December 7, 2010
Where The Crazy People Are
On Sunday, I started watching Harper's Island and as of last night, I've seen 8 of the 13 episodes so naturally I now know who the killer is. Episode 7 - "Thrack, Splat, Sizzle" - is where they stopped playing coy and started telegraphing the clues to the killer's identity.
So the first half of the show's run provided a decent enough mystery - not just about who was killing everyone but why they were killing everyone. The extreme randomness of who was killed, when and how indicated that the killer didn't really have a beef with any one or about any thing, but was rather just a homicidal maniac who liked to kill people in a variety of gruesome ways. I noticed that in the beginning, the killer was actively trying to cover his tracks. Disposing of or hiding bodies, staging a scene to make it look like suicide, leaving forged notes to make people think the deceased had departed the island. But 'round about the 6th or 7th episode, all attempts to hide the bodies were out the window and suddenly he wanted everyone to know there was a wackadoo murderer on the loose. Why? Who knows!
At the outset - and by that I mean during the first scene of the series on the ferry - I really wanted Chloe to be the killer. No real reason other than I thought it would be fun to have a sexy blond girl be the culprit for a change, and also I know from an old episode of House that "psycho" is in Cameron Richardson's repertoire. But it was obvious pretty quickly that I wasn't going to get my wish there.
I moved on to wanting Madison to be the killer because not only was that kid hella creepy, it would have been a great twist if the super violent nut bag were a kid. Creepy as she was, there was obviously no way she could have pulled it off though - tying grown men to rudders? Hacking Harry Hamlin in half and hoisting him high into the trees? Rigging electrical equipment? She didn't have the strength or the skills required. Pity.
Once I ruled Maddie out as the culprit, I decided that it should be Abby. I know, she's the main character and all, but you have to admit she's annoying and it would have been nice if Elaine Cassidy's lack of convincing affectation and extremely limited emotional range were explained away in the end by a deep and frightening psychosis rather than ignored as if looking cute in a red dress was the only "skill" the producers required of the person playing the LEAD in this show. Honestly, I know she was perfectly awesome as Trish, but how much better would the show have been if Katie Cassidy had played Abby?
The writers never took the opportunity to turn Abby into the murderer though so here I am, stuck with Henry as the killer. Why do I suspect Henry? Well, at first it was just a case of him acting weird - he sure put on a big show of "finding" Richard's body, and then was creepily insistent that Abby answer her cell phone, and he was trying way too hard to pin it all on JD - but then, in ep 8, when Abby found JD bleeding out on the dock, Henry came up behind her COVERED in JD's blood. If he'd become covered in blood from helping his dying brother, why would he have gotten up and left right before Abby showed up when he could totally here her running toward them, screaming?
It's obvious that Henry is the killer and the blood was from gutting his bro, but that brings up my quibble with the writing - namely that they try so hard to keep the killer's identity a mystery that shit fails to make any kind of sense. JD was conscious when Abby found him and she asked him who'd hurt him and rather than saying "Henry," and giving the people left on the island a fighting chance to protect themselves from his crazy, murderous brother, he said "this is all because of you." That may be true but this ain't the time to worry about WHY Henry is killing everyone he's ever met! Jesus!
Oh, also, I am really sure that Henry did it, but I know he couldn't have been in two places at once and he was definitely at the inn when the deputy was shot at the Sheriff's station so either that's a gaping hole in the writing, or he's got a co-conspirator.
Whatever happens from here on out, I just hope that Sully gets more screen time. Mmm, Matt Barr.