The Whispers: A Hollow Man (recap and review)


Sean, Claire and Thomas in The Whispers
Last week in The Whispers Sean and Claire went on the run after apparently “killing” Drill and Frommer ordered Jessup to kidnap their son. In A Hollow Man, things heat up as all roads lead to a man named Thomas. Secretary Frommer proves yet again that he is a man drunk with power. The rock being destroyed almost sends him over the edge and he initially threatens Wes Lawrence with charges of treason.

Jessup ignores his orders and takes Henry to Claire and Sean, although Bennigan punches his wife’s former partner at first. After their son is returned, Claire starts to tells Henry that Drill is dead. To their shock and dismay, the boy tells them that the alien entity is not dead, he just spoke with him. Sean tells his wife that regardless of whether Drill is dead or not, they all need to stick together.

Wes tells Lena that Drill is dead and once he explains the time frame, his wife responds that she spoke to Drill around an hour before he came home. Lena then confesses that she had been playing with Drill via Minx. They go into their daughter’s room and Wes asks Minx about Drill. She tells her father that she was pretending all along, that she was not playing with Drill. “I was just trying to make you feel better mommy,” she says. Lena is upset that her daughter is lying to them.

Wes prefers to believe Minx, as this backs up what they did at the black facility. He recommends they all get some rest and talk about it later, Lena looks shocked and is visibly disturbed.

Claire and Sean are in a motel room. They put Henry to bed and Claire plugs in the untraceable phone that Jessup can reach them by. As she goes into the bathroom to clean up, Sean and Claire talk about the last time they shared a hotel room together. The memory consists of food poisoning, laying on the bathroom floor of the other hotel room, and talking. Claire asks what Sean wants and he reveals that he wants them to be a family again.

Jessup calls his former partner. He has been going through the case studies from outside the FBI database that Claire ordered about kids with invisible friends. One child, in the files, reportedly had a friend named Drill who spoke to him as well. The kicker is that this took place in 1982 and the entity is referred to as a “malevolent” presence.

Wes calls Claire to relay that he is working on Frommer. She tells Lawrence that the secretary is the least of their problems, “Drill,” she says, “survived.” Wes stammers back that Lena tried to tell him the same thing. Bennigan tells Wes about the address they have for the 1982 lad and Lawrence immediately calls Lena to relay what he’s learned.

Lena is huddled in a closet and Minx tells her mother that she is sorry she lied to “daddy” but Lena was not supposed to tell anyone about their games. Minx also points out that Drill is mad at Lena and her mother responds that they should not be friends with Drill any longer.

Minx tells her mother that Drill has an important message for her. Downstairs, the two sit either side of a coffee table and Lena has some letter squares in front of her. She asks why Drill cannot just tell her what he wants. “Drill says it is a secret message,” Minx replies, “just for you.”

Minx also says that if Lena does what the letters say, Drill will give her what she wants. Lena rearranges the letters and the first three are K-I-L. She grabs the tiles up and after Minx asks if it is fun, Lena says no and that she will not be playing…ever.

Claire, Sean and Henry reach the address for the boy from the case file. Mr. Harcourt, the boy’s father, answers the door. When he learns it is about his older son (Thomas), he asks the FBI agent to leave. The agent responds that she is there as a parent and Claire explains that their son Henry talks to Drill, Harcourt replies that his son’s imaginary friend was called that and she tells him that Drill is real.

Secretary Frommer is grilled about what happened at the nuclear plant by Capital Hour, a news based program, and the man says that he will not comment on rumors. Wes comes in to tell him that Drill is not dead s they thought. Frommer is not pleased and fires Wes, he takes away Lawrence’s clearance and takes him off the case. “Go home,” Frommer says, “and look after that family of yours.” A not so thinly veiled threat from the king of douchebags.

At the Lawrence home, Minx has been sent to the roof by Drill, the entity has told the girl that there is a kitten there. Lena sees her daughter on the top of the building and a sparking electric wire is just over her head. Asking if Drill will leave them alone if she does what the tiles requested, the sparks stop and Lena agrees to his task.

Harcourt explains about his two older sons and that he worked as an astronomer at NASA in 1982. His sons were fascinated about a narrow band radio signal received from the Chi Sagitarii star group that he told them about. He tells the Bennigan’s that his son Thomas came in two weeks later and said that the alien who sent the signal was here, in his head.

Claire asks what Thomas did next and Harcourt reveals that he killed his brother Eliot and that Drill told him to do it. Wes arrives home to find Lena gone and he goes upstair to speak with Minx. He puts cameras and other equipment on his daughter’s bedroom floor and tells her that he knows Minx lied about Drill.

After Wes tells Minx that there are to be no more secrets in “this family.” She tells Wes that he needs to know what Lena is doing. “I think she’s gonna do something bad,” Minx says. Meanwhile Harcourt tells Sean and Claire about Eliot’s death and Wes discovers that Lena has taken a gun.

Harcourt brings out some home movies of the two boys and the bit that Sean and Claire watch contains footage from the day of Eliot’s death. In the movie the two boys head to the pond, Eliot goes first and just before Thomas starts through the fence to Hanger’s Pond, he faces the camera and mouths “I’m sorry.” Claire spots it and shows Sean.

Claire calls Jessup and asks if there are any other addresses for Eliot or Thomas. He finds one for Eliot and Bennigan explains that Thomas has taken on his brother’s identity, it is a coping mechanism and that they will find him there. Sean and Claire go to get Henry and drive to the address. The projector showing the home movie flickers, Drill is there and he burns the film with Thomas on it.

Wes comes in to see Jessup and after telling the FBI agent that Frommer is not pleased with him, he asks Jessup to help him find Lena. He realizes that his wife is going after Claire and Sean because “that’s what Drill wants her to do.” The Bennigan’s reach the address and ask Henry to stay in the car and lock all the doors.

Sean and Claire go into the house and find that there is no electricity in the house or electric appliances. They find a door with a symbol that Sean recognizes. Claire does also as she saw the same thing on the tree house where Harper’s mother fell. The door leads to a basement and the two find a replica of the pond with two figures meant to be Thomas and Eliot.

Thomas sees the Bennigan’s in his basement and Claire says they just want to talk. Lena is still heading to the address and she stops at a gas station. Wes leaves a message on her cell phone telling her not to do what Drill wants. A small girl knocks on Lena’s window and asks if she is okay, Lena says yes. The small child’s voice changes, “Then why aren’t you doing it?” she asks. Lena is confused and asks “What?” “My friend says you need to hurry. You’re running out of time,” the child replies.

Wes and Jessup are rushing to intercept Lena who is heading toward Sean and Claire. Thomas thinks that the Bennigan’s are from the hospital and Sean explains that he is just like Thomas; they have Drill in common. This opens the man up and he asks how they found him.

Outside the house in the car, Henry watches nervously as the car door lock goes up and down and overhead electrical lines spark. Thomas explains that mankind called Drill. He tells them that the 1,703 nuclear tests done between 1945 and 1982 acted as a beacon to Drill’s planet. Thomas says that the message his father got at NASA was the reply to earth’s beacon.

Drill was sent out to interact with mankind and could only talk to children. Thomas tells them that he knew what would happen if the Drill succeeded. He asks Sean when Drill stopped talking to him. Claire explains that Drill is talking to their son and Thomas says that it is not possible. He realizes that Henry is talking to “Drill 2” another one sent after he killed the first one.

Just as Sean and Claire begin to question Thomas, Lena comes in (Wes and Jessup are seconds behind the woman) and takes a few steps down the basement stairs. Wes and Jessup rush in the house while Lena begins firing the pistol. Claire shouts, “No!”

Thomas is shot and apparently dying. Claire rushes to learn how Thomas killed Drill and Wes tries to help stem the blood flow. The person that Lena was meant to kill all along was Thomas. It looks as though she has succeeded and now the secret of how he killed Drill number one is lost.

In this week’s episode, the writers have neatly and cleanly wrapped up Drill in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial cling film. The year 1982, the death of Thomas’s brother Eliot (Elliot), which is also the name that Thomas assumed when he left the asylum, and the whole “phone home” theme that has been an underlying theme with the children from almost the beginning of series come together beautifully.

This was edge of the seat viewing along with a nail biting finish. All the suspense and tension makes this the apex segment of the series thus far. Kudos to Lily Rabe and Kristen Connelly for their stand out performances in this episode. (Only Rabe can stand there and look so horrifically fascinated in front of the camera.) Jay Paulson as the grown up Thomas is riveting, full stop. It was also very nice to see John Billingsley from Star Trek: Enterprise as Thomas Harcourt’s tortured parent, another spotless portrayal.

Drill’s real face has been revealed at last. His coldblooded attempt to harm Minx proves that his intentions are deadly towards everyone, not just adults. Sean has always known this, as does (Did?) Thomas. Sidetone: The last part of The Whispers where Thomas is shot occurs during a rainstorm. Just like Drill’s death in another rainstorm took place years before. Is this karma, kismet or just the entity being ironic? The Whispers airs Mondays on ABC and continues to excel as top notch science fiction and drama.

Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, http://MikesFilmTalk.com Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

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