The creepiness continues on ABC’s summer hit The Whispers, where kids are manipulated to do things that make your skin crawl. We’ve seen Harper help mommy go crashing down from a tree house, Minx access daddy’s computer with all its DoD secrets and Henry telling not-so-imaginary friend Drill that he loves him. The mysterious master plan of Drill remained unknown, but kid-centric machinations were in full swing in an episode that had the feel of something being set up … for something really, really big.
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Drill Uses His Minions
Drill is utilizing all his little ones, apparently setting some plan in motion through his deadly game. Harper, Minx and Henry are his pawns, as the kids will do anything for their new invisible buddy. Does anyone else find it a stretch to believe that the children will lie to parents they’ve known their whole lives to stay on the good side of something they’ve just barely met? Well, they keep listening to Drill’s whispered instructions in this episode, “Hide and Seek,” more than willing to help their manipulating bestie with all of his requests.
Henry pretends to still be deaf after being healed by Drill. The adults begin to question the kiddos about their “new friend” but make little progress in connecting all the Drill dots. Claire asks her son about his new buddy, but he doesn’t say anything other than signing that “he’s really cool.”
When Henry is at his grandma’s house watching cartoons, he almost gets busted, talking to Drill through the TV. Grandma hears it. She asks her grandson, “Who’s here? Who’s talking?” He insists it’s just the TV. She looks doubtful but only tells him to go to bed. In the Poltergeisty head nod of the night, the TV flips back on to a fuzzy snow screen when granny leaves. Henry says, “I’m sorry,” and we can all agree the effect is the same 30 years later — spine-tingling creeptacular.
Next up, Wes interrogates Minx about her new friend and gets about as far as Claire did. He demands, “I want to meet Drill.” She tells dad, in no uncertain terms, no can do. “You have to be chosen,” she smugly informs her father. Wes inexplicably drops the questioning. This is the Department of Defense guy who is investigating the Sean Bennigan plane crash; he asks questions for a living but is now being silenced by his little girl?
A Minxed-Up Mess
Minx has a friend over (a real live little girl) and says they’re going to play a new game. She slides over a flash drive, asking her to print out the file and to not tell anyone. Minx says her new friend will show the little girl some magic, offering up a Drill demonstration through a light-up game going berserk. The girl is frightened, so frightened that we wonder how long it’ll take before she returns with that print-out.
Wes’ house ends up being searched by the FBI because someone accessed the DoD’s server. Oh, Minx, you little minx. Wes and wife fight it out right there with the house crawling with agents. He accuses her of accessing his computer (infidelity payback), but Minx sees the pair arguing and admits, “It was me.” Wes tries to convince his boss that it was an 8-year-old responsible for the breach. The whole mess becomes messier with his boss bringing up the affair and pointing the finger at him for taking advantage of Claire, saying, “You were her superior.” Wes, we’ve missed you since you dead-exited out of Revenge, but we don’t know if we even like you on The Whispers.
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Dead Man Walking
John Doe, who’s got to be a not-so-dead Sean Bennigan, is zombie-walking through a neighborhood on a mystery mission. He heads to some nearby woods, retrieving a bag with a change of clothes. Sean is a busy man in this one. Next up, a storage unit with a serial killer-looking shrine with pictures and newspaper articles of the crash and Harper scattered throughout. All the Drill shenanigans are documented.
Sean isn’t done yet. He steals his doctor’s wallet and keys, breaking into her house in search of something. He rummages through Dr. Benavidez’s things, finding a gun. Hmmm, crazy amnesiac is now armed. He freshens up with a shower in the doc’s bathroom but collapses in some kind of freak-out seizure. What has happened to this man besides being cheated on by his wife? What has Drill done to him? We won’t find out in this episode, although we do get a few whispers of who he was before he went missing.
Claire and Wes’ Problems
Claire hijacks Wes as he’s leaving his neighborhood to get a few answers about her husband. “Just tell me, is he alive?” she asks her former lover.
Wes remains vague, replying, “There’s evidence someone walked away from that crash, but whether it was Sean…”
Claire shows him the sketch of Sean and tells him her husband was seen months ago. “Why didn’t he come home?” she asks, desperate and pleading. Wes doesn’t say much, with Claire vowing to find her hubs, saying she has to.
The chemistry between the pair is palpable, even when Wes is being a tight-lipped jerk and Claire is in full hysterics. It will be interesting to see if they end up whispering sweet nothings to each other in the episodes to come.
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Harper’s Still in the Game
We see Drill’s cutest friend, Harper, at her mom’s bedside. “My mommy’s dying, isn’t she?” she asks the doctor. She adds, “You won’t be able to help her. He’s the only one who can.” The cutie is still in the game.
Claire brings the sketch of Sean to ask Harper if this is Drill. The little girl says she doesn’t “want to lose,” so she can’t answer the questions. Dr. Benavidez is treating Harper’s mom and sees the sketch, finally giving Claire one teeny piece of the puzzle to work with. She says she recognizes the guy; she treated him the night before until he ran away (to her house).
Harper’s left alone in the hospital room, calling out for her mommy, looking up at the lights and saying, “You said you were gonna help me.” She asks, “Okay, what do I gotta do next?” We know what she did last time (mom landed with a thud) and fear what will happen now that she’s back to doing Drill’s dirty work. It’s a creepy turn watching cute kids turn into evildoers, but it’s definitely part of the draw of The Whispers.
Adding to the Mystery
Claire arrives at the house of Dr. Benavidez and goes in armed. Wes gets a call of what’s going down, so he speeds off to the residence as well. Oh, this should be good. Claire creeps around in the home, with freshly-showered Sean making a break for it. She runs after him, and now Wes is on both their trails. She chases her husband down and they stare at each other from across the street for a hot minute. Wes finally catches up with her. “Did you see him?” he asks, with Sean now gone.
Claire lies, saying, “I never got a good look at him.” So her allegiance is with her husband for the time being. She had staring contest confirmation that John Doe is her spouse, but did Sean show a flicker of recognition? It’s been an intriguing introduction to Milo Ventimiglia’s character, giving us just enough to sympathize with this man with no memory but a definite connection with Drill. I can’t wait to find out what that connection is and if the bearded weirdo will morph back into uptight, by-the-book Sean.
The final scene shows Minx wandering down the street in the dead of night. First thought: why are these kids left alone so much? She says, “Thank you, Drill. I don’t want to be home anymore.” She heads to the playground, hiding in one of those tubes and looking at sheets of blueprints/floor plans.
Claire is back at the doctor’s house, taking a picture of some weird drawing Sean made on the bathroom floor. The symbol is kind of NOLA Fleur-de-lis meets one stone from Stonehenge, adding another layer to the Drill mystery. Symbols equals aliens, right? So now our theories will have to backtrack themselves to the land of ET’s manipulating our kind (well, hello, Ray Bradbury). The Whispers has an end game; that’s apparent with each carefully measured-out step leading to a carefully measured-out reveal. They are letting the pieces fall together one tiny bit at a time. Who else can’t wait to see what we’re left with when that puzzle is complete and all of Drill’s secrets are laid out before us?
The Whispers airs Mondays at 10pm on ABC.
(Image courtesy of ABC)