The Whispers: Traveller in the Dark (recap and review)

Lily Rabe as Claire Bennigan
This week’s episode of The Whispers was a gut-wrenching, white-knuckle ride. The fact that a dying Drill finally possessed one of the children and that the choice came down to Minx, Henry, and the president’s daughter Cassandra was not surprising. Kudos to the writers for some great mis-direction and for making this one so uncomfortable to watch that there should have been a warning at the start: “Box of Tissues Required.”

Minx, right up till the latter part of the episode, still came across as the very grown-up little girl who feels like the right pick for the alien entity to occupy. Take her dialogue with Claire:

Claire: “I want to help you Minx.”
Minx: “‘Cause you don’t like me.”
Claire: “No, that is… that’s not true.”
Minx: “You want me to be guilty.”
Claire: “No.”
Minx: ” You want me to be Drill. Cause then you get everything…Don’t you?”

Later, of course, it turns out that this eerily, and rather nasty, adult-like kid was being just that, a kid. One who lost her mother and who is talking to the woman who tore her family apart, but a child nonetheless. A child who is afraid and truly believes what she is saying. This becomes more apparent afterward.

Claire attempts to back up her belief that Minx is Drill. She asks Henry, who tells her that he agrees. Bennigan goes back to Silas who almost hysterically professes it was Minx who killed Benavidez in the lab. Claire tells Frommer, and Wes, that despite wishing it were otherwise, Minx is the child possessed by the entity.

Sean decides to talk to Getz and tell the reporter everything. His goal is to get Henry back. Wes goes to see his daughter and again, the feeling is that the girl is “acting” like a child. When her father tries to get evidence that she is not Drill, Minx gets angry. “You’re my dad. You’re supposed to believe me.” Her tone is angry and betrayed, not hurt, which leads us to believe that she is Drill.

Wes leaves the room and punches the wall, full of rage and frustration. After, Minx asks Henry to help her, once more we are convinced of her “guilt” when her tone to the boy becomes mean and threatening. “Aren’t you my friend, Henry?”

Frommer tells the president that Minx is Drill. It is revealed that the device that Sean Bennigan was testing, the thing that drew Drill to him initially, is what Frommer will use to kill Minx and Drill. Wes and Claire are removed from the facility where they have Minx and they watch the device being delivered that will kill his daughter.

Getz acts on the information that Sean gives him. This prompts the president to schedule a live press event where he intends to tell the public everything. He also orders the other children to be released. Bennigan’s plan has worked; he has Henry back.

Claire and Wes go to the press site to speak to the president and Sean, along with Russell, learn who Orion is, it is Cassandra, the president’s daughter. The children have been released, Minx is being wheeled down to be executed (strapped into a hospital gurney) and Cassandra joins her father at the press conference.

*Sidenote* It has to be said that mixed emotions were the result of Minx reciting “Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star.” Part disdain at the obvious ploy to tug at the viewers heartstrings and more than enough tears to prove that this schmaltzy scene worked perfectly.

Claire rushes to stop the live broadcast and Wes goes to save his daughter. Cassandra gives her father a pep talk. Bennigan realizes that Drill wants to use the press event to phone home. Frommer proves that he is not quite the cold hearted individual he seemed. The man steps in to throw the switch and his expression says that if this action damns him so be it, he is willing to accept the consequences to save the world.

*Sidenote* Kudos to David Andrews and the writers for making his character more than just a man who suffers from hubris and an incredible amount of nastiness. In this episode, Frommer became a hero; someone who was willing to do the unthinkable to save his fellow man, even if it hurt to do so. More importantly, the man reacted almost instantaneously when he learns Minx is not Drill and stopping the countdown. Great stuff.

Minx is saved and we know that this child will never be the same again. Drill delivers his message via Cassandra and then chillingly tells Bennigan, “Don’t worry Claire, I’m not going anywhere.”

This was edge of the seat viewing. Minx’s delivery back into childhood, all tears, snot and whimpers, was exhausting. The viewer was, most likely, in the same state as Wes Lawrence’s daughter by the time that device was turned off. (Mad props to Kylie Rogers as Minx in this episode, she killed it.) Barry Sloane shares honors with Andrews and Rogers, he made Wes’ pain so real that we did not mind the shameless manipulation by the writers of the episode.

It has to be said that Kayden Magnuson as Cassandra finally came into her own. This is the performers first time onscreen and her delivery of that last line (where she is now Drill) was brilliantly disturbing.

The season finale of The Whispers airs August 31 on ABC, this last episode has a lot to live up to.

Author: Mike's Film Talk

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

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