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Harper’s Island – Sploosh
For once the episode picked up right where the last one left off–we even got to see (but just for a second so as not to blow the eligible-for-public-television rating) the ax lodged into Papa Wellington’s face. Guess he really did eat it, then. There’s a lot of blood, everybody screams, and the sheriff fortuitously walks back to the church right after discovering the preacher’s watery grave, just in time to take charge of this new “situation.”
He packs them all back off to the Out-out-brief-candle-wick Inn with orders that they not leave it for their own safety…but at least a couple people figure out that he might also be saying that because he suspects someone in the wedding party.
The sheriff and his deputy and the medical examiner look over the scene and conclude that the preacher was killed in order to leave the church empty for rigging the death-trap chandelier. The fact that there was a printed diagram of who was standing where for the ceremony makes the sheriff surmise that the target was Mr. Wellington, specifically, and not just any member of the party. A regular Sherlock Holmes, the sheriff.
Going on the assumption that it was the Iron Duke and not just whomever the ax befell that was marked for death, the sheriff decides to question Richard, the brother-in-law, first. He admits to hating his boss/father-in-law and banging his new trophy wife to humiliate him. Um, dude, seriously, isn’t banging his daughter enough? The sheriff questions the ghoulishly delightful niece, who corroborates her father’s story that they spent the morning together. When the sheriff leaves, she brightly asks if her father will be proud of her for telling the story he instructed her to tell. Trish asks her step-mother if Richard was with her, and she swears not. So where was he that morning while Madison was setting off firecrackers with Azrael, Prince of Darkness–I mean, J.D.–and Trish and her dad were getting terrorized by a scarred man and his A-canine-47?
J.D. (remember Henry told him to take the first boat off the island last episode, after the raccoon-on-the-altar that was clearly his doing) did not, in fact, leave, but was hanging around outside the church that afternoon. He grabs Abby and tells her that he thinks the story she spun for Shane, about Wakefield being back, may have been true. He saw someone who looked like Wakefield in the woods, followed him, saw a body strung up in a tree somewhere en route, and wants her to investigate it with him. She goes, and together they cut down the rope. Uncle Marty falls down in his two halves, and they go tell Henry. Of course, Henry at first wants to fight J.D. for obviously being behind it all, but he sees reason when Abby says her father suspects a copy-cat killer.
The three of them go to the sheriff’s house so Abby can show the boys her father’s Wakefield shrine/is-Wakefield-really-dead board. Then they go confront the sheriff and basically accuse him of withholding information that could have kept people alive. He protests that he never expected the copycat to come back to the island, and then explains that he’s probably going to have to arrest J.D., for being too close to all the murders. After all, he was the last person to see the girl who got hung in her own home alive; he had always hated Uncle Marty, yet he was conveniently the one to find his body; he hated Mr. Wellington, and nobody knew where J.D. had been all morning. But he apparently doesn’t actually do it yet, because we see J.D. still running wild and free at the end of the episode (more in a bit).
Abby and Henry decide to go dig up Wakefield’s grave, to see if he is really in it; the sheriff catches them just as they are finishing an amazingly evenly dug 6-foot-by-6-foot hole. He doesn’t stop them from opening the coffin, which contains a skeleton. Like that really proves anything, without a DNA comparison, but an empty grave would have been a definite answer for them, so they’ve at least ruled out the easy way of uncovering the truth.
Abby and pops make up after 7 years of estrangement, while Henry cheerfully fills in the hole all by himself. He’s totally stronger than he looks.
We get two closing shockers: for the first, J.D. scampers through the woods and bangs on the door of a wooden shack…which is opened by none other than the scarred man with the fearsome dog! An old friend? Or a new ally with all the same enemies? Part of me can’t believe J.D. really has anything to do with the murders, because they’ve made him too obviously suspect (I mean, he’s goth, what more do you need to suspect him of foul murder, right? Right?)…but then again that could be a really clever way to trick us, to make him so obviously involved that we think he can’t possibly–
The other shocker is simply the swift and unexpected death of Richard. He’s tooling around outside the hotel, watching his daughter through the window, when all of a sudden a giant harpoon stabs through his guts and then yanks him stage left into the darkness! What? Where’d he go? How long will it take anyone to discover he is missing? Will they even care? Apparently Sherlock the Sheriff was right to believe he had nothing to do with it…but what cost, innocence?
Presumably now the heads will really start rolling, as there seems to be little doubt in anyone’s mind that a serial killer is on the loose, hence no reason for him to tool around anymore with this one body per capita limit he’s been imposing on himself since the first episode. And since they’re all planning to evacuate the island in the morning, he’d better get a move on if he hopes to kill too many more of them….