In its fifth episode, The Missing revealed so many things that it felt like the investigation was really getting somewhere. And yet, by the end of the hour, there’s a cold realization that (for the most part), further knowledge of Oliver’s disappearance has not really gained any ground. That realization is also in line, though, with how The Missing has always approached its story. Though the search for Oliver drives it, it is really about the effects of the case on those around it over the course of 8 years. And in “Molly,” we’re finally starting to see how some of those characters are finally letting go and moving on. Hit the jump, because “until death us do part.”
It had seemed like Ian Garrett might be the lynchpin of the dark side of this series. Tony’s belief about his connection to Vincent Bourg was dismissed by the mayor and by the police, and the confession he beat out of Vincent about Ian’s involvement in the coverup of the crime was disregarded. Tony being arrested instead of Ian, and Ian visiting Tony in his jail cell all seemed to suggest that Ian was too powerful for Tony to bring down. The opening sequence with Ian and his wife on a yacht in the Indian Ocean seemed to back this up — was he so rich and powerful he could make himself disappear to escape the heat from the investigation?
“Molly” stripped away all of these notions though in its last quarter-hour. Ian’s wife was covering up his sins, and went mad from it. Their “escape” was nothing more than her own hallucination. And Ian wasn’t all-powerful; he was a profoundly broken man who had let the worst kind of evil control his life. He admitted to having 53 tapes of, presumably, the rape of underaged children (including possibly Oliver), and talked about his own abuse at the hands of his grandfather. He wasn’t looking to hurt Tony or attack him for discovering his secret, he actually led him to the full stash, then told him to take out his anger on him. Tony did.
I postulated last week that perhaps Julien was asking Tony about regrets in regards to Ian and his “disappearance.” It seems in “Molly” that Tony did kill Ian, and while it can seem, in moments, justified, we also know that Tony’s impulsivity rules him, and that he might have been able to find Oliver or a link to Oliver if he had called the police as he threatened, and not killed Ian himself (assuming, of course, that Ian is dead from the attack).
The other fascinating, yet harrowing, part of this equation is that now Tony, our protagonist, is likely a murderer. Is he protected under the caveat of “at whatever cost” when it comes to finding his son, or does the blood on his hands no longer make him able to carry his righteous indignation truthfully? And what did it cost him when it comes to Oliver’s search that he killed the best link to those who might know where Oliver is?
There are, of course, several other threads at play, including the culmination of Rini’s storyline. Though hairstyles help in some ways to keep the two time periods separate, Rini’s was at times confusing in “Molly.” The important thing is that the bond between her and her brother was broken when his associate cut her throat and almost killed her when she was trying to get info about Oliver back in 2006. Now, in 2014, she hesitates to help Julien and Tony, but ultimately does. There’s also a twist — this time, when the police come rushing in, it is because Rini is holding a knife to her brother’s throat. She gets Julien the information he needs about the Romanian trafficking gang and Karl Sieg, and then is finally able to close that chapter of her life, and look towards the future.
Vincent Bourg is also a loose end that is interesting to follow. Now that Ian is dead, he is taking his revenge, of sorts, by finally revealing what a monster he was (and he starts with Ian’s zonked-out wife). The truth will probably come out thanks to Vincent, or at least help vindicate Tony, but at this point I’m genuinely unsure of where it will all ultimately lead. “Molly” felt like the finale of a lot of crime shows: a nocturnal confrontation on a boat that hides a lot of evidence, with the police swooping in at the last second to save Tony from killing Ian, let’s say, and Ian being arrested and Oliver being found (or at least, his body being found). But The Missing didn’t stop here, there are still three more episodes for it to continue its dark exploration. And now, through Tony’s murderous transgression, darkness has permeated everything.
Episode Rating: A
— I didn’t know how Ian could have pulled off a disappearing act these days, but I was willing to go along with it. The reveal that it was all his wife’s hallucination was a brilliant twist.
— Tony watching whatever horror was on the videotape reminded me of True Detective, in all of the worst ways. (At least they didn’t show anything this time).
— My guess that Ian did rape and kill his own daughter has been proved true. Maybe The Missing is just really obvious regarding its crimes, but that’s fine. The show finds its strength in its character moments.
— Emily didn’t have a lot to do in this episode, but what did happen was vitally important. She stood up for Tony, and she knew, after visiting Ian’s wife, that there were secrets there. In the present day, she’s also wounded by Mark’s son calling her “mum” at first, then asking where his mum really is (she appears later, as a family unit Emily can’t quite have again). Sad, but also strange to think then how she and Tony broke up. She is getting tired of his obsessions, but he’s been proved right, so I don’t know.
— “I have no life! Go home, and enjoy your life” – Tony.
— I’m not sure I totally get Tony’s odd encounter with the street artist. I mean, good for him on the one hand (maybe it was a signal that he, too, is finally moving on). The paintings of the children, particularly scared children, on her walls were weird. Is it symbolic of how Tony is haunted?
— Ian: “There’s no such thing as human kindness.” Tony: “You’re a rapist, you’re a murderer, you’re a pedophile, and you did all of these things to your own daughter. Why should I believe a word you say?”
— “Dangerous animals like you need to be out down, Ian” – Tony, and so it goes.
— “Til death us do part” – Ian’s wife.