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.