Photo: Courtesy of Starz.
As we reach the halfway point in Season 2 of The Missing, many of the dots seemed to be finally connecting. But then came Sunday night’s episode, “Statice,” which threw out not one, but two huge plot bombs, rendering any previous theories DOA. For one thing: Upon taking a closer look at the roller coaster photos, Gemma (Keeley Hawes) discovers that there’s a third missing girl in this mystery kidnapping case.
Since she looks very similar to both Sophie Giroux and Alice (Abigail Hardingham), it’s safe to assume this girl's appearance on the ride was not a fluke. Especially since she’s wearing the same bird necklace Sophie wore while pretending to be Alice. So who is she? How did the authorities not link this girl’s abduction with those of Sophie and Alice? And did their captor have some sort of fetish involving underage brunettes with large eyes and fair skin?
Maybe we should just ask Sophie. Because the second plot bomb is: She’s still alive. The girl who returned to the Webster family in 2014 (who we still believe is Sophie, not Alice), never mentioned such information. But she also rarely revealed many details about her time in captivity. “Alice” was keeping a lot of secrets — and she faked her own suicide in order to escape the suspicious eyes of Julien Baptiste (Tchéky Karyo) and Gemma.
Meanwhile over in Switzerland, Sophie is currently casually sipping coffee in a cute outdoor cafe. She's hanging out in the same city where viewers saw the mysteriously painted camper parked alongside the road back in episode three. Is she there by force or by choice? When the waiter works up the courage to ask for Sophie’s number, her answer is cryptic. “I’m taken,” she says.
To be honest, this case is getting exhausting. Flipping the plot on its head packs a punch only when used sparingly. But such major revelations happening a few times every episode? It causes viewers to lose trust in the narration. We cease to care about what’s happening, because we’re already anticipating the next scene will render it null and void.
Another thing that doesn't make any sense: how the body burned in the shed matches Sam Webster’s DNA. During the three hours “Alice” ran off that day, was she fetching the real Alice’s body and placing it in the shed? Or did she grab the corpse of the third girl? Maybe this mystery brunette is a love child of Sam’s (David Morrissey's). He’s not being faithful to his wife now, so it’s not crazy to think that he previously had affairs. And it would explain why the these girls look so much alike. Maybe Gemma needs to request a DNA test of her own.
We doubled down on this theory after a particularly heated conversation between Sam and Gemma in 2014. Sam blames Gemma for the death of "Alice." Because maybe if Gemma would’ve just quit it with her suspicions, “Alice” would still be alive, and Sam wouldn’t be lying in a hospital bed covered in third-degree burns. But Gemma insists she knows her own child, and that maybe if Sam had been around when Alice was a baby, he’d be able to recognize the difference as well.
Maybe they’re both right. There are numerous possible reasons why Gemma would’ve been alone in raising Alice in the early years. Maybe Sam was away at war, or maybe he was shacking up with his side piece. “Alice” a.k.a. Sophie could turn out to be Sam’s child, but not Gemma’s.
Regardless of which body burned in the shed, there’s also the possibility that the hospital is lying about the actual results. Why Sophie put flowers on Henry Reed’s grave before faking her death remains a mystery — as does the reason she’s living in Switzerland, and how any of this is connected to what happened with Reed and Brigadier Stone (Roger Allam) back in 1991. If Baptiste decides to give up on his hunt for answers, we wouldn’t blame him. And if these actors weren’t so talented, we’d begin to check out as well.
But amidst the constant twists and turns, this fourth episode remains captivating due to the continuous stream of tense conversations: between Sam and the dementia-suffering Stone, and especially those between Gemma and Eve (Laura Fraser).
We do get one bit of clarification, however, and that’s in regards to what happened to Eve’s baby back in 2014. Obviously something tragic took place and she lost the fetus late in pregnancy, and we discover this happened shortly after she questioned Sam’s son, Matt (Jake Davies). Rightfully suspicious as to Matt’s whereabouts the night Nadia Hetz (Lia Williams) was beaten to a pulp, Eve's confrontation with him turns physical. Matt gets defensive and, with an accidental amount of force, he pushes Eve out his way to leave. She trips over the hospital’s waiting-room chairs — and by evening, she's hemorrhaging in the bathroom.
As if the Stones and the Websters needed yet another dreadful situation to tie the two families together. Nothing good happens when a Webster spends time with a Stone. And save for Gemma, all of them have skeletons in their closets — which, if revealed, may help us figure out who kidnapped these three girls and why. But we’re likely going to have to wait another four episodes before all these threads become undone and the answer finally becomes clear.
Photo: Courtesy of Starz.