‘The Whispers’ 1.02 Recap: “I Made a New Friend”

As I pretty much expected, the second episode of ABC’s new sci-fi mystery ‘The Whispers’ is less interesting than the first, which already had some issues. I’m not necessarily ready to give up on the show yet, but I may have to take it week by week.

To be fair, the opening sequence – a flashback showing a young African child who witnesses the crash of the Air Force jet and discovers something that will presumably harm him – is pretty effectively spooky. After that, however, the episode mostly just reiterates what happened in the pilot episode. The unseen entity known as Drill continues to befriend children and make them do bad things, including recruiting other kids to join their “game.” Meanwhile, our hero Claire Bennigan continues to search for a connection to these events that will prove that Drill is something real, not just a child’s imaginary friend.

Claire turns into something of a dumbass this episode when she refuses to release the sketch of the scruffy hobo (Milo Ventimiglia) who’d been spotted at a few of the incidents. Her partner repeatedly harps on her about this, but she won’t tell him that she thinks the guy may be her missing husband Sean. Does she really think she can keep this a secret from him? He’d have to be a pretty lousy FBI agent to not figure it out pretty quickly on his own.

The major thing we learn this episode is that Sean’s flight to the arctic had been a mission to test a new Top Secret weapon, which went missing when he did. He has apparently been back in the United States for three months, and has been living out of a storage locker where he has set up a clue board to try to piece together the mystery. He still has amnesia about his life before the crash, and is covered in strange tattoos he didn’t have before.

Claire returns to the hospital to talk to Harper, the little girl who tried to kill her mother in the tree house. A doctor named Maria Benavidez sees the sketch of the hobo and recognizes him as her patient from the other day. When the doctor can’t find her keys or wallet, Claire somehow intuits that Sean must be stalking her. He is, but I honestly have no clue why.

Sean uses the stolen keys to break into the doctor’s house, which he rifles through until he finds a gun. Then he decides to take a break and have a shower. Yes, really. It’s odd. I guess he’s feeling pretty grimy, living in a storage locker and all, but you’d think he might have had a chance to bathe while he was in the hospital.

Anyway, Claire arrives at the house just in time to see Sean running away after his shower. She chases him but loses him in a crowd. Later, Sean pulls that hoariest of TV tropes and kidnaps the doctor by hiding in the back seat of her car. Still, I have not the faintest idea what he wants the doctor for. Hopefully, that will be explained soon.

All in all, the episode is fine. It’s not outright bad, but I already sense what started with a promising pilot episode being watered down for weekly consumption on a major network. I’m also not sure that the inevitable answer to this mystery (Drill is an alien, that much seems obvious) will be all that interesting. That depends on where the show decides to go with it – assuming it lasts long enough to go anywhere at all.

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