A night under spooky haunted trees and a randomly murdered warthog leads to this week's insane trauma: The crew's judgment, blinding and stalking by a tribe of Amazonian caricature savages. "Only those who deserve to see the forest can see the forest," explains the ever-helpful Jahel, which in turn explains why this crew of dicks goes blind immediately.
If you were thinking Tess would go down first, you're not entirely wrong -- she's second -- but the story becomes much more interesting once everybody goes magically blind, and the whole crew gets split up by a sudden attack of tribesmen.
Emilio and Jahel are useless as usual, stuck with Tess in a bedroom filled with more windows and other means of entry than any other place in the whole ship. Mostly what they do is scream and ask irrelevant questions while remaining completely unharmed, so it's nothing newsworthy. And I mean -- except for the bumping into shit -- wandering around staring into space and saying the same foreboding phrases over and over isn't exactly a new look for Jahel Valenzuela.
Stuck with producer Clark -- who's been accidentally stabbed by Kurt, who wasn't even blind at the time -- Lincoln is somewhat comforted to know that the affair -- which Tess lets slip about five seconds into the video -- occurred only after Cole left on this last adventure: The Coles were technically split up, after Tess issued her ultimatum and Emmet refused to stay with her.
Lena takes AJ and the German, Kurt, out into the woods to find the bulbs of the Sentido Tree, the only cure for their blindness -- and then she and Kurt immediately go blind. For spurious reasons of plot, AJ is the only one who has escaped the judgment of the tribe, so what begins as a coward's escape becomes, eventually, a chance to prove himself.
Testing himself against the case of post-traumatic claustrophobia in his backstory, AJ earns the tribe's respect and is allowed to live again to save the day -- Narrowly missing Kurt's call for extraction from his military compatriots -- and back on the boat, Clark's willingness to sacrifice himself earns the rest a similar -- and similarly instantaneous -- reprieve.
In the end, Kurt's made enemies of both Clark and AJ, Clark's been effectively humanized by the depths of feelings for Tess, and a weirdly specific "fratricide" motif introduced early goes exactly nowhere. On the upside, Lena doesn't yap all that much, and gives Lincoln a very cute haircut: What once looked like a junkie now looks more like an outpatient. So thanks, Lena, for that!
Net week: A new cameraman shows up in the middle of nowhere, and Jahel and Tess find themselves once again in danger that could have been easily prevented.
A series of barely connected, spooky adventures brought the makeshift crew of the ill-starred Magus ever closer to Dr. Emmet Cole and probably zombies. Scary dolls, a Smoke Monster, and a whimsically misfortunate matriarch comprise the afflictions with which we've been beset, as well as a know-it-all young woman and... Well, a whole boatload of jerks, really. But since the show doesn't seem to really give a shit about them, neither will we. Really takes the pressure off. And so down the River we go.
Turns out there are sixteen species of sharks that will devour each other in the womb, so programmed are they to prevail. Clark finds that funny, of course, and Cole just finds it interesting. Of course Tess was like, "Why do we always have to talk about such horrid things on this nature program, such as nature?"
Clark, undeterred than as now by Tess's constant stream of nonsense, pauses in his review of the random footage so he can stare at her picture on the screen until Lincoln shows up: There may be a new clue as to Dr. Cole's whereabouts.
Lena: "By analyzing the color of these rocks in some random footage, it's possible that we've discovered another futile place to look for Dr. Cole in this wild goose chase."
Tess: "WE LEAVE AT DAWN! I have a feeling that today's the day we find my husband, Dr. Emmet Cole."
While the whole crew makes their way through yet more Amazonian rain forest, we revisit backstory for a few people by asking the central question, "Why are you here, involved in this crackpot scheme?"
Kurt: "For sketchy German reasons having to do with money and also probably zombies."
Emilio: "Some racist hokum about how I was in jail. Seems Dr. Cole was the Sandra Bullock of my redemption."
Jahel: "Because my father won't let me out of his sight."
Tess: "My prospects are otherwise limited."
Lincoln: "Sheer emotional blackmail."
Lena: "To share my wealth of knowledge on many subjects, and to fulfill my destiny as the liberator of zombies."
Tess: "Why is it always raining in this rain forest? We have no time for sleeping."
Clark: "Let everybody rest."
Tess: "Under no circumstances. Today's the day!"