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The Missing recap: 'Concrete'

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The Missing
Jules Heath/Starz

The Missing

type:
Movie
Current Status:
In Season
mpaa:
R
runtime:
130 minutes
seasons:
1
Wide Release Date:
11/19/03
performer:
Cate Blanchett, Tommy Lee Jones, Aaron Eckhart, Val Kilmer, Evan Rachel Wood
director:
Ron Howard
distributor:
Columbia Pictures
author:
1562, 69834
genre:
Western, Drama

We pick up right where we left off last week: Ian Garrett is dead. Tony strips off his bloody clothes and struggles to heave Garrett’s lifeless body onto a massive tarp, along with some heavy rocks and the clothes. Naked and terrified, he frantically staggers around the dock area like a lost wild animal—strangely vulnerable for someone who’s just taken a man’s life. Fortunately, he has enough sense to stage a pretty believable disappearance. Tony takes the boat out to the middle of the water and dumps Garrett’s body overboard, then wipes down the boat and swims back to shore. There is one piece of evidence he’s forgotten to get rid of: his shirt, stained with Garrett’s blood. He buries it deep in a foundation of wet concrete on the property, a pretty clever idea. But concrete doesn’t feel impenetrable or permanent enough to bury such damning evidence—and, given the name of the episode, it’s a good bet our hunch is correct.

During all of this, Emily’s been waiting for a couple of hours for Tony to pick her up at the train station. She’s just returned from visiting Mrs. Garrett in London and tells Tony some “good news”: Baptiste looked into Garrett again, like they asked him to. His alibi, that he was working late at the office at the time Ollie was taken, has been confirmed. The revelation that the man he just killed did not take his son raises some interesting questions for Tony, and for us. Is he still justified in killing Garrett even though Garrett did not commit a crime against him? Does Tony regret the murder and the risk of going to prison for life now that he’s learned Garrett never touched their son? Was it worth it? Is revenge for Ollie worth more than the lives of the 50-something other innocent children Garrett brutalized? These are the complex moral quandaries The Missing has us reckon with, and the answers aren’t clear. In my mind, Garrett deserved what he got even if he never laid a finger on Ollie. I only wonder if Tony feels the same.

Now to present-day Brussels, where Tony and Baptiste have come to track down Karl Sieg, the white-haired criminal whose van was outside of the house where Ollie was held captive the morning after his disappearance. They find him tending bar at the dingy, blue-lit venue he owns. Sieg claims ignorance and poor memory when Baptiste asks him what he remembers about a job in summer 2006 that may have involved the kidnapping of a boy named Oliver Hughes. But Sieg’s smirk indicates he knows more than he says. He complains about how much money he’s lost on his bar, and it becomes clear he’s not going to “remember” anything without some sort of bribe. Tony, never one to hold his cards close to the vest and physically incapable of hiding his desperation, agrees straightaway, to Baptiste’s dismay. “You want money? How much? Please!” 15,000 euros, Sieg says. Damn.

I start to think about how feasible this demand is for Tony and then, for the first time I can remember, wonder about Tony’s job. The last time his work was mentioned was when he had to pull over to take a business call in the first few minutes of the premiere. The last eight years, it seems, have revolved around finding Ollie. The thing is, it just doesn’t matter in this case. So often, our identities center around our chosen occupation, but the only way we see Tony—and all we need to know to understand his character—is that he is a father determined to find his missing son. Everything else is kind of irrelevant. Oliver’s disappearance hasn’t just ruined Tony’s life; it’s consumed his identity and become who he is.

NEXT: The cops question Tony about Garrett’s disappearance

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