Absentia – Episode 6: Nobody’s Innocent

Starring: Stana Katic, Patrick Heusinger, Cara Theobold, Angel Bonanni, Neil Jackson
Director: Oded Ruskin
Writers: Matthew Cirulnik

Reviewed by Sidney Morgan


And the pendulum swings again. At the end of the last episode, Emily was still on the run, hiding in a truck. Well, it turns out she isn’t as sly as she thought because the trucker knows she’s there. He stops, gets his gun, tells her to step out and asks if she’s the fugitive he saw on the news. It’s a tense situation. After all her efforts to solve the case, Emily might be turned in or even killed by some stranger. He looks at her. Serious. Debating. Then, tells her he hates two things. One, his ex-wife, and two… Get ready for this… Are you feeling the anticipation? Ok, ok. And two, law enforcement! Yep. Convenient ain’t it? At least a complete stranger is willing to give Emily a break.

The trucker drives Emily back to Boston. She needs to see Jack to use his connections to the medical supplies industry. There’s the identity of the medical device she found on the buried body that needs to be established. But what she finds at his apartment is unexpected. To say the least. Absentia hasn’t shied away from pointing the finger at characters and making them suspects. When Agent Crown reinstated Nick, he certainly acted suspiciously. However, one of the writers must have pointed out that they’d already targeted an FBI chief (Radford), and this was repetitive. So, what do they do? They come up with a contrived, ridiculous new suspect. Jack.

Jack (Neil Jackson), the new suspect.

The writers got lazy for this one and made everything fit too conveniently. Need a new suspect? Check. Need incriminating evidence? Easy. Make Jack a weird pervert who gets off on sadomasochism. He loves to tie his partners up and… plunge them in water. But to take away deniability, have him film every violent encounter he has with women and save them on his laptop, which is NOT password protected.

Wait! There’s more!!! In case the link wasn’t clear, he files his videos in separate folders, one for each partner, and names them after… flowers! Yes, you read that right! Just like Harlow did! Still willing to give him the benefit of the doubt? Later in the episode, one of Jack’s flower girls explains that she only recently hooked up with Jack again, after a long hiatus. Hmmm, how long a ‘hiatus’ you ask? Well, let me tell you. From the moment Emily was kidnapped to the day, yes, THE DAY, she was found again. Ya. Plenty of sarcasm. This was disappointing given the fairly tight writing so far.

Tommy (Angel Bonanni) hard at work.

The title (Nobody’s Innocent) hints at what the writers were trying to accomplish. More suspects were needed, and since we can more or less rule out Warren, Nick, and Tommy, it leaves few existing possibilities. So far, there’s been Harlow, Radford, Emily, Jack, and maybe even Agent Crown. Five suspects in six episodes. And none of them appear responsible for Emily’s abduction, at least not in a sole capacity. So there must be another suspect. I get it’s necessary to have a few suspects to keep the mystery alive and to keep the viewer involved. But creating one for the sake of creating one is wasteful. Regardless, I think it’s safe to say that Jack isn’t involved in any way with Emily’s abduction. Everything in this episode fit too perfectly.

Don’t get me wrong. Out of context, it’s a good episode. There’s action, drama, and suspense. The FBI and BPD are actually doing good investigative work. Warren is more sensible about Emily. And Alice, who hasn’t been treated well by Nick, finally acts, telling him to get his closure before any chance of reconciliation can happen. It’s nice to see that the two characters who act most logically are women.

Alice (Cara Theobold) has had enough.

Among some of the things Absentia does well are the cliffhanger endings. Sure some have been more dramatic than others (though none have reached the ‘who shot JR’ level), but they’re there. And this episode is no different, leaving us with two lingering and critical questions.

Verdict: Continue to watch! Only four episodes left and lots of questions to answer, starting with Emily’s and Jack’s. Was he involved? How will the clues fit into his narrative? What about Emily? Will she make it to the end? Will she get a resolution? More alone than ever, there is a strong sense of dread gathering around her as we get nearer the end of the show.

Sidney Morgan

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