Review: The Missing (S1 E3/8), Tuesday 11th November, BBC1

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Apologies for the delay, but things have been busy here at The Day Job. Last night’s third episode of The Missing – now attracting almost six million viewers per episode – is really starting to ramp up the action. We have a son abducted, a relationship falling apart, suspects galore being pegged and two timelines’ worth of action to digest. Not much, then.

Last night. And so it starts. The past two episodes have set up suspects, built them up and knocked them back down again. Thanks to the persistence of ruthless journo Malik Suri – who has been like a dog with a bone, trying to nail the Hughes for ‘what they did’ – it was only a matter of time until Tony Hughes was presented as a piece of the investigative puzzle. In the 2006 timeline he was called in for questioning by Julien and his team because of a violent attack on a man in his past (the nurse in the present day, looking after Emily’s terminally ill father).

To his astonishment Tony was suddenly being subjected to some tough interrogation by Julien, previously a sympathetic ally. This harks back to the McCann case – everything seems to in The Missing – and mirrors the trial by (social) media Gerry and Kate had and have to go through. When there are no answers in a case someone needs to be blamed, and suddenly the parents become a focus for attention. In Tony Hughes’s case, he and his father-in-law (unbeknown to Emily) had paid the nurse off but this little deal was coming back to haunt him.

As Tony was wriggling out of an uncomfortable situation, Julien greeted an undercover operative, working inside a Paris-based organised crime gang. He reported that the gang was due to transfer something big. Not drugs, not guns, but perhaps a child. He gave Julien the details of the drop-off.

We also got to find out more about the wonderfully complex character, Ian Garrett. Ken Stott is an incredible actor, one minute presenting a face that seems trustworthy, loveable even, but in an instant able to imbue his features with a steely gaze, jowls dropping to give him a menacing, sinister edge – like a bloodhound ready to attack. He continued to give Tony his support in this episode, but his meeting with Vincent Bourg in a previous episode marked him out to be one to be wary of, intimating as it did his involvement in a local paedophilia ring. This must be an incredibly hard part to play, but Stott nails it once again.

When Tony was finally released, he walked straight into a confrontation with Emily, who was livid after finding out about Tony’s violent episode and her father’s collusion in paying Halpern, the nurse, off. In this confrontation she finally admitted – with a scream – that she blamed Tony for Oliver’s disappearance. Their relationship was disintegrating rapidly.

We got a bit of Tony confronting Vincent Bourg, and we also got a healthy dose of the sting Julien and his team had planned to nab the organised crime gang with. It ended disastrously when, in true thriller style, Julien crashed his car after a chase through labyrinthine streets.

But, in the present day, a crumb for Tony. Julien had found a piece of video that placed Oliver in the house they thought the child might have been held in. Game back on.

Once again we jumped from timeline to timeline, which just about held together, and once again I loved Tcheky Karyo’s softly-softly portrayal of Julien. There were lots of things happening in this episode and at some there has to be a convergence between the timelines and things have to settle down. At the moment we’re in that set-up phase, where anything could happen and anyone is a suspect. And that’s always thrilling. But we do have the whiff of an arc, as the investigation switched to the organised crime gang. This will no doubt continue to be played out in subsequent episodes.

For our episode one review go here

For our episode two review go here

5 thoughts on “Review: The Missing (S1 E3/8), Tuesday 11th November, BBC1

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