The Glass Sandwich
Episode 7 of The Mosquito Coast Season 1 begins this finale with one thing ringing true with this show. The title of this episode. In effect, getting through this has felt like eating a glass sandwich. As we’re forced to pick shards of glass out, the family head off on the run again.
This time, they stop at a gas station and don’t really seem too phased by what they’ve all had to experience. Anyway, the next leg of their journey is interrupted by Bill, who continues his hunt for Allie and the gang. It doesn’t take him long to track down the camper van.
Meanwhile, Allie talks to Dina about her guilt. He reminds her that Agent Jones and the others lied, although Dina shoots back that they were just doing their job. According to Allie, the guy on the run for something to do with bird migration patterns, these agents have “a shitty job.” Just to remind everyone, this is the protagonist talking here.
Anyway, that doesn’t stop Allie from throwing in a heavy handed bit of social exposition about control and buying products from corporations. I can’t decide if this is supposed to be meta or not.
Unlike Allie, the other members of the family are actually having doubts over this entire plan. They intend to head up-river using another contact who will supply them a boat. His nonchalant attitude is enough for Dina to stand up and remind her father that people are dead. Charlie eventually gets involved, prompting the entire family dynamic to come unraveled.
Up until this point Margot has been silent, but tiredly utters “yeah” when Allie asks for a whole list of supplies to send them on their travels. When Allie leaves the car, Margot makes up her mind and decides to head back home. Back to where they first started without Allie. She doesn’t outright say this, but her blank stare to Dina speaks volumes.
While Allie buys his boat, Charlie is forced to hide when Bill and his cronies rock up in town. Charlie eventually grabs his gun and heads out in the open, holding it up to Bill’s right-hand man. He looks set to send the picture of the camper…until Charlie fires at him. The sound of the gunshot ricochets up the beach, prompting Allie to race back into town.
Charlie is overcome with shock and is eventually forced to flee as police arrive at the scene. Unfortunately the family find Charlie has been arrested by the time they show up. Realizing they’re in trouble, the trio walk away while he’s taken into lock-up.
Bill learns what’s happened and races to the scene. Margot is wise to this too and pleads with Allie, telling him to speak to US agents in order to save Charlie and make sure Lucrecia doesn’t come after them. Allie is having none of it though.
Margot refuses to listen and tells him this is definitely happening. “Things can be fixed,” Allie rasps as Dina deliberates over Margot claiming all of this is her fault. Margot refuses to open up though, prompting her to leave the van in a huff.
While Charlie is behind bars, Allie and Dina work together and listen out for the sound of the ocean. Specifically, they follow the clues down to the docks where Allie finds a storm grate that leads all the way to the police cell. It looks like we’re on for a prison break!
Allie heads inside, armed with glow-sticks and a head torch to light the way. He follows the passageway and makes it to the right grate, eventually heading back up to reconvene with Dina once the route has been mapped out.
At the same time, Bill finds out where Charlie is being held and drives methodically up to the police station. He realizes that if he can take out Charlie then he can get to the parents.
Well, Allie’s plan goes ahead just as Bill rocks up in town. The car is prepped ready to blow; Allie has Margot break his nose to pose as a man that’s just been mugged while Dina keeps a lookout. The car outside blows – followed by another couple for presumed effect – sending the police officer out to investigate. There, he runs into Bill who demands he be let inside.
It’s just the opportunity Allie needs to search the office and grab the keys to bust Charlie out of prison. Boy, it sure was lucky the keys were there and not on the officer himself. With no other guards at the station, Charlie and Allie descend down to the basement and make their way through the grates into the tunnels below – but not before leaving a mess in their wake first.
Bill and his men eventually spill into the room but an open window makes it seem like they’ve escaped out that way. Anyway, Allie and Charlie eventually catch up with Dina and Margot, who head up-river just as they always intended.
As the episode closes out, the family happen to be aboard their boat, watching as America drifts away in the distance. Allie tells them all this is “perfect”. Dina, Margot and Charlie however, have a very different outlook.
The Episode Review
Well that was….something. After 7 episodes of cat and mouse chasing, The Mosquito Coast bows out with absolutely nothing resolved and no clear-cut questions about what happened to Allie and Margot. Unless we’re led to believe this all devolves down to bird migration patterns of course.
With a second season still unknown at the time of writing, this seven-episode thriller has been a non-stop ride, with a blistering pace used to try and paper over the glaring issues with this show.
The biggest comes from the characters themselves. Allie is not a likable guy while the kids plunge head-first into dumb choices that make them difficult to root for. There’s also absolutely no comeuppance for any of their actions either. Allie in particular has led his family from danger to danger, with no repercussions thanks to a series of fortunate events allowing him and the family to get away every time.
Meanwhile, Margot is about the only level-headed person here but mentioning how it’s “her fault” asks questions about exactly what she meant by that. Is she really to blame? It seems like Allie is the sole driving force for everything befalling the family. Beyond some vague mention of bird migration routes, there’s not a lot else to really cling to here. Unless I’ve missed something of course.
Either way, this has not been a show to remember and despite some stand-out moments, too often this show has struggled with character development and meaningful arcs. Apple have a good track record of renewing its shows though but we’ll have to wait and see if that comes to fruition or not.