Entering the Dark World of Absentia
On February 2, Amazon viewers were able to enter into the dark world of the new series Absentia, which stars former Castle lead Stana Katic in a very different role from that of which her fans and TV viewers are accustomed.
In short, Absenita tells the story of FBI agent Emily Byrne (Katic) who, while hunting one of Boston’s most notorious serial killers, disappears without a trace and is declared dead. Six years later, she is found in a cabin in the woods, barely alive and with no memory of the years she was missing. Returning home to learn that her husband has remarried and her son is being raised by another woman, she soon finds herself implicated in a new series of murders.
Over the course of 10 pretty intense episodes, the story digs deeper and deeper into Emily’s past, revealing some buried secrets and unravels the mystery behind her disappearance as well as that of the serial killer she was investigating before she was kidnapped.
The cast of this intense series includes the following:
Patrick Heusinger (Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce) plays Special Agent Nick Durand, Emily’s husband and fellow FBI agent. Since Emily’s disappearance he remarried a woman named Alice and is raising his and Emily’s son Flynn with her.
Cara Theobold (Downton Abbey) plays Alice Durand, Nick new wife and Flynn’s stepmother, who gradually believes Emily is a danger to Flynn and that Nick is falling back in love with Emily.
Neil Jackson (Sleepy Hollow) plays Jack Byrne, Emily’s older brother, a former surgeon who lost his job and medical license due to alcoholism; and has a rocky relationship with his sister and father.
Angel Bonanni (Shots Fired) plays Boston Police Detective Tommy Gibbs, who is in charge of Emily’s case once she is suspected to be involved in the new series of murders.
Patrick McAuley (Conjuring 2) plays Flynn Durand, Emily and Nick’s 9-year-old son, who has no memory of his mother, but gradually begins to build a relationship with her.
Bruno Bichir (Narcos) plays Dr. Daniel Vega, an FBI psychologist and profiler, who works with Emily to heal her psychological wounds and find her abductor.
Paul Freeman (Raiders of the Lost Ark), plays Warren Byrne, Emily and Jack’s retired police officer and father.
Ralph Ineson (Game of Thrones and Harry Potter franchise) plays Special Agent Adam Radford, Nick and Emily’s boss.
A lot of events took place over the course of the 10-episodes of Absentia. It’s hard to not spoil what took place during those episodes so please tread lightly as I highlight the major plot points of the first season.
Emily Byrne was held captive for six years by a mysterious figure hidden behind a white mask. As seen in flashbacks, she was brutally tormented – being beaten, nearly starved and worse yet being held inside a large tank that would fill with water. She was nearly drowned over and over again inside that tank, which was contained inside a murky underground location that felt like something out of Frankenstein or anyone’s worse nightmare.
Once she was discovered alive, the serial killer convicted of her presumed disappearance, was released from prison; only to be found dead not that long after Emily confronted him inside his own lavish home. Worse yet, a sex trafficker Emily had investigated many, many years ago was found dead and it appeared that Emily was behind his death.
Her family situation wasn’t much better: her father has some major health issues, living in a senior center; she and her brother Jack – it’s revealed that she’s actually adopted – have a very difficult, contentious relationship; her child Flynn is now a 9-year-old boy being raised by her husband Nick and his new wife Alice, who gradually begins to doubt Emily’s innocence in not only her own disappearance but also the other murders as well as worrying about Nick beginning to have feelings for Emily all over again.
While trying to reconnect with her son Flynn and piece together why she was kidnapped, Emily becomes more and more embroiled in the mystery that actually dates back to her time in an orphanage. Two children from that orphanage were brutalized by a depraved doctor, using them in a strange experiment involving a large tank of water that would nearly drown them over and over again.
The evidence against Emily kept building and building; causing her to go on the run, attempting to stay two steps ahead of Nick and Boston PD Detective Gibbs, as they try to track her down. During her search for answers, she experienced a multitude of problems. She was routinely chased, briefly kidnapped yet again, shot while trying to get answers about her brother’s possible involvement in her disappearance and eventually tracking down both of the now grown children from the orphanage – one of whom was the actual culprit behind her six-year captivity.
As the final scenes played out, the real culprit behind her disappearance was taken down, Emily was cleared of any suspicions and her family life was seemingly on a new path of reconciliation. But her nightmares have not been put to rest and the very last scene left a large question in the viewers’ minds as to Emily’s innocence where at least one of the murders that took place after her rescue is concerned, leaving ample opportunity for the story of Emily Byrne to continue. An official decision has yet to be made, though, on whether Absentia will have a second season.
Have you watched Absentia on Amazon Prime yet? What are your thoughts on the show? Please share them below.