This article comes from Den of Geek UK.
This review contains spoilers.
2.5 Das Vergessen
TV rule #37: when a background character is gifted with some lines and a personality, they’re either about to cark it or be unmasked as the baddie.
For guitar-playing, Einstein-quoting romantic Jorn Lenhart, it was the former. Shockingly (though admittedly staged with restraint) his investigation into missing third girl Lena Garber led him to the wrong end of a cordless drill. No more crush on Eve. No more double act with Julien. No more Hilde the parrot anecdotes. Just when he’d blown this whole thing wide open, poor Jorn is a stain on somebody’s carpet. Specifically, the carpet of the man who abducted the girls: Adam Gettrick.
Gettrick is the Scottish army press officer played by Derek Riddell (a familiar-enough face that the slimness of his role until now should have tipped us off according to TV rule #64: if they’ve cast someone recognisable as the janitor/tea lady/bicycle courier, they’re likely guilty as sin). Gettrick has been keeping a child and her mummy in his basement, a fact Jorn stumbles upon following up the news that the press officer was a family friend of the Garbers.
It was a chillingly efficient form of murder, providing a glimpse into Gettrick that fits with what we already know of the abductor. To have remained undetected all this time, he must be a master planner. To have orchestrated Sophie’s release and the framing of Kristian Herz, he must be a master manipulator. And to have taken the girls in the first place, he must be a sadistic, heartless son of a bitch. Exactly the kind of person, in short, who’d calmly insert a drill bit into the skull of an endearing young polizist.
Satisfyingly, the non-drill parts of episode five continued last week’s trend for quieter, more contemplative moments. Sam and Gemma’s marriage woes played out while they pegged out the washing. (Eve is pregnant? Oh, The Missing gods are cruel). Resentment is still simmering between Sam and Matthew.
In one gripping scene, Julien prompted Brigadier Stone into an emotional outburst over the murdered child in Iraq. Ever since that confab with Sophie at the end of episode two, Stone has looked like a guilty man. What he has to be guilty for seemed to shift this week. Perhaps he had nothing to do with the abductions? If Gettrick was blackmailing Reed and Stone about the girl’s murder, and Sophie knew about it, that would explain her asking him how he can live with himself after what he’d done.
Speaking of secrets, things did take a more heightened turn with the introduction of Henry Reed’s prostitute mistress Ilsa, who played it like Lauren Bacall in a classic noir. The humanising warmth of Baptiste’s character and the vein of light comedy between him and Jorn managed to keep those scenes mostly in line with the rest of the episode, even if it was hard to shake the feeling that Ilsa and the brothel belonged in a different series altogether.
Back to Getterick. It’s a bold and welcome move for The Missing to skip ahead and unveil the culprit with three episodes still to go. It shifts our focus onto the awful but fascinating psychology of a man who could commit such a crime while reassuring us that there’s enough time to explain the many questions still remaining.
There’s no shortage of those. Whose body was in the shed? Who’s left in Gettrick’s basement? Why did Sophie pretend to be Alice? What’s she doing in Switzerland? Why frame Herz? Did Gettrick murder Henry Reed? Was he the third person who killed the girl in Iraq? Were Reed and Stone implicated in the abductions? Is there a police cover-up going on? The next three episodes still have a to-do list as long as your arm.
If there’s any justice, top of that list will be Baptiste catching Gettrick. If The Missing’s writers are feeling generous—it being Christmas and all—perhaps we might even see an alive Alice Webster reunited with her family? I won’t hold out too much hope, but as an ending, that would take this series pleasingly full circle.
Read Louisa’s review of the previous episode, Statice, here.