the river cast abc 'The River' recap: The Dry SpiritAfter a fair amount of emotional blackmail and hidden agendas, TV naturalist Dr. Emmet Cole’s widow (?) Tess gets his estranged son Lincoln — a haunted and very malnourished individual — to embark on a new TV journey into the Amazon to find out what happened to him. They’re joined by a skeezy producer Mom seems to have had an affair with, as well as a camera crew — and a last-minute addition, the pretty daughter of a missing cameraman from Cole’s last mission, who turns out not to be all that insufferable.

This childhood buddy Lena seems to have a lot more information about Cole’s last days than she’s willing to share at this time, just like everybody else, but manages to help them find his abandoned ship, the Magus. Onboard, despite the unending trepidations of the captain’s psychic non-English speaking daughter, they crack open the panic room and accidentally free some kind of smoke monster, which immediately rips hell out of Lena’s leg and kills one of the camera guys.

After a disturbing interlude in which Lena goes for a little swim so her ghostly leg lacerations can get nice and infected — an ongoing theme of the show is that the Amazon is actually a fairly fine and bug-free place to run around with all your skin exposed, go diving whenever you feel like it, and never run into wildlife or indigenous peoples — they somehow get the idea that it is the ghost of Cole’s last producer, a Cam Travers. The ghost takes out their lifeboats and engines, and then everybody just kind of acts hilariously crazy for a while. Son Lincoln tries to trap it with a blood ritual, while Mom Tess decides she wants to … have a conversation with it.

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