Have you caught your breath yet? Did you manage to watch all of that final, violent conclusion to The Missing episode five, or did you peek between your fingers?
However you felt after this week’s grim finale, The Missing has yet again delivered another shock scene that throws everything we thought we knew up in the air.
If you haven’t watched episode five, look away now. If you’re ready to start drilling down into exactly what’s going on, read on…
- The Missing episode 1 recap: what really happened to Alice Webster?
- The Missing episode 2 recap: what is Brigadier Stone up to?
- The Missing episode 3 recap: what do Gemma’s rollercoaster photos mean?
- The Missing episode 4 recap: is there is a third missing girl?
Is the military press officer in The Missing guilty?
Out of all the minor characters we had our suspicious eye on, the military press officer barely registered. He seemed so inconsequential, so grey and charmless – but the softly spoken Scot just announced himself in the most brutal way, murdering German detective Jorn Lenhart after he arrived looking for information.
Lenhart was asking questions about one ‘Lena Garber’, a brown-haired girl with red-rimmed glasses who went missing several years ago. The military press officer (he’s called Adam Gettrick by the way) was apparently a family friend, and the German policeman wanted to find out more.
Lenhart ended up stumbling into the biggest secret so far – and it cost him his life.
While Lenhart was asking questions in the press officer’s house, a young girl came downstairs. Nobody even knew he had a family, but the girl had a picture she wanted to show them…
“That’s me and Mummy. In the basement.”
What is it about The Missing that can make children’s drawings so sinister? The press officer, not able to let Lenhart leave knowing about this girl who lived in a basement, took a power tool to the policeman’s brain. Horrible.
I told you to stay upstairs, darling,” Adam tells the girl in the final scene. “I told you to stay upstairs.”
How will The Missing change after episode 5?
Press officer Adam Gettrick is now the prime suspect for the disappearance of Alice Webster, Sophie Giroux and this other mystery girl, Lena Garber. Does that mean that everything we have examined so far is unconnected? And, with Lenhart dead, will anyone join the dots?
Well, as to the first question, the short answer is no. Just like in series one, while other characters may not strictly be responsible for the disappearance of missing children, that doesn’t mean they aren’t carrying their own guilt.
Writers Harry and Jack Williams assure us that this is far from the whole story. “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,” Harry said. “That can be the surprising thing, and there’s a whole other story to tell.”
So, what else does this story have to tell us?
Gettrick’s murder of Lenhart immediately makes you wonder how long it will take before Julien Baptiste tries to find out what happened to his one-time police partner. Or perhaps Eve Stone will be the first to learn of his death? After all, all he wanted to do was to write songs for her. Poor Jorn…
The final scene also means we have to look again at the events of 2014, when the press officer was supposedly responsible for protecting Sam and Gemma Webster from media intrusion. Had he tipped off the journalist about Matthew locking ‘Alice’ in the shed, perhaps as a way to pin the blame on someone else?
Finally, the biggest question of all: who is the girl living in the press officer’s house? Could she be ‘Alice’s’ daughter? The girl who came back did say that she was pregnant during her captivity. Did he keep the child even after she escaped? That, it seems, is where the series is heading.
What about the girl in the red glasses?
Episode four revealed that we have three missing girls to bear in mind: Alice Webster, Sophie Giroux, and a third girl discovered by Gemma in her pile of rollercoaster photos, wearing a pair of red glasses.
At the beginning of episode five, we see the girl in Switzerland in the present day heading up to the campervan in the woods. She picks up a pair of red glasses, takes them to a hut where she is hiding out, and burns them.
Later in the episode, after Lenhart starts trying to find out more about the girl in the rollercoaster photo, he comes across the name of Lena Garber. She had apparently been troubled, and it was assumed she had run away.
Jorn’s file on missing girl Lena Garber
Does this get us any closer to working out who’s who? Not really. The girl in Switzerland could be Lena Garber, getting rid of the specs that would give away her identity. She could be the same Alice/not-Alice who supposedly died in the shed fire, but instead made her escape once and for all. She could be the mother of the girl kept in the press officer’s house. Nothing is any clearer.
What is Brigadier Stone hiding?
— BBC One (@BBCOne) November 9, 2016
In the present day, Julien Baptiste steals a few precious minutes to question the suspicious Stone, chasing a lead he discovered in Iraq. Julien claims he knows Stone and Henry Reed killed an Iraqi girl while they were on active service. Stone, apparently confused and suffering from Alzheimer’s, reveals that there were three people involved. Is the press officer the mystery third man, or is that too simple?
What about Henry Reed?
Julien and Jorn’s investigation in 2014 reveals that Henry Reed almost certainly did not commit suicide. After speaking with the prostitute ‘Ilsa’, they learn that Henry’s car was moved after Ilsa discovered the body. People who have committed suicide aren’t usually in the business of driving their car home…
What else have we learned?
- Eve Stone was actually a surrogate mother for her sister, explaining why she was pregnant in 2014 but there was no sign of a child in the present day. However, she also has just told Sam Webster that she’s pregnant again – just after they decided to end their affair.
- Julien is clearly ill even in 2014, passing out in Jorn’s car during their investigation. Is this the first sign of the brain tumour?
- Henry Reed regularly met with transgender prostitute ‘Ilsa’, born Wolfgang Hausler.
- Daniel Reed’s girlfriend says that before the soldier went missing, he was obsessing over whether his father really killed himself. So why did we see him trying to mop up the blood in his father’s house in episode one?
- What happened to push Sam and his son Matt apart? We thought it was the fact that Sam blamed him for ‘Alice’s’ death, but now we’re not so sure. In the present day, Sam talked about something that happened a few months ago. What happened?
Do you have a new theory after The Missing episode 5? Let us know in the comments box below, and tune in next Wednesday at 9pm on BBC1.