The River
A Better Man

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A+ | Grade It Now!
The Condemned Man

Upstairs, Tess brings Clark that same video he's already seen, this time from the camera phone itself, where Jonas blew Cole off.

Jahel: "I'm going to keep saying this phrase over and over as if it has an intrinsic meaning, until Lena randomly just starts explaining everything."

Kurt: "Not so fast, I can field this one. It's apparently an old German folk tale as well as being a Tarot card and a ghost story of the Boiuna. That's apparently how cultures work. The Condemned Man was a thief, a grave robber, who stole jewels from the dead. Vain, greedy, arrogant. Death punished him, destroying everything in her path, and the whole time the Condemned Man was tormented as in death, but never allowed to die. Trapped on the gallows, forever."

Okay, it actually gets interesting at this point. So while Kurt is telling this story, Clark and Tess are seeing first-person footage of the elder dying in the forest, because apparently Jonas went so far as to follow him to his private death. And you can see on the tape, some sort of spirit arising from the elder's body at the time that he dies.

Jahel: "Yeah, you are fucked. The Boiuna wants you back."
Tess: "We got vines. We got a vine problem over here."
Jahel: "And Jonas, you got a getting hanged problem."

So, two things. Number one, that is so blatantly fake and syncretist that it's sort of offensive just by existing, in the same way that Once Upon A Time is syphilis for your mind, but number two, this goes back obviously to the pendulum thing of people getting suspended between life and death, or all the way to one side or the other, or whatever Lena's birthmark is going to end up empowering her to do. And of course, we're halfway through the season -- and likely the whole deal, given the ratings, the general quality, and that weirdly persistent rumor that it was always intended as a miniseries -- it's about time to hit the pendulum thing again.

So yeah, I'll still be pissed when the zombies show up, but as a zombie ambassador of future zombies, I couldn't think of a more appealing one than Cappie. He is just darling. Plus by attempting to write like the hip youth of today, they've managed to make him talk like a normal person instead of a Clint Eastwood character, which is nice also.


They bring the phone to Kurt to see the stolen elder footage, and Tess -- who can, you remember, speak Spanish suddenly -- translates for Jahel.

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The River




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