‘The Missing’ Episode 5 review

Posted Filed under

This week’s cold open starts on a yacht; a woman we’ve never seen before is in the middle of the Indian Ocean and she seems to be having a great time.

You’re going to want to hold on to the image of a gorgeous ocean and lovely sea breezes, because it’s pretty much the nicest thing to happen in this week’s instalment of BBC One’s The Missing.

In 2006 Tony’s violent tendencies resurface as he confronts Vincent Bourg about his association with Ian Garrett. Tony has never been less sympathetic than he is here. The beating he gives Bourg is off camera but the deadly justice he hands out later in the episode is so visceral it makes us seriously reconsider if Tony is as heroic as we thought.

Ian goes full menacing as he threatens the safety of Vincent Bourg’s mother and gets Tony arrested for assault. Ken Stott really shines as Garrett with a brilliant quiet menace. He creates a palpable sense of claustrophobia, that the all consuming darkness is touching everyone involved.

The Missing 6

In present day Vincent Bourg is on his way to Oxford and Ian is ostensibly not, as we discovered last week, dead and is aboard the boat we saw in the pre-credits. Back in 2006 Emily pays a vist to Ian’s wife and finds that something is definitely not right. Diana Quick is really wonderful as Ian’s long suffering wife. She might not be in it for long, but she’ll totally break your heart.

The events of 2006 and present day are mirroring each other as Julien Baptiste is using Rini to get information from her brother, a member of the Romanian trafficking gang. Your heart really goes out to her when she reveals what happened and this acts like Hitchcock’s ‘bomb-under-the-table’ suspense scenario, the audience sitting head in hands waiting for it to happen.

But it’s the present day scenes where Rini is reunited with her brother that are utterly devastating. The pain and anger is so raw for her, it would take a stony heart indeed not to feel for her in those moments. It’s such a relief that she returns to her new, better life in the episode’s closing moments, hopefully, as the voice-over suggests, moving forward.

The Missing James Nesbitt

There are some minor niggles. The inclusion of Tony having a one night stand with a French street artist feels like little more than padding and some scenes run a bit too long, but these are admittedly small issues in an episode that excels itself from start to finish.

The last ten minutes of the episode are the finest in the series so far. The rug pull about Garret’s wife and the sheer horror of what Tony discovers on Ian’s boat is incredible. The subject matter of this show has always been tough but this episode is almost unbearable. I’m calling BAFTAs for the cast; it’ll take something extraordinary to best their performances here.

As hard and disturbing as Episode 5 gets, it is an hour of tightly wound television that both subverts and fulfils audience expectations. Deeply affecting but utterly engrossing, it’s fantastic viewing. I had reservations about whether The Missing could sustain 8 episodes with one story but now, it would seem, it’s only just getting started.


Aired at 9pm on Tuesday 25 November 2014 on BBC One.

> Order The Missing on DVD on Amazon.

What did you think of the episode? Let us know below…

> Follow Rachel Meaden on Twitter.