A psychological thriller about a young girl who turns up after going missing eleven years ago in Germany.
I by no means want to knock “The Missing: Season 1” but it pales in comparison to “The Missing: Season 2.” Before I realized “The Missing” was an anthology series, I watched Season 1 and frankly wasn’t looking forward to Season 2. It was hard to get into Season 1, it was slow and as cruel as it may seem to say, I didn’t care about the story from the get-go. That isn’t to say that Season 1 wasn’t well done, it’s obvious that a lot of care went into its production but it was too tedious and boring for me. And I figured Season 2 would be no different. I expected the first episode to drag out, for nothing to really happen, just lots of loose ends scattered everywhere and slowly tied together. But I was wrong and was perfectly happy to be wrong.
Season 2 follows the same format as Season 1, you’re following multiple timelines, but there is little connection to Season 1 aside from the detective Julien Baptiste (Tcheky Karyo), a retired missing children’s detective. Julien Baptiste is at the center of the investigations of Season 2 and is delightfully obsessive as ever. While deemed selfish by his wife and daughter, Baptiste does not do his job out of vanity or to supply his ego with a boost. But rather he genuinely cares, and this time the case is ever more pertinent because Baptiste is a dying man, and the case that has haunted him for years, the case of Sophie Giroux has cropped up in the most unusual circumstances.
There is a girl who faints in a town in Eckhausen, Germany. She is dirty, barefoot, and very ill. As she is rushed to the hospital she whispers the name Sophie Giroux in her delirium. The girl is identified as Alice Webster. She is the key for Julien Baptiste, and he will stop at nothing to solve the case that has haunted him for so long.
Alice (Abigail Hardingham) went missing in 2003 and in 2014 Alice returns. Her return is the miracle her parents, Sam (David Morrissey) and Gemma (Keeley Hawes), have been waiting for, but something isn’t right. While they may have their daughter back, suspicions linger that Alice may not be Alice after all, and this unleashes a chain of events that rupture familial bonds and untangles a web of mystery and deceit. Only Julien Baptiste sees what no one else sees (or is willing to see), and will go to any lengths to solve this case despite his situation and despite any pushback he receives from the police and the families involved. The story goes deeper than ever imagined and will surprise you at every turn.
Season 2, as previously stated, alternates between Present Day timelines and the timeline of the return of Alice in 2014 and the events that immediately follow. Season 2 manages to perfect the formula that Season 1 failed to do. The tension is perfectly taut throughout the series. It never gives any slack, bombs are consistently thrown at you, and your attention remains hostage throughout. And the performances are top notch. Abigail Hardingham, in particular, is able to portray an almost feral isolation that is chillingly eerie, and it should be considered one her best performances to date. Season 2 of “The Missing” makes up for all Season 1 lacked, and while Season 1 isn’t without any merit, Season 2 just goes above and beyond to create a thrilling mystery that demands (and succeeds in doing so) raw emotion from its characters, and its audience.
Available on DVD Tuesday, July 11th