Absentia Season 2 Episode 1 Review: Casualties

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When last we saw Emily Byrne, she was at a party having a panic attack on the kitchen floor.

Turns out, not a whole heck of a lot has changed as we get to Absentia Season 2 Episode 1, or perhaps it's gotten worse.

Emily looked too thin and haggard for someone who should be focusing on her recovery. 

Someone get that woman a spa day!

Emily Byrne Takes a Call - Absentia

Water is still a trigger for Emily, and it wouldn't surprise me if she never took a bath again for the rest of her life!

But Emily is convinced that there is still someone out there connected to the horrors of Barrett House and that someone may be lurking in the dark and following her.

Related: Absentia Season 2 Trailer: Who's Lurking in the Dark?

The scariest part is that she may not be wrong.

Emily: I don’t care what forensics thinks, what they found or didn’t find, I can feel it. Do you think I’m being paranoid?
Tommy: No, after what you’ve been through, it’s…
Emily: I wish I could remember more. It could help.
Tommy: Maybe you don’t want to remember that shit anyway.

One of the few upsides is that she’s unofficially partnered with Detective Tommy Gibbs.

Tommy Help Out - Absentia Season 2 Episode 1

Tommy clearly believes Emily when I’m sure most people would write off her fears as post-traumatic stress delusions and paranoia.

If this is nothing more than a rabbit hole, at least he’s willing to jump into it with her, so she doesn’t have to fall down it alone.

But whether someone is still out there connected to the people who abducted, tortured, and stole years from Emily's life, or not, it's clear that Emily Byrne is hanging on to her sanity by her fingernails.

I’m not a drunk, Jack, that’s your thing.

Emily

That Absentia quote sounds like something that someone with a drinking problem would say, but is Emily drinking and shooting up to suppress the memories of the hell she endured, or to remember it more vividly?

Emily Struggles With the Memories - Absentia Season 2 Episode 1

Emily doesn't appear to have a job, and how exactly does that work? I know she's living in a dive of an apartment, but even dives cost money every month. 

Of course, if she took her father's advice and tried to join Boston PD then she'd be forced to work on other cases besides her own. 

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That might not be a bad thing. 

I was relieved to see how supportive Jack was of his sister. He was encouraging her to reach out to Flynn and he didn't overreact when her knee-jerk reaction was to insult him for his drinking while defending her own. 

Getting Back On His Feet - Absentia Season 2 Episode 1

Jack is pulling his life back together, which is great because his sister's looks as though hers could completely fall apart at any time. 

And something tells me that having an EMT / doctor in this family is going to come in handy. 

That Alice had suffered a miscarriage was sad but not a huge surprise, however, the fact that neither Nick nor Alice, who's a trained therapist, would think that losing that child did not affect Flynn was absurd.

I'm sure he was as excited about a new member of the family as they were, so the loss wasn't only theirs.

An Unhappy Family - Absentia Season 2 Episode 1

But the Durands don't appear to be a very happy family these days. Did you notice the stressed expressions on Nick and Alice's faces when Flynn made the therapist use Emily's name instead of referring to her as just his biological mother?

I don't think Flynn is the only one in need of therapy in this family.  

And the terrorist attack at FEMA won't be helping anyone reduce their stress levels.

Julianne: Many domestic fringe groups are convinced that FEMA responding to a real or manufactured disaster or threat will use their emergency powers to round up American patriots and take them to government concentration camps.
Cal: My Uncle Frank listens to crap like that on talk radio all day long.

It's amazing how much craziness people are willing to believe or how violent their reaction to it can become. 

Emily Comforts Flynn - Absentia Season 2 Episode 1

The poisonous gas attack was even more frightening because people can wake up and then possibly die all over again. 

The one upside was that Emily could be there for Flynn who has been subjected to far too much trauma already in his young life. 

Flynn: The guys who did this, do you think they’re going to do it again.
Emily: I think you hope for the best and prepare for the worst and that’s what we’re doing.

In part, I wondered whether Flynn was veiledly asking about the people who abducted him during Absentia Season 1. It wouldn't be surprising if he, like Emily, worried that someone else was still out there.

But there's more than enough fear to go around as this new threat from a still unknown terrorist has left the FBI with little to go on.

A Terrifying New Case - Absentia Season 2 Episode 1

Julianne: If you were convinced that your government was conspiring against you to usher in the coming police state, what would you do?
Crown: I don’t know, take off my tin foil hat and go get some fresh air.

Once again, the FBI office seems to have its own drama and paranoia as Crown worries over why Special Agent Julianne Gunnarsen has been called in to profile this mass murderer and figure out his next target.

Little do they know that it appears to be them. 

But right now, Emily's got her hands full with the stalker she probably never expected to see again. 

I knew the second Tommy picked his business card up off the ground that he was going to get fingerprints off of it. Is that the reason the cards are laminated?

What I didn't expect was to whom the man in the trailer would lead.

Mystery Woman - Absentia Season 2 Episode 1

Could Valerie Chandris actually be Emily Byrne's mother? If so, that adds a whole other layer of emotional turmoil to Emily's world and it's a mystery I can't wait to solve.

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Stana Katic once again does a remarkable job of portraying Emily as both tough beyond belief and incredibly vulnerable. 

I do not doubt that Emily would track down the truth no matter what it costs her, even if it means her own destruction. 

Getting Her Life Back - Absentia Season 2 Episode 1

The thrilling adventure that is Absentia Season 2 has finally begun. 

Check back in for my review of Absentia Season 2 Episode 2, and don't forget to watch Absentia online here at TV fanatic.

Casualties Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (17 Votes)

C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.

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Absentia Season 2 Episode 1 Quotes

I’m not a drunk, Jack, that’s your thing.

Emily

Emily: Oh, Christ.
Warren: Not quite. Just your Dad.