Absentia season 2 episode 3 review: Is Emily back at the FBI?

Absentia season 2Absentia season 2 episode 3 brought to you a story about new beginnings — or, at least a story hinting at them for some characters. (Warning: Spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen the episode yet!)

For Emily Byrne, new beginnings represent her working at the FBI again. She got her old job back in this episode, largely as a function of figuring out precisely what happened to her biological mother Valerie Chandris. Valerie was dead following the attack last year, making this a rare example of that huge, dramatic cliffhanger that actually does stick. This wasn’t just some fake-out. Emily is finding herself now paired with Cal Isaac to uncover what’s going on in a string of deaths — one that involves fentanyl and three different bodies. Valerie is just one piece of the puzzle.

While Emily has this new job, she is still struggling with her old demons and making sure she’s fully aware of her surroundings — it’s enough to make Alice nervous, though Alice seems to be rather on-edge as is at the moment. She’s working more at the hospital, and Nick’s new case is leaving him in a position where he’s burning a candle at both ends. That means, in turn, that he’s not around anywhere near as much at home.

Tonight, it did seem as though Nick and some of his FBI team did uncover the man seemingly responsible for the attack on the Annex — Tyler Brandon Mills. However, he was not exactly an easy guy to track down. Right when it looked like they had him, he set them up and then escaped. Whether or not he is truly their Big Bad, that’s to be seen — but he certainly does have the devious look for it, plus the ability to do some pretty nasty stuff.

Bad news for Jack Byrne…

It’s proving to be rather difficult for him to turn his life around, as evidenced by the fact that he couldn’t get his gig back as a surgeon and, beyond just that, he also almost lost it as an EMT. Apparently, being a surgeon isn’t the best thing for this job since he went far beyond what some of the basic requirements of this position are. He worked incredibly hard to safe a life … and then he just got yelled at over it. The fear for Jack is that he’s going to be overwhelmed by some of the demons of his past — yet, for Emily, the trouble is more that hers are going to come back and find her. Being back at the FBI is a great thing for her getting clarity on her past … but there are also some pretty-clear downsides. You are putting yourself constantly at risk of that past destroying you and much of what you’ve worked towards.

CarterMatt Verdict

What Absentia season 2 is delivering to date is an immersive, haunting story — but also one where there are still questions that need to be answered. Are these FBI investigations connected? Is the world of Nick going to collide with Emily? It does feel like there’s something larger at play, a devil that is ready to jump out at any given moment — but, if that is the case, the devil’s keeping on that mask for as long as possible.

Tonight’s episode felt like a bridge, one meant to connect episode 2 with the rest of the season. There are likely more answers coming; the hard part is going to be waiting for them (at least watching this via the Canadian airings once a week).

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