I just finished the second season of The Missing which has aired on the Starz Network here in the USA. Season One was the tale of a small boy who went missing in a small French City. You can find my review of the first episode of The Missing here.
Season Two brings back only the general theme (missing child) and the French Detective Julien Baptiste (played by Tcheky Karyo). Besides him we have a completely new story with different actors, characters, and settings.
As the second season begins, it is 2014. The girl in the poster above wanders into a town called Eckhausen, Germany. It is a smaller city hidden away in the Northern Rhine -Westphalian section of Germany – just 33 klicks from Dusseldorf. Upon reaching the center of town the girl collapses in the street.
We will come to find out that she was in serious need of an appendectomy, and her name is Alice Webster (she’s played by Abigail Hardingham). She was abducted 11 years ago.
Her parents, Sam (David Morrissey) and Gemma Webster (Keeley Hawes) live in Eckhausen as Sam is in the military. He’s been posted to a UK base (likely a part of NATO) in the area. There’s also a younger brother Matthew.
One would think the re-appearance of a girl who went missing 11 years ago would be a good thing. But as the poster at the top of this review states: The Search Ends. The Mystery Begins.
Two years later, bringing us to the present day, French Detective Julien Baptiste arrives in Eckhausen. He is working on a different case involving another missing girl.
As the story plays out, we will find ourselves shuttling between France, the Kurdish section of Iraq, Germany, and even Switzerland. As well as the geographical dislocation, we are also in different years – 1991, 2008, 2014, as well as the present time.
I can state that the transfers (flashbacks and flash forwards) are often a tad confusing. They will give you a visual graphic to tell you where we are and a date reference, but it might be of value for you if you keep in mind the look of the three main characters – Sam is either free of visible and severe scarring on his face or not.
Gemma has longer hair or shorter hair.
And Baptiste still has his limp and most of the time is unshaven, but he is also almost fully bald in the present.
There’s another character, Eve Stone, (played by Laura Fraser) a military police officer, who is either pregnant or not. As I stated, it will require an effort on the part of the viewer.
The mystery of the missing girl takes its time to reveal some of the key particulars. There’s other stuff going on as well – a life threatening illness, an extra-marital affair, high tension action sequences in Iraq, and a pair of suicides.
There’s some violence and some implied sexuality. The language fits into the mildly adult level – meaning some adult situations but not enough to merit a warning. Yet despite the fact that the relative ‘cleanliness’ of the situations doesn’t mean this is suitable viewing for smaller children.
I found that the time switches were somewhat confusing as in jarring) but were necessary to explain and give the viewer necessary information. The detective work is not what you would call brilliant. As a matter of fact we can commend Detective Baptiste for his stick-to-it-ness and his insistent perseverance rather than his deductive powers.
I’ll call this series as worthy of your time (just 8 episodes of an hour each) but I will not state categorically that Season 2 is better than Season One. Season One was more about obsession, where as Season Two is more about solving the case.
Here’s a trailer if you want a better look at what the series looks like.