The Veil (2016) Slow Horror (Review)

Starring Jessica Alba, Lily Rabe and Thomas Jane The Veil is a slow plodding horror film based very transparently, on the 1978 Jonestown massacre in Guyana. In this tale, written by Robert Ben Garant and directed by Phil Joanou the Jones character is called Jim Jacobs and there is only one survivor; Sarah Hope.

Screen shot from The Veil (Thomas Jane)

Starring Jessica Alba, Lily Rabe and Thomas Jane The Veil is a slow plodding horror film based very transparently, on the 1978 Jonestown massacre in Guyana. In this tale, written by Robert Ben Garant and directed by Phil Joanou the Jones character is called Jim Jacobs  and there is only one survivor; Sarah Hope. 

Unlike the real event Jacobs and several of the most devout have a darker “God” and no-one drinks “Flavor-aid.”

The charismatic but aggressive Jacobs (Jane) is seen in flashback, through the mind of Hope (Rabe) and via archive camera footage, and a video tape  found at the leader’s special residence on the compound.

The Veil moves at a  snail’s pace.  The documentary film crew, led by Maggie Price (Alba), are lethargic and seemingly uninterested in the mundane task  of searching for clues as to what happened on the day.

Hope was a child when the 900 followers of Jacobs’ cult died and she is the group’s guide.  Jacobs’ “church” feels more of a Spiritualist movement than an actual religion where its followers worship coming back from the dead rather than going to heaven.

Jane’s cult leader is at turns charming, funny, angry and violent. At one point the man beats a follower to death with a hammer. The dead man then arises as Jacobs bellows the   command to return and the followers are convinced of his power.

There are a few scenes that actually scare the viewer, one being a rotting corpse acting very un-corpse like.   The body count is not too high and the there is a lack of overt gore, although there is one scene with Rabe’s character that is impressively gross.

The whole film feels very “Blair Witch” but without the squabbling and found footage aspect. Granted there is the use of “found footage” but it is used as research, not too unlike the 2012 horror film  Sinister.

The Veil is dark, almost sepia colored with an even darker texture to each scene from in the found footage sequences.  The present day scenes feature  more in terms of color but the the lighting is still shadowy and gloomy.

At 93 minutes, the film feels longer. Despite this dragging on affect, it is watchable, if for no other reason than to get to the punchline, or payoff.  The film follows a “And Then There Were None” (the film version of Agatha Christie’s “Ten Little Indians”) motif with the documentary film makers being killed off one by one.

Reincarnation and karma seem to play a factor in the cult’s belief system although the end of the film reveals a more sinister take on their religion.  Jane is mesmerizing and terrifying as the cult leader but there is not nearly enough of the actor to make the film truly scary.

Rabe does her usual job of being convincing no matter what role she plays.

The Veil is Alba’s third horror film. Her last was the western remake of the superlative Pang Bros film The Eye.  The “Sin City” actress underplays her role and while this grounds the film somewhat it also makes the character less empathetic at the end.

Overall the film uses mechanizations from other movies.  It does have, for example,  quite a lot in common with The Skeleton Key in terms of swapping out bodies (the reason that Jacobs wants the children saved is not down to kindness but because he needs their “shells”).

The Veil is a 3.5 star film. It could have been more but the plodding pace killed off much of the suspense.  Thomas Jane chews up the scenery in great chunks while Alba and Rabe underplay their roles. Despite not being the top name on the credit’s list, Jane makes this film his.

Streaming on Netflix at the moment, The Veil  is certainly worth a look but  not two.

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 (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.”

Many.

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

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.)

Ouch.

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.

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.