In its third episode, The Whispers doesn’t get any closer to revealing what Drill is, but it does give us our first flashback, another possible kid-caused death, and a clean-shaven Milo Ventimiglia, which kind of makes up for it.
Let’s begin with that flashback: Sean and Claire are fighting in their bedroom. Actually, make that non-fighting, as Claire’s wracked with guilt over her affair with Wes while Sean makes blow after blow to her character, asking “Why don’t you just ask your conscience?” and “Who says I want to fix this?” and “Why? Why did you do it, Claire?” He’s not convinced she doesn’t love Wes, so he leaves anyway after stopping to check on Henry.
Claire, remembering all this, cries while looking through Sean’s bag and tells her mother her husband’s still alive. “I have to find out what’s really happening,” she decides, right as Agent Rollins tattletales on Claire’s behavior to the director. He calls Claire a liability, but is warned to avoid judging his partner too harshly.
Wes is also trying to figure out what’s really happening. He comes a step closer when his team replays the final footage of Jackson, the little boy who blew up the building where is mother worked, and notices that Jackson had been waiting for someone to arrive before making his move. That someone turns out to be David Miller, a tech who had tried to send an attachment image to the head of the nuclear regulatory commission before Jackson made his move. The head of the nuclear regulatory commission is none other than Harper’s dad (!!!), which leads Wes to Harper (!!!), and Wes to find out that Harper had talked to Claire (!!!). (But Wes doesn’t find out Harper’s BFF is also Drill. Good going, Wes.)
Too bad one mystery slowly begins to untangle just as another one forms: While poking around Sean’s bag, Claire finds a receipt with a string of numbers on it. A clue! Detective Claire goes on a mini-road trip to figure out what the numbers mean… at the same time Sean and Dr. Benavidez’s road trip does. The unlucky doctor has no idea where she’s supposed to be driving Sean, but Sean’s confident they’ll end up at their destination anyway.
Minx, meanwhile, isn’t so blindly confident anymore. She’s talking to a child psychiatrist, who tells her Drill isn’t real and that she should stop playing with him. That’s not so easily done. When Lena talks to the psychiatrist after Minx leaves, Drill tries to bring Minx back on his side. He plays Donora’s “Play Nice” and even cranks up the volume with his weird electric-whispery powers, but Minx isn’t fooled. Instead, she turns the radio off. Take that, invisible entity!
The Adventures of Sean and Dr. Benavidez continue as they arrive at a convenience store. Sean makes her buy shaving cream, razors, and scissors, but she manages to slip the clerk Claire’s business card, giving him a significant look as Sean pulls her away to the bathroom. But when the clerk calls, Claire isn’t at her desk, because she’s at the bakery Sean visited, where he scrawled down the string of mystery numbers. “What the hell are you doing, Sean?”
He’s grooming, Claire. There’s a lot to shave. He takes so long Dr. Benavidez grows impatient and asks how he even knows where to go. He tries to explain that he just receives the answers, and as he tells her he knows he’s not crazy—he already talked to a psychiatrist, and it didn’t help—the lights begin to flicker and The Whispers start doing their thing. Sean listens and realizes it’s a warning: Agent Rollins, who picked up Claire’s phone when the clerk called, has led a team to track Sean down. They’re too late to catch Sean, however, making that a dead end for the FBI’s hunt.
NEXT: Sean Bennigan, supervillain
Claire hasn’t reached a dead end—yet. She investigates the bakery and spies a woman watching her while she asks about Sean and the numbers and even whips out her badge. When the man refuses to tell her anything, Claire enters the bakery through the back, asking the woman what she knows. Claire tells her she doesn’t care if the bakery is a front for moving money to people overseas; all she wants is information about her husband. And she gets it: The woman tells her the numbers belong to an account, and that Sean receives payments that go through the bakery. At this, Claire realizes Sean has been receiving money for, put simply, each kid gone bad.
And that makes Sean bad. When she returns home, Henry asks her if she was out chasing a bad guy. “I hoped there wasn’t, but it turns out that’s exactly what I was doing,” she answers. Inside, she finds Wes waiting for her. He’s learned new things about Sean, too, from Harper’s father, including the fact that whatever Miller had been trying to send in the email was an anomaly with a nuclear plant that should have been reported. And when Harper’s father’s annual safety inspection trip to the plant was about to happen, his wife—Harper’s mother—ended up in a coma, which forced him to cut his trip short. In other words, Sean is going to cause a meltdown at a nuclear plant. They don’t know where, but Claire believes Sean’s plan has to be connected to Drill—the same Drill Minx has been talking to, Wes realizes.
While Claire and Wes head to talk to Minx, Sean and Dr. Benavidez take a rental car and drive through the rain as Sean explains his tattoos reveal his next steps. Sometimes they’re locations, sometimes they’re people—whatever the case, he has to get to the next stop to find out. And they almost do—”I feel it,” Sean says—but Dr. Benavidez has had enough of his supernatural shenanigans. She drives them off the road and deliberately crashes the car.
Things aren’t going so well for Minx and Claire either. “You’re the lady who makes Mommy cry,” our favorite truth bomber tells Claire. But Claire insists Drill is real, and as Minx gets more and more upset, it seems Drill has also become upset at Minx’s insistence he’s not real. He sends a child to roll a basketball in the path of the child psychiatrist Minx saw, causing him to veer his bike into the opposite lane and crash.
Luckily, Lena encourages Minx to talk to Claire, and Minx finally relents. She shows Claire the blueprints she printed, and Claire and Wes realize Sean is headed for the Harper Point nuclear power plant based on the logo on the blueprint. The duo go into action right away, while Lena and Minx watch their rapport.
It might all be too late, though: By the time Claire and Wes get on the phone and report what they’ve found, Sean has reached Dr. Benavidez, who escaped the car and ended up near an electric fence. When he touches the fence, it turns off, which means he either has Drill’s powers or Milo Ventimiglia is back to playing Peter Petrelli. Either way, iiinteresting.
The researchers inside the plant think so too. Though they report the malfunction to Harper’s father, he never sees it, as Harper has got her hands on his phone. Following Drill’s instructions, she tells the Harper Point (is the name a coincidence, or did I hear it wrong?) workers the situation will be handled, and then drops her father’s phone in the biohazard bin. Mission accomplished, she asks Drill about her mom again. The Whispers float through the room, and her mother wakes up, making Harper ecstatic.
Someone who’s not ecstatic: Henry. Under his covers, he cries to Drill, asking him to find Sean and to bring him home. “I promise, I’ll do anything,” he says. The lamp flickers.
All in all, we’ve solved one mystery—where the tattoo on Sean’s arm would take him—and opened a few new ones. The latest questions I have for the series are:
- Is Minx in trouble now that she helped Claire? Is the psychiatrist okay?
- Did Rollins just… give up after missing Sean?
- Who’s paying Sean? Will Claire follow the account and pursue that side of the story and leave Wes with the nuclear plant problems?
- What is Sean going to do with Dr. Benavidez now that she’s taken him to his destination? She’s not necessary past Harper Point, is she?
- More important, how does Sean plan to cause that nuclear meltdown? So far, he receives instructions from flickering lights and, ahem, The Whispers. Is he going to go near the plant, wait for lights to flicker, and then move along? This doesn’t seem like a well-thought-out plan.
- One theory I liked in the comments last week said that Sean was possibly following “good” whispers of some kind, while the “bad” whispers were the ones manipulating the kids. But even though that’d be a cool twist, I think Sean’s preoccupation with doing his whispers’ bidding and not blinking an eye when a child like Harper is under Drill’s spell puts him squarely in the bad—and only—whispers category. Then again, I could be wrong…
- And finally, how does Sean do his tattoos? Did Drill teach him? That logo is etched fairly well, considering it’s on the side of his arm.