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The Missing recap: 'Gone Fishing'

New leads and more questions as we finish the first half of the gripping miniseries.

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The Missing

The Missing

Current Status:
In Season
130 minutes
Wide Release Date:
Cate Blanchett, Tommy Lee Jones, Aaron Eckhart, Val Kilmer, Evan Rachel Wood
Ron Howard
Columbia Pictures
Akiva Goldsman, Kenneth Kaufman
Western, Drama

“Gone Fishing” is watchable and does the fundamental job of advancing the story, but it’s the least gripping hour of the series so far. To some extent that’s unavoidable in a show of this sort—if every episode included significant new developments, we’d have solved the mystery by now. But further working against this particular episode is the absence of the taut pacing found in earlier episodes, as well as the many jarring switches between locations, timelines, and characters. It’s difficult to stay immersed when you’re constantly having to think about whether the action is happening in the past or present.

Having learned from my subject’s mistakes, I skipped a number of the smaller, less significant scenes to make this a less confusing recap.

Episode 4 opens in a classroom in present-day France, where a young blond teacher is reading Alice in Wonderland to her students. She jumps at the sound of a sharp noise, but one of the kids tells her it was just a door slamming. She is somewhere else, though, clearly reliving a traumatic memory.

Next, we see Baptiste coming to meet Tony in his room at Hotel L’Eden in Chalons du Bois to discuss the disturbing video footage we saw in the final scene last week: a man grabbing Ollie away from the window in the house where he was being held. “What you’ve seen, no father should ever see,” he says, despite the irony that the footage is also the most promising sign of his son that Tony’s seen. “But I thought you should know we found something else on that tape.”

Now back to 2006, where the police are investigating the other big shocker from last week: the bloody murder, at the train station where he was meeting Baptiste, of an undercover police officer with important information about the crime ring he had infiltrated. (The police know the ring is involved in human sex trafficking and suspect they’re involved in Ollie’s disappearance.)

The good news is that Baptiste has begun to suspect Detective Zaine of being the press leak. The revelations about Tony’s violent past somehow made it into the papers, and Baptiste tells Laurence that he thinks, correctly, that Zaine is the mole. So he sends Zaine back to canvass the area surrounding the crime scene—which he’s already done, thoroughly—in order to keep him away from the real investigation.

Mark, Emily’s future hubby, informs Baptiste he’s been called back to London. He also asks a grim but very reasonable question: “So if Oliver Hughes is the victim of some sort of trafficking gang after five days, what are the chances of finding him alive?” Before he gets an answer, Laurence whisks him away to the pool complex where Ollie disappeared. There he finds Emily, keeled over on the ground by the pool, sobbing. She crawls into Mark’s arms and he hugs her.

We follow Mark home to London. While waiting in line for a cab home from the station, he sees Malik Suri and decides to confront the journalist for trashing the Hughes in the papers when they’re already so devastated by the loss of their child. Good question. But Suri couldn’t care less about the morality of his actions, and doesn’t try to hide his apathy, either—he gleefully informs Mark that the stories he’s written about the case have helped land him a job at The Telegraph. Suri all but confirms that he’s not just a ruthless reporter but a straight up sociopath: “It may be that the worst day in that family’s life could turn out to be the best day of mine.” He chalks up his profiting from the Hughes’ tragedy to a cold, perverse kind of karma, Newton’s law of motion—for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

(I believe the law he means to cite is the one that says: for every horrific tragedy there is a bloodsucking journalist standing by to exploit it for a story. Entertainment journalists notwithstanding, of course.)

NEXT: Tony and Baptiste hunt down a lead in Paris