In my review of the first episode of The Missing I wondered if the dual timeline was a narrative device that would be a good idea for the programme. Whilst it did bring up some shocking revelations, at times I found the switching between the 2006 and present day scenes quite disconcerting. But, by the end of tonight’s episode, I was a lot more comfortable with the way in which the present day story referenced incidents that we as an audience are yet to see. Another enjoyable element of tonight’s programme was the introduction of two new characters who added an extra dimension to the drama which left us asking more questions after the end credits had rolled.
One of these characters was property developer Ian Garrett, who first appeared in the opening scene. I have to say I felt it was pretty brave for the writers to open episode two with a character who hadn’t appeared in the first episode at all. But Garrett soon became entrenched in the Oliver Hughes case after witnessing the appeal given by Emily and Tony on the TV. Later on in the episode, Garrett returns and reveals to Tony that he’s willing to offer a reward to anybody who has information pertaining to Oliver’s disappearance. The other character introduced tonight is Vincent Bourg; a young man who the police view as their number one suspect due to the fact that he was near to the pool and that he has previous convictions for child pornography. Vincent is an incredibly intriguing character especially when we see him in the present day, working in London and attempting to curb his desire for children. In a powerful set piece, Vincent is confronted with a young boy at the chicken shop where he works and eventually has to run away as he’s visibly disgusted by his own thoughts. The eight-episode structure of The Missing allows Harry and Jack Williams the time to write small subplots such as Vincent’s which add more depth to the drama. Meanwhile, in the flashback scenes, Vincent is released by the police after a couple of witnesses come forward and claim they saw him elsewhere during the time of Oliver’s disappearance. However, it’ soon revealed that Garrett paid these witnesses off and that he and Vincent have some sort of sordid history which I’m sure we’ll find out more about in future episodes.
A lot of people watching last week’s episode believed that the discovery of Oliver’s drawing in the basement would be enough to re-open the case. However, this episode looks at the way in which the small French town isn’t at all willing to be the focus of the world’s media once again. The sympathetic Laurence is the first person that Tony and Julien turn to but she has trouble convincing her superiors that the drawing is sufficient enough evidence to start searching for Oliver once again. Meanwhile, the pair’s attempts to convince the town’s mayor to pressure the police into a new investigation falls on deaf ears, primarily as the mayor is about to stand for re-election. This political element to the story is another interesting avenue as Julien is forced to almost blackmail the mayor with media scrutiny in order to get him onside. As we witness in the 2006 scenes, Oliver’s disappearance brings a whole gaggle of reporters to the town and therefore we can understand why the investigation has to be scaled back in the present day. At the heart of these modern day scenes though is Tony, who is still convinced that this new investigation will result in the discovery of Oliver. It’s clear that he’s the only person that believes this, with Julien instead being motivated by a desire to tie up loose ends.
The second episode of The Missing also gives us more insight into the character of journalist Malik Suri who, in 2006, continues to blackmail one of the officers on Oliver’s case. This blackmail eventually results in him obtaining the file on Vincent Bourg, information that he gives to Tony and Emily in an attempt to earn their trust. It’s also revealed that Malik isn’t a big-time journalist, but instead a writer on a local paper who believes that writing about the Oliver Hughes case will be his big break. But, as Bourg is released, Malik’s article on him is pulled by The Telegraph which results in him getting incredibly angry. Meanwhile his reappearance in the present day scenes results in Tony attempting to assault him as we learn that Malik was involved in causing some sort of damage to the case. More intrigue is present through Malik’s conversation with Emily and especially when he tells her that he knows what she and Tony did and he’s going to prove it. This, like a lot of information provided in this episode, really got me thinking about the dark secrets about surrounding the main characters and what secrets each were hiding. Indeed, as we see in the 2006 scenes, Tony is responsible for severely injuring another man which seemingly changed the original investigation.
It’s fair to say that this second episode of The Missing is where the action started to pick up and, after watching it, I have a multitude of questions that must be answered. I do feel it’s brave for Jack and Harry Williams to introduce a character such as Vincent Bourg as his storyline does throw up several controversial moments. However, I do feel that Titus de Voogdt’s portrayal of the character is superb and he’s able to make him oddly sympathetic. Ken Stott’s Ian Garrett is an equally perplexing individual with the actor making us question his every move, especially after his interaction with Vincent. Meanwhile, James Nesbitt continues to give an excellent portrayal of a man whose lost everything and whose desperation to open the case causes him to fly into violent outbursts. Nesbitt’s performance of Tony as a broken man is absolutely superb and as a result he makes the audience care about his character’s need for the investigation to be re-opened. Frances O’Connor is also brilliant here and contributes to one of the episode’s quieter scenes as Emily visits a church to pray for her son.
Ultimately, this second episode of The Missing has got me a lot more involved in the drama than I was before. The introduction of two new characters, as well as the re-opening of the case, has allowed the story to become deeper than it previously was. The performances and the writing continue to improve and by the episode’s final scene I was completely hooked and can’t wait to see what happens next.
Did you enjoy the second episode of The Missing? What did you think to the new characters?
Leave Your Comments Below.