Longmire: Episode 6 The Calling Back (Review)

Officer Mathias and Sheriff Longmire at the Four Feathers

Episode 6 of Longmire begins the first of the final half of a fourth season storyline that will run till the season finale, episode 10. With Help Wanted ending with the hiring of Zachary (Barry Sloane) and the non-hiring of Monte Stephen Louis Grush this latest  episode starts with two hunters discovering a partly clad woman in the woods. 

Walt has to evict Vic, who initially thinks he is paying her a social visit, and the nearly nude woman in the woods turns out to be Gabriella Langton (Julia Jones). The young woman has been raped on the “Res”  by two oil-rig roughnecks. May Stillwater (Irene Bedard) comes to Walt’s office and asks if Cady will help Gabriella. The young woman is so traumatized that she will not leave May’s car.

Vic now has no place to stay as the new casino opening has filled every hotel in town. Zachary is trying to fit in and Ferg is jealous of the new deputy. The main storyline, however, is Gab’s rape by two white oil rig workers on reservation land. As Mathias (Zahn McClarnon) points out, this particular crime falls between the two men’s jurisdictions, Walt’s and his. 

Longmire suggests cross deputizing one another and Officer Mathias says if he allows Walt any authority on the Res he will lose his job. The two men find a poker chip from the new casino and Malachi Strand (Graham Greene) reluctantly helps the two lawmen, but only after blackmailing Mathias into letting one of the casino employees out of the Res jail.

This is an especially frustrating episode. Poignant and tragic, Gab needs help but the system cannot oblige  and her mother will not cooperate. Henry, Walt and Cady all try, but because the attack took place on reservation property and was committed by white strangers, the federal authorities must be “petitioned” to step in and help.

Walt, Ferg and Zach head down to the oil fields and pick up the two men identified by Gab. Meanwhile Cady works on  Federal Prosecutor Bradley to step in and help out and she agrees. Apparently this is an ongoing issue and not just at the local Cheyenne reservation . Bradley tells Cady that  oil rig roughnecks were doing the same thing in North Dakota.

Walker Browning, the boss of the two men arrested by Walt on suspicion of rape, comes to see the sheriff and says that if the men are guilty to “throw the book at them.”  Later Gab is kidnapped by someone from the oil company who tells Longmire that the young woman will be released when the two suspects are.

Vic moves in with Cady, staying in her spare room, Zach continues to learn about his new job and Walt questions Mandy about the men the girls met at the casino. He finds out the the man who was with Mandy (Tamara Duarte) took her to a storage unit. Ferg and Zachary stake out the roughnecks and the new deputy assaults one of the oil workers after provoking him by taking a video of all the men on site.

Walt finds that the footage Zach shot provides a clue to where the storage facility might be and he finds Gabriella, trussed up with duct tape and fastened to a chair, in one of the lockups. Thus begins one of the more frustrating segments of the episode. Gab’s mother Linda (Stefany Mathias) brings the investigation into her daughter’s rape by two white men to a screeching halt. 

Episode six’s title, The  Calling Back, is in reference to the Sweat that Gab attends after her rape. The medicine woman, who reveals that Gabriel’s name is Morning Star, begins the ceremony to call back Morning Star, the part of Gab that was taken by the attack.

After the sweat ceremony May leaves and speaks with Henry. Stillwater tells him that she   is writing to Hector.  This installment continues the thread of Hector’s mantle being taken over by Henry.

The story of Gab/Morning Star will continue while other storylines move into the spotlight. As usual, the actors in this show keep knocking it out of the park in terms of performance. Robert Taylor gets to show a sensitivity that is deep and impressive. Cady (Cassidy Freeman) tells her father that Gab will talk to him because he treated the victim like his own daughter. 

This piece of dialogue is telling.  To the younger members of Walt’s team, Longmire is the father figure. At times punitive and at other moments kindly and forgiving. Kate Sackhoff‘s character still seems to be somewhat fixated by Walt, not seeing him as a father figure at all. 

Kudos to Barry Sloane as the “new kid on the team” and major mad props to Julia Jones (who actually made this viewer “well up” more than a few times) and to her screen mom, Stefany Mathias.  These two ladies, as well as Tamara Duarte, knocked it out of the park. Julia’s suffering as Gab was painful to see,  Stefany was obnoxious and aggressive enough to annoy even the most sincere pacifist and Duarte was all attitude.

Without going into any detail, as the entire season has been watched now, this storyline will rule emotions throughout the rest of the fourth season and the roles of the players, Walt, Henry, Cady and Vic will shift and change as the plot plays out. Streaming on Netflix with all 10 episodes on offer, Longmire may have changed venues and format but there is no loss of quality.

Longmire: Episode 5 Help Wanted (Review)

Longmire promotional poster for Season 4 It is an interesting way to watch this new season about the Wyoming lawman Walt Longmire. The fourth iteration of Longmire, in keeping with the Netflix mode of operation, has all 10 episodes on offer at once. After immediately sitting down and watching the first three episodes, after all the death of Branch needed to be solved and then there was the whole Barlow killing his kid…

Things get back to “normal” in episode four and the decision was made to review each “new” episode seperately. The main factor was that four was directed by Peter Weller who was returning to play Lucian Connally, the late Branch’s uncle and the late Barlow’s brother. While Walt and his deputies worked to solve the mystery, and the murder, of a dead girl found in a duffle bag, there was a bit of closure for the Connally family as Lucian points out his late brother’s major character flaw.

Longmire is adept at providing the non-Native American viewers an insight into life on the reservation and the troubles faced by the members of the “local” tribe. From alcoholism to domestic violence these messages are portrayed a number of ways and all are effortlessly integrated into the storyline of the week. Now that Netflix has put all the episodes up these messages still run smoothly without the interruption of a week-long wait.

Plus, with all episodes on offer, there is the added bonus of being able to remember small details from the previous episode that makes an appearance in the next segment. Last week, in the opening montage of Walt getting his life, and self, sorted back out after the   killing of Barlow, the FBI investigation and his finally being able to move on after catching his wife’s killer, we saw Longmire sitting at the corner of his porch with a pile of books and beer cans.

The last book he reads (in that montage) is John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men. In the short time given, perhaps all of two to three seconds, we can see that Walt has been touched by this book. (Steinbeck’s tale is a staple of high school literature study that has been dissected ad nauseam by teachers since it became one of those “must read” books.) In episode 5, Help Wanted the Steinbeck classic makes a return.

This episode shows a depth to Walt that makes the lawman seem more rounded and more real. At the start, Walt’s tattered copy of the story about George and Lennie is plopped onto the top of his office desk. The room is filled with a group of seated people (six men and two women) wearing name badges and with their own copies of the book. Bar one, Barry Sloane as Zach, has no book in hand.

Rather comically, the scene feels at first like Walt has started a book club. This illusion is soon set aside when it is revealed that Longmire is using it as an aid. He is interviewing  to replace the now  empty deputy position. Walt asks the assembled applicants what they thought of the book. One, Monte,  tells him about the book and another states she did not like it. When Zach is questioned, he reveals, “Uh, sorry, I’m a slow reader, so I didn’t finish.”

The book figures twice more in the episode. Each time it reappears adding a layer to the action or scene. Later at the end of the episode when Zach actually finishes the book and he tells Walt that he is glad he did,  Longmire is then able ask Zachary about the ending of the tale:

“So what would you have done? To keep George from shooting Lennie?”
“I think George shot Lennie ’cause he felt it was the only option he had left.”
“I’d like to get there before things ever got that bad.”

Zach leaves and Walt catches him in the hallway asking him when he can start.

With the book opening and closing the episode one could feel that the message of this segment could be lost. This was not the case and the main storyline of veterans needing help and not being able to get it, combined with the theft of pharmaceuticals designed to alleviate PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) blended right in.

The obvious correlation was that, like George with Lennie, the people who stole the antidepressants felt they had no other choice. Tight writing like this is hard to come, even more so with  a “murder a week” show about a small community sitting next to the Cheyenne reservation, yet this is precisely what one gets with Longmire.

There is, however, one bone of contention with this particular episode and this too revolves around Longmire’s fixation with the Steinbeck book and the other time is shows up as part of the plot. Walt’s life is put in jeopardy when the third member of the team who stole the drugs comes up behind the lawman and demands that he drop his weapon. Having no real choice in the matter Walt does so and the woman, Rebecca, who is holding the gun readies herself to shoot Longmire in the head.

Walt (Robert Taylor knocking it out of the park here) talks about George and Lennie and how George’s shooting of his friend could be seen as an act of love. The woman has cocked the semi-automatic, her finger is on the trigger and the suspense builds as it looks like this she  is about to shoot Longmire. The camera revolves around after a close up on Walt’s face and the camera continues to move and suddenly the gun is seen from the side and it is not cocked at all. The hammer is closed.

What should have been a mood intensifying moment becomes a jolting splash of freezing reality, as in a split-second, and another camera angle, the gun is once again cocked and ready to fire as we move into a close up of the back of Walt’s head.

Shame on you, director James M. Muro for taking what should have been a brilliant moment and messing it up. There is no editor listed, rather interestingly Adam Bluming is listed as editor on the episode prior and the one following but not on Help Wanted. This does pretty much lay the blame on the door of James, the director.

Mood killing moment aside (And let us face facts here, how hard was it to miss the whole gun cocked, not cocked thing in the editing process? These were close ups.  Seriously??) this was a brilliantly written and acted episode. Kudos to the cast and it has to be said, Barry Sloane must be one of the most tired performers in Hollywood at the moment. Starring in the ABC series The Whispers as well as showing up as a new character in Longmire, and still turning in performances that rock.

Great episode and message regardless of the close-up gun faux pas. Hopefully the rest of the season will prove to be that little bit tighter.

The Whispers: Game Over Season Finale (recap and review)

LILY RABE as Claire Bennigan

With one deft move, The Whispers has turned into the Village of the Damned meets the prequel of The 4400 although one gets the impression that these missing are never going to be coming back, at least not in a recognizable form. Last week’s episode was a gut wrenching race which ultimately the grown-ups lost.  Minx was saved from extinction, just. Wes may have gotten his daughter back but the president’s girl, who is now Drill, got out that message and the family is coming for a visit…and a bit of takeaway.

At the beginning of the episode Henry and Minx bond and he apologizes for  being a bad friend. Minx asks to learn sign language so she can say Drill should pay for what he has done.  Drill, née Cassandra, is in a cage placed in the middle of a darkened room. The scene borders on surreal black comedy.

Drill, in the body of the president’s daughter and using her voice, tells Claire Bennigan that Cassandra was  dead, “The moment I took her. What you see here,” Drill says, “is nothing more than a suit. A husk. Does that make you feel bad Claire?” The thing that makes the scene both blackly comic and surreal is the lisp. Kayden Magnuson (the young actress playing Cassandra) is apparently missing a tooth in real life, ergo the lines become “more than a thuit, a huthk. Doeth that bother you…”

The lisp is not over the top, but just enough to make the scene suitably creepy yet comic, to a huge degree. During the same conversation, Drill then, using that same lisping delivery, provides a bit of unwanted feedback on the parenting skills, or lack thereof, of Earth’s parents.

Claire tells Drill, in response to his finger wag for not thanking him for all the “good things” he has done, i.e. Henry’s hearing, Sean back, et al., “You corrupted our children.” Drill’s reply is scathing:

If parents paid more attention to them, I wouldn’t have been able to. But they’re always alone, watching TV, playing video games. So who’s really corrupting the children, Claire?

Wes joins Claire. Drill tells the two adults that they would have won, if they had sacrificed. They were not willing to sacrifice the child at the building. Drill tells them that if they had killed the boy, during the blackout, he would have been unable to reach his friends and they would have won. Drill then tells Wes that his wife would also still be alive. Wes reacts badly.

“Don’t even mention her,” Wes says angrily. “Or what?” asks Drill, “you’ll kill me?”  Claire says that it would be  a shame for Drill to miss his friends after he had done all the work. Drill responds saying that he has not yet done all the work.

He berates Claire for not listening and Drill then reminds the two adults, “If you want to win the game, you must be willing to sacrifice.” With that pronouncement, Drill moves back to the seat in the cage and self-destructs, destroying Cassandra’s body.

*Sidenote* This was a brilliantly creepy scene and the glowing eyes really did pull one right back into that English village with all those blond-haired genius alien kids.

Wes is stunned and asks if Drill just killed himself. “Why would he do that,” Wes asks Claire. “He wouldn’t,” she replies, “Not without a reason.” Seconds after her line, the children, who had all been acting normally, go silent for a moment. Drill is now in all the kids.

Henry and Minx begin packing things up, communicating without talking. There is an issue  with the flashlight and after an unspoken command from Minx, she gets the device and puts it in her bag. Another child is seen spiking her mother’s glass of wine with pills. Another lad, Nicholas, has “locked” his mother in her room, he too has a bag and is leaving the house.

Jessup gets a visit from his significant other Tamara who is carrying his baby. She talks him into leaving his desk at the FBI and spending time with her.

*Sidenote* At first it seems like her odd behavior may be down to Drill controlling her unborn baby which is controlling her. Right after she talks Jessup into leaving with her, Claire goes to check on three kids by the side of the road and she is approached by a group of adults…since the grownups have men as well as women that theory was wrong, as is proved later.

At the Department of Defense “1982 Drill” is mentioned. Ron Harcourt tells Sean Bennigan about the signal received back in 1982 from the first Drill and Harcourt tells Sean that he got an answering signal when this Drill sent out his message. Henry comes in and tells his father there is a strange woman staring at the house. The woman and a group of other adults take Sean and Henry asks if they are ready.

Drill, it turns out, is using his friends from 1982. Claire and Sean are being held captive and their guard is the woman who approached Claire by the roadside. It transpires that “once a friend, always a friend.” Drill keeps his contacts. They may have been children before but Drill never leaves, lying dormant so to speak.

At the DoD Frommer learns that Drill’s friends are coming. Massive amounts of blue glowing rocks are heading to Earth. Harper has a adult friend of Drill’s taking her to where she needs to be. Jessup sees Harper and approaches the two asking about who the lady is. As he gets back in the car, Tamara sighs and tells Jessup she really wishes he had not seen Harper.

Wes comes looking for Claire and Sean, along with Minx. He finds the signal that Ron Harcourt was showing Bennigan and he finds Ron…dead. Wes grabs the laptop and leaves the house. Frommer is shown the approach of Drill’s family. There are so many, he confuses them with stars…at first.

Wes goes to his house looking for Minx and Henry when more of Drill’s grown up friends arrive to take him. Wes fights them off and as he is leaving the house Anderson calls Jessup. The FBI agent answers the phone and tells Wes he is in a trunk, “I think its mine, Jessup says. Henry shows up at a cordoned off area and a policeman asks the boy where his parents are. “Where they can’t cause any further trouble,” Henry smiles.

Anderson finds the Bennigan’s and Jessup. He also sees a marked map on the wall of the building. He takes a picture. He helps Jessup get away from Tamara. Sean gets loose and the woman who has been guarding them starts to kill Claire with a knitting needle. Wes shoots the woman before she can shove the thing in Claire’s neck.

Wes tells Sean and Claire that Henry is with the bureau. Suddenly the world is infused with blue light, Claire says, “They’re here.” They ask Henry where Minx is and he replies that she is “Where she is supposed to be.”

Frommer tells Anderson that they are sending a warhead into space to detonate a massive EMP to neutralize the rocks. Wes asks his boss to wait and Frommer does not. They send the warhead up and it is a “direct hit.” The blue light is extinguished but they have not won. Henry reveals that Drill’s family are still there.

Claire and Henry talks via sign language. He tells his mother that the message is a question, “Are you ready?” Sean then realizes that they misunderstood Drill’s mission, he was not after Earth, but Earth’s children. Bennigan then deciphers the marking on the map that Wes got a picture of.

Henry takes them to Minx and he then goes to his spot, each dot on the map was where a child needed to be. Wes heads toward Minx and Henry leaves his parents to be in place. Once he steps on his mark, blue lights come down and envelop each child. Wes rushes to Minx but as he reaches her she is “dissolved” and pulled up into the light.

Claire reaches Henry and pushes him out of the light and it is she who gets taken by Drill’s family as Sean and Henry watch. Wes has lost his wife and Minx. Sean has Henry back but Claire is gone. The three survivors stand in the dark forest as newscasters report thousands of children have been abducted all over the world.

The final line of dialogue is “Where are our children?”

ABC has produced a cracking show which has been “edge of the seat” viewing from the very first episode. After last week’s white knuckle ride, it seemed that the finale might just be anti-climatic. This was not the case as the show’s producers upped the ante and kept the pressure up till that last frame.

It is to be devoutly hoped that The Whispers comes back for a second season.  While it seems that the children might be gone, in their present form, forever, there is that question of what will happen now that Claire took Henry’s place? Not to mention that cryptic message from Drill, via Harper, about domination.

Grade ‘A’ performances from all the leads and the child actors in the show have made this a brilliant offering. Rabe, Sloane, Milo Ventimiglia, Kristen Connolly, David AndrewsKylie RogersAbby Ryder Fortson have all performed brilliantly in this series. Special kudos to Derek Webster as Special Agent Jessup Rollins. He and David Andrews both got their character’s arc down pat. Mad props for young Magnuson as Cassandra, even without the added FX to her voice in this finale, she sold it, lisp and all. 

The Whispers has been a treat, great storyline, excellent cinematography, top notch acting and a completely immersive experience. Great television. For those who missed the season finale, Hulu has the finale for viewing, along with other episodes.

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.

The Whispers: Traveller in the Dark (Preview)

Lily Rabe as Claire Bennigan in Traveller in the Dark
This week’s episode of The Whispers Homesick sets up the events for the penultimate episode of season one perfectly. Traveller in the Dark pushes the series at breakneck speed (while using slo-mo to the most suspenseful extent possible) towards its conclusion. After a season that has continually delivered in terms of drama and mystery The Whispers gives us an episode that could well induce a stress attack.

In the show thus far, there have been two deaths of characters who were regulars, although Benavidez was not in the forefront too often, she was becoming a fuller character. “You know where I come from when people are rounded up by the government…” Wes interrupts Maria, “This isn’t like that.” The doctor came a long way from being kidnapped hostage of Sean Bennigan to naming her captor as the one person she trusted (Reporter Getz reveals this to Sean in Homesick, that he was to look Bennigan up if anything happened to Benavidez.). Sadly, like Lena, Maria was doomed to become a Drill casualty.

Last week’s episode started with Lena Lawrence’s wake and her death affected Wes deeply. (Who can forget that scream of anguish?) Now that Minx has been identified as the child that Drill has possessed, Lawrence is desperate to stop Frommer from executing the last remaining member of his family.

At the start of the episode Wes has a flashback to a younger, and less eerily adult like version of, Minx. She is frightened and she screams for her father. Wes comes rushing into her bedroom and calms his daughter. He recites the 1806 Jane Taylor poem Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star to the child and it becomes a mantra for Minx when she is afraid. The original poem’s lines contain this episode’s title.

Then the traveller in the dark
Thanks you for your tiny sparks;
He could not see which way to go,
If you did not twinkle so.

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star – Jane Taylor (1783-1824)

Of course the irony being that Drill is that traveller drawn to Earth’s tiny spark, rather obvious yes, but still a lovely touch. One could say it is almost “poetic.”

Sean decides to do things his way, Wes pleads with Claire to talk with Minx and see if she really is Drill. Frommer shows a side to his character that has been, till now, hidden and everything comes to a head in the penultimate episode of The Whispers.

Once again Barry Sloane and Lily Rabe take great huge chunks of scenes between their teeth and chew up the screen. The acting chops in this show are impressive from all the main players, as usual. The children also keep the pressure up on their adult counterparts.

Without giving anything away suffice to say that Kylie Rogers as Minx will alternatively unnerve and upset you.

Claire does not just talk to Wes Lawrence’s daughter, she also questions Henry about Minx being Drill and she takes Silas (Teo Briones) through his statement “step-by-step” on who he saw in the office killing Dr. Benavidez.

The clock ticks as the seemingly inevitable conclusion of the episode rushes to fruition. Along the way the viewer will feel tension, suspense, fear, and sadness. This is white knuckle television. Emotions will be torn and twisted. Most of all, the viewer will be on the edge of their seat watching to see who is going to win. Drill or the adults of this world.

At one point Wes punches the wall repeatedly while he cries in frustration and we are right there with him. Again, without giving anything away, “David Andrews – well played sir, well played.” Kudos to Martin Kummins as the president and the actress playing his daughter Kayden Magnuson will give you goosebumps and a little shiver in one scene.

This show, about alien controlled children, has been excellent in terms of casting. All the more so with the kids. The little performers, small only in terms of size, have managed to tug heartstrings and then completely freak out the viewer.

Congratulations to show creator Soo Hugh who knows just how disconcerting, disturbing and downright scary it is to see children acting wise beyond their years. Scarily adult expressions stare out of their eyes and they mouth grown up platitudes and truths that truly feel wrong. Hugh knows that kids that do not act like kids are damned scary, even if they are being controlled by an alien entity.

*Sidenote* Thanks to Soo Hugh and this brilliant show, I cried like a baby at least twice while watching this episode whilst in-between experiencing some heart stopping moments of pure suspense. Well done.

Add to that formula the kick of these same children suddenly becoming a child again and you have the main reason that this show works. It is not just a science fiction thriller with a heavy dollop of mystery and a touch of action, it is a study of how we see and react to kids.

Simply put, this show is brilliant.

Traveller in the Dark is going to be an emotional rollercoaster ride. (Shades of the season finale.) Be prepared to grit teeth, bite fingernails and forget to breathe while watching the build up to the end of the series. To paraphrase the tagline from the 2007 film There Will Be Blood: “Oh yes, there will be tears.”


The Whispers airs Tuesdays on ABC, watch this series and be moved.

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