Absentia season 2 episode 5 review: Family dinner + Catalyst Diagnosis

Absentia season 2Is Absentia season 2 episode 5 the best episode of the season so far? You can certainly make the case for it. While we saw Emily Byrne and Nick Durant confront difficult situations in their work, the entire family was brought together by an event that actually reminded them of something fundamental — through all of their crazy episodes and ups and downs, they are all still people. They all have the same feelings and insecurities through the day … and they also all face death at some point in their lives.

The central event in this episode, at least to us, was Papa Byrne’s medical crisis, which hospitalized him and seemed to throw Flynn even further down the whole of trauma. He was the person really responsible for saving his grandfather, but he also struggled with even the smallest thing after the fact. Take, for example, seeing his grandpa red meat knowing that it was bad for him. Or, seeing the way in which Emily and Nick live. This was amplified further by Valerie earlier this season … which, of course, Emily hadn’t told everyone else about.

The culmination of all of this mess was family dinner, not exactly something that we see all that often within this show. You had Emily, Jack, Papa Byrne, Flynn, Nick, and Alice all in one place. There was even pie! Yet, apparently, that wasn’t enough to make this an appetizing occasion. Instead, it led to Alice and Nick growing frustrated with Emily over hiding what happened with Valerie, and then Papa Byrne reminding her that he didn’t want her to have anything to do with her biological mother. Then, you also had Flynn freaking out, and eventually, all Emily could do was step up and walk away.

In some ways, you consider Emily’s exit from America at the end of the episode similar, except it was with an even larger purpose — tracking down Rex Wolf, the suspect at the center of their investigation. The pieces for Emily are starting to become clearer — there’s something larger going on here tied to her past, whether it be via her mother or with the latest victim, athlete Clay Bishop. There’s also an organization in Catalyst Diagnosis that is involved, which Emily wants Tommy’s help to look into while she takes off to Moldova. The problem is that Tommy isn’t altogether willing to forgive the violent incident at the end of this past episode, even though he was very much involved within it.

Emily’s running in the direction of danger, and possibly death, with Cal Isaac. She could make Flynn’s worst fears a reality. Nick’s already dealing with that in his own personal way, after experiencing what can be easily described as a tense, near-death situation of his own within this episode. Being at gunpoint this time around seemed to really shake him, as he may be finally starting to question whether or not this life is for him. He could leave his son behind, and this is already with his marriage on the brink with the amount of time he is pouring into the case.

Finally, is anyone else starting to get really worried that something could happen with Alice and Jack? How many love triangles is Absentia going to throw at us, and how many of them are going to involve Nick, Alice, and a member of the Byrne family?

CarterMatt Verdict

Absentia season 2 episode 5 brought out everything — great performances, interesting character moments, Emily making a show-changing decision to leave the US, and also desserts that apparently weren’t as appetizing as they should have been. The cool thing about the shift to Moldova is that the creative team can actually use more real-life locations in Bulgaria, which is reasonably close to the nation on the map.

While we cannot say that episode 5 offered up much in the way of answers, it did present a darker undercurrent behind some of the case-work and reminded both Emily and Nick that no matter what they do, and the cases they investigate, they do need to remember to still be human. If they don’t, the whole world could crumble in pieces.

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