The Missing episode five: Tony Hughes’s shocking revelation

SPOILER ALERT: We always knew James Nesbitt's character Tony Hughes had a dark side. Now we know how dark...

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“He was beautiful though, wasn’t he?” Those words proved a death sentence for dodgy property developer Ian Garrett in the latest instalment of The Missing.

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The episode led us on a devilish detour about what really happened to the missing man, but the truth emerged at the end: Tony Hughes killed Ian.

With that shocking revelation, Tony’s dark secret was revealed. He has been carrying this guilt for eight years, throughout his desperate search for his missing son Olly.

Tony lashed out after finding a tape recorder in Ian Garrett’s boat, containing the evidence of Ian’s child abuse, rape, murder and paedophilia. 53 tapes were squirrelled away in the hull, bearing hideous witness to Ian’s past.

But Ian didn’t have anything to do with missing Olly. “I never took your boy. That I swear. I never even met him,” Ian said plaintively. His grinning parting shot sent Tony over the edge.

In killing Ian, Tony has carried out his earlier threat: “Dangerous animals like you need to be put down, Ian.” 

As the credits rolled, Tony was left with bloody hands and a lifeless body at his feet. Grief and violence have boiled over, and there is now no going back for the fierce father. How can he cover his tracks?

For much of the episode we were convinced that Ian had escaped scot-free, and was living a life in luxurious exile in the middle of the Indian Ocean.

But that retreat turned out to be a figment of his wife Mary’s imagination. Vincent Bourg meets her in a home: “Perhaps it’s better simply to let go,” he muses. “Not to dwell on the choices we have made. Whether we should have gone this way or another.

“Instead we should always go forward and try not to get trapped in the past.”

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Yet Tony cannot go forward. He is trapped by the loss of his son, and the knowledge of his own murderous guilt.

>> Read more: The Missing’s key suspects