In Review: Absentia

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Note: While I’m writing this, I only saw the two first episodes. So keep in mind that by the time this is published more episodes might have been released and some bits might not make any sense.

It has been a year since we last saw Stana Katic on the small screen. The first time she shows up was alongside Nathan Fillion on Castle, and both make us laugh, cry, desperate and fall in love. I was/am a HUGE Castle fan and loved Stana’s performance on the show. The moment I knew she was coming back with a new series it doesn’t matter what it was about I was going to watch it. I don’t usually review every single show I watch but since this one isn’t a mega production from ABC, CBS or The CW I figure a little bit of promotion won’t hurt anyone. Plus I have a new topic to ramble about. Yaahh!!

When I first saw the promo trailer, I didn’t understand a thing. I knew it wasn’t a comedy. Only picked up Stana’s character was a mother and she was happy, but then something happened. Then one day she had nothing. So I went not knowing too much about it. I was scared that I wouldn’t like it. But as soon as the first episode ended I was sure I would follow that story for a while.

Emily has what some might consider a perfect life. She has a lovely husband, a cute baby and a job on the FBI. She is happy. But that was passed. When she wakes up in a hospital bed to realize she was gone for 6 years and every one has moved on, it gets hard to smile again. Although, she wasn’t away by choice. While investigating a serial killer, she was kidnapped and tortured during all those years.
Her husband, Nick (Patrick Heusinger) couldn’t believe the day he received the call that brought his wife from the dead. He has remarried and took care of their little boy, which is not so little anymore, Flynn. But nothing can prepare anyone for what was coming next. Having Emily back isn’t has much joyful has Nick could think. Now his new wife, Alice (Cara Theobold) might see her life be taken again by Emily. She can lose Nick, whom never stop loving his first wife, and her son since whatever she does, she can’t be his “real” mother. And just with a phone call, every single one of these lives is turned upside down.

This show is dark, mysterious and a bit of a psychological thriller. For me has a few moments full of suspense where I don’t know what is going to happen and my heart almost skip a beat until it’s all over. Time perception is something you don’t get very often so instead of taking hours between scenes it actually can be the next day.

I like the fact that the characters don’t say everything. Sometimes they talk with their bodies, or the scene is made to let the viewer get to the point by himself. I like to make my assumptions and to know in the end if I’m right or not. Also, it creates a discussion with other people which leads to theories, and I love theories.

Also, I don’t know if Stana lost weight for this part or if it was magical make-up but her face is slim which gives more realism to the character. She didn’t starve during those six years, but all that trauma obviously would have an impact on the body. The fact that you don’t see her with “make-up” and with a consistently sad expression ready to explode into tears any minute give deep to the character.

Then & Now

While watching the first episode is kind of hard not to compare Kate Beckett with Emily Byrne. The characters are entirely different from each other. Beckett is a workaholic, confident, and empowered woman while Emily, on the other hand, is a scared, traumatized, lost and angry woman. Both don’t have comparison possible. And for sure Emily is the most challenging to perform, but so far Stana is doing a great job.

My first thought was that this plot was the same as Caste’s when he was missing from the wedding. Long time no sees, and when he got back, he couldn’t remember anything. Although the environment is different, first he didn’t lose his family in the process and second the type of the show is pretty different.

Favourite Character

You might think Emily is my chosen one, after all, I’ve talked about her more than any other person. Although, my favourite character is Conrad Harlow (Richard Brake) who unfortunately dies on the 2nd episode. WHYY?? This character is a wealthy sociopath that was arrested for murder around the time Emily was kidnapped, which he was also the prime suspect, at least for Nick.
This character gave me all the vibe of Dr. Hannibal Letter – the one from the tv show, not the movie. It was too late in the evenings when Hannibal started on the TV – back in 2013 – and with school in the next morning, it was impossible for me to watch. And going back in time to watch a missed episode wasn’t a thing – gosh how old am I?! Even though, I saw enough to fall completely in love with Hannibal and Mad Mikkelsen.

Note to self: Get your a** on the sofa and start rewatching Hannibal!!

And I’m telling you this because those kind of characters are everything to me. They are smart, cocky, and they usually don’t get caught and yet they can appear calm, confident and they can make you doubt yourself. I love this kind of characters, and when Harlow showed up, I kept wishing Mad Mikkelsen or Benedict Cumberbatch was in that role because I think they would be perfect. Don’t get me wrong Richard Brake did a great job. I just wanted a more familiar face.
Since Harlow is dead, I have no clue who is going to appear but for sure isn’t going to fulfil the space left from him.

What grind up my gears

While I don’t find anything wrong with the show – it doesn’t mean it isn’t – I am completely annoyed by two characters in particular. Don’t get me wrong, and they are well played and built, no problems whit the actors just the characters personalities.

Nick is the one that annoys me the most. First, I don’t know what kind of education he gives to his son, but the lack of interest from Flynn on his birth mother bothers me. The kid shouldn’t be missing her since he was too young to remember her but not push her away and say she’s the reason Nick and Alice are fighting and they never fight.
Second, if he can’t be with Alice and fill like he’s cheating on Emily, and be with Emily and fell conscious about Alice, just file for the divorce. If you can’t be with one and fell guilty for the other just step away.

The other is Alice. I’m just waiting for her to snap and start screaming in every direction. And it’s annoying me she isn’t reacting as much as I wanted, but again this is just from the two first episodes. Right now she has the paper of a villain, and she is the plus in that family. When Emily got back, she started to be a stranger, the second wife, the adoptive mother. She sees her life disaper in front of her eyes. It’s also not fair. So at the same time, I fell compassion for her. You know what? I blame Nick! Is his falt! There he is the bad guy. Who told him it would be better to remarry?

So this story won’t have a happy ending, but so far there isn’t much to predict. Only a complete mess. And I’m hoping in future episodes to know more about that engagement. How Nick and Alice met. What the hell is happening to that kid, – now seriously, he doesn’t behave as usual, he has some issues, he is too closed on himself. And why they kidnapped Emily and not anybody else. Why her? And why keep her for six years and then tell where to find her? Nothing makes sense, but this isn’t everything that is left for the first season.

Did you saw Absentia?? What are your thoughts so far?