The Whispers recap: Traveller in the Dark
Wes tries to save Minx, while Drill sends the adults scattering — and gains the upper hand.
The bananas show that is t h e w h i s p e r s taught us two things tonight: First, that Drill possessed Cassandra, the president’s daughter, and had her transmit a signal via a bloodcurdling banshee scream in the middle of the White House during a live press conference. And second, that in the real world, the MVP of this bonkers series isn’t any of the adults: It’s Kylie Rogers, who plays Minx. Just look at everything she has to do in this penultimate episode: She’s scared, she’s devilish, and she’s able to make you question your own assumptions about Drill’s identity. (Halfway through tonight’s episode, I was ready to dismiss my conclusions last week that Drill hadn’t possessed Minx, and that’s all because of Rogers’ performance. I doubt I was the only one.)
After all, “Traveller in the Dark” focused most of its attention on Minx and Wes by bookending the Drill-running-amok action with two heartfelt flashbacks. The first showed a young—rather, slightly younger—Minx crying for her father after a bad dream, and Wes teaching her “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” to remind her she’s safe. The scene’s super-cute and super-effective, considering the next shot shows Wes scrambling to protect his daughter from Frommer and the president. Both are convinced Minx is Drill, because those children who pointed at Minx in the last episode can’t all be lying, right? Minx has to be Drill-as-Minx, right?
Wes isn’t sure, so he predictably goes to Claire for help. (Adults: predictable 12 episodes in. Aliens: not so much.) She tries to interview Minx (who’s now strapped to a cot in a dingy cell), but Minx refuses to prove she’s not Drill because she realizes that no matter what she does, she’ll still look suspicious after having worked with Drill for so long. Claire then tries Henry, who says Minx definitely grabbed Cassandra, and Silas, who says he saw Minx kill Dr. Benavidez. With a sample size of three, Claire is ready to confirm Drill’s possession of Minx. She, along with Wes and Frommer, revisit the activity log on Dr. Benavidez’s laptop and find that a note the doctor had been working on was erased shortly after her death. The modified file is about Minx (real name: Millicent, because Lena and Wes just gave up on modern baby names), so the adults are convinced this is proof of Drill-as-Minx covering his tracks. The revelation leaves Wes reeling… while Claire stares at a mirror.
Of course, Wes isn’t finished. He visits Minx himself and talks to her about not being afraid. It would be another adorable scene between them if it weren’t for the fact that he’s testing her to see if she remembers the words to “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”—and she, being one smart Millicent Lawrence, knows exactly what he’s trying to do. “I can’t think of the words right now, my brain’s fuzzy,” she pleads. “You’re my dad. You’re supposed to believe me.” Instead of thinking about how his daughter could be under a ton of pressure and can’t recall the words to a poem she learned as a little girl, Wes leaves Minx alone in her cell.
Without anyone on her side, Minx tries to reach out to a friend (a Drill-like move…) and calls out to Henry through the wall. (Does this mean she heard his conversation with Claire earlier? Are all of the kids in individual cells? What is the setup of this site in the first place?) She tries to have Henry tell Claire she’s not Drill, but Henry can’t do anything. Instead, Wes is the one trying a final time—he takes Claire aside to beg for Minx’s life again and again, just as army trucks drive into the compound, carrying… what?
Frommer knows the answer. He tells the president they can finally use “the weapon” to destroy Drill by destroying Minx. All they have to do is get Minx ready. Inside, Minx gets strapped down, and Frommer heartlessly directs the soldiers to ready the weapon.
NEXT: Drill wins the game
At the same time, Gates (the once-mysterious journalist who had been tailing the Lawrences and the Bennigans) spills everything he knows to Sean and Rollins at the FBI HQ. And everything he knows is, well, not exactly the truth. Rollins is against filling him in on the whole “Drill is an alien” thing, but Sean wants to do it, because this way, the White House will be forced to respond and eventually release the kids. Sean isn’t even thinking about containing Drill anymore; he just wants Henry back. (Claire can stay where she is, I guess?) And so, he tells Gates he’ll give him “the biggest story of your life”… while standing in front of a poster for an “Orion Golf Tournament” behind Sean during this scene. Could it be foreshadowing that “O’Ryan”—the target Drill’s looking for, according to Harper last week—is actually spelled “Orion,” as many of us thought?
The show doesn’t do anything with the poster, but I’m going to take it as a sign that “Orion” theorists were right, thanks to Gates. After POTUS says he’ll clarify everything in a press conference before the story breaks, Gates mentions the First Family’s Secret Service code names. POTUS is “Oberon.” The nameless First Lady is “Olympia.” Which means the daughter has to be… “Orion.” (Not “O’Ryan,” if we’re going by Greek mythology, right?)
Either way, Minx is not the culprit, but she’s about to be zapped all the same by Frommer’s handy alien-entity-killing gun… machine… thing. Claire and Wes don’t know this yet; they’ve rushed to the White House to talk to the president, but while they’re tracking him down, Sean calls Claire and tells her about the Secret Service code names (that for whatever reason the FBI didn’t have?), which leads Claire to tell Wes to run back to Minx while she gets to the president.
Wes, thankfully, makes it just in time. Minx recites the poem and cries as she gets wheeled out of her cell, and even says she’s “ready to see my mommy now” (RIP Lena), but just as Frommer gets ready to execute the sequence, Wes rushes in to save her. Speaking of the reunions, the rest of the children from the compound return to their parents as well, and Sean and Henry get a lovely moment together as Sean picks him up.
Claire isn’t as successful on her mission. The Secret Service doesn’t let her pass to see the president, and though she spots Cassandra entering the White House, she has no way of stopping her, or her intention to use the press conference’s live feed to send the alien signal. Claire gets knocked down, just as Cassandra walks toward her father while he’s delivering his speech. She turns and faces the cameras, and then screams and screams and screams as the camera shakes. Drill has sent his signal. (Via poor Cassandra, who’s been turned into a tool for Drill.)
As the signal cuts out, everyone finally realizes they’re in trouble (while Sean and Henry look quite cozy at home). Claire approaches the former First Daughter in the middle of the mayhem, but Drill-as-Cassandra tells her he’s not going anywhere. And as for Minx, Wes takes her away as the scene shifts to another flashback, this time showing her reciting the poem even though she’s not scared. “If you ever are scared, if you ever need me,” younger Wes tells younger Minx, “I promise I’ll always be there.” Which sounds a bit like the Friends theme song, but you know what? That’s the cutest this series about children (albeit creepy ones) has gotten yet. So say it with me: Awwwww.
All of this leaves us with one final episode of t h e w h i s p e r s to go. Now that we’ve answered #WhoIsDrill, will Drill-as-Cassandra make it out of the White House to do anything else, or will the recipients of Drill’s signal take it from here? Will Drill’s companion aliens arrive from outer space and use the Deep Space Network? Will any of the adults finally succeed in carrying out one of their plans to Kill Drill?