Apple TV+ thriller The Mosquito Coast kisses its second season — and a number of its characters — goodbye in this week’s show. The season two finale skids into a violent confrontation that leaves many dead, but answers a lot of important questions in the process.
The Fox family — Dina, Charlie, Margot and Allie — is still on the run. And they all know they want different things out of life. Can they work it out in time to escape the repercussions of the sundry terrorist events that have been escalating all season? This frankly shocking episode of The Mosquito Coast looks at all that and more.
Mosquito Coast recap: ‘Eulogy’
Season 2, episode 10: In the episode, entitled “Eulogy,” the whole commune turns out for the funeral of Silvia (played by Claudia Pineda). She was killed in last week’s episode by Bautista’s (Daniel Raymont) thugs when they came to grab Allie Fox (Justin Theroux). Isela (Natalia Cordova-Buckley) and everyone else agree that Silvia was the best of them — a woman who lived with radical decency and gentleness. Unfortunately, the world is running out of room for people like that.
Allie finally tells Margot (Melissa George) about Dina (Logan Polish), just as he and Charlie (Gabriel Bateman) are picking her up from the resort she fled to yesterday. Allie apologizes, and they go to a quiet corner of the resort to talk.
Dina admits she was rash to want to leave, but she knows she doesn’t like living down here in the jungle. She’s shrewd enough to see that this is not the life Allie was dreaming of when they first fled the United States. The trouble is, neither of them knows what’s best. Allie wants to keep living off the grid, as is his wont, and Dina does not. So where does that leave them?
It’s a family affair
When Margot and Charlie join them, things get even more complicated. Margot wants badly to go back to the States, even to turn herself in if neccesary. Allie obviously feels he’s worked too hard to give into this.
They’re so wrapped up in their heart-to-heart that they don’t notice something odd happening with a couple of the staff. Turns out the operation that recidivist eco-terrorist Richard (Ariyon Bakare) didn’t pull yesterday to draw out Margot’s treachery is currently happening in the resort. That’ll show fat-cat Americans not to come and destroy this land, eh?
Charlie finally sees Richard and runs to pursue him, passing Bautista’s father (Fernando Larrañaga) and sister (Cosima Cabrera) on the way. If Richard kills Bautista’s family, there won’t be anyone standing in his way going forward. Also, those vacuous girls from Connecticut that Dina met yesterday? Turns out they’re guests of Carter Albrecht (Reed Diamond).
Something’s definitely up
Allie and Margot get a bad feeling about this gathering of real-estate hotshots. And then they start to see familiar faces from Bautista’s gang dressed as hotel wait staff. They then realize, too late, that they don’t know where Charlie and Dina are. They’re in a staircase spying on Richard’s guys headed up to the conference room where Carter and Andrea are meeting to sign over the deed to the rain forest.
Bautista and William Lee (Ian Hart) show up soon after. Charlie attempts to confront Richard, but Richard just grabs him and brings him into the conference room as another hostage.
Richard tries to leave before they commit any real violence, but Bautista won’t be persuaded. He shoots Richard when he tries to get Charlie to safety. Allie manages to get to the conference room before hotel security swarms the building, but Bill Lee shoots him in the back as he’s fleeing. Still, Allie gets to one of Richard’s detonators first and blows the building, allowing Charlie, Dina and Margot enough time to escape.
End of the road?
I’m not 100% they actually kill Allie Fox here, even though it seems pretty conclusive that they do. He’s not in the finale where they celebrate the making of ice using a machine Allie patented years before. (That’s an important plot point from the Paul Theroux novel on which the show is based.)
But then, they’re on a big island — Allie could be anywhere. It seems like bad form to kill the character before allowing him to sink even further into monstrousness (the point of the book) in trying to preserve his vision of utopia. And it leaves the show very little room to go elsewhere.
Maybe this is just plain and simple the end of the road for this show. The Mosquito Coast can’t be cheap to produce, after all. But I was still hoping to be able to see that final heel turn from a character I find so fascinating in his slippery equivalencies. Alas.
A great season two finale for The Mosquito Coast
Still, what a great way to go out. The whole episode is replete with ratcheting tension between the family and everyone around them as the plot falls into place while they’re busy hashing out their differences. Charlie’s explosion (good work from actor Gabriel Bateman) finally releases all this nervous, manic energy the character’s been storing up all season until he had a captive audience. That’s more satisfying to me than if they’d let Charlie keep developing into a psychopath.
Plus, Dina finally admitting she wouldn’t even know how to live in the real world is both depressing and satisfying. What else is there for her to look forward to? I mean, living back in reality has its own drawbacks, as we can all attest. Wouldn’t it be simpler to just do things your own way?
Margot finally being free of Allie’s improvised and weaponized love and care means she can breathe a little easier. But it’s also difficult because she hasn’t known anything else for more than a decade. I hope we get to see more in a third season of The Mosquito Coast, but I’ll be satisfied if this where they leave it.
Watch The Mosquito Coast on Apple TV+
You can now stream the first two seasons of The Mosquito Coast on Apple TV+.
Watch on: Apple TV+
Scout Tafoya is a film and TV critic, director and creator of the long-running video essay series The Unloved for RogerEbert.com. He has written for The Village Voice, Film Comment, The Los Angeles Review of Books and Nylon Magazine. He is the author of Cinemaphagy: On the Psychedelic Classical Form of Tobe Hooper, the director of 25 feature films, and the director and editor of more than 300 video essays, which can be found at Patreon.com/honorszombie.