We’ve seen Drill meddle with and in the lives of a few government-connected families on this summer’s ABC hit The Whispers, but he ups his game in “Meltdown,” creating a situation that could cost the lives of thousands. Again, he’s using the kids and his John Doe to do his dirty work. Minx convinces Henry to stay in the game, while Sean reveals himself as a tortured, but not really bad, guy. The creepy tone is intact, but the show takes a more scary turn with a couple of jump-out-of-your-seat moments.
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Drill’s Little Evil Spawn
“Meldown” begins with Drill’s littlest friends busy with his dangerous game. Minx is talking to her invisible, evil friend as she transcribes his instructions on a notepad. We cut to Henry bounding downstairs to ask grandma where mommy is. At work, as always. He heads to the living room and finds Minx there waiting. “Drill says I should come over to play,” she says. “Don’t worry, I can keep a secret.” The little girl went from being a little annoying to downright scary in this one.
Henry gives up the deaf act when talking to his uninvited, new friend. Minx tells him to play the game and Drill “will help you get what you want.”
Minx gives Henry the Drill dictation, saying it’ll be fun; it’s a “treasure hunt.” When he says he doesn’t think grandma will like it, she counters with, “I’ll take care of her.” Creepy. We know how these kids “take care” of those who don’t fit into Drill’s plans, and seeing grandma go splat seems like a definite possibility.
The little boy insists that it’s not a good idea, but Minx is one persistent friend. He reluctantly agrees, the lure of having his dad returned to him too tempting. She says she’ll hang around his house to make sure no one finds out what he’s up to.
Grandma makes snacks for the kiddos, but Henry’s nowhere to be found. As granny wanders around the house, Minx is in the kitchen handling a knife a little too lovingly. She creeps up on granny, one hand behind her back. She whips out that hand, but there’s no knife, only a bloody finger. Whew! She claims to have cut her hand while riding bikes with Henry outside. The show officially has gone from spine-tingling creepy to jump-out-of-your-seat scary, the tone and music upping the suspense factor.
Wes and Claire Work Together
Wes and Claire car pool to the nuclear power plant with Homeland Security already on the scene. Sean’s been spotted in the area, perhaps trying to cause some kind of a nuclear disaster. The pair questions if it’s really a meltdown Sean’s after. Why would he need to show up at the plant itself for that? He must be after something else. While they’re trying to put the puzzle together, Sean and Dr. Benavidez (still kidnapped) sneak into the facility as it’s being evacuated.
Sean shows that he’s just a Drill tool with no knowledge of what the master plan is or what part he plays. He hands over his gun to the doc and says, “Shoot me if I do something bad.” He has some kind of a seizure and is quickly taken into custody. So the big, nuclear meltdown is avoided. Nah, that’s too easy.
Henry’s Bike Ride
Henry is off on his bike expedition, following each of the riddle-me-this instructions. A random kid he passes by points a scary finger down the road, telling him where to go. Claire figures out that the nuclear plant fiasco may just be a ruse, a distraction, to get what Sean really wants — his son.
Claire races off to find the boy, only to discover his discarded bike on the side of the road.
Henry’s final destination is a tunnel, where he wanders through the darkness, flashlight in hand, asking, “Drill, are you there?”
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Nail Biting Time
Drill can’t be thwarted that easily. The threat of a nuclear meltdown is back on. The temperature of the reactors is rising, the real possibility of a full meltdown coming into effect. Again. Homeland Security suggests an evacuation zone of six miles. The only other option is to flood the reactors. One big problem: that tunnel thing Henry is in is really one of the pipes they are threatening to flood!
Claire won’t evacuate, taking off to look for her son. “He’s all I have left.” Wes says, “Not all.” So that not-really-over-each-other thing that’s been hinted at has come out in the open. Taking bets on how many more episodes before these two are back together.
More Nail Biting
Not only does the scare-meter reach new heights, but the suspense is off the charts in this episode. The final scenes of Claire desperately searching for her son are hold-your-breath worthy. Wes tries to stall the flooding as Claire races through the plant, not able to find Henry. She finally locates him, but he’s locked in a room she can’t get to, about to be full of water in about two minutes. Claire won’t leave, confessing to her former lover, “Wes, I’m sorry for everything.”
“I don’t want to lose you, Claire,” Wes says, knowing there’s nothing he can do.
At the last possible moment, Sean shows up to rescue Henry, covering an opening to prevent the water from reaching the room. That’s why Sean had to be there, to prevent the water from reaching the reactors.
Henry’s Secret is Out
It’s Wes’ turn to freak out, his family now at risk as the nuclear plant is about to blow. A weird smoke monster, reminiscent of Lost, puffs out and then back into the facility. I guess that indicates the crisis is over? A little anti-climactic, but we’ll take it if thousands can be saved, right?
Claire, Henry and Sean rush out of the nuclear plant, immediately met by the FBI. Sean’s taken into custody as Henry screams out, “Stop hurting him!”
Claire can’t believe her son just spoke, not knowing he’s been faking the deafness. “How is that possible?” she asks, a shocked look spread across her face.
“It was supposed to be a secret between me and Drill,” he answers.
The final scene shows Minx watching the news with her mom, saying she knew it would turn out all right and no one would get hurt.
“Grown-ups don’t really know what’s going on, even when they think they do,” she says smugly, indicating a brattiness that predates Drill.
The Whispers went from a mild mystery to a fright mystery in “Meltdown.” The usual creep-tingling mood was replaced with something more frightening thanks to the Minx maneuverings. It offered us a little character development, both in the relationship of Wes and Claire, as well as in the tortured, amnesiac Sean. It also promised us that major reveals will go down in the next episode with Drill “entering the building.” Who’s excited for that one? I know I’ll be back hoping to catch a glimpse of this villain/alien/man/whatever.
The Whispers airs Mondays at 10pm on ABC.
(Image courtesy of ABC)