Harper’s Island 1.03 “Ka-Blam” Recap

Straight from the land of shiny new laptops (huzzah!) comes more murder, mayhem, and mystery as the Sheriff tries to determine if Kelly’s death was indeed an accident, and sweet revenge is had by one of the wedding guests.

Previously: Hunter’s on the Island, he’s a bad guy, but Wellington’s brought him to break up Henry and Trish. Cal got strung up by a hunter’s trap and Sully left him there so he could flirt with Chloe. Kelly and Abby bonded over their dead mothers and Abby didn’t let Kelly’s belief that Wakefield was still alive deter her from offering to let the girl live in LA with her. She also noted that JD an Kelly were sleeping together. Lucy fell in a pit trap and got bar-b-que’d, her dog, Gigi’s, fate is unknown. And last, but not least, Kelly was found hanging from a rafter in her home – apparently a suicide. Or was it?

The dead: Cousin Ben (never seen), Uncle Marty, the preacher, Kelly, Lucy…and yet Cal and Chloe still live. I’m trying hard not to be disappointed by the fact.

After our obligatory opening shots of island porn, the camera drifts lightly over the bikini-clad body of Abby, floating in the inn’s pool serenely. She looks up and sees Beth who I’d forgotten was on this show except for her pic in the character gallery. she invites Beth in and Beth laughs as the serenity of the moment is completely broken by the gaggle of groomsmen who just took flying leaps into the pool. Shenanigans ensue as the camera begins wandering around, showing Wellington and Katherine sipping champagne and finally settling on Richard, watching Katherine and Wellington sipping champagne from a distant balcony. If you think it sounds creepy, you’re probably right.

richardHenry comes up behind Richard asking him how he can manage to deal with marrying into the Wellington clan. His answer is vague, much like his personality at this point, and mostly revolves around Shea and Madison being happy and well cared-for. When asked about his own happiness he replies, “Well you just…find a way.” The camera pans back to Wellington and Katherine, and yes, that falling anvil means it’s really on Katherine.

It’s time for skeet-shooting with the Wellingtons. Ka-blam! (But not the one we’re looking for.) Unsurprisingly, Mr. Wellington is quite adept and Trish cheers her father on, while slyly suggesting that Henry take a shot at “dethroning the king”. He looks as though he’s considering it as Wellington misses his final shot. He is not amused by this as Henry takes his place.

Meanwhile Madison’s in a flowerbed, pulling the blooms off the flowers and tossing them into the brush. She’s practicing being the “flower girl”, see? Shea tries to tell her to stop, but Richard excuses it, it’s not like she has anyone her age to play with. At least she’s not burning snails anymore.

As Henry starts setting up, a message is delivered to him. Trish watches as he reads it with a serious expression and she walks up, asking if everything’s OK. Anyone with eyes can see it’s not, but love is blind and today, so is Trish so she believes him when he shrugs it off. As her father asks if Henry’s ready she reminds him that he has a toast to write for that evening, thanking Wellington for his hospitality. Oh, that should be fun. Henry gets set and with a peck on the cheek, Trish cheers him on. He gets in tying distance with Wellington and Richard asks him if he has what it takes. Katherine smirks in his direction and that pair already creep me right the hell out and we haven’t even gotten to the “good parts” yet.

In case you didn’t see it coming a mile away, Henry chokes, I choose to believe intentionally.

At the local medical center/coroner’s office, the Sheriff is asking the local doc to do an autopsy. The Doc’s sad, he delivered Kelly, now he has to do her post. As he pulls down the sheet, we see one of her tattoos, it’s of The Tree with the words, “John Wakefield, John Wakefield, Come back for me.” Creepy, yes, but not as much as this next bit. As the Sheriff and the Doc chat, the Doc checks her eyes. Calling the Sheriff over, the camera gives us a beautiful shot of Kelly’s dead face and REALLY blood-red eyes. That? Is not petechial hemmoraging. That? Is the showrunner’s deliberate attempt to shake me off. Teeth and eyes, my two weaknesses, but I will not be deterred and that cap will be in the end gallery.

…SLICE! Titles, ‘One by one…’

Jesus Christ, he’s sticking a needle in her eye for a sample! That’s NOT FAIR, show. But the camera thankfully cuts away as the doc begins to list off some facts. The red in her eyes is not exactly typical (ya think!?), there’s some skin beneath her fingernails (JD’s, but you already guessed that, right?), and there is evidence of sexual activity. They are setting JD up so hard for this fall, it’s not even funny.

We cut back to pool shenanigans as Chloe and Cal appear, Cal moving a bit awkwardly after spending the majority of the previous day upside-down. Sully can’t imagine what she sees in him and Abby helpfully provides the “he’s a nice guy” defense. Sully doesn’t buy it and swims off to the end of the pool where the C&C Annoyance Factory have arranged themselves. I find it amusing to note that Cal’s in slacks and button-down and vest…and Chloe’s in a bikini. We’re getting a lot of skin in this episode folks. Once there, Sully delivers the most half-assed apology EVER, culminating with the offer to buy Cal a beer. The couple are about as impressed as I am and neither says a word to him as he sloooowly swims away, watching Chloe the entire time. Back with the group, the wedding party is still kidding around when the Sheriff shows up, asking to talk to Abby.

She doesn’t look happy, but nods.

Back in Henry and Trish’s room the former is pensive and the latter thinks he’s upset about losing to her father. She slides her arms around him and he asks if she’d choose him. If she had to choose between him and her father, would she choose him? Picking up an extra invitation from a stack that just happens to be there, she tells him that in three days, it’s her and him together…forever. Actually, that’s, “until death do you part,” but why be picky, right? He smiles, they kiss, and she excuses herself to go into town for something. Staying behind, Henry waits until she’s out of sight before pulling out a note that tells him Hunter Jennings is staying at the Pines Motel.

Busted! Part One. Oh, yes, there are multiple parts to this busting.

The Sheriff is there to tell Abby about Kelly’s apparent suicide and Abby’s duly surprised, but he swiftly brings up the valid point that Kelly? Had a few issues. Abby asks how Kelly did it and the Sheriff hesitates before telling her that Kelly hanged herself, like Wakefield did their mothers. They have a mini-snarling match and the Sheriff asks if there was anyone else who may have talked to Kelly the day before. Thinking of JD, Abby lies through her teeth and says, “Nothing comes to mind.”

In a ladies boutique, Trish is trying on wedding-night lingerie. See? They’re making up for last episode’s distinct lack of skin. It can be rule number two in our drinking game – showing skin. I’ll even go either sex to make it fair. She asks the sales rep for something in white, and a hand not-so-helpfully sticks in a black lacy number. Trish reiterates that she wanted white, but Hunter says he’d prefer the black. Oh, that’s not gonna creep her out at all, is it? Sure enough, she ends up slapping him before quickly donning more clothing and mentioning that it was really tacky going to her father for help. Hunter’s confused, so Trish helpfully tells him the load of BS her father told her the day before: Hunter asked her father for help getting her back and Daddy said, “No.” Hunter doesn’t look happy that her father ratted him out, but he still tries his sales pitch again, this time with extra-sexy voice and a little bit of nuzzling. Trish’s eyes close and swoosh! The sales lady pulls back the curtain with the requested lingerie in her hands. She stammers, assuming that’s the groom and the spell is broken.

Your recapper would like you to know that shirtless JD does not balance out the skimpy ladies, but DRINK! nonetheless. He’s obviously just out of the shower and we can see that Kelly clawed him up pretty good when Abby knocks on the door asking to be let in. He tosses on a shirt and opens the door sticking his head out. Hesitantly, Abby tells him Kelly’s dead. “That’s weird.” Is all he has to say before we cut to commercial. After, Abby’s made it all the way into the room where she can give JD more details. He doesn’t have much to add. He said she was happy after Abby said she could stay with her in LA, not suicidal. Finally, Abby asks the million-dollar question did Kelly mention John Wakefield at all. “She didn’t have to.” JD saw all the tattoos.

sm-twinsKatherine walks into a room, I’m not sure who’s it is, but there’s a shotgun mysteriously left on the bed. The soundtrack gets nervous as she approaches when Richard pops up from behind, grabbing her by the hair and accusing her of telling her husband that he’s weak. “Take off your blouse.” Really, show, really?! On top of everything else we now have Katherine and Richard, the S&M Twins. And if you thought he was serious about the whole rapist shtick the first time you saw this…I can’t help you. I will give them both points for making my skin crawl the entire scene, though.

Back in another room, Trish is modeling the wedding dress. There was some debate in the forums about the dress, but I want to go on record by saying I like it. I think the sash could be a little thinner, but the silhouette is flattering and the color is a nice splash. Shea and Beth love it and begin gushing when Trish’s phone rings. Helpfully, Beth picks it up and sees the caller ID. It’s Hunter. His existence is, like the worst kept secret on the island now. Trish insists she’s taking care of the “Hunter situation” and Beth seems skeptical. Bless Shea for asking for more backstory, but all we get is that back in college, Trish’s mouth said “no”, and her body said “yes”. She insists that this is no longer the case, “I love Henry, and I’m marrying him in this dress in three days.”

The more people say that, the less I think it’s gonna happen.

Elsewhere, Richard and Cal are ogling Chloe who is outside doing yoga. Richard wants to know how Cal “landed her.” Simple, doofus, he’s a doctor, he’s rich and he has an accent. Plus, the writers knew I’d be able to get some mileage out of my C&C Annoyance Factory joke. But really – it’s the accent and Cal really hopes she doesn’t meet a cooler British person. “Or any British person.” Richard helpfully adds. As they watch, Sully approaches Chloe and they walk off together. Cal claims that he’s totally OK with that, he knows Sully’s not British. Also, when Richard brings up the whole hanging thing, Cal says Sully apologized. Like that makes it all better.

At the motel, we begin to learn that Henry’s not exactly the pushover we may have thought him to be as he chats up Ruth the Desk Lady thanking her for the tip. It was no problem, she was just surprised he’d asked her to keep an eye out. They share a no room at the inn joke as Henry smoothly talks the room key out of her. Once inside the searching begins. Henry’s coming up empty until he finds the itinerary for trip…billed to Wellington.

Busted. Part 2.

But before Henry can do the kinda-happy-dance, there’s a sound at the door and he’s forced to hide in the closet as Hunter returns from wherever he was. As Henry watches, clutching a letter opener he drops his phone and his keys on the bed and heads to the bathroom. While washing his face, he hears a noise and goes to investigate. But first, he has to hang his jacket up…in the now empty closet. He turns, and on the bed are the itinerary and the letter opener. How curious.

In the spa Chloe’s watching sully get slathered with a honey-treatment. Shirtless Sully. DRINK! There’s some banter and the spa attendant places cucumber on Sully’s eyes and walks out. Sully’s still talking and decides to ask Chloe what Cal has that he doesn’t. “A pillow.” Cal supplies as we see him shake feathers out all over Sully’s honey-drenched body. Sully kinda sits there in shock for a moment as Cal gives his sweetheart a kiss with a “Nicely played love.” Snapping out of it, Sully shouts and he jumps up, holding a towel about his private parts. Cal flees. Out in the waiting room, Wellington, Booth, Malcolm and Danny are sitting together when the chase passes right behind them. There is the obligatory pause, and then the obligatory laughing.

I forgive Cal and Chloe a lot for that prank – that was AWESOME.

jdtruckJD’s walking along a forest road with his headphones on. Behind him, a truck pulls in. JD can’t hear it but he turns just in time to see it hit him head-on, throwing him up on the hood. He falls to the ground and a pair of ominous legs get out and kick him.

You know, if they hadn’t made such a big deal out of Shane’s truck with the dead deer last episode that would be so much more suspenseful…

At the Sheriff’s office, Abby’s arrived to tell her father that she doesn’t think Kelly killed herself. He calls her on lying about JD, but states again that it’s probably suicide. He does, however follow up with a question about Shane bothering the two of them the day before. Abby snits, yeah, but since he’s not investigating, why would he want to talk to Shane?

Which is why we immediately cut next to Shane’s place, where he has a coil of rope on his shoulder, and a Sheriff pulling up the drive. The make Kelly’s dead small talk. Shane admits to scaring her the day before, but points out they broke up awhile ago and helpfully provides an alibi for the night before. “Seen JD Dunn today?” Nope, Shane says he hasn’t, but then they’re not exactly that close. The Sheriff tells him to take care and drives off and Shane walks to his truck, opening the back. Not surprisingly, JD’s inside. “Did you hear that? The Sheriff thinks you killed Kelly. Know what? I think he’s right.”

We cut to the pier, where Abby’s interrogating, um, talking to Nikki who tells us more about Kelly’s obsession with John Wakefield. We get it. No, really, we do. But Nikki keeps going until she realizes that she she’s going on and on about the guy that killed Abby’s mom, too. Oops. She stops and Abby floats the theory that maybe Kelly was being stalked, maybe even by Shane who was abusive toward the end of their relationship.

And now it’s Extortion Time with your hosts, Hunter and Wellington. In the latter’s room the former arrives with a new deal. Since Daddy ratted him out, it will cost him fifty grand to go away, or Hunter will tell Trish the whole thing. Wellington makes no deal, it is Hunter’s word against his, after all, and Hunter leaves. But you don’t really think he’s gone, do you?

Elsewhere, a note is being slipped under Trish’s door. It’s from Hunter, an invitation to “make this work,” and it includes a room number for her to join him in. She looks tempted…or just confused…it’s hard to tell.

Even more elsewhere, Abby Drew has hied herself to Shane’s place. Needless to say there’s no answer at the front door, but she hears a mysterious noise from the shed. She goes to investigate. This should be good.

But I don’t get to see it because we cut to Trish walking toward the hotel room of destiny. I note, and not for the first time, that the director is really fond of those long hallway shots. He should really stop watching The Shining, he’ll only disappoint himself. (Warning: You Tube clip has blood!)

And we’re back with Abby, again, some more, poking around behind the shed where Shane’s been skinning the deer he’s caught. At least I hope that’s what’s hanging all over.

Trish is at the hotel room door, reaching out to open it when she sees her engagement ring. (And all I can say is, DAMN Henry, what do you do for a living anyway?) She looks at it for a moment and then walks away. Inside, we can see her feet under the door leave…and so can Henry, who set this up as a test of his fiancee’s loyalty. He looks very relieved, I must say.

abbyandshanesknifeAbby Drew has finally reached the inside of the shed where JD is strung up and gagged. Sure enough, as soon as Abby realizes what she’s seeing, Shane sneaks up behind her. “Looking for me?” We cut to commercial. And the barganing for JD’s life begins as soon as we’re back with Abby trying to convince Shane that Kelly’s death isn’t JD’s or Shane’s fault. But Shane’s not having it…until Abby pops up with her “Kelly was murdered” theory. Then he just looks confused. Especially when Abby names John Wakefield as the stalker/murderer, watching Kelly, coming into her house, basically regurgitating everything that Nikki had told her earlier. Shane begins to look convinced, and as Abby continues, the camera cuts to the outside where the Sheriff’s sneaking around, listening. And yet, no one’s doing anything because the writers prepared this lovely murderous monologue for Elaine Cassidy and we’d hate to cut her off before she’s finished.

Well, before she’s mostly finished because the Sheriff finally comes bursting in, gun drawn, and orders Shane to drop the knife he’s holding. This scares the crap out of Shane so he jumps back, knocking JD off the stool he was standing on in a semi-brilliant bit of slapstick. I’m probably supposed to think, “OMG – he’s gonna hang,” but mostly I just wait because sure enough Shane and the Sheriff hold him up while Abby picks up the knife and cuts the rope. Everyone stands around breathing hard and we transition out to…

…the fancy dinner party where Henry’s supposedly making a toast to Wellington. As Henry watches, Wellington and an associate discuss real estate and Richard’s lack of business sense regarding it. Aside from being yet another example of Welling dumping on his son-in-law, it’s boring and I’m glad the anonymous associate sees Henry and bows out. In what is a curious re-creation of the scene with Uncle Marty, Henry tells Wellington the following:

  1. Wellington’s a bully.
  2. He knows about Hunter.
  3. He won’t tell Trish (but he totally could).
  4. He’s going to marry Trish whether Wellington approves or not.

In other words, busted. Part three.

I would be tempted to cheer except Trish has arrived and either she heard that last bullet point, or she’s just reading the tension on Henry’s face. Either way, she doesn’t look very happy and she leads Henry off as Katherine joins her husband.

Back at Shane’s Shack of Despair, Shane’s being assisted into the back of the Sheriff’s SUV while JD and Abby look on. Once secure, the Sheriff turns to his daughter and tells her that was quite the story she was telling. She says she was just trying to keep Shane’s attention, but adds that she still thinks Kelly was murdered. Her father won’t agree or disagree, but he adds that Kelly was a good kid and if someone did do that to her, he’s gonna make him pay.

calsapologyAt the fancy party’s bar, the groomsmen are giving Sully a well-deserved hard time. Cal slides up and with a wicked grin and pretty much serves Sully his exact apology right back to him, complete with the offer of a beer. The groomsmen can barely keep from laughing and Danny even gives Cal a fist bump. Hell, revenge that sweet, I might have, too. They even manage fake sneezes so they can blow feathers on Sully again. Henry comes up as Sully’s about to storm off to kill Cal, and firmly tells him “no”. He left Cal strung up like a pinata, Cal honey and feathered him. They’re even.

Hunter slides into the room via a side entrance (see, worst secret EVER!) as Wellington gets a text, “$50,000 or I tell Trish the Truth.” Wellington and Katherine look up, see Hunter and Wellington nods. Hunter will get his money. Satisfied, he slides back out of the room as we quickfade to Henry tapping on his glass to give his toast. It starts out gracious enough, thanks for the dinner, thanks for the week, thanks for fathering Trish, but instead of leaving it there Henry continues. He knows many people were wondering if Wellington would ever accept the guy who used to clean his boat as his son-in-law, but the happy truth of the matter is…he doesn’t have a choice. It’s said with a smile and a hand on Wellington’s shoulder but you can practically smell the hostility through the screen. The audience laughs as he finishes and everyone clinks glasses.

Later, on the docks, Hunter is getting ready to leave as Wellington appears, almost out of nowhere, to give him his check. Hunter takes it with a smirk and starts the engine to pull out of the slip.

You know what? We haven’t killed anyone this ENTIRE episode. Not even an extra. We’re due, aren’t we?

redbearBack at Kelly’s house, the Sheriff is doing the CSI Flashlight Fandango, looking for clues that someone else may have been there the previous night. Sitting on what appears to be a jewelry box is a gold bear with fake ruby eyes. Flashing back to Kelly’s crimson gaze, he picks it up WITHOUT GLOVES DAMMIT!!! and looks at it carefully before setting it down.

Hunter’s out on the open water, heading back to the mainland. He looks over and barely concealed under the co-pilot’s seat is…Uncle Marty’s bag. Yep, when Hunter reaches over to open it up, it’s all the cash and even the gun. Wasn’t it nice of the killer to put it back?

The Sheriff opens the jewelry box and starts nosing around. He pulls up the tray and finds an article with a headline about him killing John Wakefield.

While Hunter picks up one of the bundles of cash with a chuckle, the boat’s engine sputters and rattles to a stop. He tries to restart, but no joy. He gets up to check the engine, but the hatch’s latch is stuck. He tugs once or twice and it finally pops up, revealing a shotgun which promptly blasts him dead in the face. Ka-blam, indeed. The gunstock has a small plaque on it, “Made for the Candlewick Inn,” just in case we missed all of the gun porn from earlier in the episode. The boat simply floats there, adrift.

Still looking at the article, the Sheriff gets a call. It’s our coroner with the results of Kelly’s autopsy. That substance in her eyes? Wasn’t blood, it was ink. The Sheriff sounds perplexedly unaffected by this confirmation that Kelly was, indeed, murdered. Possibly because as we watch, the camera pans down the rest of the article. The accompanying picture of the Sheriff has had it’s eyes colored over in red and there’s a message scrawled across it in red lettering.



Scroll on over to the next page for the gallery, or if you can’t wait for next episode’s recap to find out the latest victim, check out our Character Overviews. Every week, it’s a big red ‘x’over who died and a description on how they went, courtesy of our own Astro Jones.

And if you care to speculate, debate, or get irate over the events on the Island, check out our Harper’s Island Forums. Also? It’s an awesome place to ask if that person did that thing that time on that episode, or if you’re just imagining things.


This is where the writers decided it was war.

This is where the writers decided it was war.

Now they're just showing off.

Now they’re just showing off.

And this is what I wanted to use on them after those autopsy shots.

And this is what I wanted to use on them after those autopsy shots.

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