Harper’s Island 1.02 “Crackle” Recap

trish-waitsThere are not enough words to apologize for the tardiness of this recap, and no excuses save to say that John Wakefield killed my home computer and strung my recaps and screen-shots up in a tree. Like Abby, I am scarred for life. But enough about me, let’s get to the corpses.

Another show, another heroine with a voice-over. Oh, dear. At least this one appears to be in the vein of setting the scene, “Welcome to the island, there’s gonna be a wedding, people are gonna to die.” as opposed to some of the more philosophical ramblings of one Sarah Connor. And, the powers that be still give us a previously reel. So without further ado:

Previously: Abby returned to the island where her lovesick puppy of an ex was glad to see her. His friend Shane tells him to get over it. Henry’s got an estranged brother, JD and he and Uncle Marty are the only family he has. Trish has an ex who’s hanging around at Daddy’s invitation. Uncle Marty overheard one of their conversations and let Daddy Wellington know that he was onto him…without actually saying it. JD hit on local gal and former girlfriend of Shane’s, Kelly. JD and Kelly have tattoos. Shane has fists. Which leads to fisticuffs. Uncle Marty takes a walk across a broken bridge and loses something important…the lower half of his body. And last, but not least, someone leaves a poorly-headlined news article on Abby’s bathroom mirror. Got all that?

The dead: Cousin Ben (never seen), Uncle Marty, Too Be Killed….

There’s several shots of island porn before we open on Abby, waking up post-news clipping fiasco. She’s still in the red dress and she has a chair wedged under her hotel room door. To clear her mind she goes for a run in the woods. She stops to look in wonder at a lone deer in her path. Say it with me, people, awww.

Elsewhere there’s a beautiful long shot of a lonely Trish waiting for someone. That someone is Hunter who saunters up sexily with a sultry sway. What can I say? He’s easy on the eyes. Trish is not amused and wonders if he just expected her to swoon and fall into his arms again; he had his chance and he blew it. He wonders her what she’ll do if he refuses to leave. She looks cagey and says she doesn’t want a repeat of college. The way he replies that he’s “not worried about Henry” makes me think there’s backstory galore to be had with the trio.

Back in the woods, Abby is still entranced by the deer when a bloodied hand clamps over her mouth. It’s Jimmy and he whispers in her ear, “This will only take a second.” Because we can’t kill the heroine this early in the game, I’m rather unsurprised when Abby and the camera look over to see Shane with a hunting bow, taking aim. Abby’s not amused so she stomps on Jimmy’s foot, causing him to shout which in turn causes Shane to miss. Bambi’s mom lives to graze another day. Abby starts right in with a “what the hell” but Jimmy ‘s actually being reasonable. If they don’t cull the herd, they starve in the winter, there’s no where for them to go. So Jimmy’s trying to make nice, but Shane’s an ass and so he randomly tosses Abby’s abandonment of all things Island, including Jimmy, in her face. Abby stalks off, Jimmy trying to follow, but she won’t have it. She’s not judging, she’s just seen enough killing on the island.

head-spadeElsewhere, there’s been a break-in at the local Maritime Museum. The Sheriff looks around and asks the usual questions so we can establish that the break-in happened before Uncle Marty’s killing. That’s good to know, because the missing item? A head spade would have been perfect to affect his bifurcation.

Shane’s whining his way through the woods stating that he doesn’t tell Abby how to live in LA, she shouldn’t tell him how to live here. Jimmy points out a) it’s not Abby’s fault that Shane can’t hit a moving target and b) apropos of very little, she’s a writer. Long story short, Shane still thinks Jimmy’s kissing up to Abby. Luckily they stop dead in their tracks when they get back to the truck. The camera pans over and there’s a lovely deer corpse, throat ripped out, splayed over the hood with the word “PSYCHO” written in blood across the windshield. And yes, there’s a gore-cap on the last page for you fiends.

From a nearby vantage point, a dark figure watches.

There’s water running as Henry walks into JD’s room, “You dressed?” he asks as he idly picks up a prescription bottle from the counter. There’s quite the selection. JD says no, but after a moment we pan to the bathroom and see that’s a lie. Henry’s oblivious and playing my new favorite drinking game, “Where’s the Dead Guy?” as he asks if JD”s seen Uncle Marty that morning. (DRINK!) The answer is, of course no. Awkwardly, Henry gets to the point of the visit. He’d really appreciate it if JD didn’t get in anymore trouble, after all, they’re not locals anymore. They never were locals, JD insists, they were “summer guys” and Henry got tolerated because he hung out with Abby. JD didn’t have that luck – not that it matters – Henry’s the one with a need to be liked, not JD. Henry just wants the week to go well and we all join JD when he says, “Good luck with that.”

This is not a subtle show.

Henry pauses a moment and then leaves so the camera can pan back to JD. He turns on the water again so we can pan down to see him furiously scrubbing what looks like blood off his hands. Heh.

…SLICE! Titles, “One by one…”

Trish is hauling ass down the hotel hallways. No one’s following her, she’s just late for a shindig on the veranda. She offers her apologies and Henry continues to explain the rules of the game. Rules? Game? Why yes, it’s an Island scavenger hunt, all the better to split up and die show off one’s knowledge of the bride and groom. There are a number of stops, The Cannery (open bar, groomsmen be kind), the church, and the Maritime Museum – where Trish used to work. Ohhhh. THE HEAD SPADE! What? It’s a clue. Maybe. Sue me.

Everyone’s playing with the colored bandannas that signify their teams, and Sully approaches Cal. Sully has blue, Cal has yellow and Sully was wondering if Cal would trade. Sully was supposed to be on the yellow team, see? He motions over to where one of the groomsmen, Danny, is sporting yellow. Cal agrees, just in time to realize that Chloe had yellow as well. D’oh! Abby, the nice girl that she is walks over with her blue bandanna and tell him they’re gonna kick yellow’s ass. They walk off, arm in arm down the stairs as Kelly walks up. She says, “hi” but Abby seems not to recognize her.

There’s a shot of spiderweb porn and some church bells a ringin’ just before the preacher sweeps the web down. Maggie the wedding planner comes up with a snarky remark about loving all God’s creatures and some props for the scavenger hunt. Each group is supposed to take pictures at (and I’m sure the writers meant “at” and not “on” which is what Maggie says), at the altar wearing the hat and veil she’s providing. She’s also brought him scones. Mmmm, scones. Maggie reminds him that the rehearsal is on Friday and he points out that he’s lost his hearing, he hasn’t lost his mind. Me? I wonder what bet I lost that made me have to reacp this scene. Luckily for me, it’s over.

And we’re back to the hotel and Trish lying through her teeth about why she was late. Henry buys it, it’s been a weird morning, Uncle Henry hasn’t shown up (DRINK!) and she’s been late and it’s just been weird. Trish, with a certain coquettish glee, tells Henry that there’s something he can help her with and leads him off. We promptly cut to the hotel kitchen, where what looks like a single-layer dry run of a wedding cake is on the counter. She dips a finger and lightly spreads a smear of chocolate on her neck. “Taste that.” She tells him. He does and we get the beginnings of a kitchen sex scene…

hearing-aid…which is rudely interrupted by a scene of the preacher walking in the woods munching on a scone. Someone will pay for this. The preacher pauses in his constitutional, thinking he hears something. Perhaps something metallic? He turns up his hearing aid and the sound techs obligingly amp the sounds of the forest. With a shrug, the preacher continues. And yet…there’s that metallic sound again. He takes another step and with a whoosh! he’s caught up in a trap and hanging upside down, his hearing aid on the ground below. He struggles but between the nice long shot and the trills on the soundtrack (tsk, tsk, they’re telegraphing the good parts), you know it’s for naught. For a brief instant, the preacher sees someone, but his cries are cut short, literally, as his head is taken off with one mighty swing of a head spade and a metallic slice on the soundtrack. There’s even a nice bouncy head that rolls away to fast for me to grab a decent screen shot. And believe me, I tried.

Heh-heh-heh, head spade. We’re gonna have fun with that one during this show aren’t we?

Still oblivious to the carnage that’s around them, team blue is at The Cannery where the name of the game is to answer questions about the bride and groom. Get one wrong? Take a shot. Cal, who’s never met them before yesterday, has had a few. Kelly enters and walks through the frame. Curious, Abby asks Nikki who that was and the answer surprises her. Apparently, Kelly was a lot different in high school. Also on the team is Lucy, whose pernicious pooch hops on the bar, much to Nikki’s dismay. After Nikki’s threat to turn Gigi into an appetizer, Lucy leaves and Richard, who has nothing better to do in this scene, follows. In true stalker fashion, Kelly reappears right at Abby’s elbow. “I know you probably don’t remember me.” ‘Course she does, Abby bluffs, and the pair retire to a side table to talk.

Abby is a little obsessed with LA as she proves by naming off all the major areas, impressing even Abby who’s been living there for awhile. Kelly thinks its the perfect place, the place where she wouldn’t be known as the girl who’s mom got killed by John Wakefield. Abby can sympathize but asks if there’s anyone Kelly can talk to. But Kelly doesn’t answer, instead she says she admires Abby for getting out. With a sorrowful look, Abby reveals that she didn’t run, her father sent her away, maybe Abby scared him. Kelly nods, she scares a lot of people. “Not me.” Abby states before excusing her self to the ladies room.

The camera pans down to Abby washing her hands so we can all jump when it pans up to reveal Kelly standing behind Abby. “I see him.” Who? “Wakefield. I see John Wakefield.” Abby’s a bit confused, after all, Wakefield’s dead, her father killed him. But before we can get into that conversation, the door bursts open, showing an ominous male silhouette. It’s revealed to be Shane the Ass, sneering and leering at the girls. “John Wakefield murdered my Mommy, wah-wah, boo-hoo.” I want him dead a lot. He shoos them out so he can pee. Funny? I thought that was the ladies’ room. Is Shane illiterate as well as an ass?

Outside the bar, Kelly’s apologizing for Shane and Abby tries to tell her not to worry about Wakefield. Unconvinced, Kelly leaves Abby to her “friends” as Cal comes bursting out the front door. He finally got one right and has the requisite prize of a bottle of wine in his hands, which he promptly hands off to Lucy with a sigh. He wants to be yellow again. Abby helpfully fills in the blanks for the rest about Sully conning his way onto Chloe’s team. Lucy tells Cal to stop whining and go fight for her, Richard helpfully provides a map showing Cal where the yellow team’s likely to be after their trip to the museum. Abby even knows a path through the woods he can take. Drunkenly he stumbles off and Abby decides to follow, make sure he doesn’t get hurt.

Pity she’s so easily distracted by Jimmy who’s looking to make cute, telling her that they only got one deer and he’s sorry for grabbing her. He also wants to know if she was meeting him there for some pool. She smiles and tells him that no, she’s not there for him (loser) she was there for the scavenger hunt. And to run into Kelly. In case we hadn’t noticed, Jimmy needs to tell us Kelly never quite got over her mother’s death. This gives Shane enough time to make an appearance and backhandedly accuse her of writing on his truck. Jimmy protests and Shane folds, even he knows that’s not Abby’s style and the one who did do it? “He’ll get his.” Abby’s confused, but before Jimmy can explain Shane’s decided to tell us all exactly how pathetic Jimmy was after she left. Like we hadn’t already guessed from his behavior thus far? At any rate, Jimmy brushes it off and gets in the truck while Abby takes off, presumably to continue following Cal.

chloe-at-the-graveIt’s time to check in with the yellow team, standing in a graveyard. The unscheduled detour was planned by Chloe who wanted to see where Wakefield was buried. So Sully, Danny and Booth are kinda standing around, waiting. Chloe pops out from under some trees at the edge of the cemetery and with a cheery, “I found it!” she motions them over. Sully follows and with a few random snarky remarks about “whaling thingies” (head spades, m’dear?), the other two stay behind. Hidden in the underbrush is a simple grave marker, with the obligatory cultish mishmash of flowers and melted candles around it. According to the guy at the museum, Chloe tells us, they wouldn’t bury him in consecrated ground. Chloe’s acting kinda hypnotic, but flinches back to reality when Sully leans over and tries to kiss her. She pats him on the tummy, “You’re sweet,” and walks off. My respect for her grows just a smidge.

The hunt now completely abandoned, Lucy’s walking toward her room talking to her absent boyfriend. She enters her room and there’s Trish looking guilty and forlorn. Lucy gets off the phone and walks over. “Hunter’s here.” Trish tells her. For a moment, Lucy thinks that Trish might have invited him, but the thought’s quickly dismissed. After all, isn’t that just like him? Never there and then showing up at the worst time? Lucy goes onto say that she’s dated her share of creeps, and Hunter? Is a creep. That’s why she has her boy and Trish went back to Henry. Wait. Back to Henry? Hmmm, the plot thickens. At any rate, Lucy agrees with Shea, that Trish should talk to her father and Trish nods.

We leave the pair to go back to Abby, walking along a nicely manicured path so Kelly can sneak up behind her. Which she does, properly startling the hell out of our heroine. All she wanted to do was thank Abby for talking to her, she’d always wanted to talk to her. And as creepy as that sounds, it makes a kind of sense, Abby being the only other kid of a victim (so far as we know). And while creeped out, Abby gets that, telling Kelly that she doesn’t have to stay on the island if it’s that uncomfortable for her. Kelly thinks that’s an awesome idea, she’s always wanted to go to LA, could she stay with Abby? But before Abby can do more than awkwardly stammer Kelly withdraws the request and slinks off, metaphoric tail between her legs. Poor puppy. Luckily JD’s there and Abby watches the two of them for a moment before we cut to…

…the hotel, where Abby’s about to enter her room and Henry busts her for bailing on the scavenger hunt. She tries to bluff for awhile, but he doesn’t buy it so she gives. Her entire team bailed, and then Shane showed up… Henry’s alpha senses kick in and he asks if Shane did something. Abby hems and haws about Shane being Shane and that’s it for the scene.

Until we see Henry walking down the docks to Jimmy’s boat, that is. And it is Jimmy’s boat, he’s not so much of a loser that he’s still working someone else’s. Henry calls out a welcome and the two begin to chat. Henry wants to make sure everything’s OK between them, after JD’s fight with Shane and all. Like Abby, Jimmy chalks it up to Shane being Shane, but still Henry wants to invite Jimmy and Shane to the bonfire in the name of peace. Jimmy gives Henry a “maybe” and so Henry invokes the sacred name of Abby. As in, Abby will be there and since we all know you’re still puppy-dog in love with her, you should come, too. Jimmy’s interested, but he still only gives a maybe to Henry’s smirk.

Cal’s still wandering in the woods, looking at the map like it was written in Greek, so it’s no surprise when he goes up in another trap. “Somebody help me!” He cries as we cut away…

…to Henry entering his and Trish’s room and seeing what appears to be a bloody smear on the floor. “Trish?” He calls out. We should be so lucky. But no, as he follows the blood into the bathroom we see it belongs to a very bloody deer head that’s been placed in the tub. And if that’s supposed to be a homage to the Godfather, they’re doing it WRONG. But is is another dead animal shot. Ew. Also, kudos to the props department.

Hunter and Wellington are a having a discussion about their deal. Wellington emphasizes that the wedding is in four days, and Trish walks in. She totally reads the scene right and walks back out. Smart money says Daddy talks his way out of this. Takers?

cal-in-the-trapIt’s getting late and Cal is still upside down. There’s some noise in the brush that’s quickly revealed to be Sully who wandered away after Chloe shot him down. Cal? Is happy to see Sully. He shouldn’t be as Sully decides to leave him there, taking the map. Cal yells, it’s about all he can do.

Wellington talks his way out of it. Like you’re even surprised. He even gets a hug for “sending Hunter away”.

Abby knocks on Henry’s door and enters to the sight of him in a blood-splattered white t-shirt. Obviously, the first words out of her mouth are, “Are you OK?” Henry tries to lie for about thirty seconds before telling her everything, after which Abby helpfully tells him that Shane and Jimmy were hunting that very morning. Henry? Is not amused and is ready to track Jimmy and Shane down right that instant. Abby manages to stop him and convinces him to let her talk to Jimmy first.

Which she’s doing in the very next scene. She understands that JD and Shane have it in for each other, but that’s no reason to drag poor Henry into it. Jimmy agrees, but tells her again about the deer head. He knows that doesn’t excuse it, though, and he agrees to talk to Shane. Because he’s also the love-sick puppy we know him to be he starts to talk about the island, about how it’s gotten better – almost like it used to be – all it’s missing is Abby. Not to sound pathetic (too late) he goes on to say that it’s not just him. Kelly, Nikki, her father, all of them were glad to hear she was coming back. “I know you’re here for Henry, but if you just give the rest of us another chance…” Abby looks chagrined and we cut to a (large) cabin in the woods.

kelly-hangsIt belongs, presumably, to Kelly, who opens the door. Having been properly shamed by Jimmy, Abby’s come to tell Kelly that she can stay with her in LA if she wants. Kelly is very excited, giving Abby a hug and everything. It’s very cute, except for JD hanging around in the background, shirtless. Abby notes his presence, it will probably be important later. Abby leaves and Kelly goes dancing back into the house and pushes JD into a chair for some victory sex involving raking her nails down his chest hard enough to leave marks.

After dark, Nikki’s walking up to Kelly’s front door to see why she’s late for the bonfire. The camera pans over to reveal Kelly, hanging dead from a rafter.

I’d say that’s a good excuse, wouldn’t you?

At the bonfire, Henry and Trish are having beers, Abby’s getting Booth to try oysters on the half-shell, and Sully’s juggling. A cell phone rings and after a moment we see Henry digging in his pocket. With a flip, Henry sees the text message: Found a wild 1 CU at wedding. The caller ID reads, “Uncle Marty”. Henry and Trish share a joke about Marty’s knack for the ladies and now I guess they won’t be missing him for awhile longer, then. Nicely played, Killer.

Arriving now is Shane, this should be good. Henry jumps up and approaches him with a scowl on his face. Oblivious and with a sneer, Shane thanks Henry for the invite. “I know what you did.” Henry growls and Shane gets about ten seconds of denial time before Henry lets loose with a punch that knocks him to the ground. JD? Is amused. Trish? Is confused. Gigi the dog? Dashes off. Shane and Henry share another tence moment before Shane lumbers off and Lucy starts calling for her darling Gigi.

In the distance an ominous figure in shadow watches.

Gigi is a being happy, if ill-trained puppy dashing through the underbrush, right past a sour-looking Hunter. Is he the man in shadow? Is he?

Meanwhile flashing police lights are casting their glow on the still-hanging Kelly. The Sherriff flashes his light on the corpse as a deputy turns on a light so the audience can see better. Nikki stands in the back, her hands covering her face. Seriously, no one asked her to leave the crime scene?

Back at the bonfire, Chloe’s calling for her wayward little puppy, Cal. The look on Sully’s face is priceless as he realizes that he forgot to go back. After a quick cut, we see Sully leading Chloe, Malcolm and Abby to look for Cal. Malcolm totally gets the snicker line of the evening. “Can someone please explain to me why anyone outside of a Road Runner cartoon would build traps like these?” Abby says she’s heard of pit traps and snares on the island, but she’d never seen one. Really? On a small island with hunters and seasonal tourists and limited space we’re supposed to believe that there are mythic death-traps hidden that no one’s found? Who designed this island, Jonathan Kramer?

Lucy’s wandering in the woods looking for Gigi, ALONE. In the DARK. Where there are PITS and TRAPS. Why, yes, that was an anvil being dropped on my head, thanks, show.

Eventually the nice safe people in a group group discover Cal, still hanging, and quite alive despite my pleas to kill him after the first episode.

lucy-looks-upLucy finds a pit trap. I’m saddened to say it does not have stakes in the bottom of it. Gigi appears at the top…along with an ominous pair of shoes. Because I have zero impulse control I call out, “It places the lotion in the basket.” Our killer is nowhere near as eloquent, but he does have something wet and cold to drop on poor, poor Lucy. Something that I bet is flammable since next we see a scratch and hear a “crackle” as a match is lit and dropped into the pit.

Lucy goes up in flames. The episode fades to black.

If you can’t wait for the next recap to find out the latest victim, check out our Character Overviews. Every week, it’s a big red ‘x’over who died and a description on how they went, courtesy of our own Astro Jones.

And if you care to speculate, debate, or get irate over the events on the Island, check out our Harper’s Island Forums. Also? It’s an awesome place to ask if that person did that thing that time on that episode, or if you’re just imagining things.

Per usual, the last page is for the people who like their death in close-up. (Even if this week the best shots went to the dead deer.)

Welcome! Have some dead bodies, if Disney can kill Bambi’s mom, so can we!

Does this count as recycling?

Does this count as recycling?

...the animals just didn't have a good night, did they?

The animals just didn’t have a good night, did they?

...but then Kelly didn't, either.

…but then Kelly didn’t, either.


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