The Mosquito Coast – Season 2 Episode 1 “The Damage Done” Recap & Review

The Damage Done

Episode 1 of The Mosquito Coast season 2 begins with a tantalizing glimpse for the future. Allie and the family are onboard a river boat. Margot looks at her husband, a concerned look plastered on her face. “We need to tell them the truth.” She says.

We then cut back 13 years ago. Allie shows up for work at UBU, but he’s nervous and reading from his notes, with his assistant Pavani by his side. He discusses his bird migration and is encouraged to talk less about pandemics in relation to the avian flu, and more about upbeat topics.

Allie decides to skip out on rehearsals and returns to his hotel room, alone. Things with Margot are dicey, and she’s actually seeing a guy called Richard, who has quite the shady history, including plenty of talks about the future.

Allie shows up for his big pitch… but it doesn’t go well. The investors are worried about the predictive intelligence gathering algorithm he has and how it’s “disruptive in this space”. Instead, they want him to help trial the tech through a program with the NSA.

Allie is not happy but Pavani is quick to point out this is just part of business. Well, Allie heads home and decides to hack into the system and uncover everything there is to know about Richard, including a rather sketchy history regarding a laboratory explosion. Anyway, Allie flags up on the system but by the time a team arrive at UCU, he’s long gone. Now, it’s worth pointing out at this point that Allie didn’t wear gloves through any of this, so a lovely bit of dusting would find their culprit immediately. Anyway, we know Allie isn’t the sharpest guy and he’s actually caught outside the building and brought in for questioning.

This story, with Allie accessing the Metadata illegally gathered against American citizens, is what led to Allie being chased and endangering the entire family. So why did Margot drop everything? She tells Dina it’s because she “loves her father” but there’s definitely more to it than that.

It turns out Margot and Richard actually domestic terrorists. Margot had been arrested a bunch of times before but she’s on course for the biggest job of her life. While she heads out after making a bomb, Allie is offered a deal to work with the authorities rather than against them. Deciding to think it over, he’s allowed to go.

Outside, Allie hurriedly calls Margot and tells her to stop what she’s doing. She does not. And Allie hacks back into the system and immediately knows the jig is up. He pays his neighbour $500 to act as a decoy, driving the police away from his apartment, while he scrambles to find Margot. Just before he does, Allie completely locks up the system and prevents anyone else from accessing it, including the NSA.

While Margot and Richard plant their bomb inside the Biotech lab, disguised as cleaners, Marot notices an employee heading back into the building after-hours. She immediately tells her to stop and attempts to chase after her, not wanting to be responsible for the death of an innocent.

Richard speeds off, while Allie arrives at the gate, caught on CCTV of course, and pries his way inside. In doing so, he notices the bomb blast go off, which kills the scientist inside. Margot is stunned, and realizing Richard has betrayed them and needing a way out, they both head out on the run.

Back in the present, Margot reflects on her choices and questions with Allie whether they should tell the kids the truth about what happened. For now, they decide to keep it a secret.

The Episode Review

While Netflix have a reputation for cancelling far more shows than they should, Apple have built a reputation for renewing way more than they should. The Mosquito Coast did absolutely nothing to win people over when it dropped last year, with a series of episodes that increased the head-scratching decisions the family made. None of the central characters were all that likable and the action set pieces eventually petered out into a series of thrilling chases for the sake of progression.

Season 2 then attempts to mix things up but this flashback-heavy chapter does nothing to help matters. Learning that Margot was a domestic terrorist and responsible for murdering someone isn’t a great start to build empathy or bring people onboard to her plight, and the lethargic pace for this sleepy premiere is unlikely to entice people to stick with this for the long haul. And this is a long one.

With one episode releasing a week, The Mosquito Coast sputters and struggles to get going. Hopefully next week’s episode is an improvement.

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