The Missing recap: 'Molly'
The fifth episode of the Golden Globe-nominated miniseries reveals the truth about Ian Garrett—and one of the skeletons in Tony's closet.
Tonight’s installment of The Missing was the most cinematic yet, both visually and script-wise. It won’t make you feel any closer to solving the mystery of what happened to Olive Hughes, but you can still enjoy “Molly” for what it is: a brilliantly constructed, riveting hour of mystery and intrigue in the aftermath of tragedy.
The opening scene is somewhat surreal, set in the present but far removed from the dreary European landscape of The Missing we’ve come to know. In the middle of an impossibly vast and blue ocean bobs a private yacht; lounging on the deck is a middle-aged (or older) woman. And in just the first few minutes, last week’s ultimate revelation—that Ian Garrett is missing, presumed dead—is upended when a familiar gray face intrudes on the scene. Ian Garrett pops up on deck to greet the woman, his lovely wife—and he’s looking very much alive. Garrett seems to have left his troubled past on land in favor of the isolation and off-the-grid existence at sea.
Back in 2006, Emily and Tony, along with Mark, have come to the mayor’s office to present the evidence for last week’s other big revelation: Tony figured out that Garrett and Bourg are somehow connected, or at the very least they know each other. The problem is that there isn’t actually any evidence to present. There’s only Tony’s word that both Garrett and Bourg separately told the very same story—a parable about guilt being like a cancer. “The exact same story told the exact same way by two people who haven no knowledge of each other,” as he puts it. But we know Tony’s word doesn’t go very far in Chalons du Bois. And the police are baffled as to why Tony suspects the man who put up 100 grand to find Oliver. Surprisingly, Emily chimes in, pleading for them to just take a look—just a quick interjection, but it’s the first time I can remember her siding with Tony and pleading with the authorities from a position of being doubted. She seems to have awoken from a fog, maybe, finally ready to put up a fight.
It’s kind of crazy that it’s taken so long to see the husband and wife who’ve lost their son finally unite on something and take action together. Up until now, they’ve each been handling this tragedy on their own, and in very different ways—Emily crying, praying, and cooperating with the police, while Tony’s taken to towards public fits of rage and breaking into people’s apartments. It’s an exciting new dynamic to see them finally on the same page about something. So they hop in their car and head to the lake where Tony knows Bourg often fishes. Emily realizes this means Tony must’ve been stalking Bourg in some capacity and gets cold feet.
The second Bourg sees Tony, he shrinks away in terror at the man who’s threatened him so many times already. But Tony’s done with pretending to have any sort of tact or discretion—he strolls up and socks Bourg in the face. Bourg won’t talk, but no matter. Tony finds the proof he needs: Garrett’s number in Bourg’s phone. Tony beats the guy to a pulp, forcing him to confess that Garrett paid for his alibi. When Tony gets back in the car, his hands are shaking. He tells Emily that he plans to keep his plans to meet Garrett at a bar later in order to confront him.
And Bourg, barely able to see let alone stand up, lies in a bloody heap on the grass while he calls Garrett to tell him what happened. “Tony Hughes. He knows.” Garrett is pissed he didn’t keep his mouth shut about their knowing each other. “You said you wouldn’t hurt my mother,” Bourg pleads. So now, Bourg’s mother is under threat—maybe even being held hostage—by Garrett. Whoa. It’s confirmed: Ian Garrett is a very bad man.
NEXT: Tony confronts Garrett
When Tony arrives to meet Garrett, he has no idea that Garrett is already a step ahead of him. He tells Garrett he knows he’s in cahoots with Bourg, and that he ought to call his lawyer because the cops are going to arrest him. Sirens blare and a fleet of cop cars pull up to the bar. They make the arrest (for assault), Laurence cuffs him, and Tony, as you’d expect, loses his shit. It’s not the first time he’s been suspected while the cops ignore the real danger.
Meanwhile, in Paris, Baptiste is putting a wire on Rini—who’s connected to the Romanian sex and drug trafficking crime ring via her brother and now-deceased boyfriend, the undercover cop infiltrating the group (Antoin, aka Leon). And, thanks to Baptiste, she is also a newly recovering heroin addict. He wants her to go get intel from her brother on ringleader and person-of-interest Karl Sieg—the guy whose van was caught on camera parked outside the house where Ollie was kidnapped—and any possible involvement with Ollie.
In an awesome series of parallel scenes, we alternate between Rini in 2006 and Rini in the present—where, as we saw last week, she is also set to help Baptiste (and Tony) get intell on the crime ring/Ollie from her now estranged brother. But right before their meeting, her fear—of her brother, of revisiting that life, of retribution—wins, and she backs out. Did she back out last time too, then, in 2006? Or did she go along with it and pay for that decision? Regardless, Tony is—you guessed it—livid, as he is with anyone who threatens to stand in the way of him finding his son. And Rini is his only promising lead right now.
Back to 2006, where the cops have wrangled Tony into the station, he sees the result of his, erm, handiwork: a hardly recognizable Vincent Bourg, his eyes swollen shut and his face bruised and cut up. Tony calls Emily at the hotel, and tells her he needs her to go find somebody in London. (He leaves out the part about how he’s calling her from a holding cell because he’s been arrested for assault.)
Later, he gets an unwelcome visitor, Ian Garrett, who is of course still feigning innocence and acting like all he wants to do is help this poor, deranged man. Garrett tells Tony a story about Snowy, the huge white dog he had when he was young. Snowy was gentle, but one night, out of fear and impulse, she bit off a chunk of the neighbor’s leg—and had to be put down. Obviously, Tony is the dangerous dog here, lashing out at people like Bourg and Garrett out of fear. His fists balled in anger, Tony asks Garrett a question that’s been in the back of our minds since last week. “Your daughter Molly, she didn’t just walk out of the house that night, did she? You took her, didn’t you? Cause you’re sick.” As Garrett’s leaving, Tony serves his metaphor right back to him: “Dangerous animals like you need to be put down, Ian.”
Meanwhile in Paris, Rini is meeting her brother and a cohort at a café in Paris, wearing a bug while Baptiste and a colleague nervously listen in from across the street. Baptiste sense something’s not right. And just seconds in, things go south. The guy who came along with her brother? He came along to slash Rini’s throat and run—presumably because the crime ringleaders know she’s working with the cops, or suspect she is because she was dating the guy who, unbeknownst to her, was a mole for the cops. Baptiste does his best to stem the profuse bleeding, hands clenched over her throat like he’s choking her. Later, Baptiste grills Rini’s brother, but he won’t budge. “You really think I will tell you after what happened to Leon [Antoine] and my sister?” The guy has a point.
NEXT: Emily meets the mysterious Mrs. Garrett
The person Tony sent Emily to meet is the Garrett’s wife, living alone in England—the woman from the opening of the episode. Things are weird, to say the least. The woman is aloof, and sounds like she never really sees her husband, who’s always away on business. She also insists she has no idea who Emily is, despite her image being plastered all over the media. Emily tells her about what happened to Ollie, trying to get her to open up about Molly. Emily asks her, point blank, whether they questioned Ian after their daughter’s mysterious disappearance. Mrs. Garrett’s expression immediately sours as she realizes her visitor’s true intentions. “Will you leave my house now, please, Mrs. Hughes?” Aha—but Emily never told her her last name. (Okay, so I didn’t catch this, but Emily does.) “You know who I am, don’t you. So why are you lying to me?” Emily demands. She takes an aggressive step towards Mrs. Garrett, and for just a moment we see a flicker of the same kind of unhinged fury that Tony’s unleashed so many times in the face of people lying to or evading him. She catches herself, though, and leaves to call Tony and tell him something’s up
We flash to the future again, to the Garretts’ boat. The couple get in an argument about the living situation they’re in, which is clearly Ian’s fault. The miserable Mrs. snips at him: “Don’t you ever talk down to me, after what you did. Not just to Molly.” Whoa! Okay, so Ian Garrett is definitely, definitely a child predator. Which leaves us asking, why did Garrett put up that reward money and needlessly involve himself in the case back in 2006? Also, what the hell is that deranged woman still doing with him?
Confession time: I think the guilt/uneasiness I felt about suspecting a man whose child disappeared of being the creep responsible—the same exact way Tony was wrongly suspected—has been outweighing the obvious—that Garrett is a bad guy in the same way Bourg is. But now, those mixed feelings? Gone. In their place is annoyance with myself for being so naive.
After a short bedroom detour (!!!) with a Parisian girl named Monique—a strange sight in itself, seeing Tony intimate with somebody—he learns that Rini has changed her mind. She agrees to go meet her brother—whom she hasn’t seen for years—at his apartment, again wearing a wire with Baptiste listening in. And, again, things go south. But this time, to the surprise of everyone, it’s Rini with a knife at someone’s throat. Her risky tactic works, though—her brother spills that Karl Sieg is now living in Brussels.
In 2006, Tony—out on bail, and desperate to prove Garrett’s involvement in Ollie’s disappearance—scours Garrett’s under-construction lakeside property for incriminating evidence. He breaks into his boat, anchored off the dock, just as Garret’s car pulls up next to his on the edge of the property. Tony finally gets his hands on the smoking gun he’s been searching for, on, lo and behold, a video camera.
At that moment, Garrett gets on the boat. He sees what Tony’s got in his hands, and for the first time, we see the guy sweat. Immediately, he’s on the defensive—a wholly new dynamic for him: “You’ve got it wrong. It’s not what you think… I wouldn’t look at that if I was you, son.” Ugh. Tony watches the tape, and grimaces, disgusted. But it’s not Ollie. While it’s sickening to see the horrified look on Tony’s face and imagine what he’s seeing, it’s also a tiny bit gratifying in a strange way. Because finally, Tony’s got some hard evidence proving one of his “conspiracy theories.”
NEXT: The truth comes out about Garrett and his wife
Garrett swear he didn’t take Ollie, never even met him—but admits that there are over 50 more tapes like this one. Oh my God, how has this guy never been caught? And his daughter that disappeared? “Molly was a mistake,” he admits. *Shudder* He gives a monologue about how the only reason rich people do good things is because they feel guilty about all the people they trampled over to get to the top. “There’s no such thing as human kindness.” So apparently his way of repenting for all the children he’s molested and raped was by using his wealth to help find Oliver Hughes.
“You’re a rapist, you’re a murderer, you’re a pedophile. Why should I believe you didn’t do to my son what you did to your daughter?” Well said, Tony. “I never touched your boy, I swear!” Garrett keeps saying. “He was beautiful though, wasn’t he?”
Wrong move, sicko. Tony goes off like we’ve never seen him before. You can believe he’s blacked out or something as he starts to bash Garrett’s head against the hard interior of the boat, over and over and over again until his head seeps blood and his body goes limp. I was happy for Tony for about one second before realizing that he’s going to hate himself for doing this. Murdering a serial child rapist is pretty morally sound (at least in my book), but it’s still murder in the eyes of the law. And now Garrett won’t ever be forced to face what he’s done in a courtroom. He could potentially even get away with a clean reputation—we’re not sure how incriminating those tapes are, or whether he even appears on them.
Back to the present one last time, to Garrett and his wife’s boat. At first you think, there’s no way he survived that beating. Then, the steward tells Mrs. Garrett there’s someone here to see her, and obviously people don’t just casually drop in on private yachts in the middle of the ocean. This doesn’t make sense. And then it does—the too-beautiful-to-be-true ocean fades to the depressing sterility of a mental hospital. Mrs. Garrett is sitting in a wheelchair, staring out the window: The detached surreality of the whole situation was indicating that it was not taking place in reality, but in Mrs. Garrett’s head. Her guest is Vincent Bourg, who’s come to fulfill a promise he made to himself years ago—to get revenge on Garrett by “one day tell[ing] everyone he ever loved what kind of monster he really was.” Realizing Mrs. Garrett’s mental state, though, it’s clear she already knows exactly how monstrous her husband was. “But I can see I’m too late,” Bourg says.
The episode closes with a voiceover of Bourg talking to Mrs. Garrett—or mostly himself, really—about how it’s better not to get trapped in the past. He talks over a montage that includes Rini returning home to her boyfriend—hopefully putting her past behind her, once and for all—as well as the murder scene back in 2006. Garrett’s lifeless body, the blood splatter on the wall, the dazed look on Tony’s face: This is one choice that, for better or worse, may keep Tony Hughes trapped in the past for a long time to come. And, honestly, I have no idea if we’re any closer at all to finding Ollie. If anything, it feels like as the ripple effect of this investigation widens—both in 2006 and the present—we veer further and further away from what started it all. Given how smart The Missing has proven to be so far, I’m betting that once the dust settles from the impact of all these startling revelations, the truth will come into focus in an impressively full-circle way.