Harper's Island Recap: Week 9

The thing I love most about Harper’s Island’s move into the siege portion of the stalk/siege slasher film structure is that much less happens in each episode, and it’s therefore far easier to synopsize! So let’s do that!

The episode begins with Black Frat and the remaining Wellingtons hanging around, wondering when Henry will be back with Douchey Frat, Cal & Chloe, and Beth, who still resists any attempts to give her a personality. There’s a knock on the door right away – it’s Douchey Frat and Beth! They headed back right away while Henry and Jimmy carried JD’s corpse to the doctor’s office, and Cal went to treat the Sheriff’s wounds along with Abby and Chloe.

Even though he’s badly injured, the Sheriff makes it clear that Abby needs to keep Wakefield’s diary safe. And speaking of Wakefield’s diary, what should fall out of JD’s corpse’s pocket? A packet of pages that he’d ripped out of the diary earlier – meaning that the Sheriff didn’t have a chance to read them! Assuming they belonged to JD Jimmy hands them over to Henry. Abby and Henry discuss JD’s last words, and Abby wonders why JD ‘blamed’ her for everything. This is a daring interpretation of the text – wasn’t JD far more clearly trying to give Abby a clue about the killer’s motive? Or at least what he believed that motive to be?

Henry then announces that he’s got to get back to the inn to check on everyone, and even though it’s clearly insane to go back on his own, no one stops him from leaving or goes with him. Even though Jimmy and Abby head over to the inn together just a little while later, after discovering that pages have been ripped out of the diary, and Jimmy remembers giving them to Henry.

Over at the inn Shae is once again yelling at Sully et al for trying to escape from the certain death that remaining on the island will result in. Because no one’s death has been caused by sticking around to look for Madison, her point of view is somewhat defensible. Shae is getting so shrill at this point that I can’t help but hope she winds up dead very, very soon. While they debate what the death of JD means to the killer’s identity, Shane drives up and points a shotgun at everyone, g that they tell where JD is. Shane’s revenge plan goes awry when he discovers JD is dead, and leads people back inside at gunpoint. Luckily this is just when Henry arrives, and a careful application of a gun to the back of Shane’s head defuses the situation.

Henry announces that the plan is to wait around together until morning, which causes Shae to freak out even further, suggesting that the run around in the dark. Then Maggie arrives, announcing that she’s locked all the other winds, and presenting Trish with an extra set of keys. The only door left open is the front one.

Shane and Henry have a tete-a-tete in the kitchen, where Shane suggests that one of the people in Henry’s group might well be the killer. He’s still so much of a coward that he wants to stay inside, though. Henry then lets Trish treat his wounds… wait, wounds?

That’s right, while some of the blood on Henry was JD’s, he’s also got shallow wounds all over his forearms. He claims not to remember how he got them because he was so shocked by finding JD’s body. This would seem really suspicious except for the fact that shallow wounds all over the forearms are pretty much the definition of ‘defensive wounds’, where you hold up your arms to protect your face and neck as someone slashes at you with a knife.

Before they can get any farther into Henry’s injuries Abby and Jimmy show up, looking for the pages. And what’s in them? The revelation that Wakefield had a secret child with Abby’s mother! Naturally everyone jumps to the conclusion that it’s Abby. This leads to a yelling argument between Henry and Shane loud enough that it draws Beth and the Frats out of the kitchen. Well, almost all of them- check this out.

This is Beth, at the back of the line heading out of the kitchen.

Now check out the next scene, where everyone is watching the fight. There’s the frats, but where has Beth gone? It’s important to note that every single person at the inn is in this scene except for Shae, Katherine and Beth. Jimmy and Abby head outside to discuss this revelation, and when they try to get back in, they find that Shane has locked them out.

The next scene involves Katherine upstairs, looking for Shae. She’s discovered on the floor of her room, looking through her luggage for clues about Madison’s disappearance. Katherine tries to help, then Shae blames her for everything tells her to leave.

Over at the medical center, Cal is still treating the Sheriff, and Chloe finds the whole situation quite arousing. So they head into the other room to have sex on a couch. Oh, Chloe, you so crazy! While this is going on the Sheriff is lying unconscious, hooked up to an oxygen tank that gets a really suspicious close-up for no clear reason.

Just as the ‘locked out’ drama is about to get bad Henry runs up and saves the day by slamming Shane’s head into the door and severely beating him until people have to forcibly separate them. At the end of the fight Douchey Frat finally notices that Beth is missing, and they go back to the kitchen. It seems that Beth’s lantern is lying on the floor, broken – suggesting that someone attacked her just as she and the Frats were walking out! They quickly find a blood trail leading to a wall. What’s behind the wall? A warren of secret tunnels, built by bootleggers in the 20s, that run across the entire island! So that’s how the killer’s been getting around!

Henry, Jimmy, Abby, and the Frats head into the tunnel, leaving Trish to look after Shae. Down in the basement they discover that the tunnel goes in two different directions, and it’s not clear which way the blood goes! So naturally they split up, despite the fact that a few meters in they should be able to tell which way the blood trail really goes.

Upstairs Trish goes looking for her sister, but only finds Katherine, who also claims to be looking for Shae. In the upstairs room they find the tarot card, and jump to the conclusion that Shae has decided to walk to see the psychic. Trish wants to go find her, but Shane and Katherine advise against it. So while the latter two head down to the bar together, Trish drives off in the truck. Shane tries chatting to Katherine, and she walks off in a huff, then Maggie walks in to stop Shane from carving his name into the bar. He doesn’t, and she leaves as well.

Then, out on the road Trish drives up and finds Shae, and convinces her to get into the truck so they can look for Madison together.

Down in the tunnels the two teams, one made up of Henry, Jimmy and Abby, and the other of the Frats, getting to the end of the tunnels, which have matching hidey-holes. On the way there the Frats discuss the possibility of Abby being the killer, whole Abby, Henry and Jimmy discuss the possibility of Abby being Wakefield’s daughter. Abby and Black Frat climb into their respective tunnels, leading to horrifying discoveries- Abby gets trapped by a falling grate, and Black Frat finds Beth’s corpse!

Oh, Beth. You died without ever getting a character or doing anything of note. How sad.

Over in Abby’s tunnel she announces that she’ll keep going ahead and looking for Beth, while Jimmy and Henry insist that she stay there while they go and get some metal-cutting tools. Naturally she doesn’t listen to them and crawls off even deeper into the maze-like underground. But she’s not alone! Hearing footsteps she dives into another tunnel and crawls away, but not fast enough to keep someone from latching onto her ankles! Luckily Abby manages to kicker her way free, and she finds herself in another tunnel!

And what’s in that tunnel? It’s the room where Madison’s being hidden! Wow. That was actually really easy, wasn’t it? Abby and Madison flee down the tunnels, and all the while Abby neglects to ask just who kidnapped the little girl. They make it to a ladder and climb to the top, but find themselves unable to move the grate that’s up there. In another amazing coincidence it turns out that the grate they’re under is directly on the road Trish and Shae are driving down! Lucky, huh?

This leads to a hilarious perspective error. This is Madison, reaching for the grating.

Pay close attention to the size of her hand in relation to the holes and the overall cover. Now look at this picture, from the side when she’s stuck her hand through:

Did her arm get really small, or did the grate get really big?

Anyhow, that’s not important. What’s important is that Trish and Shae see the arm and manage to rescue her and Abby without any more trouble.

The creepy part’s not over yet, though… Cal wakes beside Chloe in the office, then goes to check on the Sheriff – who’s disappeared! At some point in the past hour or two it seems Sheriff pulled out his blood IV and stumbled off. But where, and, considering that mangled leg, how? Did someone kidnap him really, really quietly?

While looking for help Jimmy, Henry and the Frats find each other and share the horrible Beth news. They rush to the bar looking for Shane’s tools, but he says they’re in his truck, and therefore off somewhere with Trish. So they head to the kitchen to get the inn’s tools, and just then they hear an engine outside. Henry peeks out the window – it’s Trish and Abby!

Everyone rushes out for a reunion, which includes a really strange interaction between Maggie and Madison, where the older lady expresses a concern that reads less like worry for the little girl’s safety and more like worry that the little girl is going to tell what she knows. Of course, at this point it could be a red herring.

While the reunion is going on outside Shane watches from the sun room. Then he notices that Katherine hasn’t gotten up to celebrate with everyone else. So he goes over to check and…

Yup, she made the mistake of sitting in the chair with the hedge clippers in them. Either that, or someone stabbed her. Actually, the second is much more likely, now that I think of it.

We’re not done with the shocks, yet. No, as everyone starts walking back into the hotel Madison asks Abby if she liked ‘the game’! What game is that? The game where Abby’s father put her in a room and told her to stay hidden for a day!

Is the sheriff the killer? Well, of course not, he can’t be, but he could be the one who locked up Madison – he was at the inn at the time (kind of), and he could have an ulterior motive… did he want to keep Abby on the island so he could catch Wakefield, and then he had second thoughts after he got stabbed and wouldn’t be able to protect her? Perhaps he lit out of the clinic so he could set Madison free and tell her to keep quiet before anyone else found her, only Abby got there first? All questions we’ll have to wait a week to answer!

And now, this week’s alibis!

Beth (stabbed in kitchen-ambiguous timeline)

People who have alibis:

Cal and Chloe, Sheriff – In the clinic, treating wounds or having wounds treated.
Maybe everyone at the inn – (*see below)

Katherine (Stabbed in the back in sun room)

People who have alibis:

Henry and Jimmy, Douchey Frat and Black Frat – All were in the basement together, then went to the kitchen and outside together.
Abby - with Madison underground, then with the remaining Wellingtons.
Remaining Wellingtons - in a truck together driving around.
Cal and Chloe – Napping at the clinic.

People without alibis-

Up until this week, everyone had an alibi for at least one murder except for Maggie. Now Maggie may have an alibi as well. You see, the Beth murder had an incredibly confusing timeline. Beth and the Frats were walking through the kitchen, with Beth at the back holding a lantern. When the Frats walked into the next room, Beth was not behind them any more. Presumably this, along with the fact that her broken lantern was found on the floor in the middle of the kitchen, means the killer had to have attacked her right then as she was leaving the room.

When the Frats get to the next room and Beth isn’t with them, almost everyone’s already there- Maggie, Jimmy, Trish, Shane, Abby and Henry. The only people missing are Katherine and Shae, but neither of them could have done it either. How do we know this? Because Katherine dies later in the episode, so she can’t be the killer, and because Katherine finds Shae sitting in her room in the very next scene. Shae simply didn’t have enough time to kill Beth, drag her down through the secret door, into the basement, down a few hundred yards of tunnels, then through a crawlspace, out another tunnel (she couldn’t have crawled back past the body) and snuck back into the building in time to be discovered by Katherine.

Of course, this is all predicated on Beth having been killed just then, but that’s all that makes sense – why else wouldn’t she have followed the Frats out of the kitchen?

But if this is the case, then literally every remaining character has an alibi for Beth’s murder. Wow is this going to require one hell of an explanation in the coming weeks!
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