Stupidity abounds in “Elvis, Jesus, Coca-Cola” as the Fox family split up to mixed results.
This recap of The Mosquito Coast season 1, episode 5, “Elvis, Jesus, Coca-Cola”, contains spoilers.
In case you’d forgotten, the Fox family are currently on the run in Mexico, though judging by how casually they’re milling around sampling street food you’d be forgiven for forgetting that they’re on the run from a cartel. That’s Allie’s whole thing, though, isn’t it? He’s so dangerously laidback about everything that he didn’t just bring up his family off-the-grid as a pretty serious fugitive from the NSA, but also took them on a cross-country adventure without a second thought — an adventure that has thus far resulted in several deaths and promises to be responsible for a few more before the whole thing’s over (“Elvis, Jesus, Coca-Cola” even opens with a murder just to make the point clear). At a motel, Allie explains how they can’t talk to anyone except his “friend”, Isela, who has been on the run for so long that he doesn’t even know where she is now. She has previous for destroying genetically modified crops, though, which presumably makes her right up Allie’s street, and he insists that, despite not knowing where she is, that she lives in a beautiful place and is going to let them live there. If he says so!
There is the small matter of that cartel business to attend to, after all, and as a little reminder The Mosquito Coast episode 5 lets us in on Lucretia hiring Bill, the assassin from the cold open, to handle four particular problems for her, which at that moment are asleep in stiff motel beds. Well, two of them are. Allie and Margot are scheming. He needs her to steal some money while he goes off and meets with Calaca, who he doesn’t know but considers a friend after “interactions” that Margot is understandably skeptical of. For such a bright man, Allie’s plans are always so fly-by-night that it’s difficult to put any faith in him as an audience member, let alone his next of kin.
When Charlie goes out to find food — an impressively stupid move, even for this mob — Dina tries to figure out what Allie is on the run from in the first place, which I’m sure we’d all like to know. At an internet cafe — also dumb, considering photos of the Fox family are being passed out to civilians at this point — she researches her mother and prints out an article about the suspects in a child kidnapping case fleeing from the authorities. Hmm. The pictures of the suspects certainly look like younger versions of Margot and Allie, even if the names are different.
Charlie, as stupid as ever, befriends some dude at a vending machine who takes him to meet a bunch of smug backpackers. When Dina goes to collect him, she too ends up embroiled in the festivities — the episode’s title, “Elvis, Jesus, Coca-Cola”, is how this lot describes America, not incorrectly. I’m not American, but even I got a bit frustrated with the stereotypical criticism of the nation being peddled by these hipsters, mostly because it’s badly written. Kinder Eggs, guns, obesity, interventionism — it’s the lowest-hanging fruit of cultural critique to such an extent that you can scarcely imagine anyone regurgitating it with any seriousness. Eventually, Charlie gets high and starts recounting their adventures while crossing the border, and Dina is so annoyed at the judgmental idiocy of these people that she doubles down on their experiences rather than letting them continue to believe that Charlie is just talking nonsense because he’s high. On their way out, Charlie even waves a gun at them, which weirdly none of them seem particularly bothered by.
Meanwhile in The Mosquito Coast season 1, episode 5, Margot and Allie are given the runaround by Calaca, and are informed they have a tail, which Allie insists they don’t — “We don’t have a f*cking home,” he adds, when told that they can go back there if they don’t play ball. Finally given a meeting point and a deadline, they head there with the quickness while Charlie and Dina continue to be high and dopey on the streets, eventually getting recognized by a kid with their picture, who whistles his crew to attention (Bill seems to operate like Sherlock Holmes with his own version of the Baker Street Irregulars). Just as Margot and Allie are led down an alleyway and jumped by a group of men in orange hats, Bill arrives to witness them being bundled into the back of a van. Looks like they had a tail after all. Luckily for them, though, being kidnapped seems to have saved their lives. For now, anyway.