Absentia season 2 episode 9 review: The not-so-good doctor

AbsentiaWithin the scope of Absentia season 2 episode 9, there are plenty of things we learned — including that Emily Byrne was patient zero for a larger series of experiments. She may have been the first test in the experimental, PTSD-relieving drug that we first learned about in episode 8. Beyond that, her blood may have been linked to tests involving Tyler Brandon Mills and Rex Wolfe — two of the other not-so-wonderful people at the heart of the story this season. We know that Tommy knew too much and what happened to him; now, we’re seeing what happens to those who were involved deeply in the operation.

At the center of almost this entire episode was Dr. Oduwale, the man responsible for administering much of the test drug in the first place — he treated both Mills and Wolfe, and it just so happens that Flynn was also seeing him. Did he drug Emily’s son? That’s something that the episode didn’t offer up the utmost clarity on, and we’re certainly not going to find out now, given that the character is officially dead.

How we got to that point in the first place was astounding, and largely a function of Emily’s desire for revenge. After the police couldn’t get anywhere with the doctor in interrogation, she took matters into her own hands. She brought him into her own personal interrogation room, otherwise known as a torture chamber. She was ready to inflict however much carnage she needed in order to ensure that he would talk, and talk he eventually did after she tried to gas him within an inch of his life. It was there she learned that everything with Mills and Wolfe started with some of what happened to her years ago, and the cases at the heart of seasons 1 and 2 were so much more connected than she realized.

Yet, before anything else could happen, there was a fire outside — and it was enough of a distraction to draw out Emily and the rest of the FBI, once they arrived to the scene of her torture. Someone snuck in, killed Oduwale, and then snuck back out before anyone could detect them. The doctor is dead and because of that, a further secret is safe. We still don’t know who the real Big Bad is, though we at least know some of the people connected to them.

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Alice’s place in all of this

We don’t think as of right now that she is involved in any of this, but she was a defender of Oduwale because of her experiences working for him. This wasn’t the best episode for Alice in general, given that earlier on the episode, she ended things with Jack, claiming mostly that Nick was aware of an affair, even though he wasn’t sure that it was Jack who she was being with in secret. Jack’s probably not going to take this so well, especially since he doesn’t open up to many people and he was in love with her. He was at the “buying jewelry” portion of the relationship while she was simultaneously walking away.

So maybe Alice can reverse course now that she’s learned the truth about Dr. Oduwale and help. Emily’s probably going to need her if she is going to be able to get the answers she seeks.

CarterMatt Verdict

Absentia season 2 episode 9 is a story of truth or consequences. Emily learned the truth about Oduwale, but the consequences of what she did to do it were severe. For the first time all season everything is starting to come together and much of this story seems to be one of failed human advancement and the relationship between science and ethics. For Emily in particular, all of this is devastating — she’s learning more and more that she’s never been fully in control of her own life.

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