The Missing recap: 'Pray for Me'
The second episode of this new Starz miniseries introduces a new suspect and delves into the shadowy pasts of our cast of characters.
After last week’s chilling ending, the second episode of this Starz series starts somewhere unexpectedly pleasant: on a beautiful old lakeside property in France, 2006. We meet Ian Garrett, an instantly likable old Scotsman with a kind face and, evidently, lots of money. He is spending a fortune to restore the ancient estate. Garrett is relaxing in his houseboat on the lake when something on the TV catches his eye—a couple desperately pleading for the return of their son.
We shift to another scene around Châlons Du Bois 2006, at a highway bridge construction site. A decidedly suspicious looking young construction worker with blue eyes and a mop of curls is looking around, clearly paranoid that someone is watching him. He decides to make a break for it, unzipping his uniform and tearing into a run—fleeing the team of police that was lying in wait for him to make a move.
Over at the police station, we learn that the man in cuffs is a local sex offender named Vincent Bourg, Baptiste’s No. 1 suspect.
We flash-forward to the present and back to the house where the premiere ended, where Tony, Baptiste, and Laurence are consulting in the driveway. Tony shows Laurence a paper drawing that looks identical to the one we saw Tony uncover on the basement wall—to our eye, at least. Laurence, however, is not convinced. She tells a frustrated Tony that she can’t just get a case reopened on the basis of a kid’s drawing. “What if you are simply clinging to shadows, Tony?” But Baptiste convinces Laurence, a new mother herself, to talk to the director with the power to reopen the case.
Next, to a scene at a cozy cafe—an ever-eager Tony has brought his foot-high case file along, so that he and Baptiste can reexamine the evidence for anything that might take on new significance in light of their discovery of the address where Ollie was held captive. “One step at a time,” the always calm Julien cautions him. A waiter brings over their drinks, and says, rather rudely, “You pay now.” Tony says he guesses these aren’t on the house—an odd exchange that makes more sense later on.
Tony steps out to answer a call from Emily—but when he picks up, Mark is on the line. He tells Tony that Emily’s dad, Robert, is very sick in the hospital—and not to call again. We shift to the London hospital, where Mark returns to Robert’s room and tells Emily it was just a wedding-related call. Last week, we saw Emily hide a call from Tony from Mark. Her ex-husband is clearly a source of distrust in their marriage, each concealing their dealings with him from the other. Robert opens his eyes and sees James (Mark’s son from a previous marriage), who he thinks is Oliver—the sort of thing older people suffering from dementia do all the time, but in this case it is especially painful. He’s forgotten that his grandson is all but a ghost.
NEXT: Did Bourg do it?
Meanwhile in France, Baptiste is laying wide awake on his hotel bed and decides to call his wife—assuring her that soon enough the case will be officially reopened, at which point Baptiste can bow out of the investigation and return home. But it’s far too early in the series for Baptiste to depart, and it’s worrisome to think about Tony doing this on his own. Baptiste is the steady counterweight that keeps the erratic, emotionally invested Tony in line. Tony needs Baptiste—not just for his sharp detective skills, but for his help navigating the waters of Châlons Du Bois, where he is a pariah. And like clockwork, Baptiste hears a knock on his door: it’s Laurence, delivering the bad news that she can’t get the case reopened.
Back to 2006, where Vincent Bourg is being interrogated, to no avail. His alibi is insufficient—he says he was out walking, alone, at the time Ollie was kidnapped. And witnesses have told the cops that Bourg frequents the pool complex where the crime happened. Interestingly, Tony actually sees this all as a relative plus. The police won’t tell him what Bourg’s past crimes were exactly—nor his name, even—but his logic is that if Bourg has done this before and is walking free now, he must not have killed the child—or he’d still be in jail.
Julien meets Emily at a café, the one he and Tony were at in the beginning of the episode. The waiter—the same one who was so brusque with Tony in that present day scene—brings them coffee and croissants. “On the house,” he tells them—the sentiment is that the whole town pities the distraught couple. We know that doesn’t last, though.
Detective Ziane, meanwhile, meets up with that pesky journalist, Malik Suri, who threatened to spill one of the detective’s dirty secrets if he doesn’t comply with his requests for insider info on the case. Ziane is worried, though—he doesn’t want his name to come out in the papers as the source. But Suri has something big on him, so Ziane relents and gives him Bourg’s file. Suri tells Ziane he’ll see the story in tonight’s papers.
At the police HQ, a much younger-looking Baptiste is recruiting Ziane and Walsh to help him carry out a plan to blackmail Bourg with a bluff. “He’s hiding something.” Mark impersonates an INTERPOL officer who specializes in computer crime, and they tell Bourg that they hacked his computer and have found incriminating images—child porn. Bourg, nervous and clearly feeling like he’s been caught, won’t say a word and demands his lawyer. Baptiste recommends he gets a new lawyer though, reasoning that he should get one other than the one who landed him in jail the last time he defended him. But why would Baptiste help him? It turns out, his “advice” is part of the bluff. Outside the room, he tells the others that Bourg’s lawyer would’ve had him out of the station in 30 minutes (they don’t have anything solid on him). And Bourg will never be able find a new lawyer—who would take on a convicted sex offender in this case?
We move to a psychiatrist’s office in present day London, where a doctor is explaining an experimental hormone suppressant treatment to none other than Vincent Bourg. He seems like he wants to get better, but is scared to rely on a drug to do so. He declines to be part of the study. “I will do this myself,” he says, convincingly.
NEXT: Will Tony and Baptiste get the case reopened?
In Châlons Du Bois, present day, Baptiste and Tony head to a meeting with the town mayor to plead with him to reopen the case in person. Tony feels optimistic—Baptiste warns him, “Please, let me do the talking.” Suri approaches the two men on the street to ask about what’s going on with getting the case reopened. “You really think I’d help you after what you did?” Tony scoffs. Things with the mayor don’t go as well as Tony hoped. The mayor tells them how Ollie’s kidnapping case and the ensuing scandal turned Châlons Du Bois into a ghost town and killed their tourism industry.
They recap the evidence for him—the photo with the boy wearing Ollie’s scarf, and the drawing on the wall at the house where the scarf came from. “If you reopen the case, there is every chance we’ll find the truth,” Baptiste says, seeming rational. The expression on the mayor’s face, though, says he’s not buying it. Tony can tell this is going south, so he resorts to a last-ditch effort, an emotional plea. “I’ve lost everything and everyone I’ve ever cared for. This is all I have left,” he says. “Please don’t stand in my way.” Tony is clearly desperate for help, but this exchange shows how hard he has to try to be genuine with people—though his words are sincere, his delivery is very awkward. The mayor denies their request—he is running for reelection and can’t risk that gamble. Predictably, Tony won’t take no for an answer, and he starts to get fired up, demanding a forensics team investigate that basement. Julien stops him, and he storms out.
Over in London, Bourg is manning the cashier at a sad looking fast food joint, late at night. A man and his young son come in the door—instantly, Bourg’s jaw stiffens, his fists tighten, and we can tell he is panicking inside. He tries to get his coworker on break to take the customers, but he won’t. While the dad is ordering, his child, maybe 4 or 5 years old, climbs over the register, grasping at Bourg’s nametag and touching him. It’s too much for Bourg—he runs into the back, breathless and upset.
Back in 2006, the Hughes are meeting Malik Suri for the first time at the hotel restaurant. “I think it’s time you gave an interview,” he tells them. “Quite frankly, you’re not good for business.” Tony doesn’t take kindly to those words—but Suri insists he doesn’t mean to upset them, only help. He proves his good intentions by giving them the case file on Bourg. He claims he can give them more inside info on their case than the police ever will—and that Walsh isn’t here to help them, but manage them.
A little later, Mark comes to visit Tony and Emily—and, as if to confirm Suri’s malicious claims, delivers some bad news: Bourg’s alibi proves to be rock solid, with reputable witnesses confirming it, so he’s been released. Tony, outraged, asks how they could just let Vincent Bourg go. “How’d you know his name?” Walsh asks—it wasn’t released. Tony quickly recovers, saying he overheard it at the station.
Later that evening, Tony stands on the street outside of Bourg’s apartment complex, furiously watching the man he thinks kidnapped his son living free through the window. We wonder if Tony would go so far as to pursue the man he suspects of taking his son outside the law. Meanwhile, Emily’s gone to a church to pray, stopped in front of an altar, begging God to return her son. The juxtaposition of how the couple handles their pain and strife differently is striking. Emily puts her faith in God, while Tony wants to take control of the situation.
Emily’s prayers appear to have been rewarded. Garrett finally returns for an unusually heartwarming, uplifting scene. He meets the Hughes at the hotel restaurant to tell them he has put up 100,000 euros of his own money as a reward for information about Ollie’s disappearance. He says that his construction career has brought him more money than he needs, and that as a conservationist of old buildings, “I keep the past alive, even when it seems impossible.” He wants to help keep Ollie alive, and the Hughes are speechless with gratitude.
NEXT: Suri reveals a dark secret about the Hughes
There’s another poignant moment soon after in Baptiste’s office, where he is working late, looking over the Hughes’ bank statements for some reason. Mark pops in and remarks that he likes the classical music Baptiste is playing. Baptiste says that the Nazis actually used this song as the official theme song for their propaganda newsreels. Baptiste explains, “Even they could see the beauty in it, which reminds you that the people who do these terrible things, they are just people. Not some kind of devils.” Bourg comes to mind. He has done terrible things, we know, but shows signs of wanting to get well. Is he a devil? Is whoever took Ollie a devil, or an ordinary person—and does it matter either way?
Suri and Ziane meet later, and Suri is pissed off—his scoop on Bourg now looks foolish, as his story out of date now that the suspect has been cleared. “I want something I can use and quickly,” he demands, mysteriously dropping the name “Jean Martin” again, alluding to whatever blackmail material he has on Ziane.
Baptiste has spent the night at the office, and made a disturbing discovery: Police photos of a bloodied man, Greg—we recognize him as an old friend that Emily ran into at the hospital in passing. “Trouble for Tony Hughes,” he says, making us think that Tony roughed this guy up in the past. We have no idea what this might have to do with Ollie’s case though.
Now in the present, the mayor who just turned down Baptiste and Tony’s request happens upon Baptiste at a bar—chatting with Malik Suri, of all people. The mayor recognizes the sensationalist journalist, and it looks like Baptiste hasn’t lost the knack for pulling manipulative bluffs he showed back in 2006. The mayor would rather reopen the case—quietly—than have the story splashed in the headlines. “Cheap stunt,” he says to Baptiste, annoyed. The best part is that Baptiste didn’t actually reveal a thing to Suri yet—unbeknownst to the mayor, he was droning on about his bee colony rather than giving any actually scoop. Tony is overjoyed the hear the news, of course, and shows the most affection we’ve seen him have with someone other than Ollie and Emily eight years ago—he gives Baptiste a big, warm hug.
Over in London, we see Bourg back at the psychiatrist’s office, getting the hormone suppressant shot after all—the doctor tells him it will stifle all his sexual desire. “I must be cured,” he says, having tried and failed before.
Suri and Emily meet up at a café somewhere else in London. Suri tells her nothing is coming of their efforts to reopen the case. He says Tony is a drunk, and Baptsite is retired—but that he’s doing some investigating on his own. “If you hurt us again,” Emily starts, then trails off. Suri says he wants to help, not hurt, sounding eerily like the promise he made to the Hughes back in 2006—which apparently turned out to be a lie. He asks for an interview, and Emily flat-out refuses and gets up to leave. As she walks away, Suri says, ominously, “I know what you did Em. You and Tony. And I’m going to prove it.” Whoa! This is the first indication that Emily and Tony did something nefarious in the aftermath of Ollie’s disappearance—something that has yet to be brought to light. Intriguing.
The final scene is a flashback to 2006. Bourg meets with a dark figure in some kind of dingy alley that looks like the train underground. When we realize who it is, it doesn’t make any sense. What on earth is the jolly, good-intentioned Ian Garrett doing meeting up with a child sex offender? Garrett reveals that the witnesses that said they saw Bourg on that walk he took in the park—confirming his alibi and letting him walk free—were paid by him to say those things. He says he knows that Bourg didn’t do it, and that he was worried that the longer the police investigated him, the more likely they were to find the connection between Bourg and Garrett. In what world are these two connected? That’s the mystery we’re left with at the end of episode 2: A well-paced, enthralling hour that reveals a lot, but—like any addicting serial mystery—leaves us with even more questions than before.