Okay, 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.
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 https://twitter.com/Our_manPLA
Written By Our Man In The North