Friday, 13 November 2009

Harper's Island Appendix

*Spoiler Warning*

Since my review of Harper’s Island I have seen the final episodes which has altered my opinions somewhat. Thus there are a few points I would like to mention in this special appendix, but fret not as I promise after this I’ll never mention 'Harper’s Island' again.

The characters seem as good a place to start. I originally saw the characters as unidentifiable Olympian beings with so many fatal flaw up the arse even their doctors are baffled. My opinion of them now is less mustard gas and more tear gas, as facing excruciating dissolution brings out their Human traits i.e. snivelling patheticness. Also knowing impending death is round the corner helped them to reach an anagnarisis making them bearable, only to die moments after reaching this epiphany. The writers even tried to characterise Wakefield by exploring his reasons for mass murder, which as you’ll imagine aren’t all that great. It worked as well as your typical chav. So just what were his reasons for his bestial behaviour? Incredulously his spree revolved around being betrayed by the love of his life (Abby’s mum). Obviously rather than cope with heartbreak by fucking a prostitute like the majority of middle aged men he decided slaughtering a truckload of halfwits would work better, and I could see his point as the spree appeared incredibly mirthful.

It was revealed that Wakefield had his own PA and those coked up writers tried to dupe us into thinking that it was Jimmy, but in order for this to work he had to act ludicrously dodgy by becoming prone to long mysterious disappearances and turning up after brutal slayings acting vague about his whereabouts. They must have confused that breezeblock Jimmy with Lord Lucan. It is the level of story telling I expect from Scooby Doo, which leads me to my ‘M. Night Shyamalan contrived twist of the decade award’, this accolade shall be awarded to the placebo brain who conceived the idea of Henry being the second killer; an unexpected twist admittedly if only because of how ridiculous it is. Henry’s modus operandi boils down to having dating skills that are inferior to even mine. As apparently he has loved Abby since childhood but after moving away it became hard to find a reason to ‘hang out’ with her so he created this elaborate wedding plot in order to kill everyone who close to Abby meaning they could be alone together. He would have had more luck using the ‘get in the van line’. You may ask why is he working with Wakefield to which I respond don’t bloody interrupt before going on to say because he is the son of Wakefield and Abby’s mum. Henry was secretly put up for adoption but once reunited father and son bonded over murder as Wakefield trained him as an apprentice ala Star Wars. So one wants revenge while the other wants his own half sister…

Henry kills his father in order to save Abby, and this lead to the worst aspect of his already dreadful plan – trying to create his own happy ending. He set fire to the town church with all the murdered individuals inside confident if they found Wakefield’s body the authorities would not bother to search the island – which they didn’t. This would allow him to live happily ever after with Abby provided the boisterous shrew stopped trying to escape every five minutes. Mind you using excessive force to detain your prisoner while in the same breath trying to convince them they are safe is going to teeter the situation to say the least. Inexplicably Jimmy was alive to use as a scapegoat in case the shit hit the fan, and it hit the fan - by the barrelful. Abby and Jimmy escaped and Henry trying to recapture her was slain. This of course allowed for the couple to sail off into the sunset in an ending that made me want to vomit into my own socks then bludgeon myself to death with the ensuing result. Am I surprised by the disgustingly happy ending? Of course not it is practically law for slashers to end in this manner but that doesn’t make it any less disappointing.

While I’m venting about the story I would like to point out the most utterly diabolical low point of the show. After spending 11 episodes being maimed by Wakefield the characters finally apprehend him, understandably you would expect them to execute him on the spot. But no, instead they capture and restrain him, and keep him captive in a cell – unguarded might I add. Anyone who is murdered after his inevitable escape doesn’t have my sympathy in fact it shows Darwin’s theories at work.

There were of course more problems which a greater man would simply write off as petty complaints, things I’ve already covered in my actual review but like an exotic rash have inflamed. The set pieces for example, I already mentioned they were quite detrimental but towards the end they take the biscuit and sell it back to you at a hyper inflated price. Guns begin to jam at key moments on a regular basis and a survivor will suddenly become a dead aim when presented with an opportunity to kill Wakefield. After the same two plot devices reiterate for the tenth time you can’t help but feel that even Michael Myers is rolling his eyes. I found the show to be three episodes too long as for the last three a decelerated game of cat and mouse plays out, and since it is obvious who is going to survive the experience becomes comparable to a psychic watching the entire Presidential election campaign. The writers kill Trish (Katie Cassidy) off who in my opinion was one of the few reasons to actually watch...

The plot became increasingly attenuate before trying to tie everything together in the last 10 minutes, making it as dishevelled as a bacchanal. At least the script is no better or worse which is something that I can be thankful for, but the finale just feels like it is in a rush to get finished and explain everything that pretty much bypasses everything else, like someone suffering from an unusual sexual disorder. Maybe the writers wanted to get back to their mountainous piles of cocaine. The slow build up leads to a frantic finish were the audience is left just as confused as that gormless bint Abby.

In conclusion it is an ill executed finale to a pretty decent series that will leave you dissatisfied and even cheated. Oh and Shea and her terminally creepy daughter Madison also survive thus proving that the make a wish foundation actually don’t grant wishes…