As soon as teenager Léa Morel walked out of her parental home to attend a music festival on the eve of her birthday we knew that we were going to be plunged into a world of grief, guilt and frantic soul-searching (the clue was in the title of the show). Subsequently, the Morel family has been torn apart by the disappearance and now death of their daughter and as we approach the final two episodes we’re still none the wiser as to who killed Léa Morel.
The Disappearance has been an addictive, rollercoaster ride of emotions during the past three weeks, and it has turned from a kidnap story into a murder whodunit. Despite it being set in a big city like Lyon, the cast of characters and locations have been small and compact, giving it almost a one-room Agatha Christie-style mystery feel. But within these confined spaces there is a cast of characters that, even though they’ve almost all been processed by Bertrand Molina and the police, are all almost still in the frame.
And, with the final two episodes this weekend, I though I’d take a look at the runners and riders.
The father. Julien has been linked to the crime, interviewed and processed in the past, but what if this man – who enjoyed a close relationship with his daughter – is the culprit? His past affairs and the widening gap between him and his wife is at peak breakdown, and shows that all was not perfect in the marriage. It’s unlikely, but he’s still a suspect.
The mother. Flo has been a very interesting character throughout this whole series, and we’ve seen her oscillate between frantic, gut-wrenching emotion to strung-out craziness. We saw her trying to jolt herself out of the intense family scene by going on a date and actually snogging a man, but let’s face it, she’s the only family member who hasn’t been set up as a suspect… so far.
The older brother. He left his younger sister at the festival on the night she was murdered and, for that, his mother has never forgiven him. But this brooding young man had secrets of his own to hide – he and his girlfriend had stolen some redevelopment plans from his mother’s office and were planning some sort of sabotage. So all is not as it seems with Thomas, although since his interview with Molina he’s been keen to make amends with his family.
The uncle. A softly-spoken, kindly-looking man who works in the restaurant with his brother, Julien. During his interview process we found out more about his past – he was involved in a car accident that killed his wife, and he has been keen to keep his lover secret from his daughter Chris. But there’s something about Jean that doesn’t quite fit, and his argument at the funeral with restaurant waiter and subsequent murder victim Nico, points the finger of suspicion his way again.
The best friend. A young woman who was Léa’s cousin and best friend, they also shared a lover in Romain. But could this close relationship have spawned jealousy and murderous intent? She has started to wear Léa’s clothes, which is slightly odd, and, even though she’s taken on the responsibilities of looking after Zoe, we still think Chris might be one to watch.
The boyfriend. A bit of a hothead, and a star at the race track, Romain is now feeling the guilt after his argument with Léa on the night of her murder and his dalliances with Chris. An outside bet, but he’s not been fully exonerated.
The teacher. Much has been made of Tellier’s relationship with Léa and his previous misdemeanours with former students, but to me Tellier would be too obvious a culprit. Let’s see where the questioning goes…
The driving instructor. Not much has been made of the racing track’s instructor, but Léa was spending more and more time there under his tutelage, and he might still have a part to play in the story.
The younger sister. Here’s a theory right out of extreme left field: Zoe, the sweet younger sister, has been a calming presence in the Morel household because… well, she’s a kid who still doesn’t quite understand who’s going on and her innocence has helped to ground the Morels. Still… what if she accidentally killed her sister for reasons currently unknown in a terrible accident? Hugely unlikely, but you never know…
So, who do you think killed Léa Morel?
The Disappearance: Saturday 18th June, 9pm, BBC4
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