Harper's Island: Week 6 Recap

A surprisingly uneventful week here on the island, despite it being the first time in the show that everyone knows there’s a crazed killer running around.

We pick up exactly where we left off last time, with everyone freaking out about Thomas getting killed by the head spade. Richard covers the head with his jacket, and the the sheriff comes in. He sends everyone back to the inn in a group, and then Abby gets another mysterious phone call with the scratchy record of Ave Maria playing. Here’s the shot where her phone starts ringing:

So none of these characters – Henry, Trish, Richard, Katherine, Maggie, old lady we’ve never seen before, Beth, and the remaining Frats, could possibly be the one making the crank calls. And since, until we find out different, we’re assuming the killer is making the calls, it can’t be one of them. I won’t count this as official alibi evidence, but damn, is it close.

Oh, and JD is in the woods, he gives Madison the old ‘shh’ sign about something, then runs off. So he didn’t make the call either.

Over at the hotel, Beth and the Frats are trying to talk out what happened. Beth, finally showing a bit of sense, wonders where Lucy has gotten to. Douchey Frat, being the only truly sane one, announces that they should leave immediately. They don’t, though. Beth runs off to try and phone Lucy, with no luck, and Fat Frat tries to comfort her, announcing that she’s probably fine. Then he repeats the lie that Booth went to visit family. This establishes him and the other two Frat Guys as the worst friends of all time. So now they know for a fact that there’s a crazed killer on the island, and their friend has mysteriously disappeared, but they don’t want to tell the sheriff? Sure, Fat Frat killed Geek Frat, but the other two don’t know that, so there’s absolutely no reason they shouldn’t be worriedly asking the sheriff to help them find him.

Back at the church, the sheriff, coroner, and discuss the death. They also drop the piece of information that Wakefield had used a head spade in his crimes! The biggest thing we learn is that, according to the sheriff, Thomas had to be the target, since he was supposed to be standing under the chandelier when the ‘unity candle was lit and the lights were turned off’. Which seems a little far-fetched to me, because it suggests that the killer would have some way of knowing that they’d switch the lights off only after he’d gotten back to his place under the chandelier. But that’s not important. What’s important is that we got a disturbing gore shot during the death scene.

In Henry and Trish’s cabin, it’s time for a little family drama! After Abby swings by to check on everyone, dragging Henry’s calming influence away, Trish drops the bomb about the affair! Wow, Richard, that whole attempted murder/save thing really didn’t accomplish anything, did it? Outside Henry mentions the ‘surprise’ JD had planned, and announces his suspicion.

There’s a whole subplot with Cal and Chloe that’s utterly unimportant, so I’ll precis it as quickly as possible. They’d been sailing last week, which is why they missed the rehearsal. Remember Cal’s ring? Some random couple finds it, and Cal can’t get it back (seriously? He didn’t have it engraved? He’s SO the type.), so Chloe does something despicable to reclaim it. Can’t imagine this has anything to do with the mystery, so let’s move on (until later).

JD surprises Abby in her room, and tells her that he thinks Wakefield is alive as well. Then he leads her into the woods to show her the evidence that Wakefield is back. Why Abby doesn’t call her father during any of this is beyond me. Sure, JD might be a little squirrelly about the fuzz being around, but he knows he’s (probably) innocent and has some proof about Wakefield, so it seems like something the sheriff really ought to be brought in on. You know, before the evidence is contaminated any more than it already has been from hanging in the woods for a the better part of a week. The evidence? Marty’s remains!

Gore shot number 2! Nice work, show!

Then it’s time for the sheriff to interview Richard, since, because of the affair, he’s just become the prime suspect! It turns out the affair had just recently started. Richard confesses to hating Thomas and sleeping with Katherine to get back at him. This means that not only is he not the killer, but his usefulness as a part of the mystery is officially over, so I’m guessing no one will be surprised by the identity of this week’s victim. There’s a single key moment, though – the sheriff asks if Richard knows about the Wakefield murders, and he claims not to. The sheriff follows this interview up with a questioning of Madison, who claims to have been with Richard all morning. Of course, we know she’s lying, and was hanging with JD all morning. So what was Richard doing that he asked her to lie in order to cover up? He wasn’t setting the trap, so what was it?

Out on the grounds Henry is walking somewhere, for some reason, and Abby shows up to tell him about Marty. Henry wants to blame JD, but Abby talks him out of it, and they all head over to the sheriff’s house together to look at Abby’s dad’s files. I’ll cover the files more in this week’s fake journalism piece, but right now the most important thing is that there’s plenty of evidence on the board to suggest that the sheriff full-on believes that Wakefield is alive. That’ll be important in a minute. JD thinks Wakefield’s alive, Abby thinks it’s a copycat, and they’re left with the big question – why now? Well, obviously it’s because Abby’s back on the island, but no one in the show knows she’s the main character, so they don’t tweak to that. Also, the surveillance photos and fingerprints manage to half-convince Abby that Wakefield might just possibly be alive.

Talking on a cell phone (and not his radio?) the sheriff drops the information that no one has arrived or left the island. JD, Abby, and Henry confront the sheriff with his crime lab, but he tries to play it off, explaining that he’s just been tracking a copycat. Because copycats traditionally look EXACTLY like the serial killers whose crimes they’re aping. They also don’t confront him with the series of postcards from around the pacific northwest with the word “LIAR” scrawled on them over and over again.

JD announces he’s going to dig up Wakefield’s grave to see if there’s a body inside, which is all the impetus the sheriff needs to lock him in the pantry, The Shining-style. In a frankly ridiculous accusation, he asks JD for his alibi from that morning, when ‘the contraption’ was being set up. Come on, sheriff. If you suspect him, fine, but the crossbow obviously wasn’t set up that morning. Someone had to build it and do some wiring, and you were in and around the church half of the morning cleaning up the raccoon and looking for the priest. Accuse who you want, but at least be intellectually honest about it and ask him where he was yesterday. The the sheriff tells Abby that she’s leaving the island tomorrow. Having none of that, Abby tells Henry that they’re going to dig up the grave! Also, Madison lets JD out of the pantry so that he can be a suspect for the next murder.

Now that the drama has died down a little, Trish goes to talk to Katherine. They talk about the ‘complicated’ relationship a little, and then Katherine claims not to know where Richard had been that morning. So where was he? The sheriff drops by to talk about murder, and we get another terrifying clue. Remember those articles about Wakefield that someone asked for at the Harper’s Globe? Well it turns out Richard had them in his briefcase! But did he ask for them himself, or did someone plant them there to frame him for this new series of Wakefield-copycat murders?

Deep in the woods, Henry and Abby have finished excavating the grave, when who should arrive but… the sheriff! Giving up his protests, he allows them to pry open the grave, revealing:

A skeleton. Which they take as some kind of proof that Wakefield is dead. Why? It’s not like he had any distinguishing features that would be recognizable on a skeleton, did he? They could look for marks where bullets his, I guess, but they don’t. Also, I don’t know a lot about decomposition, but is seven years long enough to turn a guy in a closed coffin into a clean skeleton? Anyhow, the point is that this could be absolutely anyone’s skeleton, so it seems odd that Henry and Abby just let the sheriff off the hook for his room full of Wakefield-tracking stuff. The sheriff points out that the killer is probably pretending to be Wakefield to hide his true motives. Um, obviously, but what about those other murders throughout the pacific northwest? Same guy, or different? And who's sending you those postcards?

It seems like the DiveMistress’ theory that Wakefield’s alive, and that he wasn’t the original killer, is getting a bunch of support from the show. JD watches from the woods as the sheriff announces that he’s got to bring JD in as the prime suspect. After they’ve filled in the grave and gone back to the hotel, of course. Hearing this, JD runs off into the forest.

Back at the hotel Cal and Chloe get ready for bed. She thinks it’s sweet that he was going to propose, while he announces that he’s certainly not going to propose on the day that Thomas was murdered and the wedding was postponed. Then, as they’re lying down, we get another strange face from Cal – he seems to be realizing that he’s dating a truly crazy woman based on her despicable actions in getting the ring back. Or is it something more sinister? No, because he’s got an alibi for the Lucy murder.

Then it’s time to wrap things up. Richard walks out in the garden, talking to his lawyer about his impending divorce when-

BAM! Harpoon right through the chest! Let’s get another angle on that.

Damn! This show is not kidding around! I know I often discuss how Friday the 13th Part 8: Jason’s Nautical Thrill-Ride is the second-worst Friday the 13th movie, but wow, when your R-rated horror movie has a tamer harpoon kill than a prime-time television show, it’s time to pack it in.

See what I’m talking about? Lame, F13. Very lame. Also, why was there a harpoon and an assortment of machetes on that cruise ship? Did they have them just in case the party decided it would be 'cool' to slaughter a humpback whale?

The killer’s not done, though – no, after giving Richard a moment to consider his fate (how is he still standing?) the killer yanks the harpoon’s rope, pulling Richard right off his feet!

Ok, it’s a little hard to judge the intent here. I’m pretty sure that they’re saying a strong killer yanked Richard off his feet, but look at this-

Yeah, that’s a clip with a wire attached to the harpoon. Now, again, I’m fairly sure that the wire and clip are just the safety equipment the stunt people used to make the jerk backwards look impressive, but we can’t discount the idea that this was a winch-based launching and dragging system the killer brought to fire and retract the harpoon. Actually, you know what? We can. Because that thing would be damn huge, and the killer would have to set it up beforehand, and know that someone was going to walk right in front of it. They’re saying it’s a strong person, but I’m not going to announce that the killer has to be a man.

Although, as ever, I’m sure the killer is Jimmy, who was absent all episode.

The episode ain’t over yet, though, as we get one last shot of JD running through the woods and arriving at a cabin. Whose cabin is it?

The trapster! Yeah, apparently they’re friends. Who knew?

That’s it for this week, so here’s the alibis for this week’s murder.

Week 6:

Richard (killed by harpoon at night)

Abby, Henry, Sheriff (digging up, then covering grave together)
JD (running through woods)
Cal and Chloe (in bed together)

You know what? At this point Henry is the only character to have an alibi for every single murder that it’s possible to have an alibi for. He’s not the killer. Full-stop. And neither is Cal or Chloe, who have alibis for every murder except for Marty (although they basically have an alibi for that one, too).

One final note – was that harpoon also stolen from the maritime museum?

Yeah, that seems to be it at the right of frame. This place really needs some better security, doesn’t it?

Oh, and for the record, this is the sixth week (and fifth full day in the world of the show) that Abby has known someone is stalking her, and not bothered to mention it to anyone. Even though the stalking is clearly related to the death in the church.


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