The Missing Episode 5 review: Ken Stott shines in this powerful and shocking instalment (Spoilers)

by Matt D
James Nesbitt

James Nesbitt

In my last review of The Missing I commented on how the cliffhanger involving Ian Garrett’s disappearance felt anticlimactic due to the fact that he doesn’t appear to be involved in Oliver’s case any longer. However, in tonight’s episode, writers Harry and Jack Williams proved me wrong by showing how Tony’s obsession with Ian changed his life significantly. The story involving Tony, Ian and Vincent also featured an incredibly shocking final sequence and a twist that not even I saw coming.

As we have come to expect from The Missing, this episode opened with a character we’ve never seen before; a woman relaxing on a boat in the middle of the Indian Ocean. After we learned that Ian Garrett had been declared legally dead, I was half expecting it to be revealed that the woman on the boat was actually Ian post sex-change. But it soon turned out that it was actually Mary, Ian’s wife, who had seemingly escaped with him following his involvement with the Oliver Hughes case. The majority of this week’s 2006 scenes were centred round Tony’s determination to get Ian to admit exactly what kind of man he was. His desperation caused him to physically attack Vincent; a scene that was beautifully done as the camera focused on Emily who was clearly horrified at what her husband was doing. However, bringing Ian down was easier said than done and Tony found himself behind bars as the police had been tipped off about the assault on Vincent. But, thanks to Emily’s visit to Ian’s house in England, Tony finally discovered what sort of man he was.

I personally found the last ten minutes of The Missing incredibly shocking as Tony discovered what Ian had been up to via video camera footage. I felt that it was brave for the writers to tackle such a controversial subject in their drama but I think they handled it superbly. What was even more shocking was the violent scenes that followed as Tony essentially beat Ian to death. This shock was coupled with the fact that Mary wasn’t on a boat on The Indian Ocean but instead had slipped into her own little fantasy world whilst in reality she was staying at a care home. Mary’s fantasies brought another element to the drama that I wasn’t really expecting but it provided another great twist and it was one that caught me off guard. Reading between the lines, I’m guessing that Ian’s murder was what Malik Suri was referring to when he told Emily that he knew what she and Tony had done. I also believe that Tony’s extreme violence will cause he and Emily’s separation as they both struggle to lie about what happened on the boat.

Frances O'Connor

Meanwhile, in the present day, Tony and Julien are still in Paris attempting to get Rini to reconnect with her brother in order to track down Karl Sieg. This is easier said than done as Rini relieves just what happened when she did the same thing eight years earlier. Obviously the scarf Rini was wearing around her neck was concealing a terrible scar and this week we saw the cause of it. In 2006, as the police hoped to garner more information about Oliver from Rini’s meeting with her brother, another man arrived and slit her throat. With these memories still rushing through her head, Rini was understandably worried that the same thing would happen again and almost backed out of the plan altogether. However, she later pulled herself together and violently confronted her brother in an attempt to get retribution for what he’d done to her eight years ago. Thankfully Julien talked her down and it appeared as if Rini’s story had come to an end as she moved in with her teacher boyfriend. But it looks like a trip to Belgium is on the cards for Julien and Tony as they discovered that Sieg is now in Brussels.

One element of Jack and Harry Williams’ writing that I do like is the way in which even the smallest subplots stick with you. In this week’s episode it was the modern day scenes featuring an injury sustained by Mark’s son James and how it makes Emily realise that she hasn’t moved on at all. As we’ve seen in the past, Emily has used James as almost a substitute for Oliver and to that end rushes to his bedside when she sees him in hospital. But his cries for his real mother gives her somewhat of a reality check and presents her as almost an outsider in her new family unit. Although Frances O’Connor hardly features in this episode, she makes the scenes she appears in count and she really made me sympathise with Emily as she stood serving coffee to Mark and his ex-wife. One would assume that the incident with James will lead Emily back to France and I believe that this small story more than demonstrated her motivation for doing so.

James Nesbitt

This episode of The Missing was almost split down the middle with the Tony, Vincent and Ian story dominating one half of it whilst the main Oliver Hughes investigation occupied the other. Even though I was sceptical over Ian’s continued involvement in the series I believe the pay off more than justified his presence here. Ken Stott’s performance in what is probably his final episode was outstanding. I found the way he slipped between kindly benefactor and creepy paedophile to be superb and I thought that Ian’s scene in the police cell with Tony was particularly strong. Director Tom Shankland also deserves praise for the tension he built up in the scene in which Ian discovers Tony on his boat and also the final revelation of Mary Garrett’s dream world. Due to the strong nature of this storyline, I was less interested in the investigation side of things this week however Rini’s confrontation with her brother at least moved the plot along somewhat. Whether or not Karl Sieg knows where Oliver is remains to be seen but as always the Williams brothers have created enough intrigue to keep me guessing.

Ultimately, I thought tonight’s episode of The Missing was a mixed bag with the Ian storyline almost outshining the central investigation. That being said the strong performances, storytelling and direction kept me interested throughout the hour and I’m particularly keen to see how exactly Tony and Emily cover up Ian’s murder.

What did you think of tonight’s episode of The Missing? Were you as shocked as I was?

Leave Your Comments Below.


  1. Christine Kendell on November 26, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    The worst (and most memorable)moment of the scene on the boat was Ian’s smile as he said: ‘He was beautiful, wasn’t he?’

  2. Roger B on November 26, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    Frankly I found much of it baffling. As for the yacht scenes being a figment of imagination, how were we supposed to come to that conclusion. It certainly doesn’t zip along for me and would have been better compressed into less episodes.

  3. Mg on November 27, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    I actually really liked the boat scene, it made sense to me and fitted nicely with Mary’s absent state of mind and unwillingness to face the truth.
    I absolutely love this series!

  4. Christine Kendell on November 28, 2014 at 10:43 am

    It was a real shock as you realised at the end the actual situation – that she was in an institution.

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