With every new episode, The Missing proves itself to be an atypical crime series. “Concrete” showed the grey areas in murkier ways than the show has ever dared before, with not just Tony but Julien being brought into a questionable light. But Julien asks the right question about it all: “how is justice best served?” Hit the jump for why the more things change, the more they stay the same.
In many ways, I found “Concrete” to be the most harrowing episode of The Missing yet, which is a pretty difficult thing to do at this point. But whereas other episodes have, visually, had moments of beauty that are punctuated by the dark story, “Concrete” was all dull, grey, and drab. The darkness is all-encompassing, now.
Nowhere was this more viscerally felt than at the beginning of the hour, when we see Tony cleaning up his crime scene. Tony didn’t just act out in a passionate moment and then involve the police, he went to great pains to hide everything he had done. It was methodical, too: the tarp, the rocks on the body, taking the boat out and leaving it adrift as he swam back to shore, keeping his clothes dry, and disposing of the bloodied shirt in the concrete. That takes a certain kind of mind. When he picks up Emily, after trying to justify his actions, she tells him Ian was definitely not the person who took Oliver. Tony then realizes he just killed an “innocent” man (and one who could have, potentially, led them to the men who took Oliver).
Of course, Tony can easily justify that “the world is better off without people like Ian.” He was a sick man who financially supported a disgusting industry, but let us not forget about the disappearance of Molly. Ian certainly had a hand in that, abusing her and definitely killing her. Was it justified that Tony should kill him? But doesn’t that vigilante killing lead to societal chaos?
Julien, who has always been on the side of the law, so much so that he once called the police on his own daughter and had her sent to jail (as a kind of desperate attempt to get her off drugs), was in a difficult position in “Concrete.” Throughout the investigation, he has always insisted on doing things by the book, because he believed in the system. In 2006, he was ready to see what was in that foundation at Ian’s house, and put Tony away for it. But eight years later, he has a different feeling about it. He hides the evidence, and presents it to Tony. He talks about his daughter’s suffering, and how the “system” only made her worse off than she started. Finally, he acknowledges that Tony has been in a prison ever since Oliver was taken. What good would it do, for anyone, to incarcerate him now?
Still, that decision was a bleak one on so many levels. The rest of “Concrete” matched that tone, though. Tony sends Emily the video of Oliver in the window, which crushes her. We then got flashbacks to Emily in 2006, chasing after a vision of Oliver, running through traffic barefoot, and almost jumping off of a bridge. Her son is gone, her husband has committed murder … will the nightmare ever end? But Mark saves her, in a way that finally starts to show how and why the Hughes’ marriage ended. Who could survive all of that?
The discussion with Karl Sieg also yielded more dark portends, the worst of which was the visual revelation of the blood all over the floor where Oliver had been. Was he already dead, then? And could whatever evidence Ziane found that day (and stupidly gave to Malik) have led the authorities to Oliver? Ziane, who has operated on the outskirts of the story from the beginning, was a lynchpin in “Concrete.” It was he who suppressed that apparently crucial evidence (that Malik took and never handed over), and also he who destroyed Julien’s leg. But, in the present day, he is also the next lead in the case, because he can reveal what it was he found.
Finally, there was the briefest of interludes with Vincent Bourg, who is on his Road to Redemption Tour all across Europe at the moment, meeting with Malik for an interview Malik has been asking for forever. It would confirm what Malik already knows happened, which, presumably, will make his star rise even higher, and make him famous for “solving” the mystery. But for now, these threads are left dangling.
Episode Rating: A
Musings and Miscellanea:
— I’m a little concerned with that racially dichotomy here of “good people are white, bad people are brown,” but, I’m willing to see if that changes with either Malik or Ziane in these last episodes.
— “I pushed her away, I betrayed her. So I ask myself, how is justice best served? What could will come of sending you to prison? You have been apin a prison ever since your son was taken.” Poor Julien.
— The Mayor is definitely involved in this sex trafficking ring, right?
— So wait, is Ziane part of a botched crime investigation, or does Malik think somehow he was involved? Should we take something away from the fact that both Malik and the man who answered the door for Karl that fateful day were both wearing the same ski mask?
— Karl talking about how he didn’t erase the drawing Oliver had made, because he didn’t want him to disappear completely …
— “I would have come anyway, you didn’t need to send the video. I don’t what to remember him like that. Now is keep seeing him in that house seeing him scared an desperate. Seeing that man … I would have come anyway” – Emily.
— “You don’t often see this kind of money these days. It’s all … In the air. I Gus that’s why mine always blows away.” – Karl, making jokes and eating very expensive food.
— I’m wondering if this is all an Occam’s razor. That after everything, it all does come back to Vincent, the first suspect.