In mystery dramas, certain surprises and “Oh my God, I did not see that coming!” moments are to be expected, and on Sunday night’s (March 19) episode, “Saint John,” a revelation is unearthed for which even the most seasoned whodunit watchers wouldn’t have caught Even star detective Jean Baptiste (Tcheky Karyo) didn’t realize it until now. Remember that suspicious man stalking Baptiste throughout the Middle East? Who later, mysteriously popped up again in Germany? Well, he doesn’t exist. He’s merely a hallucination created by Baptiste’s tumor riddled brain.
Any argument as to whether or not this man was ever real is laid to rest when Baptiste visits Eve (Laura Fraser) at work, and he pummels a guy to the ground, whom at first, looks like his Middle Eastern stalker. But then the camera shifts to Eve’s point of view, and all we see is Baptiste tackling an innocent American soldier. When Baptiste returns to his senses, he ashamedly sees the same thing.
The stubborn detective is also envisioning his wife and daughter, engaging in full imaginary conversations with them. With all these hallucinations, it’s wondrous as to what, or who else we’ve seen from Baptiste’s panorama that doesn’t exist. And while his unceasing commitment to solve this case came across as honorable, his negligence in getting treatment may cause the entire investigation to unravel. For even if he finds the kidnapper, Baptiste looks like the neighborhood crazy man. He’ll be deemed as a mentally unfit witness. All of his years of research, null and void.
Even more depressing, the flashbacks to 2015 in which Sophie Giroux (Abigail Hardingham) is shacking up with press officer, Adam Gettrick (Derek Riddell). Even though Sophie is trapped living in a single room that literally smells like shit because neither her or her daughter are allowed access to the bathroom, she is living there willingly. It seems Sophie has become a textbook victim of sexual torment. She claims to be in love with her longtime captor, and wants nothing more than for the three of them to live happily ever after as a family.
However, we get the sense that Sophie is putting on act. For she’s proven herself as a masterful liar. This is the same girl who pretended to be Alice Webster, framed the innocent Kristian Hertz and faked her own death. But she didn’t commit all these terrible crimes because she drank the Kool-Aid of her pedophilic captor, it was all out of desperation and boundless love for Lucy.
Making her daughter feel safe, figuring out a way to get her free, it’s the only thing that brings Sophie joy. She can’t dwell on how she irreparably destroyed the Webster family and annihilated the Hertz’s lives so she could one day escape with her daughter. They say there’s nothing a mother won’t do for her child, so there’s even reason to believe it was her who killed Alice and Lena, both of whose whereabouts are still unknown.
The million dollar question, however, remains unanswered: How does any of this connect to whatever happened back in 1991 with Henry Reed, Brigadier Stone (Roger Allam) and the recently discovered third party to the situation, Nadia Hertz (Lia Williams)? Currently, Baptiste is holding Nadia at knife-point for information, and since each episode picks right up from where it last left off, we should get an answer to this first thing next week.
Amidst all this craziness, the most powerful scene of the episode comes from a very tempered conversation between Gemma (Keeley Hawes) and Eve. Gemma visits Eve at work in order to steal military documents for Baptiste, but since she’s already there, she might as well ask Eve a few personal questions. Like, whether or not she plans to keep her husband’s bastard child?
However, as Gemma broaches the topic, coming as a surprise to even herself, she tells Eve that she should keep the baby. That her and Sam (David Morrissey) were already broken, and to not let the circumstances for which this child came about, be the deciding factor as to whether or not she becomes a mother.
These intimate, familial focused scenes throughout “The Missing” are what set this series apart from your typical whodunit. In 2015, we discover Sam was demoted to menial office work because he took the fall for Matty (Jake Davies) and his German thug friends, stealing and crashing his work vehicle. And Matty still hates his father because by an unfortunate un-serendipitous moment, he saw firsthand him hooking up with Eve. So, while it’s been easy to chalk up Matty’s antics as merely being an angry self-entitled screw up, on top of being blamed sister’s death, he’s been keeping quiet about his Dad’s affair this entire time.
The year 2015 isn’t great for Gemma, either. After the DNA test seemingly proves that the girl she couldn’t recognize as own her daughter, actually is, Gemma officially checks out. Throughout most of the season, we’ve blamed Sam for their ruined marriage, but it’s now clear that there’s equal blame.
Actually, “blame” isn’t the right word to use. The term we’re looking for doesn’t exist. For what the Websters are enduring is beyond any comprehensible emotional level of loss and hurt. While we’re curious as to how all the missing threads of the girls’ disappearances tie together, we’re more interested in whether or not Sam will stay in town for Eve’s child, or if he’ll still jet off to London for a fresh start. We want to know if Matty can get his life together, and if Gemma will be able to move on with her life even if she doesn’t get the closure on her daughter’s whereabouts. Deep breathes, there are still two whole episodes left to find everything out.