares people as well. If that’s a problem, she might want to drop the goth thing. Just a tip.

More importantly, though, Kelly talks all about how obsessed she is with leaving the island and moving to LA, where Abby lives. She also followed Abby from the hotel in order to get a chance to talk to her. Very stalker-y behaviour. When you add the fact that Kelly’s involved in the murder thing, and therefore more likely to have kept news clippings, and that her job at the hotel means she has access to every room key, isn’t she now a likely suspect for being the one who put the article about Abby’s dead mom in Abby’s room the night before?

Abby excuses herself to go to the ladies’ room, then Abby follows her in, and reveals that she’s seen John Wakefield walking around the island. Abby drops the revelation that the sheriff killed Wakefield, so he can’t be back. Just then Shane bursts into the bathroom, scaring everyone.

The three island girls we’ve met all have names that end with an –ee sound. Thanks for making that one clear and easy to remember, guys.

Outside the bar the scavenger hunt is breaking up, because Cal wants to meet up with Chloe. Abby volunteers to help him ind his way across the island, then gives up immediately when Jimmy shows up and tries to apologize for the whole deer misunderstanding. They discuss Kelly’s problems, then Shane shows up and mentions the blood on the windshield, then explains that he’s going to get the person who did it. He also suggests that Jimmy had an emotional breakdown when Abby left, but Jimmy plays it off.

Over at the graveyard, Chloe has dragged her team off the scavenger hunt to go find Wakefield’s grave, continuing to establish her obsession with serial killers. Douchey Frat Boy tries to come on to her, but he’s rejected immediately.

Back at the hotel Lucy returns to her room and discovers Trish waiting for her. Trish tells her about Hunter’s appearance, and Lucy tells her that Hunter is a bad guy, and it’s good that she dumped him and went back to Henry – Aha! So she left Henry for Hunter, then Henry took her back… interesting…

Also, they establish that Lucy has a boyfriend who didn’t come to the wedding for some reason.

Next we see Aby walking up the path after Cal, when Kelly sneaks up behind her… again. Wow is this stalker-y. She even asks Abby if she can come and live with her in LA. Realizing that she’s revealed her creepy obsession too quickly she walks off and runs into JD.

Henry finds Abby at the hotel, and is judgey about everyone giving up on the scavenger hunt. Abby tells Henry about Shane being a jerk, which sends Henry down to the dock to talk to Jimmy. They converse on Jimmy’s boat, which he bought last spring. Henry tries to make peace between JD and Shane by asking Jimmy to talk to him. They also drop the information that all three of them worked together when Henry was a teen. Henry then invites Shane and Jimmy to the party that night.

Cal is making his way through the woods, looking for Chloe when he winds up caught in another snare! Oh no! The most likeable character in the show is trapped! Douchey Frat Guy quickly shows up and offers to help, but then he just swipes Cal’s map and heads off, promising to return soon.

In Thomas’ private cabin the father of the bride is conspiring with Hunter, and annoyed that he’s not being that successful in breaking up the wedding. Trish walks in just as Thomas explains that there’s only four days until the wedding. Lucky for him, she missed the rest of the conversation, so after Hunter’s gone, Thomas is able to talk his way out of the scene, explaining that he was trying to get Hunter to leave when she walked in.

Things get more horrifying when Henry returns to his cabin to find a severed deer head in the bathtub, and blood trails everywhere. Abby arrives as he’s cleaning up, and tells Henry about the deer Jimmy and Shane were hunting. Henry wants to go and beat Shane up, but Abby tells him not to, and says she’ll settle things.

Abby finds Jimmy at the bar, and Jimmy feigns ignorance. Jimmy’s frustrated because all of the drama is getting in the way of his getting back together with Abby. He tries to convince her to stay on the island, and the scene cuts to a huge house.

It turns out that this is where Kelly lives, and Abby’s come to offer her a chance to stay in LA. It turns out that JD is there as well, and the news that she’s got someplace to go makes Kelly ecstatic, even announcing that this is her best day ever. Please note that in this scene it’s clearly the middle of the day:

The very next scene is much later that night, when Nikki has arrived at Kelly’s house to bring her to the bonfire party at the beach. Getting no answer to her knocks she sneaks inside and discovers that Kelly is hanging from a noose, dead. Nikki calls the sheriff, who shows up soon after.

Down at the beach party Henry gets a text message from Marty’s phone, stating that he’s hooked up with a local, and will be unavailable until the wedding. Canny maneuver, killer.

Then Shane and Jimmy arrive at the Party, and Henry decks Shane, then tries to get him to retaliate. Shane leaves, and Henry fumes, establishing as another character who’s really ready for violence at any given moment. Everyone is shocked by the conflict, and Lucy drops her dog, which promptly runs off into the woods. The whole seen is being watched from a distance by a shadowy figure, but this time we get a profile of his face:

The sideburns immediately identify that as Hunter, the only character with black sideburns, and we’ve got to assume this isn’t meant to suggest that Hunter has been the one creeping around every edge of frame in the show so far.

Chloe wanders around the party, looking for Cal, which reminds Douchey Frat Guy about his whole ‘being an ass’ thing, and a single cut later the two of them, along with Abby and Fat Frat Guy are off in the woods, looking for Cal. They address the traps in the woods, and Abby thinks they’re all made by an old-time hunter. They find Cal, and yay! He’s all right!

Elsewhere in the woods Lucy has gone off looking for her dog, and falls into a pit trap. A mysterious black-gloved figure pours some gasoline down into the pit after her, then lights a match and throws it in:

Note that the matchbook comes from the very hotel they’re all staying at. Might be good to check if any characters smoke...

Lucy burns to death and the credits roll, along with a ‘coming soon on’ clipstravaganza that I won’t risk watching.

Big week for deaths – three whole murders! Okay, it’s just barely possible that Kelly killed herself, but we’re operating on the assumption that she was murdered until we see other evidence, got me?

Now, the alibis for this week’s murder-

Murder 1 – Pastor:

Trish and Henry – getting it on in the kitchen

This next part is a little more questionable - we can assume that all of the scavenger hunt people have alibis, since there’s no sign that they split up until later on, so

Frat Guys
Unnamed brown-haired bridesmaid

All have alibis, as does Kelly, who was presumably following Abby at a discreet distance, since she arrived at the bar just after Abby’s team did.

Murder 2 – Kelly:

Because of the 3-hour gap between the last time we see Kelly alive, with JD, and the next scene at the bonfire, no one has an alibi for her murder. Other than Cal, who spent the day upside down hanging from a tree. That being said, it’s not likely that Abby or JD is the killer – they were the only two people who knew she had something to live for, and wasn’t likely to commit suicide, and each one knew that the other knew, so neither of them would think a fake suicide was a good way to go.

Murder 3 – Lucy:

Lucy wanders off from the bonfire, and since we don’t see the bonfire and who’s there after she leaves, no one has an alibi except for:

Fat Frat Guy
Douchey Frat Guy

All of whom were in the woods – Cal hanging from a tree, the rest looking for him.

What’s interesting is that it’s almost impossible that someone was specifically setting out to kill Lucy that night in that fashion – she was only in the woods because her dog ran off, which the killer in no way caused.

Also, because her boyfriend is back in Seattle, it’s possible we’ll go another week without anyone knowing anything is wrong, since people might think she just went home.

Possible motives – The priest was obviously killed because he stumbled on the killer doing… something… either hiding a body, digging that hole from the end of the episode, or something even more nefarious.

Kelly’s a little tougher to guess, although I’d suspect that in her sightings of John Wakefield she’d noticed something whose importance she didn’t realize, and now that the murders have started, she needed to be shut up before she told someone.

I’m drawing a complete blank on Lucy, though – who knows with this one? It could just be that the killer was looking to thin out the herd a little. Or Thomas was trying to get rid of one of the people encouraging Trish to stay with Henry – of course, the circumstances of the death suggest that she wasn’t a specific target, so it’s all very iffy.

Personally, I’m growing more and more suspicious of Jimmy. Where did he get the money to afford his own fishing boat? With that fancy boat he’s free to come and go from the island as he pleases, meaning that he could have easily been responsible for Ben’s death in the pilot. Could Abby leaving have driven him mad, and now he’s killing the high-class people who he blames for taking her away? Probably not. Really, it’s way too early to be making guesses, but I’m going to anyway, and I encourage everyone else to do the same. With a little dedication, we can solve this!

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