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Cargo Cult Recap

In Katu Gorge in New Belgium, heavy construction is underway at a gold mine. Bull and Michael Otagi check the cargo in one of the trucks: dead natives. Otagi tells Bull to toss the bodies in the ravine, and Bull warns that the territorial health inspector, Gibbs, has been nosing around the mine site. The two men go over to the canteen where Gibbs is working. He shows them a sample that he took from their sluice. There are traces of cyanide, and Gibbs says that it's killing hundreds of villagers. Otagi points out that he's the commissioner of the province, but Gibbs doesn't care. Bull tells the workers that the canteen is closed. Once the workers leave, Otagi tells Gibbs that he's going to have a drink with him. Bull grabs Gibbs and Otagi pours the contaminated sample down the inspector's throat and Gibbs dies seconds later.

Jim picks up his briefing from an organist at a church. He's informed that hundreds of villagers in the highlands of New Belgium have disappeared in recent months. Reports suggest that the discovery of gold has led to the villagers' deaths due to cyanide used in processing the gold. The government is rife with bribery and corruption, and the team must stop the genocide.

At the apartment, Jim tells the team minus Max about Otagi and explains that he's building a bridge across a ravine to bring in equipment to strip-mine the gold out. Max has gone ahead as a worker on bridge, but Otagi won't let any bridge workers across the bridge to see the natives working on the mind. He thinks that it's connected to a local volcano that the villagers worship it as a god. Max has heard rumors that the volcano is "angry" with the villages. Shannon and Nicholas will go in as volcanologists, while Otagi has sent for a money launderer to exchange his gold into money for the workers. The IMF has had Interpol arrest the money launderer, and Jim will take his place with Grant as his bodyguard. When the bridge is completed, the villagers will be wiped out and it's near completion.

At the canteen, Max is arm-wrestling Bull over two beds of hot coals as the others look on. Max wins and Otagi pays Max his winnings. Jim and Grant come in and Grant tells Bull to get him a drink. Bull bristles but Otagi tells him to do it. They sit at a table and Jim starts exchanging the gold for money. Bull and Otagi complain about the exchange rate, and when Bull threatens to take the money, Grant draws a semi-auto on them. Otagi tells Bull to calm down, and Jim says that the money case is rigged with explosives. Bull and the others have no choice but to agree.

Shannon and Nicholas arrive and Jim sees the. He tells Max, who warns that some of the workers haven't seen a woman in six months. Jim has him keep Shannon out of it, and the workers whistle as Shannon comes in. Nicholas presents their papers and Max hits on Shannon and starts to lead her away. Bull punches him and a fight breaks out. Grant fires a round into the air. When Otagi objects, Jim tells him to take charge. Nicholas gives Otagi his papers, and Max says that Otagi has ruled that no one crosses the bridge. Otagi says that he's changing the rules and orders Max to go with them to keep them safe. Jim worries to grant that things are going too smoothly.

Max, Shannon, and Nicholas drive across the bridge and the villagers surround them. The villagers take the agents to their village and chant "Regehr", and lead them to a long-crashed airplane. A man steps out wearing a gas mask and tribal gear, and thanks the villagers for their "gifts". Regehr claims that the volcano god is his father and says that the villages can keep the agents as a sacrifice. The villagers take the agents' communicators and put them in a cage, and Regehr comes over and removes his mask. He explains that he was a geologist and got promoted, and is in it for the gold. The agents figure that Regehr is working with Otagi and using the villagers as unpaid labor. Nicholas figures that it's cargo cult worship: the natives believed crashed airplanes were gifts from the god, and Regehr crashed there and came to believe he was a god.

One of the villages accidentally activates a communicator, and Jim gets the signal but no follow-up. He suggests that they get Otagi to take them across the ravine, go over, and Jim says that they figure there will be a big investment. They demand to see the construction operation, and Otagi refuses and drives off. The two men go over to look at a storage shed with skulls put around as a native taboo. Grant picks the door lock and they find tanks of cyanide inside. There are also explosives.

Regehr walks to the gold mine, while Max works on the thongs holding the cage together with his belt buckle. The natives are working with the cyanide, extracting the gold. Regehr tells them to work hard for the volcano god so they save the tribe from the god's anger. Otagi and Bull arrive, and Otagi tells Regehr that the production is slowing down so they brought more cyanide to speed up the production. Regehr warns that the natives are already dying, but Otagi doesn't care. He tells Regehr to stop drinking and keep the villagers working. Regehr warns that if the villagers ever stop believing then they're in trouble, and says that he only has enough healthy men for two weeks. Otagi tells him to use the warriors, women, and children. Regehr worries that the villagers will turn against him, and Otagi tells him to sacrifice the prisoners to impress the villagers.

The warriors surround the cage, spears at the ready.

Jim and Grant are unable to raise their teammates on the radio, and hear the sound of the volcano erupting.

In the plane, Regehr plays a recording of the eruption noise.

The warriors drag the agents out and take them to Regehr, and villagers bring over two propellers and tie Nicholas and Max to them. Regehr tells them that Shannon will become his goddess, and uses a hidden panel to turn up the eruption noise. The villagers take Max and Nicholas to the volcano and Regehr takes Shannon into his plane.

Otagi and Bull return and Grant hides beneath a tarp in the back of their truck. The two men load more cyanide into the truck bed and drive back to the village.

Regehr tells Shannon that they're going to get to know each other.

Once Otagi and Bull arrive, Grant slips out of the back and moves off into the jungle. He finds the mining operation and Bull orders the current group of villagers to work harder before they die. Grant goes to the village and finds the plane.

Regehr invites Shannon to join him in a drink. Grant gets a tranq rifle from the agents' jeep, spots footprints leading to the volcano, and radios Jim. He explains what's going on and that he'll rescue Nicholas and Max if he can. The villagers set Max and Nicholas up on the edge of the volcano, and Grant uses the laser sight to send a Morse code message to his teammates: "Aim shoot". Nicholas makes a finger-pointing gesture at a native, and Grant tranqs him. Max does the same and Grant knocks out two more villagers. The remaining villagers run off, and Grant tells Jim that the plan has succeeded and the tranqed natives should wake up in four hours.

Grant unties his teammates and after Jim joins them, shows them the mining operation. They figure Regehr has lost some status, and Jim suggests that they turn the villagers against Otagi and Regehr by showing them how angry the volcano god is with his "son" through the use of Otagi's explosives.

The natives take the three unconscious men to Regehr. He doesn't know what happened to them and goes outside, and Shannon contacts the others on Regehr's radio. They're at the explosives shack, and Shannon is forced to sign off when Regehr comes back in. Grant figures that he can rig a hologram projector out of the laser sights, and they head back to the volcano.

Regehr figures that one of Shannon's allies tranqed the three natives, and ties her up. He doesn't believe her denials and then calls Otagi on the radio and demands to see him immediately.

Grant, Max, and Nicholas plant the explosives around the volcano.

Regehr meets with Otagi at the construction site and demands backup. He warns that the team managed to beat the gods with their own "powers", and explains that they've escaped but he still has Shannon. Otagi figures that Jim is involved and tells Regehr to blame Shannon for everything.

Once they plant the explosives, the three agents notify Jim. He says that he'll meet them at the village, and tells Bull that he wants to meet with Otagi at the shed to discuss providing cheaper cyanide. When Otagi and Bull come in, Jim says that he'll put up all the funds Otagi needs and market the gold, but first he has to see the mine for proof that he's real. Otagi tells him that he'll die on the other side along with Shannon, and Bull draws his gun and promises that when they find Grant, he'll die as well.

Outside the village, Grant says that he and Max will get their equipment from the jeep while Nicholas rescues Shannon. Regehr emerges with Shannon and says that he has caught "the witch", Shannon. Nicholas slips into the plane, and Otagi and Bull arrive with Jim. Max heads back to the shed while Grant sets up a projector from the jeep.

In the plane, Nicholas records his own message on Regehr's tape recorder.

When the time arrives for the three natives to wake up, Jim tells the villagers that they do no harm. The three unconscious men wake up. Regehr insists that their magic is evil, and the volcano emits smoke. Nicholas steps out of the plane, and Grant triggers the explosives when Jim says that the god will wake.

The workers at the construction assume the volcano is going to erupt and drive off. Max enters the shed.

Regehr tells the natives to kill Jim, Shannon, and Nicholas. Grant projects an image of his own face onto the volcano smoke, and Jim says that he's summoned the god. Nicholas' pre-recorded voice activates, telling the natives to release his friends. Bull prepares to kill Jim, and two of the natives kill the man who would harm the "messenger of the gods". Nicholas orders the natives to disarm Regehr, and Grant joins his teammates as they walk unharmed to the jeep. Otagi yells at the natives to kill them, and the natives surround him and Regehr.

Otagi shoots two of the natives, and he and Regehr go to Otagi's truck. They get in and drive back to the bridge.

Max rigs the shed to explode, and his teammates arrive to pick him up. They drive off, and Otagi and Regehr start to drive across the bridge. The shed explodes, bringing down the bridge and the truck, and killing the two men.

Written by Gadfly on Oct 5, 2018

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