Review: The Missing (S1 E7/8), Tuesday 9th December, BBC1


Three years after the disappearance of Oliver Hughes something else horrid happened in the region of Chalons Du Bois. In the blink of an eye another little boy was snatched from under the noses of their parents in a school car park. Only two miles from where Oliver was taken. Suddenly we were plunged into more myriad feelings – the teeth-gnashing horror of another abduction, waves of sympathy for the new set of parents but also confusion. Here was yet another timeline to get to grips with. It felt like too many cooks; another needless layer to delay the inevitable – finding out what happened to Oliver Hughes.

As ever there were lots of things going on. Setting up suspects. Eliminating suspects. It felt like this was the deep breath before the jump; the sparring before knockout punch. Again, I couldn’t decide whether this was over egging the pudding or adding more intrigue.

But let’s get to it. Malik Suri telephoned Tony to tell him that he knew what he had happened to his son. Thanks to a chat with Vincent Bourg he surmised that Ian Garrett had taken Oliver and that he though that Tony was the man who killed Garrett. People would understand, Suri told Tony, why he had killed Garrett and it would be better for him to come clean. Preferably to him. As soon as the pair hung up, Tony knew he was a doomed man. Thanks to some stromg-arm persuasion from Mark, Suri decided to give up harassing Tony, not before he gave Emily’s lover food for thought. Now Mark was suspicious of Tony.

There was an interesting character development with Suri in this episode. We saw he and his wife prepare for a new baby, but then find out the unborn child might have cystic fibrosis. A, short, process of humanisation for the previously reptilian Suri.

Tony and Emily (now fully buying into the search for Oliver again) were being brought closer by the momentum of the case. There was a dreamlike scene as soft, delicate snow fell in Chalons Du Bois’ main square. It looked like a John Lewis Christmas advert, but it served an important purpose. The two, having had a drink or two, reached out to each other one final time. Emily hoped that perhaps that drawing into a kiss might stoked the flicker of love they still felt for each other, finally using this horrific shared experience as a bridge for reconciliation. But no. Tony pulled away and realised there was no way back, his self hatred dictating his reticence.

In the third timeline we saw the last dying embers of their relationship peter out. Tony needed to be in the same hotel room he and his family had stayed before disaster struck. To be reminded of the tragedy. To punish himself. Emily wanted and needed to get away, to get some sort of new routine, even though she was back in Chalons Du Bois. The two were at polar opposites.

This episode felt like more sparring. It kept us at a distance, drip feeding us yet again with enough information to keep us watching. Not only did we have a new timeline to get to grips with (more camoflage), but the death of Khalid Ziane – viciously chived in prison before he could dispense vital information, naturally – meant that we were almost back top square one. Not until the very last scene was there the big, “I know who this belongs to” line to get us juiced up for next week’s finale.

All this fannying about leads me to believe – unless yet another new character is introduced next week – that an existing character is to blame. Could be Tony? It could. Despite the hangdog expression and the obsessional way he has gone about trying to find his son, the revelation that the other missing little boy’s father had staged the whole thing, planted a seed of doubt in our minds again. Could it be Mark? He’s always too good to be true. Could it be Vincent? Could it be Emily? Could it even be Julien? My hunch is that the mayor will play some part in next week’s finale. We’ll have to wait and see.

Paul Hirons

For our episode one review go here

For our episode two review go here

For our episode three review go here

For our episode four review go here

For our episode five review go here

For our episode six review go here



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