The penultimate episode of The Missing on Sunday night (March 26) is its most gripping. The current reality for everyone affected by this ongoing investigation isn’t just a grim world, it’s a black hole of misery. And while this imagery is symbolic for most, it’s a painfully accurate description of where the real Alice Webster has been living this entire time. Any excitement we expected to feel in discovering that she’s still alive is overshadowed by the fact that after being transported to Switzerland while locked in a trunk, she’s being held captive, chained up like a dog.
Viewers will understandably be shook after seeing the real Alice for the first time, and we’re realizing that once all the pieces of the missing girls case are put together, the truth explaining the entire ordeal is going to be far worse than anyone could’ve ever imagined. It’s hard to process how anyone could treat another living being with such barbaric sadism, but Adam Gettrick (Derrick Riddell) is frighteningly sick in the head.
Even though Jean Baptiste (Tcheky Karyo) knows Adam is the abductor, due to his recent hallucinations and violent outbursts, no one believes he’s thinking clearly, and his accusations hold no weight. So, instead of taking Adam into custody, the police arrest Baptiste for beating up Adrian Stone (Roger Allam) the night before, something for which we all know he didn’t do.
It’s frustrating watching Baptiste get put in cuffs while Adam escapes to Switzerland. In fact, it makes our stomachs churn. We worry if anyone will be able to find this hidden cabin in the woods where he’s got Alice locked up, along with Sophie Giroux and Lucy living as hostages. However, because Adam fled town in such a rush and forgot to grab cash, he might be able to get tracked down if he absent-mindedly used a credit card to buy the toy monkey during that brief pit stop on the way.
And the question that’s been burning in the back of our minds since the very beginning, how any of this is related to what happened in 1991 with Stone, Henry Reed and Nadia Hertz (Lia Williams), is finally answered. Nadia, then known as Major Evett, explains to Baptise that they were all living at Camp Jambar in Iraq. She knew soldiers were hooking up with local women, was disgusted by such, but with the end of the war a mere two weeks away, the exhausted Major chose to turn a blind eye to these infractions.
So when Stone and Reed report that Adam’s been missing for four days, she brushes it off thinking that he’s probably shacking up with some woman. “He’s a big boy,” she tells Stone and Reed. But the two soldiers can’t rest knowing that one of their brothers is out there. They go rogue, and head out to find him. They find out Adam was caught sleeping with a 13-year-old local girl, and her father says that he kicked him out.
Both Reed and Stone assume that Adam had no idea this woman was so young, and that there’s no way her dad would just let him go. They find Adam locked up and nearly beaten to death in the girl’s father’s basement, and kill the local man in order to escape. After escorting a young Mirza Barzani outside, they torch the house to erase any evidence that they were ever there. However, after they set the house afire, Mirza informs them that his nine-year-old sister is asleep in the upstairs bedroom, but it’s already too late.
This harrowing scene in 1991 explains many things. Reed was sending money to Mirza out of guilt. Gettrick is pinning Sophie and Alice’s abduction on Nadia’s husband for revenge on refusing to send a search party out find him right after he went missing. It’s the perfect storm of madness in which respectable officers have unknowingly allowed a child raping monster to run wild. Of course, Adam knew the young woman in Iraq was just a child, that’s probably what attracted him to her in the first place. As Baptiste aptly notes, this man was mentally ill way before he joined the army.
Even though our money is on Adam, we don’t know for sure who murdered Reed and framed it as a suicide. We also don’t know how Reed knew Sophie, or if they ever actually met. For why would she take the time to place flowers on his grave before faking her own death as “Alice” if they didn’t have some sort of connection? But maybe Sophie only placed flowers there hoping it would be a helpful clue for the police to connect the dots to Adam.
Also, where’s Lena Garber? We don’t know if the third missing girl is alive or if Gemma (Keeley Hawes) and Baptise will find her body locked in the basement of Adam’s home. And at some point, Eve (Laura Fraser), Baptise or someone must realize that Jorn Lenhart (Florian Bartholomei) has been suspiciously absent during all these discoveries.
With only one episode left, it’s hard to kick the feeling that even more depressing news awaits us, that full disclosure on this case will not bring the assumed relief we once thought it would. It’s also hard to imagine the Webster family dealing with any more pain and misery. But if Adam is tracked down, and Gemma and Sam (David Morrissey) reunite with their long lost daughter, learn how she’s been living as an abused sex slave all these years, such information might tear the last living thread in their pumping hearts. No matter how things shake out, the finale episode is not looking like it will have one big happy ending. Not even close.
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