The Mosquito Coast Season 2 Episode 8 Recap – what are Guillermo’s men doing?

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: December 29, 2022 (Last updated: 3 weeks ago)
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The Mosquito Coast Season 2 Episode 8 Recap - what are Guillermo's men doing?


“Dead Totems” yet again fails to justify this show’s continued existence in another glacially-paced and empty chapter.

This recap of The Mosquito Coast Season 2 Episode 8, “Dead Totems”, contains spoilers.

Goodness, this is a bland show, isn’t it? I watch a lot of TV, obviously, but it’s very rare that I sit down to write a recap and must admit that, in a sense, absolutely nothing happened. Sure, there were scenes, and there were characters in those scenes having conservations about things that ostensibly pertain to them, but when you really break it down, there was no drama, no tension, no real development, and everyone seems to be having the same circuitous arguments about the same, boring things.

The Mosquito Coast Season 2 Episode 8 Recap

“Dead Totems” is reiterating the point that the Fox family is, in essence, f*cked, at least in the sense of ever being able to have any kind of normality again. Allie has entered a holding pattern working for Guillermo and trying to pretend he’s utilizing Sandpiper for his benefit without really doing so. He knows Casa Roja is no longer safe but can’t do anything about it yet, leaving Margot to try and use Richard for an escape route, and Dina to try and leave on her own – or at least with Adolfo, though the life of an essentially indentured servant river boatman doesn’t seem like much of an improvement over the one she’s living now.

But Dina craves normality she has never been able to experience, which I suppose is at least a little bit understandable. We’re supposed to believe that she has somehow inherited Allie’s MacGyver-style genius, but we’ve never even seen Allie himself display that, so the idea doesn’t ring true. Instead, her efforts to finesse an escape plan, steal the keys to Adolfo’s boss’s truck – without considering the act might land him in jail – and escape into the night just seem rash and a bit childish.

But at least she’s actually doing something. Allie and Charlie spend the entire episode in the jungle talking about how Sandpiper works, trying to figure out what Guillermo’s men are up to, then discussing morality. The last bit stems from Charlie holding Richard at gunpoint, which isn’t the worst thing any of them have done at this point, but Allie lectures him for ages about doing the right thing, even if it’s the least ideal or most painful. None of the family has ever followed this advice!

Margot, meanwhile, cozies up to Richard but then takes the first opportunity to root through his things when Isela takes him to see Guillermo’s men, and naturally, she discovers a fake passport with her picture in it, implying he was planning to “save” her from Casa Roja, though why he’d do such a thing at this point – it’s almost like he knew the second season cameras were rolling – remains a mystery. Nevertheless, Margot, sensing an opportunity, implies that maybe a partnership between the two of them wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.

And this is, really, all that happens. It’s a show about dumb, insufferable people trying to justify the dumb, insufferable things they’re doing, and they do it at such a snail’s pace, and at such tortuous length, that it’s near impossible to find any redeeming qualities at this late stage. I almost never declare anything totally pointless, but so close to the end, can anyone really come up with a concrete justification for this season’s existence?

You can stream The Mosquito Coast Season 2 Episode 8, “Dead Totems”, exclusively on Apple TV+.

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