'Harper's Island' Episode 2: Red Herrings and a New Killer Theory
John Kubicek
John Kubicek
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
Two episodes in and Harper's Island is now must-watch TV every Thursday night.  The simple mystery of trying to figure out who's the killer, who will die next and what clues are merely red herrings is as entertaining as anything

The second episode helped fix the main problem of the premiere by establishing more of the characters.  An initial cast of 25 is absurdly huge, but thankfully three of those suspects are already dead.  Continuing the greatness of an underwater murder and cutting Uncle Marty in half, the second episode featured a decapitation, a hanging and a girl being burned alive.  That's just the kind of crazy death scenes any horror movie fan could hope for.
While the large cast is still a bit difficult to grasp, some characters are stepping up.  The feud between townie Shane and goth brother of the groom J.D. is intriguing with deer carcasses and girls in the middle.  However, anyone who thinks this has anything to do with the actual serial killer storyline obviously has no sense of horror film history.

Shane is the very definition of a red herring, an ominous guy who has a short fuse and crossbow skills.  Harper's Island clearly wants us to think he's the killer, which should be the first sign that he's not.

On the other end of the spectrum is the macabre Chloe and her foppish British beau Cal.  People seem certain that Cal will die, and the show seems to be playing this up as a possible running joke, putting the British dandy into precarious situations, fooling viewers into thinking he'll die.  I suspect he'll outlast most of the wedding party out of sheer luck.  Either that, or he's the killer.How, you might ask, could he be the killer if he was tied up that whole time? 

The simple answer is that there almost certainly must be two killers.  In order to cover this much ground, Harper's Island will likely take the Scream approach and have two people working together as the killer.  Letting himself get tied up could just be Cal's way of throwing suspicion off himself.However, he's the only character with no real connection to the island or the other characters, so unless he's hiding a big secret, he would have no clear motive for murder.  Which brings us to..


My current theory is that Henry the groom and Jimmy, Abbey's ex, are working together as the killers.  Take another, closer look at their scene together on Jimmy's boat and try reading between the lines.  They never provide any explicit details.  Henry is quite vague and just wants to make sure that they're still cool.  Presumably he's talking about the feud between Jimmy's best friend Shane and Henry's brother J.D.  But taken another way, that whole conversation might be a check-in to be sure their murderous rampage is still on track.

Why would they do this, you might ask?  The true motive for the serial killers may not be revealed for a while, but it undoubtedly has something to do with John Wakefield.  Perhaps Jimmy and Henry are both the illegitimate sons of Wakefield trying to avenge their father's murder.

Uncle Marty had to die because maybe he was the only one who knew that Henry is really the son of Wakefield.  The preacher's murder could be a way of giving Trish something to worry about for the wedding so Henry has time to focus on killing.  Kelly was worried about the possible return of Wakefield, which Jimmy learned by talking to Abbey, and Lucy witnessed Abbey and Jimmy's conversation, making her a possible witness.  Maybe the entire purpose of Henry getting married was a way to lure Abbey back to Harper's Island so they could use her to inflict emotional pain on her dad, Wakefield's killer.

So what do you think?  Is this theory sound, or is there someone else you think is behind the murders?  Follow along with BuddyTV and play Harper's Island: Who Dies This Week? to predict who you think will be murdered every week.

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-John Kubicek, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image courtesy of CBS)