The Missing series 2 episode 5: did we have to see such a violent ending?

Writers Harry and Jack Williams explain why they wanted to drill the shocking climax home – and what it means for the rest of the series

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If you managed to watch the latest episode of The Missing without flinching or closing your eyes for a second, good on you. The final, violent conclusion to series two episode five will stay with viewers long after the credits rolled.

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The final scene featured a character who was about to be exposed by a police officer (for full details, check out our recap). Taking drastic measures, he grappled the policeman to the floor before grabbing a power drill lying nearby… and drilling into the detective’s brain.

Even though we don’t see the actual moment, it’s a wince-inducing end to the episode. Did it have to be so violent? Writers Harry and Jack Williams say the ending justified the means.

“Why a drill?” asks Jack Williams. “To be honest, he’s doing things in the house, he’s there, he’s got stuff knocking around. You always want to do something specific with these kind of things. You want to do something that’s memorable.”

Memorable, and intentional.

“The difference between knocking someone over the head and getting a drill is, one is potentially accidental or in the heat of the moment. The other is very intentional. There’s a big lack of humanity there,” Jack says.

The Missing series 2 episode 5 recap: has that shocking ending revealed a new suspect?

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So the act tells us about the character, military press liaison officer Adam Gettrick, and what he is really capable of. We have barely seen him in the drama so far, only watching him in scenes where he is trying to stop media intrusion into the Websters’ lives. 

It seems however that we’re about to learn an awful lot more about him.

“I don’t think there’s any way you could have [guessed] that at all, and that’s a good thing,” Jack says. “Because we do it so early, there’s time in the next few episodes to explore why and how he’s connected to everything else that’s going on.”

Who plays the military press liaison officer in The Missing?

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“Traditionally episode eight would be the time to finally hone in on who it is, so with this season we thought if we could do that slightly earlier then we could play a different game narratively,” adds Harry. “That can be a surprising thing, and there’s a whole other story to tell.”

So, with three episodes still to come after such a violent conclusion, where do we go next?

“Everyone should be reassured that all of the questions that have come up, and all the questions that are coming up, they will be answered.” adds executive producer Willow Grylls.

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News to soothe after a turbulent night.

What attracts us to watching violence on TV?

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