Absentia – Episode 4: “Me You Him Me”
Starring: Stana Katic, Patrick Heusinger, Cara Theobold
Director: Oded Ruskin
Writers: Antoinette Stella
Reviewed by Sidney Morgan
This review CONTAINS SPOILERS. You’ve been warned!
Oooooohhhh, things are escalating in the world of Absentia. A quick reminder that the last episode ended with Emily breaking into Adam Radford’s house, finding the journal with all those bleeding eye drawings. This sets her off. She ended up having a panic attack in his office, just as he was coming back. But she was able to escape and now finds herself explaining her new theories to Nic. If you thought that was an intense episode, well, this fourth one is intensity on steroids!
Me You Him Me was a great episode. Emily strongly suspects Radford is behind all of these events. She’s convinced that he is the corrupt agent. He is the one who abducted her and tortured her. He is the one who murdered Semerov, and he is the one who killed Harlow. Now, wouldn’t it be perfect if she was right? Nothing better than an open and shut case, no? However, anyone who’s seen these kinds of shows knows that the solution is never that easy and straightforward. And never mind the fact that this is only episode four of ten. But, we’re all rooting for Emily to be done with this nightmare, so could some parts of her theory be right?
Time has run out for Emily and Nic has to bring her in – she’s still a prime suspect in the Harlow murder. Reluctantly, she agrees. First, Nic tells her to see Flynn, presumably because it could be a while before she sees him again. And while she’s at his bedside, we can’t help but sympathize with her, as we realize how much she’s lost. We can also sympathize with Alice, who clearly isn’t happy with the situation. Anytime she’s with Nic; there’s the elephant in the room (Emily, in case you were wondering). And things aren’t getting any better. At all.
Alright, I have to get something off my chest. I get that Nic never got any closure, worsened by the fact that nobody was ever found. But clearly, he chose to move on. He met someone (Alice), undoubtedly someone he loves as they ended up getting married. So, why have him and Emily go through that completely unexpected and surprising lapse in judgment? (In case you didn’t sense the sarcasm, it’s there, oozing through every pixel…)
What’s impressed me so far in Absentia is that you never fully know what to expect. The show leads you in one direction but then tears you from that path and places you on a new one, which is why this felt so disappointing. Ok. Rant over. Suffice it to say, it was the weakest moment of the show so far. It’s likely going to cast its shadow at some point in future episodes. To leave it otherwise unaddressed would be even weaker. Ok, ok. I’m moving on.
Clues and questions come aplenty in Absentia, but what’s even more impressive is how quickly some of these are resolved and dealt with, never letting the viewer or the characters get comfortable. Harlow is a prime suspect? Yep. But, oops, he’s killed at the end of the second episode. No problem. What about Radford? Nic and Emily both believe him to be the crooked agent, with Emily convinced he’s behind everything.
Nic isn’t too sure though, questioning the logic behind this. But in true Absentia fashion, logic isn’t particularly adhered to. And to be honest, Emily is past logic and wants so desperately to believe Radford did it all just to be done with it and move on with her life. So, what rational plan does she come up with? Well, lo and behold, she kidnaps him! The field agent in charge of the Boston office. At gunpoint! How the heck do you come back from that? (Hint: you don’t!) And that’s only the beginning of the insanity in this last part of the episode.
As much as plot development was in high gear, character development, not so much. Nic is becoming too predictable which frankly, makes his storyline boring. Alice has finally had enough and presses Nic to talk but to no avail. Tommy’s still broody, but there are moments of anger given he’s clearly lost control of this investigation, with Emily now on the run. Oh, and why does this guy wear his leather bomber jacket ALL the time?
Indoor, outdoor, he never takes it off. Then there’s Jack, Emily’s brother, who’s falling off a cliff, full steam back into drinking – although his motives to do so seems contrived to fit the plot. Warren, Emily’s father, is just a hoot and has no problems going toe to toe with Tommy. And finally, there’s Emily, who’s finally been pushed to the edge. She’s now alone with no apparent ally, other than her father, and nowhere nearer to finding who is responsible for her abduction. All she has are a few clues, giving her an idea what to look for next.
Verdict: Keep watching! The mystery is still plowing ahead full speed and shows no signs of running out of gas. With Emily’s freedom and life now at stake, and (us viewers) being the only ones that know what happened, it’s almost impossible to stop yourself from yelling at the television, hoping to talk sense to those closest to Emily. Bring on the next episode!