The Missing: Blood is thicker than water…

The-Missing-6Okay, we’re onto Episode 5 of this thrilling crime drama set in Paris (how very Broken Sword!) and quite a lot has taken place since Oliver Hughes disappeared in the French footie fracas. Is anyone lost yet? Never fear, your friendly TV Guru from the North is here to get you up to speed and take a closer look at what was a very grim and violent episode indeed.

So, where are we up to? Perhaps a bullet point list will be of use as this is a complex tale.

  • Oliver Hughes has gone missing (If you’re not with me this far, give up now and turn over to Channel 5)
  • A rather helpful chap by the name of Ian Garrett turned up and started chucking money to help the parents, Tony and Emily, find him.
  • The case was being investigated by Julien Baptiste, who has my favourite male French accent of all time.
  • The first suspect in the case was a young man called Vincent de Bourg, who had a conviction for downloading child pornography
  • He has been ruled out as a suspect, given that he has an alibi for the time that Oliver went missing.

  • However, Tony is not so sure and remains convinced that Bourg is involved.
  • Tony himself becomes a suspect as he has a conviction for assault, which he had kept from wife Emily all of this time.
  • Tony tracks Bourg down and confronts him at a riverside. When Ian Garrett later repeats a phrase that Bourg uses, Tony clicks that they must know eachother
  • Tony gives Bourg a beating and he admits that Garrett paid people to give him an alibi.
  • Tony sneaks onto one of Garrett’s properties and finds tapes of child abuse hidden on his boat. It transpires that Garrett had a hand in his own daughter’s death as well as other incidences of abuse but he insists he wasn’t involved in Oliver’s disappearance. When he comments on Oliver being a good looking boy, Tony snaps and beats him to death
  • Meanwhile, an undercover working for Julien asks to meet as he has information on Oliver’s disappearance.
  • When Julien arrives though, the man has been murdered. Julien tracks down his girlfriend Rini and pressures her into revealing that her brother is involved.
  • Julien stages a meeting between Rini and her brother and attaches recording equipment to her but when her brother’s associate gets suspicious, he cuts her throat and leaves her to almost bleed to death
  • In the present day 8 years on, Emily is now with Mark who was the British liaison officer in the case. They have a son who is Oliver’s age which must be a bit of a mindblower for Emily.
  • A journalist remains very interested in the case but is clearly using it to progress his own career. He heartlessly has stated that Oliver going missing was one of the worst days of Emily’s life but one of the best of his. Writers eh? Bunch of gits!
  • Tony has secured new evidence which shows a boy in the area wearing Oliver’s scarf. They track down the address to a house where a drawing of Tony by Oliver is scribbled on the cellar wall.
  • Video footage from a neighbours party shows a man grabbing Oliver and pulling him from sight at the window. It also shows a marked van outside.
  • Julien tracks down Rini again as he thinks the van is linked to her brother and he could provide the link to the owner of the van. Rini eventually agrees to meet her brother and holds a knife to him, forcing him to reveal the man’s whereabouts

And that’s where we have gotten to so far.

7344220-low_res-There are those that have complained that 8 episodes is too long for a drama such as this but if you really read the list above, which is not fully exhaustive, you can see how much has actually happened since that haunting opening episode.

Last night’s offering was just as grim, with the tense scenes between Tony and Garrett being one of the grittiest and well performed pieces of drama this year. What is striking about this terrifyingly realistic piece is that there aren’t outright heroes and villains, just a huge selection of flawed people (admittedly some more deeply flawed than others) It’s a difficult watch, especially for any parents out there but the performances and the need to find out if Oliver is alive and if this destroyed family can finally find peace keep almost 6 million of us watching each week.

It can be a confusing watch; it certainly isn’t something you can have on in the background. But the efforts in keeping up will pay off in the outcome I am sure and the performances of this brilliant cast will make that climax worthwhile, even if it isn’t the ending we are hoping for.

Judging by the dark episodes that have preceded, I have only slim hopes that all will turn out right in the end. So prepare to get those Kleenex ready and warn your kids that they’re going to be getting extra tight hugs for a while as The Missing meanders slowly but surely to it’s conclusion.

What are your theories? Let me know using the comments box below or tweet your thoughts to

MORE: The Missing First Episode Review

Written By Our Man In The North


Filed under Drama

8 responses to “The Missing: Blood is thicker than water…

  1. So glad you did this. The whole Rini section had confused me. I must have made a cup of coffee or something at a vital moment!

    I’m finding it very difficult to like, or sympathise, with Tony. Sometimes I forget that he’s the grieving father and not just a nasty piece of work.

    I’m not sure why Julien’s wife was introduced to us. Do you think she’ll become significant? (I’d actually like to see more of her as I really like the actress.) Or maybe it’s his addict daughter who had to be introduced?

  2. wiggles

    Lordy do people really have nothing better to do than complain about there being 8 hours of quality, well-written, well-acted, powerful and emotional drama on the TV???
    Maybe they should all be made to watch Hollyoaks (which has really gone downhill from the high of the trial week) because then they might appreciate the treasure that ‘The Missing’ is.

    • Totally agree, Wiggles. in a shorter drama almost all the characters have to be significant in order to allow time to establish their personalities, back stories etc. in something like Missing it is more challenging for the viewer as we don’t know which way the story is going to go or who we should really be paying attention to.
      I often read books which fascinate me so much that I don’t want them to end. I don’t want to step out of the world the author has created. A longer tv drama has the same effect.

  3. Pip: Yes, I’m finding it difficult to warm to Tony in the past and Emily in the present. Not sure re: Julien’s wife; it could well be significant. It’ll either be to give Julien a backstory or she might prove to be a big player in the main story… I’ve only seen up to episode 7 so it’ll be as much of a surprise to me to find out…

    Wiggles: Yes, don’t get me started on the ‘Oaks. I decided that if I want to maintain my relationship with Channel 4 press office, I’d best leave the Hollyoaks reviews for a while! The Missing is a gem; this year’s Broadchurch (which was also 8 episodes long and a huge success)

    • wiggles

      Probably best if you’re trying not to upset anyone – I have no such qualms and can’t quite believe how bad it is at the moment (and not in a ‘so bad it’s good’ way a la Sunset Beach either!).
      Agree about ‘The Missing’ though (although I did nearly turn it off right at the beginning but luckily gave it ‘just 10 more minutes’ and was hooked). It’s not the sort of show (rather like ‘The Fall) that I can say I enjoy watching but I am glad I do (if that makes any kind of sense) and that they are being made. Am also on tenterhooks for Broadchurch 2 – just hope it’s as good as the original!!

  4. Dcheck

    Ok, theory. Ian mentioned a brother who was also molested by their grandfather. Similarities between Marks son and Oliver in both age and appearance have been more than hinted to. Mark and his son being in the vicinity at the time of Olivers disappearence. What if Mark also had the urges of Ian and used Oliver as a way of releasing these instead of molesting his own son?To further my theory. There seemed to be some newly poured concrete on the plot of Ians summerhouse. Could Mark have taken Oliver there and then buried him in the concrete? Also crazy observation, but there was a cap on the boat in the same color as the one that Mark has worn. Furthermore a painting of two boys in the french chicks apartment in Paris – a blond and a brunette.

  5. Donna

    Must be missing seven years to be declared dead and collect insurance. Bet a cup of tea Oliver was not Tony’s biological son. Please deport Tcheky Karyo to Livonia, Michigan. Donna

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