In The Missing‘s third episode, character development and violence are on full display. We learn that episode two’s mysterious faith worker was having an inappropriate relationship with Emily. Back when Tony and Emily were still married, this truth became known and acted as a trigger. In a bout of rage, Tony had beaten up the man and nearly killed him. This past indiscretion, buried in secrecy for years, rears its giant head in this episode.
In the wake of Oliver’s disappearance, Julien and his fellow detectives learn of Tony’s violent past. With rages of anger known to law enforcement, Tony is brought in for questioning and interrogated. His response, as expected, is emotional. He vehemently denies any involvement with his son’s disappearance and becomes infuriated by the eyes of suspicious fallen onto him. Julien also has other priorities when one of his top undercover officers is killed, a man who indicated that a sex trafficking ring could be in the area.
Ian, the creepy construction worker introduced in episode two, eventually gives Tony a lawyer and buys him a beer. This ends Tony’s nightmare in the interrogation room. Much like last week though, we can see ulterior motives with Ian. He seems to have an obsession, or at least a fascination, with Oliver’s disappearance? Was he involved, or just intrigued? Not enough evidence is presented for this to be known. But his creepiness is certainly catching our attention.
Another important plot point is Emily’s modern day return to France. With Tony and Julien pursuing leads and doing investigative work, Emily checks in with Tony. Their exchange, while brief, grows heated rather quickly. Tony is fully committed to finding answers and Emily expresses her desire to move on. As Tony basically puts it, she seems to have moved on well with a new love interest, family, and environment.
That exchange between the former married couple acts as one of the season’s most intense moments. Both do want answers, they just have completely different methods of coping. Tony deals with his pain by searching for Oliver, Emily comes to terms with hers by distancing herself. That said, her willingness to return to France indicates something she’s unable to admit. By coming back to her center of pain, she’s making a decision to not distance herself quite so much as normal.
Beyond the violence of Tony beating up the faith work years ago, we also see him break into Vincent’s house and ultimately strangle him. Vincent first pulls a knife on Tony after realizing someone entered his home, but Tony turns the tables and assaults the known sex offender. Stopping short of killing him, Tony realizes his misdeed and releases Vincent’s neck. This scene shows how quickly Tony can snap and how violent he can become.
Other tidbits presented to the audience include Khalid somehow landing in jail, then being met by Malik. Both characters are infuriatingly unclear with their motives. What did Khalid do to land in jail, and what information is Malik blackmailing the former detective with? This subplot is certainly important, but is beginning to grow annoying. We also learn that back when Tony assaulted the faith worker, Emily’s dad had helped cover it up as a powerful legal figure. The victim was paid off so Tony could avoid prison time.
The most important moment, quite poetically, is saved for the final scene. With the case picking up steam, Julien had encouraged neighbors and residents of the holding house that kept Oliver to come forward. Remember, when a family was on vacation, their home was apparently broken into and used to hold Oliver, and perhaps to hold other children as well.
Julien’s urging of neighbors to come forward results in a video. In the footage, while filming a World Cup party, the neighbor had filmed the holding house in the background. When zoomed in, who do we see at the window? Oliver. We see Oliver looking for help as he’s grabbed by a shadowed figure. As Julien puts a hand on Tony’s back, the tortured father stares into his son’s eyes.
The Missing airs at 9:00 p.m. on Starz. You can also watch the series at Starz online.