The Missing Blu-ray Review
America’s obsession with murder mysteries will always be a constant. In nearly every pop-culture avenue, there is some form of mystery, murder, and drama. SERIAL even showed that you can create a captivating podcast based around those three ingredients. There were masses of people heading to bars and other establishments for listening parties. It’s a fascinating, yet morbid obsession. If anything, THE MISSING, highlights that it’s not just an American thing, it’s a global/human obsession.
I’m not about to piece together the sociological and psychological reasons behind our intrigue into murder and crime. THE MISSING touches upon one interesting aspect that will always hold a soft spot in people’s hearts, child kidnapping and murder. Children are the weakest, and most vulnerable in our society. It’s not only up to the parents of the children, but up to others to make sure that we protect the one shred of innocence we have in our civilization. Even those who claim to be the most amicable probably secretly want those who harm children to meet a horrific end.
THE MISSING not only plays with this inherent humanity that we all possess, but also creates a vast backdrop in which this event takes place. Sure there’s Tony (Nesbitt) and Emily (O’Connor), the parents of the child who goes missing and meets an unfortunate fate, but there’s so much more. What makes THE MISSING so rich with its story is how quickly and smoothly it expands this tight knit world. There’s a helpful and passionate gumshoe, Julien Baptiste (Karyo), a suspicious, recovering pedophile, Vincent (Titus de Voogdt), and once you add the extended families, spouses, and relatives of these characters; you may begin to feel a bit overwhelmed.
Just like the tension and rich scenery, THE MISSING’s plot may be too thick. It certainly doesn’t have the content to stretch past its eight episodes, and it’s good that it realizes the necessity of shortened televised stories. But it also has the problem of blowing up the small microscopic bubble that is our character’s lives. By the time the final episode rolls around, it has way too many stories lines to tie up, and it leaves some unfinished.
But when THE MISSING aims for the emotional tug at our heart, it’s strong. It alternates between the past and present, 2006 and 2014, but it does so in a logical and seamless fashion. It manages to create a few mysteries with the eight year time gap, but it also allows us to see the transformation of our characters over that near decade time span. Some of the typical clichés are there. The parents of young Oliver eventually drift apart and lose chunks of their soul as they frantically search for their child.
The most interesting character though has to be Vincent. Rarely has a show played a pedophile so well, to where you want to hate him, but you also want to see him succeed in his recovery. He’s a man who struggles with his compulsion, but since we only see him resist his urges, he becomes a compassionate character. It also plays with the idea that he may be the one who knows the fate of Oliver or was the reason he’s no longer with us.
While there are certainly better crime dramas, past and present, THE MISSING does something that American TV executives are slowly picking up on. Sometimes the best stories are the ones that are only told as season long vignettes. We can grow to enjoy, and learn to say goodbye to characters all the time. While THE MISSING may have its flaws, I’m glad I got to meet and become acquainted with its characters faults.
Video: (1080p Widescreen 1:78:1) The dreary atmosphere is really reflected on this blu-ray presentation. The only problem is when our show goes for the longshot. Some of the finer qualities, such as a European village or gorgeous countryside, don’t come in quite as crystal clear.
Audio: (English Dolby TrueHD 5.1) This is a show that relies heavily on sound effects and a foreboding soundtrack and on this blu-ray, it’s balanced quite well.
THE MISSING: Time Changes All (2:02): This features takes a look at the two timelines on the show. Nothing spectacular.
THE MISSING: Transformation (1:59): This is somewhat similar to the previous feature, but gives a brief recap of the plot.
THE MISSING: Behind the Scenes (2:32): Another feature that is eerily similar. The shortness and lack of content on these features is disappointing.