The Whispers: Broken Child (recap and review)

Jessup, Lena, Wes, Claire & Sean in The Whispers
Last week in The Whispers, viewers met Thomas, the man who killed 1982 Drill when he was a boy. In Broken Child we learn more about what happened as the hospital tries to save Thomas Harcourt’s life. There are several “stand out” moments in this episode.

Stand Out Moment One:

Who knew that a kid in a paper-plate mask, with diamond-shaped eyeholes could be so creepy/terrifying? The point where Jessup makes eye contact with the blond cherub in the kid’s ward was disturbing and worthy of any J-Horror moment with an “evil” child.

Stand Out Moment Two: Claire reaching out to Lena, at the children’ level in the asylum where Thomas spent 10 years of his life and Lena “shoving it right up her husband’s former lover’s arse.” “For what it’s worth I know how it feels to have done something that you wish you could take back,” Claire says. (Referring to Lena’s shooting of Thomas.) “I was protecting my daughter,” Lena responds coldly, “What’s your excuse?” (Referring to Claire’s sleeping with Wes.)


Stand Out Moment Three: Claire Bennigan getting one over on Haley Frommer douche extraordinaire and forcing the government man to let Wes, Sean and her out so they can learn how to defeat Drill.

Stand Out Moment Four: Back to Jessup again. His being trapped on the elevator with paper-plate kid who is seen awkwardly getting a hypodermic ready to plunge into the FBI agent’s thigh.

Stand Out Moment Five: Frommer watching Claire as she and her two cohorts learn that to kill the alien they must allow it to enter a child. “Frommer can never know,” Claire says, after a primordial scream erupts from her mouth. As the camera pans back from the tree, we learn that Frommer already knows via the power of either a government drone or a very powerful satellite.

Honorable Mention: The inclusion of the Dybbuk legend (Jewish evil that was introduced to the world in the 2012 film The Possession) also deserves a mention as this becomes a very important plot point soon after it is introduced.

Broken Child features a race against time, some good old fashioned detective work (sans computers and some Holmes-ian type deduction) and some pretty impressive acting. *Sidenote: That scream from Lily Rabe at the tree where Drill, and Eliot, died. Goose-bump inducing stuff from Ms. Rabe and worthy of an award, just for that show of anguish and rage. Envelope please.

As usual the children impress. Kylie Rogers may have been missing this week, but the part of disturbing child was ably taken over by the “paper-plate kid” and her brother. Creepily adult, childlike and upsetting equalled brilliant stuff and the brother (Michael) murdering Thomas because he will not answer the question was striking. (No one will ever know just how hard it was to not use the word “shocking.”)

In the episode, Thomas is rushed to the hospital and Jessup learns that Harcourt’s neighbors are the good kind who have already alerted the local police about the gunshots. Wes claims responsibility for Lena’s shooting of Thomas. Sean and Claire get picked up by Frommer’s DoD agents, as do Wes and Lena after the police initially took them away.

Claire tells Frommer that they need to be released and it is easy to see that her being right just eats him up. Once they leave the small group splits up. Sean joins Jessup who stayed behind at the hospital to watch over Thomas and the two women join Wes as they head to the psychiatric hospital where Thomas grew up.

Dr. Maria Benavidez learns that Sean knows who is he is now, and she trusts him enough to help save Thomas from Drill. She listens to both Jessup and Bennigan and breaks protocol as a result; removing Thomas from other patients and keeping him away from electricity.

As Thomas lies in the hospital bed, Jessup and Sean talk and we learn more about Claire’s FBI partner. While it is clear that the man still has doubts, he is supporting the Bennigan’s as much as he can. Sean reveals to the doctor that he may remember everything now, but that the man whose plane crashed in the desert is no longer there.

While Lena, Claire and Wes look for answers at the psychiatric hospital they learn of the Dybbuk legend, they also find a drawing that Thomas made years before (hidden under the wallpaper) and they figure out where the answer to Drill’s death may be. Rabbi Ezra explains about the drawing and the Dybbuk and they realize that Eliot was possessed by Drill.

Thomas, via flashback, killed Drill/Eliot by electrocuting him. Claire observes that by the time Drill was killed by Thomas that Eliot was already gone. Back at the hospital, Sean shuts down the electricity and isolates Thomas from the rest of the patients. Michael, brother of the paper-plate mask wearing girl Tina, recovers from his medical emergency and manages to turn the power back on and lock himself in with Thomas.

Michael tells Thomas not to be afraid, Drill just wants to know how he killed the first one. The penalty for not answering is death. Thomas tells the boy that Drill is not his, Michael’s, friend. Thomas tells Drill that “he can go to hell,” and the boy is upset at the use of the “bad word.” Thomas says that drill has already taken everything from him and the boy electrocutes the man.

The flashback of Thomas killing the first Drill then shows how the boy did it, trapping his brother inside the tree and how Drill revealed to Thomas that Eliot was gone. Dr. Benavidez attempts to resuscitate Thomas and fails, and Frommer learns, via Claire how to kill the new Drill.

The government agency chief heads to Camp David to tell the president. They talk and Frommer asks the president if he can envision killing one child to save them all. This was a cracking episode. Sad, tragic and full of foreboding. As Claire says, none of their children are safe, although she is not aware that Frommer knows their secret, so she says “would” be safe.

At Camp David, the scene is set up for a signposting of sorts as the president’s daughter is seen playing in the other room and Drill has used the child before. By the end of the episode the only other thing more evil than Drill has to be Frommer, who one feels would not flinch while killing hundreds of children for the greater good. The Whispers airs Mondays on ABC.

Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

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