I really hope a lot of people (particularly Nielsen families) watched this ep, just to convince ABC execs that the show needs more seasons - but if it is really The River's final episode, at least it went out on a high note.
SPOILERS AFTER THE CUT:
The episode starts with Emmet making amends for all the troubles his little adventure has caused, particularly with Jonas (whom he abandoned to the Bouina), Lena (whose father was lost after following Emmet), and Lincoln - who grew up without a father by his side. It was then that Lincoln saw someone from inside the ship about to shoot Emmet, shoved his father aside, and took the bullet instead. Suffice to say that Lincoln wasn't a Magus like his father, and didn't survive a bullet to the neck. Nobody in the entire crew admitted to being responsible, even Captain Kurt, who admitted that he was on the crew under orders to kill Emmet.
Later, Jahel and Tessa went against Emmet's advice and contacted the Bouina (the spirit of the river) and asked the spirit to guide Lincoln's spirit back to its body. They were successful, but Emmet was suspicious, that whoever is talking with Lincoln's mouth is not entirely his son. Lincoln then pointed Kurt as the one who shot him, prompting the crew to lock the captain in one of the rooms. Kurt was still adamant about not being the shooter.
After a few more hours, "Lincoln" finally revealed who he is to Jason (who, apparently, is the real shooter - his motive being revenge, for being abandoned by Emmet.). It turns out that the Bouina (a powerful snake spirit, considered as a god of demons, according to Emmet) has piggybacked on Lincoln's spirit. The Bouina killed Jason by ripping off his throat, and then proceeded to captain Kurt's room, to beat up and tell him that his protection is not needed. "I am protection enough", says Lincoln in Bouina's gravelly voice.
Emmet, the observant mage that he is, gets Lena's help in catching Lincoln, by seducing him and making him drink a concoction that he prepared beforehand. Soon, we see Lincoln tied up in the steering room.
It is fully revealed in the following scenes that the Bouina doesn't want the crew of the Magus to leave its river, on the reasoning that they have already discovered his secrets and must not take it out of his territory. The evil spirit turns out to be too much for Emmet, and they seek the help of captain Kurt, whose seen to be praying in Latin (some connection with theVatican, perhaps?), who tells Emmet that they can't take the Bouina out of the body - Lincoln himself must push it out. They have to convince Lincoln to come back.
Okay, bear with the show a little for this part: Emmet apologizes to his son for not being there and for missing out on the most important parts of his life, and Lincoln finally manages to push the Bouina out, which left in one of the coolest scenes in the episode, by exploding through the ship and swimming away, still invisible, but showing its shape through the water - a gigantic snake swimming through the waters.
It's at this point where it looked like it's the end of the Magus' journey and they can now go back to their own lives, but a look at their GPS and computers show that they should be on the exit, but they are still in a place that isn't on the map, preventing them from leaving. The camera zooms out to show the trees and the rivers itself rearranging in order to remove the Magus' exit, and keep everyone from getting back to civilization. Fade to black.
According to some reports, ratings for The River wasn't so good, so it's very possible that it's going to get axed. But there's going to be a DVD collecting all 8 episodes, and I hope lots of people buy that just to let the ABC execs see that the show has legs to stand on, as long as they don't try to make it compete with the ratings juggernaut that is the Walking Dead.