The Missing Season 2 Premiere Recap: "Come Home"

Photo: Courtesy of Starz.
The Missing follows a tried and true formula of TV storytelling, a whodunit in which each
episode ends with such a compelling cliffhanger, it’s impossible not to dig into the next one right
away. There’s no need to binge the entire season, however. The only connecting thread between the two anthologies comes in the form of retired detective Julien Baptiste (Tcheky Karyo), and he’s now working an entirely new case. Baptiste is trying to figure out the mystery behind not one, but two missing girls, and the connection between their disappearances.

Reminiscent of BBC’s mini-series Thirteen, or the movie Room, Season 2 of the Starz series
focuses on what happens after one of the missing girls shows up after being held captive for 11
years. When we meet Alice Webster (Abigail Hardingham), she is a shell of a human. She’s
been badly beaten and medical examiners find evidence she’s since given birth. Alice’s bleary
eyes gives off a deep kind of sadness, a kind pain only someone who’s spent over a decade
with an abusive rapist could emit, and for which you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy, let
alone an innocent child.

While Alice’s family is over the moon she’s returned, that she’s alive, their reunion isn’t as
joyous as one would expect. Alice freezes up when her father Sam (David Morrissey) tries to
give her a hug. Gemma (Keeley Hawes), her mother, is walking on egg shells. She’s nervous
anything she says or does might trigger a bad memory for Alice. It’s clear both parents are
wracked with guilt over what their child’s been though, and are angry at their inability to protect
her from such unimaginable torture.

Gemma is also terrified to admit her daughter now seems like a stranger. She addictively flips
through old photo albums, straining to find a spark of familiarity in pictures of the little girl she
once knew. Alice also feels uncomfortable being back in her old home. Life moved on while she
was gone. This is far cry from the fairy tale ending Alice’s parents and brother Matthew (Jake
Davis) envisioned her return would be.

But the awkwardness might be due to the fact that Alice isn’t actually Alice. The series bounces
between two timelines, one in the year 2014 in which Alice first returns, and then to present day,
in which Baptiste is traveling around Iraq, still on the hunt for Alice’s kidnapper. In the final scene
of the premiere, Baptiste announces that the girl claiming to be Alice Webster in 2014, wasn’t
actually her at all.
Photo: Courtesy of Starz.
Pictured: Laura Fraser as Eve Stone and Roger Allam as Adrian Stone.
And that’s just one of the major twists in the premiere. In present day, Sam is having an affair
with Eve (Laura Fraser), the military police officer previously assigned to Alice’s case. It also
comes a surprise when Baptist announces he’s dying of a brain tumor. Numerous breadcrumbs
are sprinkled about in “Come Home” for which we have no clue where they will lead. In
particular, the introduction Daniel Reed (Daniel Ezra). A young soldier whom after attending his
father’s funeral, scrubs out a huge blood stain on the floor of his home. Is this the act of a guilty
son? We’re told his father took his own life, but that could just be the story given to the public.
And we don’t know how Daniel is connected to Baptiste, Alice or the other missing girl, Sophie
Gireoux.

In fact, we don’t know anything about Sophie except for the fact that she’s been kidnapped, and
that Alice, or the girl posing as Alice, seems to know her. Is Sophie still alive? Is the real Alice
still alive? In present day, we see Jake and Gemma visit Alice Webster’s grave. It could be the
real Alice’s, or it could be the imposter’s.

The entire new season from show creators Harry and Jack Williams will be made available after episode 1 premieres, but the network will also subsequently air an episode each Sunday night
for those who like to savor and dole out the highly dramatic series on a weekly basis. All eight
episodes are directed by Ben Chanan, who masterfully captures the bleak icy cold German
winter in 2014, while smoothly shifting to the uncomfortable sticky heat of the Middle East in
present day. Chanan smartly keeps the focus less on the story plot points, but on the immense
amount of pain pouring from each character.

The Missing Season 2 is quite heartbreaking. It’s hard to imagine anyone in Alice’s situation
recovering from such horrors. Baptiste’s eternal optimism acts as a source of light for the show,
tirelessly dedicated to getting justice for these girls no matter the cost. Why is Baptiste risking
his life, spending the final bit of the life he has on Earth not with his family, but investigating this
case? He says, “To do something, to do nothing, it’s not choice at all.” And there you have it.

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