Cat and Mouse
Episode 2 of The Mosquito Coast begins with Allie and Dina racing up to the motel. Unfortunately their car breaks down, forcing them to flee on foot. The pair hurry through a run-down mall, home to various junkies. Using a coke can as a makeshift shiv, Dina helps free Allie from his cuffs as the pair hurry on.
Agent Jones meanwhile, heads over to Josh’s house. They’re desperate to find Allie and the family. When Dina rings, Jones picks up the phone. She implores Dina to cooperate and to reveal their location. Dina refuses, telling her about the greed of America before hanging up.
After a brief pitstop at Allie’s work, the family continue on the run. Allie meets his contact, a man named Hector, who in turn leads Allie to Juan. After some back and forth, Allie eventually encourages the man to help smuggle them across the border.
Before that though, Allie places foil across the car and turn it into a faraday cage. This is all a ploy to distort their electrics and scramble the signal. As Allie heads back inside he decides it’s time for *checks notes* a dance?
After this bizarre moment, the family team up with Juan and bundle in the back of his pick-up truck, driving toward the border. On the way though they’re stopped by a pair of armed guards.
Meanwhile, Agent Jones continues on the hunt for the family, following the breadcrumb trail to her destination. Realizing where they are, Jones finds the foiled car. Given Allie’s expertise, Jones immediately realizes they’re dealing with a faraday cage and they continue their search.
Back with Allie, a tense stand-off ends with our protagonist talking his way out of trouble, at least temporarily. When the men head back to their truck, they overhear a radio transmission come through regarding the family. The description given fits Allie, and they’re forced to submit at gunpoint.
The three armed guards force the family onto their knees but Juan and his friend refuse to do so and start fighting back. Juan is killed in the ensuing gunfight, while the three armed guards are shot dead. With the threat of the authorities on the horizon, the group are forced to pack up and head off on foot.
The Episode Review
The Mosquito Coast returns with a game of cat and mouse, along with some pretty bizarre dancing midway through. This tonally discordant part is thankfully only a brief snippet in what’s otherwise a pretty straight forward and formulaic chase.
The story ahead looks to be split into two parts, with Agent Jones and the authorities hunting down Allie and the gang. On the other side of the conflict, we have Allie trying to evade them.
With so much action and chasing, there’s little in the way of characterization in this episode, save for a few brief Dina moments.
While there’s nothing inherently wrong with that, The Mosquito Coast doesn’t do enough to make this chase meaningful and suspenseful. Sure, there are a few tense segments but this is basically Allie’s plan and the family are just following along with him. What happened to Dina’s moments of rebellion in the previous chapter? What about Margot’s wavering faith?
Perhaps this will be explored in more detail within the episodes to come. For now though, the first two episodes set up an action-packed cat and mouse chase to follow. Whether Apple TV+’s newest show will slow down and allow for some deeper character work to bleed through though, remains to be seen.