Blogging Harper’s Island (Because Someone Has To)–Episode 4: Bang!

Episode 4? Already? Where has the time gone?

Long Story Short: This is late because I was confused.

Short Story Long: I am a little late posting this, because I got all confused last Friday when I went to watch the show online and there wasn’t one, so I figured they’d skipped a week for some reason, never dreaming that they had moved it to Saturday. Saturday is not a good night for TV anymore, so I’m not sure what’s behind the move, especially at the end of the regular season when all the other shows are wrapping up. Perhaps I’ve just answered my own question, and they don’t want their television murder mystery experiment done in by the shows on the other networks that are also wrapping up their established shows. Perhaps the Thursday nights were just to get people hooked before they moved it to Saturdays in a coldly calculated move, according to an evil plan. I can get on board a CBS evil plan; I have an evil plan of my own and like to support others. I’m pretty sure our evil plans are not in conflict with each other, even indirectly. In fact, CBS’s evil plan might dovetail nicely into my own, what with Harper Island’s apparent proximity to Canada and all.


I thought, actually, that this was a pretty good episode. I liked the Groom’s Buddies as a concept, so the idea of spending all day with them was pretty fun. And I really didn’t see Future Beermonger coming. Talk about layers! I can’t say I was surprised that he was turned down by Bride’s Dad (whose name I have already forgotten), but he made a great pitch! I would totally invest in that beer, and I bet it’s good beer. I also thought the bridal shower was a good enough way to keep the women busy, and the bit with the tea set a nice scene between the sisters. The wedding dress, I guess, is spared, now that the china is all busted up. I am not suspecting Madison at all, though. Not for this. Frankly, it was just too quiet. I can’t see her having the strength to break every single piece by hand and so rapidly without being heard from the other room. What I also appreciated in this episode was the introduction of the Very Bad Idea. Sinking the boat? Really? Come on. EVERYBODY knows better than that. And that’s where the logic falls apart, which is precisely what needs to happen in a show like this. But I’ll rip on Beermonger later.

I honestly didn’t think “The Nerd” (Joel Booth) was going to be the one to go. It wasn’t after all, his Very Bad Idea, and he had the decency to be overcome with horror and disgust to the point of vomiting off of the side of the boat. That shows he is a Good Person, if a cowardly one, and to go in such a way–at the hand of his friend!–is a sort of a reward, I guess. He didn’t die terrified, he died with company, and it supposedly didn’t hurt at all. On a show like this, it’s as good as winning, I think. He was, in retrospect, too annoying to be allowed to live, and we couldn’t really spend so much time with him in this episode and not give him more screen time later if he survived, so this was maybe the writers’ only choice. I can’t feel that bad about it. He was lucky to have gotten as many lines as he did, and for that he should be grateful.

Goodbye, Joel! You were nice, and you were rewarded with a calm bleed-out. We should all be so lucky.

Goodbye, Joel! You were nice, and you were rewarded with a calm bleed-out. We should all be so lucky.

This sobering talk does bring up what has now become a major irritation, though. Are these people really so selfish and self-absorbed that no one misses Lucy and her yappy dog at the bridal shower and no one misses philandering Uncle Marty at the bachelor party? No one has stumbled on any corpses in the woods? Nothing? This island is not that big, and they are all using the same footpaths between the same locales. Burned people stink. Footbridges are in well-traveled locations. I am really starting to lose my sense of humor about this–even campy TV needs to explain some stuff.

Beermonger obviously was the one who deserved to die, and will suffer righteously for killing his friend until he does so. He was the one I was expecting to go, thinking that maybe The Nerd would kill him out of fright. Of course, a desperate man with a doubly guilty conscience can be counted on to do something interesting! What I don’t understand about him is why he stole the money. He’s got a supposed best friend who is about to marry an heiress, and they’ve all been joking about how much money Henry will have, and he doesn’t think that his friend would be able to invest in the beer company within a month? Surely the credit card stuff is temporary, since we are led to believe that he is only in this debt because of the tremendous costs of writing a business plan and inventing beer (which is noble) (which I will refute that in real life is crazy, because beer brewing on a small scale is pretty cheap, and he’s apparently just irresponsible). So his Very Bad Idea was all for naught, really, except now he’s committed them all to this poor choice. Of course, they could easily overcome it, I think, and go to the Ineffectual Authorities and explain everything. They wouldn’t even have to explain too hard. It would be a drag for all that to go down before the wedding, but not really. Even with the bullets in the bottom of the boat. This was selfish, crazy behavior that endangers others and has put Beermonger right at the top of the Clearly Has It Coming list, with underlines.

I know Sully is already on that list, but as much as I was liking Cal I am so not sorry that he was deliberately excluded from the fishing trip. You heard him talking about his love of fish. Would you have wanted to go out to sea with him? I’ve been out to sea with people who show off and it is no fun. Cal has every right to be upset with Sully over the Chloe thing, but he deserved to be left on shore for this one. And the local stripper thing screamed mishap as soon as they said the word “local.” Of course Henry would know her. The mafioso stripper handlers were just too much, even for this show.

The Girls
The bridal shower was unremarkable, although I liked the idea of having a psychic at a party. I also liked the idea of the psychic almost hitting Abby with the car, causing that horrible scrapbook to fall in the mud. Great idea for a present, bad execution. There are classier ways to make memorabilia now, and they don’t require glue. It is a last-minute gift and it looks like it. I can’t feel bad about it; she has plenty of time to make a nicer book with digital files and regular binding. It’s remarkable what digital printing has made available to people–especially to people who live in Los Angeles and should know better. It also struck me in this episode how ridiculously skinny Abby is. The actress is too thin. She is painful to look at. I didn’t notice it in other episodes; perhaps it is a directorial choice that signifies something about her character. In the same vein, I like how the Scarlet Woman Stepmother is lusty and voluptuous. Such a contrast! It’s pretty bad to screw your stepsoninlaw, but obviously she is only the stepmother because she and Richard have cooked up some plot to get Dad’s money (most likely with death), which Richard knows he wouldn’t get otherwise. (He can’t skeet shoot, to start.) I’m not exactly sure how that makes any of this a betrayal of Bride, but it was awfully nice of Richard to rescue her from the pool. That is what happens, right? I have a bad memory for faces.

The drama about being in the water while the cover was going over was just silly. It wasn’t a rigid cover–just swim to the side. Why the panic? If it were one of those hard covers that would be one thing, but this floppy, bubblewrap business? Why were they even putting that on at night, anyway? It just makes the pool even more dangerous with no benefit (they are solar covers for warming the water). Dumb, dumb, dumb. That and the Beerbrewing debt, and the unmissed members of the party are seriously bugging. Srsly.

I Just Had a Thought

Hmm… Maybe the level-headed Henry let the boat sink because he is the one that murdered Hunter! Everyone alive is a suspect for everything, right? He had to have recognized the body. Had to. It had only been out there a day, I think. I’m still impressed with how whoever rigged up that gun to shoot the guy rigged it up. That was some fine Rube Goldberging!

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  • Panda  On May 13, 2009 at 8:26 am

    DUDE! SPOILERS! –added by Karen

    If you take a look at some of the trailors you can see booth with them still and they look like scenes from future episodes….. but you don’t see malcom/beerguy there, hmmm things to ponder it makes me suspect booth even more

  • Karen  On May 13, 2009 at 9:14 am

    Thanks for dropping by, Panda. I added “Spoilers” to the top of your comment to alert others, but only because I consider information inside of trailers and promos spoilerish. I’m stuck in this mindset now of trying to figure out what you saw in a trailer that was maybe for episode 5, which I’ve seen, and not thinking too much about it. I also realize that I’m the only person in the world who doesn’t see trailers and promotionals, because I watch all my TV online. Gah! Curiosity + Policy = Angst.

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