The I-Land Recap: An Uphill Climb

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: September 12, 2019 (Last updated: 3 weeks ago)
The I-Land (Netflix) Season 1, Episode 2 recap: "The Gorgeous Palaces"


“The Gorgeous Palaces” proved to be a slight improvement, deepening the mysteries but not quite managing to move past some bouts of stupidity.

This recap of The I-Land Season 1, Episode 2, “The Gorgeous Palaces” contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.

We’re not off to a great start in The I-Land Episode 2, “The Gorgeous Palaces”. In the pre-credits sequence, Chase (Natalie Martinez) spies a raft bobbing in the ocean, and before swimming out to retrieve it decides to remove her weapons and then enter the shark-infested waters despite bleeding profusely from an injured foot. The raft contains a medical kit, a rucksack full of useful items including loose bullets, but unfortunately no magic remedy for stupidity, which is what most of these survivors need.

Dragging the raft on the beach, Chase hides it — badly, it’s bright orange! — and decides to keep its existence to herself. Within a few scenes, she has shared this knowledge with Cooper (Ronald Peet), who seems to have a similar mindset, and within a few more with everyone else when a storm hits and they need to quickly find shelter. She does, however, keep a couple of cases hidden. One is full of medical supplies; the other is locked. As it turns out, the key for it is the bleeping device that was hidden in the conch shell, which Chase figures out by inputting the predictable number of presses: Three, then nine. The number 39 is also pretty prominent among other objects found in the rucksack she took from the raft.

Brody (Alex Pettyfer) and KC (Kate Bosworth) go out to find food in “The Gorgeous Palaces”, which leads to another questionable romantic interaction for Brody. Later, KC opens up to Blair (Sibylla Deen) about what happened, blaming herself, and explaining that she has an “urge living inside her”. Don’t we all.

The I-Land Episode 2 doesn’t go well for Brody, all things considered. He gets into a fight with Cooper and steals Chase’s knife, waving it at everyone, and later he gets into another big argument with Chase and steals her spear, waving it around at everyone. Despite protestations that he’s “just teasing”, his openly violent tendencies don’t go down well with everyone else, and he storms off alone. Weirdly, though, the rest of the group excommunicate Chase as well, presumably for pointing out that her attempted rapist was… you know… a creepy, dangerous sex criminal.

The big discovery of “The Gorgeous Palaces” is a sprawling, abandoned hotel in the forest, discovered by Chase and Cooper during an excursion (he literally has to talk her out of climbing a mountain at night, like that isn’t quite obviously a terribly stupid thing to do.) This will have to wait for subsequent episodes, however, since at the climax of this one, Chase is woken up by the rest of the gang to be dragged onto the beach, where Brody’s corpse is. Someone has stabbed him, and Chase is the obvious suspect. She manages to fight almost everyone off, but KC is able to whack her over the head with a branch, knocking her unconscious. She wakes up in a bizarre, sterile-looking room. What indignities await her in the next episode?

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