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The Missing season finale recap: The Missing Season One Finale

The chilling season finale of The Missing is sure to polarize viewers with its out of left field resolution to the disappearance of Oliver Hughes.

Posted on

Jules Heath

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

I can’t decide whether the finale of The Missing is one of the best or worst hours of television I’ve ever seen. No, I didn’t guess right—I’m going to go ahead and say nobody did. But let’s dive right into what happened (and what didn’t happen, ahem) so I can get to my schizophrenically dithering reactions on it all—and give the series as a whole a proper sendoff. So, let’s break it down here…

The opening: Like many episodes before it, this one opens with an eerie scene, the significance of which we don’t understand until later. We’re looking on a mysterious man harassing young boys on a snow-covered playground somewhere in Russia. Then, a spine-chilling image: the big-eared stick figure we’ve come to know so well etched on someone’s frosty car window—a sure sign of Oliver Hughes. Could he have gotten trafficked by that Romanian gang and somehow ended up in Russia?

The setup: Following the piece of evidence they discovered last week—a bloodied 12 years of sobriety coin—Tony, Emily, Baptiste, Mark, and Laurence zero in on Alain Deloix, the husband of Hotel L’Eden innkeeper Sylvie. And, sure enough, they discover that only one of Alain’s 20 sobriety coins is missing: year 12. They go to his hospital room—where Alain is dying of cancer—to get the truth. Lying there, struggling to breathe, and wincing in pain, Alain won’t say a word—until Emily’s impassioned pleas crack his silence. He begins his story, and the timeline shifts to 2006: An omniscient flashback of what happened the day that Ollie disappeared.

The truth about what happened to Ollie: Tony leaves the hotel for the pool, and Ollie drops his yellow scarf on the way out. Alain decided to bring it to him in case he gets cold, ostensibly. But it becomes clear that this is just an excuse to escape from his wife, Sylvie, and hit the bar—meaning he isn’t clean and sober after all. The bartender asks if he wants “the regular,” making it clear that Mr. 20-years-dry does this often. He proceeds to get loaded while watching the soccer game, then gets behind the wheel.

Meanwhile, Tony and Ollie are about to leave the pool when they stop at the poolside bar to catch the action. This is it: the critical mystery moment when Ollie disappears. Ollie sees a fox—his favorite animal, as we’ve been reminded in the past—and follows it, out of the pool complex, through the patch of woods and onto the stretch of road that Alain is barreling down. Alain’s car slams into Ollie. He can’t detect a pulse or breath. (The occasional flash-forwards of Tony and Emily hearing the horrible details of the truth are heartrending. Yet we know Ollie can’t be dead yet, because of that drawing in the basement, and the footage of him at the window of the house.) Alain takes his cell phone out of his pocket—dropping the incriminating sobriety coin in the process—and dials for help. But when the emergency operator picks up, Alain goes silent. He can’t report the incident Ollie without incriminating himself. He hears Tony calling for Ollie and panics. Alain cries as he picks up Ollie’s limp little body and puts him in the trunk. He calls someone else to help him.

NEXT: A familiar face helps Alain cover up the crime