“Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere” is a dangerous border crossing as the Fox family seek shelter in Mexico.
This recap of The Mosquito Coast season 1, episode 3, “Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere”, contains spoilers.
The Fox family is still on the run. And so, unfortunately for him, is Chuy, who is in a particularly bad mood following the death of Juan and the fact that he’s now not only wanted in America but persona non grata in Mexico, which is where Allie and co. are heading. He doesn’t exactly have anything positive to say about that ill-fated quest, either — he tells the entire family outright that they’re going to die. At this point, he might be right.
Allie, though, has a plan, which includes a shortcut through an Air Force bombing range since they don’t have enough water to take the longer, safer route. This obviously renders Chuy surplus to requirements, but not so fast, since Allie needs him to contact someone on the other side to pick them up, and since he can rewire an emergency beacon to give him a phone signal and has a bag full of cash to pay off whoever he calls, it seems like Chuy is sticking around. As Allie says, “As far as bad plans go this one’s actually pretty good,” before once again repeating, “It’ll be an adventure.” I’m sure it will — but for who?
Chuy — who Margot doesn’t trust, rather bitchily considering how well they got on during their dance-off — is as curious about what Allie is running from as the rest of us. “Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere” doesn’t seem as interested in sharing that information as either of the two previous episodes were. But there’s plenty to be getting on with, in the meantime. No sooner have the gang arrived at the bombing range, they’re pursued — maybe — by an aircraft and have to take shelter in a bombed-out building with the corpse of what one assumes is an ill-fated border crosser inside.
Allie searches the corpse — Margot’s “Jesus, Allie,” is probably a good summary of their entire relationship — while lamenting how so many people attempting to cross the border preserve their water for as long as they can and end up dying with plenty of the very thing that could have saved them to spare. Allie tops up his own supply from the dead man’s canteen. At least it came in useful eventually.
The Mosquito Coast episode 3 reveals some details about Chuy that almost guarantee he’s going to die soon — he has a nine-year-old daughter in Mexico who he hasn’t seen since he was little, and he reckons that now he’s going back there, despite owing money to some bad people, he’ll be able to rekindle a relationship with her. He also thinks that Allie is crazy and that Margot and the kids would be better off going home, though he’s probably right about that one. Still, despite him asking and Dina asking earlier, Margot isn’t willing to spill the beans about what Allie actually did, though she does assure Dina he never hurt anyone.
Chuy also doesn’t want to take a shortcut to the emergency beacon which Allie insists they take, for similarly undisclosed reasons. Everyone is so cagey in this show! When they get there, though, we find out what the issue is. Allie insists “it’s nature,” but Chuy isn’t so sure about that. The path is littered with corpses, rotted, blindfolded husks laid to rest with little wooden crosses as memorials. Chuy says they’ve been there since he was a kid, though nobody really knows the story of what happens. He suspects a coyote on his last run just shot and left them, but burying them would have been bad luck, as would disturbing them, so naturally, the first thing Allie does is instruct everyone to loot the corpses.
When some passing coyotes and a group of illegals notice this disturbance, they suspect that someone is in the valley and begin searching, weapons drawn. The Fox family remains hidden, but Chuy gets bitten by a snake, which is never good news. The bite itself won’t kill him, apparently, but he’ll quickly dehydrate and die if they don’t get moving, and Allie needs him to make that phone call. The bite takes a turn quickly, though, and Chuy ends up flat on his back, delirious. But the emergency beacon is nearby, and Allie is able to rewire it while Chuy is still alive, giving him enough time to place a call to “a waystation for migrants”. His contact, Enrique, doesn’t usually go north of the border, but he’s swayed by the fact that the Fox family are Americans, “politicals”. He gives Chuy a meeting location, which he shares with everyone else before promptly collapsing. Allie uses the poles and wiring of the emergency beacon to fashion a stretcher so they can drag him there.
As The Mosquito Coast season 1, episode 3 ends, that butterfly we’re becoming so familiar with alights on a windowsill right beside the men who will take them into Mexico. They tend to Chuy, assuring Margot he’ll be okay, and take the rest of the family into their SUVs. The idea that things will be any better where they’re going seems unlikely.