Series The Head Recommendation Walkthrough

Series The Head Recommendation Walkthrough
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Series The Head Recommendation Walkthrough. I win the internet! I win the internet! Okay, Okay, I don’t win the internet – but Lisa, and Chris do. (And, I’d like to add, are quite lovely Patreon members – see? Sign up, and I’ll say nice things about you too! ha) Dang. They talked me into checking out this awesome series from HBO Asia of all places, called The Head. And I loved it so much I’m planning to do an entire season 1 walkthrough here. I know huh? Pretty exciting isn’t it!? (hahaha.) Seriously though, you have to check this thing out. Watch the trailer, listen to why I like it, and then, wait for it to become available. Yeah, sorry about that. But it’s coming. I promise. It really is coming. But I’m glad I’m able to get out in front of this one, because I know that there will be a lot of really confused people at the end of this fantastic ride.

First, why did I enjoy it? That is so nice of you to ask, internet denizen!? Wow. Well, because it is one of the tightest written shows I’ve ever seen. It’s what, six episodes, and so much happens in those six episodes it’s really tricky to keep up with it. Even the opening bits are critical for the foundation in order to lay the groundwork for the later destruction! The Head tells the story of an arctic outpost where researchers are working to discover the solution to global warming. They think they have the honest to God answer… but then in a fluke accident, someone dies. Or was it a fluke? IT WASN’T A FLUKE?!?! WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE! Okay, so that was a bit of an all-caps-overstatement. Actually, no, it wasn’t. That was actually a spot on, pitch perfect assessment of exactly what went down. Look. I’m boring myself here. Just trust me for once, and watch this page right here in order to keep track of when it becomes available to watch in your area. And if you absolutely must – watch this trailer:

Alright. So, since you are trusting me that this is a FANTASTIC ride, and you are going to watch it as soon as it becomes available – we’ll call that bit good. Okay? Great. Now, go find it and watch it. After you are finished watching, come on back and join in on the discussion about the movie below. Because from here on out, the rest of this post is going to be spoilers-da-ville! Trust me on this. In about a paragraph things are going to be getting so dicey in here, you might just find yourselves washing your eyes out with soap. And we really don’t want any of that happening.

Series The Head Recommendation Walkthrough

I am going to do this walkthrough from a chronological vantage point – we’ll start with the events in Polaris V, go back to the scientist’s home, then on to Polaris VI, and on to the recovery and investigation. OK? So, that being said, the events won’t necessarily fall into a pure episode by episode break down. But it will help dramatically with our overall understanding of what happened and why. Alright? Fair enough? Oh, thank you for letting me write my blog the way I want to write it. How sweet of you.

Polaris V – What Happened and Why?

One of the last things that viewers of The Head learn is what happened back during the Polaris V days. But we are going to start there. The crew of the Polaris V were making historic discoveries and were on the path to saving the world. That is, until Arthur Wilde (played by John Lynch) decided to do something extraordinarily stupid. He tries to rape Sara Jackson (played by Olga Wehrly). Well, when that goes poorly, he kills her. (Murder – #1.) Now we have a crew of scientists, all aware that Arthur murdered a woman while sexually abusing her. What to do?

Here is the moral question on your lap. Should you risk the science of the station, and your imminent and renowned scientist responsible for all your discoveries? Or should you cover it all up. (Here’s the crib sheet – you put the idiot behind bars forever. But that isn’t what Annika does.) Annika (played by Laura Bach) is an extraordinarily ambitious scientist at the station and is dying to get published alongside this amazing research that the team is doing. And so she works to lobby everyone on Polaris V to cover up the murder. With that, the devil has entered the building. They are destined to die horrible, and excruciating deaths. And they deserve it.

After the crew decides they will all work together, they burn the station, and watch as it slips into the ice. But Damian Fowles (played by Philippe Jacq) grabs the sweater on his way out the door, and promptly takes it to Sara’s two daughters. One of which is named Maggie (played by Katharine O’Donnelly). About the same time, preparations begin in building the next Polaris mission – Polaris VI… and they start to assemble the team. But Damian won’t be going because he took a swan dive off his row home, and died. (Suicide – #2.) The grief was too much for him to bear. Needing a medical officer, they hire Damian’s replacement, but he was hit by a drunk driver – who turned out to be Maggie angling to get the job. (Murder – #3.) What, why? Well, Maggie has decided on revenge. Revenge for absolutely everyone involved in her mother’s death. She doesn’t care if they physically broke her mother’s neck. If they covered it up? They were just as culpable as Arthur.

Polaris VI The List of Deaths

As the season’s first episode kicks off – we watch as the members of the Polaris VI scientists and crew settle in to their long winter of work. They will be cut off from all civilization until the sun returns. And that might be the best metaphor for the moral downward spiral that is about to happen here at this furthest edge of the planet. As episode 1 ends, we learn that all the station’s comms have been irreparably broken and Miles (Tom Lawrence) is missing. When they find him, we learn that he died out in the snow – and someone had cut his head off. (Murder – #4.) “Whoever” the murderer is, really is very very mad about something. Come episode 2, that is when we learn that Damian Fowles had died prior to their coming out to the station.

Soon after Miles is found sans his head attached to his body, Nils discovers that his saw is covered in blood. He heads outside to bury it, but Maggie finds him with the incriminating evidence. Did Nils kill Miles? Or was he telling the truth in finding the saw in his closet? While watching the show, we don’t know, but in retrospect, we know that he is telling the truth… but is choosing a fairly bad plan in how he is trying to cover up the evidence against him. The stress of it all gets to him, and he heads into the station and locks everyone outside. Which, in the real world, you call a lock smith and you get in. But in the arctic wilds, they all don’t have much time to figure out how to get inside. Soon enough, they are able to break in and tie the highly inebriated Miles up in the laundry room. Later, Aki checks on Miles and finds that someone had stabbed him. (Murder – #5.) Maggie finds a V carved in Miles’ chest – and we learn later that it was a reference to Polaris V.

Through flashbacks, we learn that Erik and Ebba were having an affair while at V, and that it continued here at VI as well. But when Ebba is picked to go in the Snow-Cat to venture out to get help, Maggie tells Johan that she thinks Erik picked Ebba to go in order to cover up their affair. But we know after the fact that it was Maggie all along. And when Ebba starts the Cat it explodes and kills Ebba. (Murder – #6.) Knowing how bad this looks, Erik goes completely mental, and pulls out a gun. This starts a mental Mexican Standoff, where Maggie tries to talk him off the ledge, but there is a struggle with the gun. And when Erik pulls the trigger, he shoots Maggie, and the bullet travels through her, and kills Heather instantly. (Murder – #7.)

Four people head out, and go over to the Polaris V. Maggie claims that Arthur was going there in order to get his bloody sweater back. (Which we already know that Maggie later hides in the other Snow Cat and it isn’t at Polaris V… though she tells us it’s there.) And this is when Maggie says she inspects Sarah’s body and learns that she was murdered, and didn’t die in the fire. But we know she already knew this from her conversation with Damian. And we also learned that Damian contacted one of the Polaris crew and let them know that he left them a gift over at the Polaris V right before he committed suicide.

After returning back from Polaris V, Ramón, the cook, turns off the power to Polaris VI, trying to flush out the killer. But Aki and Maggie hide. Eventually, Maggie can’t handle the cold of the station anymore, and she ends up bashing Ramón’s head in – and killing him. (Murder – #8.) When they hack his phone, and see what’s on it, they realize that it was full of horrible things (I’m assuming child porn). And Erik and Arthur have a final show down, with Arthur stabbing Erik in the throat, and killing him. (Murder – #9.) And when Arthur comes after Maggie and Aki, Maggie tricks him into going to the underground tunnels, and locking him there. The final murder – and the one that Maggie regrets (as she should) is Aki. As she was fiddling with one of the Snow-Cats, Aki walks in on her, and finds her doing this suspicious thing. Maggie, knowing she’ll be caught if she doesn’t, shivs Aki, and then leaves him for dead. (Murder – #10.)

Polaris VI The Investigation

A couple weeks later, the spring crew heads in to Polaris VI. Johan is excited to be reunited with his wife Annika. But everyone is missing and no one is answering on the comms channels. Eventually they find Maggie cowering in the kitchen and she begins to tell them about the chaos that had unfolded over the past winter. Johan interrogates Maggie, and eventually finds Arthur in the service tunnels. Arthur is certain it’s Maggie that is the murderer. And Maggie hints that it is actually Arthur. As the story unfolds they eventually find Sara’s body, thinking that it is Annika, but Maggie explains that they brought her back. That the body was stolen and buried in order to hide the fact that she was murdered.

Maggie tells Johan that Arthur murdered Sara, and Annika was the one to convince the crew not to say anything. In time Maggie “remembers” that Annika took the last Cat and headed out to the Canadian research station even though it was much too far. And along the way the Cat gets stuck and she freezes to death. (Suicide – #11.) Johan is convinced that it was Arthur who murdered everyone at the station like Maggie posited. And it is then that he is detained and manhandled away. But as Maggie is being helicoptered out we learn that her one regret was in killing Aki. Aki who wasn’t even there at Polaris V. Aki who was in love with her and allowed her to get close enough to let her kill him. The price of his death was worth it to Maggie though, and we know this because we see as Maggie calls her sister and lets her know that it is done. And by that she means that Arthur is now in custody not only for their mother’s death but eleven other’s deaths as well.

Final Thoughts on the Series The Head

All movies and TV shows begin with a cogent idea – and get solidified by a screenplay. Without a brilliant screenplay author nothing else matters. You can’t throw enough CGI at a bad screenplay to make it palatable. That just isn’t how it works. (That’s like adding more ingredients to a bad stew. It just doesn’t work.) But with The Head, we have one of the tightest six episodes ever crafted. It is really, really-really difficult to kill almost a dozen people and still wonder who did it and why. But The Head hits this three-pointer from the totally other side of the court. And it does it while not even breaking a sweat. Yes, this was a series of shows (which I normally avoid) but this show was more a 5-hour movie instead of a show. And it was all the better for it. I would actually LOVE it if someone would come out with a 6-hour long movie. That would be awesome. And especially if the writing could be half as tight as The Head was.

But the moral questions here were my favorite thing to consider. A rapist gets his hands on Sara because he has a God-Complex, and thinks he deserves anyone and anything on the planet. That is a lie though. I don’t care how brilliant you are, or how many lives your science will save. Thinking this highly of one’s self is only a recipe disaster… and an appointment with a Promising Young Woman. A promising young woman like Maggie. I do think it was good to add Aki onto the list to show that she wasn’t morally without sin or stain. I mean, she was morally compromised prior to Aki… for sure. But it was good to make it abundantly clear to the more ethically challenged among us.

The narrator who carried the story forward in all six episodes of The Head was Maggie. And we know, at the end of the series, she was extraordinarily unreliable. Generally she hued to mostly truths, but obviously had to hide many things from Johan in order to walk away from the arctic again, and back to her sister. Obviously she lied about not killing anyone. But more importantly, she lied about where Arthur’s sweater was, and why. She also lied about having T3. At no time was she suffering from any sort of psychological impact from the cold and the long nights of the arctic. But it was her lies that made the story all the more interesting to watch, reflect back on, and dissect for the truth.

Ultimately, any show that is able to kill 11 people, and even still, the viewer can’t be 100% what is going on, has to be a well written show. At the opening of the show I thought it would be clever for Maggie to be the murderer, but I sort of yielded to the flow of the story, and allowed it to drag me through its rapids. Was it a perfect show? No, but it was cleverer than most by a factor. And that is the most important thing for THiNC.ers. Would love to know what you thought of the show yourself.

Edited by: CY