The Missing Episode Six: Frances O’Connor shines in this emotionally charged instalment (Spoilers)

by Matt D
James Nesbitt

James Nesbitt

When The Missing first began, a lot of people likened it to Broadchurch, primarily as it focused on the impact a devastating event had on a seemingly normal couple. But, over the past few weeks, it has morphed into something a lot darker, and last week’s episode completely changed our perception of grieving father Tony Hughes when he beat creepy Ian Garrett to death.

Whist Ian was certainly a bad man, he wasn’t Oliver’s abductor, and therefore Tony’s focus on both he and Vincent Borg was ultimately pointless. However, Tony’s murder of Ian dominates both the scenes in 2006 and the present day.

It’s clear that both Laurence and Julien suspect that Tony had something to do with Ian’s disappearance, and both feel that he was capable of murder. The particularly vigilant Julien noted that a certain part of Ian’s newly concreted build didn’t look like it had set and therefore saw it as a potential hiding place for evidence. However, just as the police were about to swoop in, an embargo was put in meaning that Ian’s property had to be left untouched.

One narrative contrivance of this episode that bugged me a little was the fact that this embargo was lifted at the same time that Tony had to returned to France. With Julien eventually having his suspicions confirmed in the present, he surprised Tony and yours truly by deciding not to take the matter any further. Julien’s motivations for this decision are explained in a small side plot in which he had his drug dealing daughter arrested believing it be for her own good. However, his decision was ultimately the wrong one and it appears as if he’d decided to put the Ian Garrett business to bed once and for all.

James Nesbitt

As suspected last week, Tony’s murder of Ian was the event that drove a wedge between he and Emily, who initially arrives back in France none the wiser. It’s only when Tony asks her to provide a false alibi for his whereabouts that she finally wises up to what he’s done. Jack and Harry Williams have certainly put Emily through the ringer here as she’s had to juggle losing her son whilst also being confronted by Tony’s angry side. So it’s completely understandable when she starts to lose her mind and sees Oliver everywhere she looks. These incredibly emotional scenes were bolstered by a fantastic performance from Frances O’Connor, who perfectly captured Emily’s fragile state. Emily’s issues got to the point where she almost jumped from a bridge until she was rescued by Mark who held her in his arms for a little too long. Eventually realising they had to leave France, Tony and Emily have seemingly decided to return to England and let the investigation continue without them.

But, in the present day, they are reunited after the ruthless Karl Sieg demands 15,000 Euros to reveal what he knows about the night that Oliver went missing. Sieg was initially painted as somewhat of a clich├ęd bad guy, but was later revealed to be nothing more than a cleaner for the big criminal gangs. After he’d been paid, his information amounted to very little other than there was a lot of blood in the house where Oliver had been kept. The only real lead he gave the investigation was the fact that he saw Zane remove evidence from the pool when he visited the next day. Although Sieg basically extorted money from grieving parents, he did reveal that it was he who left Oliver’s drawing on the wall and therefore was responsible for the investigation restarting in the first place.

Meanwhile, the Williams brothers have let the audience in on the fact that Zane gave this mysterious evidence to Malik Suri in 2006, who then refused to return. But it does appear as if everybody will soon learn about Malik’s theory as he is finally able to lure Vincent Borg into confirm facts for the book he is writing about the Oliver Hughes case.

James Nesbitt

Ever since Malik told Zane that he knew what happened to Oliver Hughes, I felt that he held one of the biggest pieces to solving the puzzle. He’s also insinuated that he knew about Tony and Emily’s involvement in Ian Garrett’s murder, and I’m sure all of these revelations will see the light of day in the final two episodes. The biggest question now is what is this vital piece of evidence, and more importantly, why has Malik Suri kept it hidden for the past eight years?

I’m sure these questions will frustrate a lot of the people who have been complaining about The Missing’s slow pace, but I still feel that the Williams brothers are creating enough tension to keep me hooked on a weekly basis. Praise must also go to Arsher Ali for making Suri one of the series’ most unlikeable characters, and the actor is able to make me feel uncomfortable every time his slimy journalist appears on screen. In fact, this episode, like most that have come before it, featured some fantastic turns, most notably from Tcheky Karyo and the ever-consistent James Nesbitt.

Director Tom Shankland also continues to do a sterling job in constructing some edge-of-your-seat set pieces as well as beautifully crafting many of the episode’s more emotional moments. The closing scene, in which Julien is attacked by a masked Zane, is made all the more gripping by the way the camera closes in on the brawl. Meanwhile Emily’s emotional turmoil is brilliantly realised by Shankland who perfectly uses the image of Oliver to haunt her as she leaves France in 2006.

As we look forward to the final two episodes of The Missing, I have to say that I’ve still got no idea where the story will ultimately lead. Going back to the Broadchurch comparison, I would contest that, by this point in the story, Chris Chibnall had eliminated the majority of the suspects and was more or less on the home straight. But the same cannot be said for The Missing, which I feel is a drama that is reluctant to show its hand and is all the better for doing so.

What did you think of tonight’s episode of The Missing? Do you think you know what happened to Oliver Hughes?

Leave your comments below.


  1. Linda on December 2, 2014 at 10:35 pm

    Gripping series…

  2. Julie on December 2, 2014 at 10:50 pm

    I think that Vincent may be Ian Garretts son! Possibly the lady that Tony slept with (the artist is Molly)

  3. Helen on December 2, 2014 at 11:40 pm

    I think this episode is leading us to Tony as the killer. The journalist saying I know what you did. He is proven as violent. Why kill Garrett when he could have helped in the investigation? Also why would a child draw a picture in a place he would be terrified? Either he was telling us something about dad or dad was with him!

  4. Zoe on December 3, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    I think Mark is the abductor and he used his son to lure Ollie away from the football crowd that night. Both boys spent time in the basement, which would explain why Ollie did the drawing in the wall. I’m not sure what Mark did with Ollie, but child trafficking is my main bet.

  5. Lottie on December 3, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    I think that Mark was originally in France with his son for another reason than just a holiday. It is uncanny how much Olivet looks like Mark’s own son, right? So what if Mark, having recently divorced from his wife for currently unknown reasons, was there to make his own son ‘disappear’ to spite his wife in a potentially messy break up? What if somehow he accidentally struck the wrong child? It could be entirely possible that he and his own son were at the football crowd that night. Maybe his plan was to claim he was there the entire time and his son had simply wondered off, then he would play the part of a devastated parent? Exactly what happened to Tony with Oliver, mirroring that. However, once he had gotten the child away from the crowd, he realises his has the wrong boy, it was dark, easy mistake to make. He panicked, called upon the gang to take the child so he is out of his hands, and goes and retrieves his own boy, giving up on the idea once it has gone wrong once, completely panicking that he will be implicated. To put the scent off himself, he offers his help in the search for the boy his mistakenly grabbed, making sure no evidence was found. But the thing Zane pulled out if the gutter was a piece of evidence placing Mark there that night. Just one theory, but it could fit. Also the mayor is very suspicious, since Ian was linked to him… Was he in the child pornography business with him? Why does he keep trying to say there are not enough resources to search for Oliver, and it would reflect badly on him, as he is running an election? Surely it would look better for him if the police solved the mystery of what happened to a young boy whilst under his time in power? Must be involved somehow.

  6. Matthew on December 4, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    Helen, do not think it can be tiny because of it was him why would he start the investigation again? He would know that eventually they would find out it was him so it could only ever lead to him being arrested. I did lost my theory on here before but with so many revelations since I feel that it needs to be revised.i think that vincent bourg, Gareth, and Mark are part of a pedophile sex ring related to the caid de cite. I think that they took Oliver to abuse him and they kept him in the basement to take images of Oliver. The house was an old house own had worked on and he knew the owners were on holiday. Vincent bourg was the one to choose Oliver as the victim and Mark is the ringleader. I think he wasn’t on holiday but there to organise it all and he pretends to be a policeman so the police won’t suspect him, he married Emily so she won’t suspect him and we are never shown his job so I think like his ‘promotion’ he doesn’t have a job. I think he took Oliver and made him forget and put false memories of being his son. Think about it, Emily thought it was him, so did her father. Every opportunity Mark gets to tell Emily not to go or not telling her tiny called and putting Tony off digests he has something to hide. This is just my theory but anything could happen in the last two episodes! Apparently, the writers are in talks with the BBC for a second series as the 191st has been watched by so many people but there will enclosure to Oliver’s story apparently whether that is a body or liberating found I cannot say for sure yet. A second series sounds great to me anyway!

  7. Aseret on December 5, 2014 at 2:51 am

    I think they will learn the kidnappers stole the wrong kid when they took Oliver. Remember how much Mark’s son resembled Oliver? So much that Emily chased him down the street? What was Mark doing in the town? Why did he offer his assistance? Why did the kidnappers wait in a house instead of getting out of town straigh away? Maybe they were holed up in the empty house trying to figure out their next move. Perhaps it was Mark’s son who was supposed to be stolen. I think we will learn that Oliver is dead and buried in the concrete foundation of Garrett’s partially renovated house.

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