Throughout much of Absentia season 2 episode 4, we saw Emily Byrne back on the case — at least more so than we’ve seen from her. She was now fully on the fentanyl investigation, trying to do whatever she could in order to get more insight on her mother … while at the same time also trying to establish normalcy.
As interesting as some of her case work is with Cal Issac, though, much of it fades in importance to how this episode concluded. Of course, we’re talking about her relationship with Tommy.
At first, this just felt like a series of hookups; then, it actually started to feel a little bit like something more. The two were spending a little more time together, he was cooking for her, and they were even getting ready to spend the night together! While this show may not be about romance, it has been nice for most of this season to remove Emily from the whole Alice/Nick part of things and just focus more on herself and her own life.
Unfortunately what Tommy learned in the process of getting closer to Emily is that she is still harboring some sort of secret — in particular when it comes to treatments to try and help her remember elements of her past. He tried to talk with her, to get her to discuss it or at least see things from his side. The problem was that he was too much on the offensive, given that once he started to back her into a corner, everything started to fall apart. She went at him physically, he attacked back, and this led to one of the most brutal fights that we’ve seen on TV.
After a minute or two of this, Tommy then tried to calm the situation, but Emily, still in battle mode and on what felt almost like a break from her normal self, almost choked him to death. Tommy survived, but it seems in the aftermath of this that things between him and Emily are all but over.
What happened elsewhere?
While Nick managed to score what he felt was a major victory within his case, it remains clear that his personal life still has some issues of its own that need fixing. A good bit of this is actually surprisingly human, given that Alice is taking on more work (including, apparently, trying to help Jack through some of his personal demons), and that’s meaning being gone from the place more. It makes sense that without time with her husband, she would throw herself into some stuff elsewhere. The problem is what happens if these two cannot recreate the connection that they once had a little earlier on in the series.
At present, the cases this season are compelling, but it’s also still so much in their formative stages that it’s hard to conjure up a firm opinion on them, one way or another. It’s a little bit different when it comes to what’s happening here emotionally. This episode brought us some of the best evidence we’ve had of Emily’s continued emotional triggers and torment since the start of this season, and also the challenges for anyone to get closer to her. While Tommy didn’t approach the situation in the best possible way, would someone else? This is a question and a big-time thing that Emily could start to ponder over if she wants to end up with someone else.
Absentia season 2 episode 4 was one of the most violent, visually-jarring episodes we’ve seen thanks to the fight scene at the end. It served as a reminder that trauma does not and cannot go away quickly, no matter how much you may want it to or how you actively fight to move forward following what transpired.
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