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Harper's Island

Well, three planes and 15 hours later, I am home. Did you miss me? (More on my trip later).

But now for the really important stuff: Harper's Island finale

Most of us had been saying Henry was the most likely suspect for a while, so when he pulled out the knife and killed Trish I can't say I was completely surprised, though I thought his behavior in the first half of the finale was a little Snidely Whiplash for my taste. I mean, killing over a dozen people just because his adoptive parents lied to him? REALLY? As Sully said, grow a set, dude. But the twist with him being obsessively fixated on Abby turned it around for me, because (a) I liked Abby and Henry as a couple from the very beginning, and I'm happy to be vindicated, insofar as stalkery incestuous one-sided obsessive love is vindication and (b)I'm deeply amused, given the number of SPN fans watching the show for Jim Beaver and Katie Cassidy, that they went the incestuous passion route.

Plus, I have to say, Henry did the creepy psychotic thing really, really well. OMG, watching him try to justify himself, first to Trish, then to Sully, and then to Abby? WOW. He out-psychoed Callum Keith Rennie, and that's really difficult to do.

I was a little worried that they were going to have Jimmy, rather than Abby, end up killing Henry, and it would have sucked if her only agency there was getting the bobby pin to him so he could break out--but I'm really glad it was her who did it in the end. And I really liked the videotape at the end; it was nice to get to see all the dead characters one last time, and holy FUCK that shot of a grinning Henry was creepy.

I was also glad that both Sully and Danny got heroic deaths; I was particularly impressed with how well Danny handled himself in the fight with Wakefield, considering how much we've been complaining about people's failure to fight back against him.

I ended up feeling really bad for Trish, though. Bad enough that she got murdered by the man she loved while wearing her wedding dress--but then it turns out the whole wedding was just a sham to get Abby to the island? I wish she could come back from the dead and kill Henry a few more times for good riddance. (Hee. Maybe as a zombie bride--she could eat his brains. I think I might like that as an alternate ending).

What do other people think about Henry and Wakefield's motivations? Did we get enough, or were they relying too much on the "they're just psycho" explanation? I keep going back and forth on this.

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
rsadelle
Jul. 12th, 2009 06:01 am (UTC)
I thought the second hour was almost superfluous. Like, once we knew Henry was it, that was all I really needed, even if I kind of liked his creepy obsession with Abby.

But Abby had to kill him - they've been totally committed to the cheesy conventions of the horror movie, and the final girl always kills the bad guy in a supposedly safe space (the classic is somewhere inside, but the island is her home) with a phallic object. I knew the moment we saw her kneel down next to the blade that she was going to get Henry with it!

I'm on the relying too much on "they're just psycho" side, at least for Henry. We knew Wakefield was psycho coming into it, so that was fine, but the Henry switch to killer was a little lacking in reason.
norwich36
Jul. 13th, 2009 07:41 am (UTC)
Really? Because if they hadn't given us some motivation, I would have found it terribly disappointing--even though I wish they'd dropped more hints during earlier episodes about this.

I know you had the final girl theory, but I thought they might subvert that convention precisely because of audience expectation.

Thinking about it, I agree that they're relying too much on "psycho" for Henry--because to be alone with her on the island, he didn't have to kill any of the wedding party; none of them lived there. He just had to kill her dad for that to happen. I mean, he could have cancelled the wedding at the last minute or something. Plus, when he was talking about his friend who took the money that was originally intended for him by Uncle Marty anyway--wow, that was really playing serious headgames. So that's in psycho territory.
rsadelle
Jul. 17th, 2009 02:40 am (UTC)
I think "Henry's Wakefield's kid and they're committing murder" would have been enough motivation for me, at least as far as committing murder.

Yeah, I don't know about him having to kill everyone who didn't live there. Maybe it was by way of isolating her. But wouldn't she have friends who weren't also his friends?
(Deleted comment)
norwich36
Jul. 13th, 2009 07:42 am (UTC)
Yeah, I agree--though Henry did at least hint that Wakefield believed you had to kill that which you loved. But ultimately I've decided I'm unsatisfied with the motives they gave both of them; they weren't sufficient for the sheer number of murders they committed.
(Deleted comment)
starry_dawn
Jul. 13th, 2009 07:41 am (UTC)
I thought the first hour was much better than the second. Once we knew it was Henry, I was just waiting to see how it would end. The ending with Henry killing Trish was great stuff, though, even though it was killing me to see my favourite couple ripped apart like that.

Even though I enjoyed the series more than a lot of people seem to have, I do think they went too much with the "pyscho" angle. I don't think the motivation they provided was enough to explain the murder of an entire wedding party, especially not if the killer was the groom himself. It just seemed like a bit too much of a stretch to me. But Chris Gorham did a great job with the reveal, and he seemed enough like himself (while being extra creepy, of course) for me to believe that he could've been faking it all along.

Oh, well. It was a fun ride while it lasted. Too bad we won't be seeing anything else like this for a while.
norwich36
Jul. 13th, 2009 07:44 am (UTC)
I agree with you; Chris Gorham did a great job with what he had, but as I was just saying to rsadelle above, even if he wanted to get Abby alone on the island with him, he didn't have to kill the whole wedding party--none of them actually lived there! And surely he could have found another way to get Abby back to the island! So I'm disappointed in the motive stuff.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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