‘The Mosquito Coast’ is an action-adventure drama series based on the award-winning 1981 novel of the same name by Paul Theroux. The series, rather than strictly following the novel, uses it as a launchpad, with the adventure of the family at the center of it veering away into darker, more dangerous territory than the novel.
Allie Fox, essayed by Paul Theroux’s nephew, Justin Theroux, is an idealistic inventor who decides to uproot his family and take them to Mexico. They all soon find out, however, that it’s not all just “eating fish, sipping tequila,” as Allie had promised. With the Fox family’s gritty adventure just kicking off, let’s take a look at how much we can figure out from the first three episodes of ‘The Mosquito Coast.’ SPOILERS AHEAD.
The Mosquito Coast Episode 3 Recap
‘The Mosquito Coast’ opens with Allie showing his son one of his inventions, a contraption that uses fire to manufacture ice. The son, Charlie, is suitably impressed and asks Allie if they’re going to be rich. Allie says that it depends on the patent office. We then get to know more about the family. Allie is a daily wage handyman at a nearby commercial farm, making a pittance for his work. His wife, Margot, spends her time reading and writing and generally supports Allie with his ideas, even though their teenage daughter Dina is frustrated with how minimally they live.
The family resides in a sprawling but ramshackle house littered with Allie’s DIY projects. On a trip to recover used cooking oil, which he uses to fuel the family’s cars, Allie and his son are accosted by a policewoman. They soon realize that they are being followed, and it is then revealed that Allie and Margot have been on the run from the authorities for 9 years for an as yet unexplained crime.
When Allie finds out that his patent request has been rejected, already disillusioned by a wasteful modern society that doesn’t recognize his talents, he decides to move the family to Mexico. He suggests to Margot that they leave America and live on a boat, a symbol of freedom in his mind. Strangely, Margot agrees to his unrealistic plan and is even excited by it.
However, in episode 3, Allie’s plans to leave the country with his family are accelerated when the authorities discover where the family lives and come for them. A mysterious government agent named Jones seems especially interested in apprehending Allie. The family leaves in a rush, and Allie convinces two “coyotes,” agents who illegally smuggle people across the US-Mexico border, to help them cross.
The Mosquito Coast Episode 3 Ending: Will Chuy Die? What Will Happen to the Foxs?
Before they can cross into Mexico, however, they are stopped by the local border militia that kills one of the coyotes, and the family, along with the other agent, Chuy, barely escapes. They find themselves marooned in the deadly desert borderlands. As they try to make their way to a nearby radio tower to call for help, the family of four and Chuy deal with dwindling water as well as constant fears of being spotted by the border patrol or the military.
They cross many corpses, and we see the children, especially Charlie, slowly begin to see the ugly side of life from which they have so far been protected. To make things worse, Chuy is bitten by a snake and becomes critically ill. Just before passing out, he calls his Mexican contacts, who come and pick them up from the desert, promising to take care of them. Within the first three episodes, seeing how much trouble the family has already gone through in getting from their home to the border tells us that their woes are just beginning.
Even though Allie’s optimistic “everything has a solution” nature keeps driving them forward, their adversities only promise to get bigger since they are now headed to a foreign land. In their earlier encounter with the border militia, what saved Allie and his family was the fact that they were white and were hence looked on relatively kindly by the armed civilians. However, once in Mexico, they will lose that luxury.
The men currently driving the family to Mexico, though polite and promising to take care of them, very likely have their own agenda and may very well try to harm or steal from them. We get a hint of this by the way Chuy describes the Fox family to his contacts on the phone, saying that they are “white” and “American,” which seems to convince his Mexican contact to come to their aid. Chuy also knows about the large amount of cash that Allie is carrying with him, and his dislike for the man has bubbled over multiple times, resulting in him telling Margot to abandon Allie and go home with the kids.
Even though Chuy himself might very well die from the snake bite, his contacts will likely harm the family. Having said that, it doesn’t seem like Chuy is very consequential to the future of the family. They seem to be in the hands of more powerful people and his being alive or dead would not affect the outcome much. Add to that the wily government agent Jones, who is hot on their trail, and we have a not-too-sunny outlook for the Fox family’s immediate future.
Why Does Allie’s Family Follow Him?
One of the most interesting dynamics as well as engines for the show’s story is the relationship between Allie and his family. Allie’s outrageous ideas, driven by his idealism, are seen to repeatedly put his family in harm’s way. On more than one occasion, first Jones and then Chuy ask Dina why she keeps following her father even though he seems crazy. Whereas both Charlie and Margot have so far unquestioningly followed Allie on his dangerous getaway, with Margot even helping him break into and steal money from his boss’ office, Dina is more critical of her father’s ways.
But even she admits to Chuy that her father “knows what he’s doing.” Allie’s daughter despises being uprooted and the fact that they can’t live like a regular family, even attempting to run away. However, she begins to come around when she realizes that a lot of what her father says is true, especially about how differently the rich and poor are treated and the harmful effects of consumerism.
Allie’s most endearing quality is his optimism and “can-do” attitude, which allows him to face even the most hopeless situations with confidence. When the family is accosted by the dangerous border militia, we see the faith that his family has in his ability to talk his way out of the situation. Allie is also able to sweet-talk the skeptical Mexican coyotes into helping him and continues to push Chuy into helping them even after the death of his partner.
It is not all good, however, as Allie’s optimism is often misplaced, and his family’s confidence is shaken in him whenever they face a setback. Near the end of episode 3, even Margot begins to question Allie’s decisions, though she continues to follow him. We also see Allie get increasingly manipulative if people refuse to do what he wants, as we see with Chuy, who becomes a reluctant guide for them. Charlie remains the only one who still unquestioningly does as he’s told, but we will have to see how long that lasts.
Why Are Government Agents Chasing the Family?
The big question asked undoubtedly by everyone watching the show and even by his own daughter is: what is Allie in trouble for? It is undoubtedly something serious, as the agents on his tail are sharp and flush with resources. Allie, on being asked by Dina, describes his troubles as something that can’t be solved by just sitting down and thinking, signifying that it is something unpardonable. We also know that he and Margot have been on the run for a long time — 9 years, to be precise — and have changed identities 6 times.
As we get bits of information regarding Allie’s supposed “crime,” we can piece together that it was not a violent crime, as it is revealed that he did not hurt anyone. Given what we know about Allie’s inventor mindset, sharp technical abilities, and disdain for the system, his crime was most likely related to bringing down a big capitalist entity or causing some form of loss to the rich and powerful.
Considering that in the first episode, Allie expresses concern for impoverished countries, saying that his invention will help them, and also that the family is not rich, it is likely that Allie’s crime also did not benefit him and his family directly. The mystery remains as to whether Margot helped Allie with the crime or has chosen to be a fugitive with him out of a sense of loyalty. In the coming episodes, we will possibly get to know more about Margot’s hand in Allie’s past activities.
Read More: Where Is The Mosquito Coast Filmed?