‘The Mosquito Coast’ Season 2 Bug Bite Explained: Did Justin Theroux’s Allie Truly Face a Life-or-Death Scenario?

“The Mosquito Coast” opens Season 2’s second episode with an unpleasant closeup that reveals a predatory, villainous fly circling, landing and unspooling its sword-like apparatus into a human host’s skin.

As could be expected, this proves to be an important development for the Apple TV+ series.

Justin Theroux’s Allie casually squashes the bug on his neck as the shot cuts to the wheelhouse of the Foxes’ rusty fishing boat, for which mechanical and structural problems — compounded by a sudden torrential thunderstorm — render the bug bite an afterthought. But Allie collapses on deck the next day.

The encyclopedic Charlie quickly figures out his dad’s problem. And with the help of his mom, he soon acquires precisely what the doctor ordered. But it’s not before tense moments raise questions about Allie’s fate and create more questions about the future of the Fox family.

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“Is he gonna be better?” Dina asks after discovering a dime-size red “what the f— is that” welt on the back of her dad’s neck.

“No, I don’t think so,” Charlie replies frankly. “If it’s like Chagas or something, then we need medicine.”

Yes, if it was Chagas disease, Allie needed medicine. But here’s where it gets tricky.

Chagas disease can indeed cause serious medical problems. The disease that the CDC estimates 8 million people have — in Mexico, Central America and Southern America — often creates heart issues and as Charlie points out, can even result in heart failure. But it can take years to progress to that stage, and early symptoms can also clear up quickly.

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Chagas results from a blood parasite that travels on the feces of triatomine bugs, which resemble something of a mix between a stink bug and a cockroach.

The incubation period of Chagas is also said to be one to two weeks, meaning if symptoms do present, they aren’t quick to do so.

But Chagas disease can be fully cured by the right medicine if administered soon enough after infection. The problem for so many is, symptoms too often are mild and go untreated, after which the disease can progress to an often-dangerous chronic phase.

“It’s not so good. Worse over time,” Charlie says after Margo asks if heart failure is an imminent scenario.

“It’s pretty bad, right?” Dina asks.

“Yeah, it’s pretty bad,” Margo assures her.

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“So what happens if…”  Dina says before trading glances of shock with her mother.

Charlie reassures them it’s common and treatable with “the right medicine.”

“You know, an oil rig that remote, I mean surely they have medicine for anything endemic,” Margo says of a nearby oil rig, from which they earlier spotted a trail of telltale smoke emerging from the forest’s treetops.

It is then decided Margo and Charlie will venture to the oil rig for what is — not necessarily — a lifesaving journey.

“The Mosquito Coast” is available to stream on Apple TV+.

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