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'The Whispers' recap: 'Meltdown'

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Eike Schroter/ABC

The Whispers

type:
TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
seasons:
1
run date:
06/01/15
broadcaster:
ABC
genre:
Drama, Suspense

All things considered, Drill has done plenty for little Henry Bennigan: He gave him back his hearing, helped him make a new friend in Minx, and led him to his father. With all that altruism, maybe Drill isn’t that bad. Grownups know nothing!

Hahahaha, scratch all that. Drill does nice things quid pro quo, and all of his deals are completely uneven. Tonight, he helps Henry initiate a not-so-heartwarming Bennigan family reunion in exchange for a way to overheat the power plant so enough energy is released to allow him to…uhh…disappear in a bright blue ball. Wait, what? What just happened in those final 10 minutes? Whaaaaat?

Okay, never mind those last 10 minutes; the beginning is spooky enough. Minx shows up at the Bennigans to introduce herself to Henry and act as Drill’s messenger. (Despite being able to manipulate electricity, lights, and little children, Drill can’t manage to be in too many places at once.) Minx’s delivery: A sheet of paper with five clues that will help Henry reach what he wants. Henry, after a moment’s hesitation, decides to go for it. He’s following the instructions of the invisible entity that gave him back his hearing. What could go wrong?

Over in the adult side of the story (that sounds totally wrong, but you know what I mean), Homeland Security has arrived at Harper’s Point after Claire and Wes tipped them off. Along for the ride is Rollins, who is definitely over the whole third wheel thing at this point, especially after seeing how touchy-feely and close Wes is to Claire (and he does use every opportunity he can to stroke her in some way—oh no, that sounds wrong again). “I didn’t realize the DOD and the FBI had a carpool program,” he quips. Come on, Rollins, do you really want to get yourself involved in the Claire-Wes-Lena triangle of adult angst?

Luckily, the three teams all get back to work when they spot Sean’s abandoned car near the facility. Unluckily, Sean’s figured a way inside: He triggers the evacuation signal, which causes the facility’s protocol to kick in. Four exits open to allow workers to vacate, which means Sean—and poor, poor Dr. Benavidez, still—can stroll right in without anyone spotting him. Homeland Security watches every camera, but can’t manage to find a greasy, long-haired man dragging a harried woman into the facility against the tide of employees rushing out. When they do come close, the cameras, phones, and even door locks fail to operate. Drill: powerful enough to control all security and electrical systems in a nuclear facility, but too shy to reveal himself just yet.

Back at the Bennigans’, Henry has already departed to go on his Drill-imposed scavenger hunt. Clue #1 :The first thing you have to do… is take your bike to Black Eyed Sue. Black Eyed Susan is a ferry; Henry rides his bike to board it. Clue #2: One step closer to your answer. Look out for the yellow dancer. The yellow dancer is an inflatable man of both car dealership and dancing Dee fame; Henry follows it. But wait, hang on… Why does Drill suddenly speak in rhyme? How much time did he spend coming up with all this? Most importantly, when did Drill turn into this guy?

Actually, never mind that, he’s more like this guy. Per Drill’s instructions, Minx picks up a knife in the Bennigans’ kitchen, and while Henry’s grandmother heads upstairs to give them a snack, Minx creeps up behind her and… shows her she “accidentally” cut herself. Well played, Whispers writers. I nearly believed Minx would do something horrible to the woman.

Back in adult land (you know what, I just need a better name for this plot line… the Claire and Wes Show?), the situation has started to get dire at the plant. Sure, most of the workers are evacuated, but the temperature continues to rise, and there’s no easy fix to bring it down. (At least, I think that’s the consensus. All that arguing in the Homeland Security van isn’t helping much of the technical mumbo-jumbo make sense.) Claire uses this time to give her mother a call so she can check on Henry. Of course, when her mother reveals Henry was playing with Minx, Claire races to find Wes and tell him she thinks the entire nuclear facility emergency is just a “wild goose chase” so Sean could distract them and get what he wants. “Which is what?” Wes asks. “His son,” Claire replies.

Maybe, but it doesn’t look like that’s what Sean’s after so far. He and Dr. Benavidez get inside, thanks to some tampering from Drill (unlocking doors is another one of his special talents). When Sean reaches his destination, he draws his gun… and hands it to Dr. Benavidez. “If I do something bad, I want you to shoot me,” he tells her. She looks shell-shocked, but before she even gets used to holding the gun, Sean begins to shake and tremble on the floor, until security arrives to take them both away. 

And that’s exactly when Claire finds Henry’s abandoned bike. 

NEXT: Oh, the places Henry will go!

[pagebreak]

While Minx has been off playing at the Bennigans’, Lena has been worrying about Wes and staring at the news. She hadn’t realized Minx had gone, and when Wes calls to check in, Minx arrives just in time to fool Lena—and to drop yet another one of Minx’s Patented Truth Bombs. The target this time: adults of all ages. “I don’t think grownups really know what’s going on,” Minx advises. “Even when they say they do.”

Good timing, Minx! The scene cuts away to show an arrested Dr. Benavidez shouting, “I don’t know what’s going on!” Neither does anyone else, doc. The plant begins to shut down, and the emergency cooling system has failed. Basically, everything is about to full meltdown if they don’t take drastic measures ASAP.

Too bad Henry still hasn’t reached his final clue. He’s just on Clue #4: If you want to win the game, there’s somewhere you must go: Down the metal rabbit hole into the dark below. Creeeeepy! He finds a hatch—not The Hatch, even if the shot of Henry looking down is reminiscent of a certain scene in season 1 of a certain show about an Island of a certain…sorry, sorry, back to t h e  w h i s p e r s—and climbs down, because that’s always a sign of a fun game. Drill, do you know what “playing a game” really means?

While Wes interrogates a frantic Sean, who tells him he doesn’t know anything other than the fact that “something’s going to happen here,” Claire spots Henry in the pipes under the cooling towers and Sean disappears in a flash as the facility goes dark and plunges into a Drill-created outage. With Henry trapped in the pipes, headed for doom, Claire insists on heading in after her son. “Henry is all I have left,” she tells Wes, who tries to restrain her but eventually lets her go. 

Claire, thanks to some sneaky planning, slips into the facility when an officer drags Dr. Benavidez outside. She hurries through the nuclear facility labyrinth, while Sean follows Drill’s signals and ends up in a Restricted Area that Drill points out for him when he dims six letters on the sign. When Sean spots Henry on yet another monitor, he whispers (!!!), “He’s here” to… Drill, I’m assuming. No matter—Sean understands he must go after Henry.

Henry isn’t going anywhere after all this, though. He’s on to his final clue: Now you aren’t just warm, you’re hot. Wait here, where ‘X marks the spot.’ The EXIT sign flickers and leaves behind the solitary X for Henry to watch. As he watches, Claire continues to head closer to his room, but when she reaches a staircase, Wes (oh noooo) instructs her to follow the stairs up; it’s the opposite of what she was supposed to, and so she ends up piling boxes onto a wall to peer out of a window in order to see her son. But it’s no use, as Henry just waits for what’s coming next. He has no idea the Homeland Security guys are all for flooding the plant to cool it all down, and doesn’t know that if he stays rooted in that one spot, he’ll drown—in front of Claire’s eyes. 

And just as the water comes rushing through the pipes, Sean runs to the door and saves the day. Not that he realizes he just saved his son, of course—he doesn’t recognize Henry, and when Claire comes through to pull her family close, Sean leans in because he has no idea what he should do. What else would you expect from a Bennigan Family Reunion anyway?

The moment’s cut short as the lack of flooding meant the plant would be doomed to a meltdown. But just as Wes—a pale-looking Wes, that is—watches the plants begin to melt, the emissions from the plants suddenly condenses and then disappears in a flash of blue light. What could it mean? What does any of it mean? Was Drill manipulating, say, lightning? 

Who knows? Either way, Dr. Benavidez is over everything—over being a hostage, over carrying a gun in those last moments, over the supernatural occurrence that just happened over the nuclear plant—and Homeland Security has no choice but to send in a crew of Hazmat-suited workers who slow-motion walk to the best of their ability toward ground zero. There, they find the Bennigans and discover none of them have been bombarded with radiation. When one of them tries to seize Sean, Henry screams, forcing him to tell Claire that Drill had helped him get back his hearing. The elation on Claire’s face just a second ago disappears when she hears the Bad Invisible Entity has found her son. 

Lena’s face echoes Claire’s expression, as Minx tells her they shouldn’t start to believe Drill’s been apprehended. Sean Bennigan isn’t Drill, Minx says, and after all, “Grownups don’t really know what’s going on.” Ouch. That was way harsh, Minx.

If you’ve been keeping up with the show, I doubt you need reminding that we’re four episodes in and still haven’t found out what/who Drill is, so I’ll leave you with one final thought tonight: Drill is no one. Okay, okay, fine… Now that we’ve seen Drill uses nuclear energy in some way and can do some flashy stuff in the sky tonight (never mind the riddles), do you have any new theories about Drill’s identity and goal? Have we completely forgotten what the president in that magazine spread had to do with all this?

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