Episode 1 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 2 – | Review Score – 2.5/5
Episode 3 – | Review Score – 2/5
Episode 4 – | Review Score – 2.5/5
Episode 5 – | Review Score – 2/5
Episode 6 – | Review Score – 2/5
Episode 7 – | Review Score – 1.5/5
Everyone loves a good cat and mouse chase. Whether it be a literal chase like Tom and Jerry or a figurate one like Catch Me If You Can, there’s something timelessly endearing with seeing this trope play out. AppleTV’s latest crime thriller takes this idea though and recycles it across 7 breathless episodes. In doing so, the show feels like a bunch of set pieces stitched together with a repetitive story and characters with little depth and illogical motivations.
At the center of this lies Allie Fox and his family. They live off the grid for reasons unknown, evading shadowy forces that threaten to upend their lives at any moment. When his wife Margot phones her Mother to catch up, Allie finds himself forced to flee with the family as their location is compromised and the police close in on him. You see, Allie is a wanted man and with his family kept in the dark as much as we are, the Fox’s uproot and take off for parts unknown.
After a breathless opening episode, Mosquito Coast keeps the pressure up, with the group moving from place to place, narrowly avoiding capture all the way while the family thrust themselves headfirst into situations they really should have been better equipped for.
Along for the ride with our married couple are their kids, Dina and Charlie. Understandably, they’re none too happy with being uprooted from their teenage lives. While Charlie is a little more forgiving of his father, Dina is much less so. In fact, she’s the one driving force here who probes her father constantly to find our what they’re doing and why they’re running.
Although we do get some answers, a lot of the reasoning is held back for the prospects of a second season. Although this has been renewed, it still makes for a difficult journey to invest in across these 7 episodes.
One of the biggest problems with Mosquito Coast comes from the characters themselves. Allie just isn’t that likable and his lack of empathy for anyone around him makes for a very difficult character to get behind. It doesn’t help that his kids are pretty illogical and throw themselves into stupid situations that could have easily been avoided. Without giving too much away, the family constantly run south of the border, but when they get to Mexico find themselves gallivanting outside and even smoking and drinking with other kids. Obviously things go wrong – when it all could have been avoided
Speaking of which, Allie and the family find themselves chased on two fronts as the story progresses, with Mexican gangsters and the police both desperate to hunt the family down for very different reasons. While there is a suitably tense showdown near the end, everything is left unresolved for a second season that may or may not rectify the issues here.
In essence, Mosquito Coast feels like a sped up version of The Walking Dead. The repetitive, cyclical nature of the characters moving from place to place is repeated here but it lacks the compelling, likable characters to actually make it worth investing with.
The only character with a decent arc is actually Margot, who looks set to explode and confront Allie on multiple occasions toward the end of this first season. However, that too is left unresolved as well, with the season throwing all of its chips on a follow-up that may or may not receive a large audience on the back of this.
Binge-watching this show only exemplifies the issues, making The Mosquito Coast a tough sell and a show that’s really rough around the edges.
Based on these 7 episodes, The Mosquito Coast is a misfire for Apple and a show in desperate need of tightening for the follow-up season. With illogical characters, poor plotting and a cyclical story that feels formulaic and lacking originality, The Mosquito Coast is a disappointing effort.