Absentia Season 2 Episode 2 Review: Madness

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Emily Byrnes life is never dull and Absentia Season 2 Episode 2 was no exception.

But when Emily began digging deeper into the history of Barrett House, the one person I never expected to pop up was her supposedly dead biological mother.

That is, if Valerie really is Emily's mother.

Checking Out a Story - Absentia Season 2 Episode 2

Admittedly, Valerie's story makes some sense, at least the part where her baby was handed over to the State because she got sent to prison. 

What's more questionable is why anyone would be interested in Valerie, never mind secretly drugging her and following her. 

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I hope that Emily's experience with obtaining Valerie's medical records wasn't commonplace because that's just terrifying, although I've seen more computers than not with the password on a sticky note attached to the monitor. 

The look on Emily's face when she realized that the log-in she needed was right in front of her was priceless.

An Easy Hack - Absentia Season 2 Episode 2

I wish Emily had called Jack and talked to him about what she saw in that file, or snuck a photo of it before she left it behind. Perhaps he would have spotted something odd that Emily didn't. 

I felt for Valerie. She's obviously had a rough life and with the price of life-saving insulin continually rising, it's no surprise that she has to buy it on the black market. 

Horrifying, but not surprsing.

But between Emily not finding enough evidence to back up what sounded like a crazy story, and Valerie's questionable run-in with Flynn, it was hard to blame Emily for sending her supposedly dead mother on her way.

An Unexpected Meeting - Absentia Season 2 Episode 2

Although I wish Emily had gotten some DNA evidence before Valerie left, just to be sure, it seems that Warren's reaction confirms her story. 

Emily: Why didn’t you tell me about her?
Warren: I thought she was long gone.
Emily: You said she was dead.
Warren: For all intents and purposes, she was.
Emily: How much did you guys know about her?
Warren: Enough to know she should be kept away.

That Warren and Helen kept Valerie's existence a secret is almost understandable. 

Emily had a lot of issues growing up and knowing that her biological mother was in prison may have made thing worse. 

Related: Absentia Season 2 Episode 1 Review: Casualties

What didn't make sense was Warren's extreme reaction. 

Did he never expect that Emily would eventually learn the truth? She worked in law enforcement. It seems only natural that she might search for information on her biological mother one day, even if she assumed the woman was dead. 

Warren is Furious - Absentia Season 2 Episode 2

Warren didn't even listen to his daughter. The fact that she was asking any questions at all appeared to feel like a betrayal to him. 

Thankfully, Flynn's reaction was much tamer, and I thought Emily handled the interaction with Flynn well.

Flynn: So, she’s my grandmother.
Emily: No, your grandmother is Helen Byrne, the woman who made your baby blanket for you.
Flynn: But she’s your mom.
Emily: Yeah. I just met her too.

Emily has very few people she can turn to. She can only share so much with Flynn, Warren just blew up in her face, and she didn't feel comfortable telling Jack that Valerie was her biological mother. 

I was hoping she'd open up to Tommy, but Emily seems determined to keep him around for investigating her past and sex, even though it's clear he'd like their interactions to mean more.

Tommy Always Shows Up - Absentia Season 2 Episode 2

Over at the FBI, the investigation into the FEMA attack was slow going. 

Julianne was right; it 's a process that takes time but with the public in a frenzy to find the culprit, an innocent person might get hurt before it's complete. 

And although Agent Crown's paranoia about Julianne wanting his job might be spot on, sleeping with a reporter may very well cost him his job without any help from the profiler. 

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

Feeling the Heat - Absentia Season 2 Episode 2

Elsewhere, it appeared that Alice might see more of Jack than she does of Nick lately. 

I suppose that's to be expected with Nick working a demanding case and Alice starting a new job but it has me wondering if Alice and Jack will form a closer bond as Absentia season 2 continues.

Alice: It’s kind of wrong, isn’t it?
Jack: What?
Alice: One hundred and twenty-one people died and you and I have a new lease on life.

I'm anxious to see how Nick and Alice interact when they're alone since we've only seen them talking on the phone or in therapy with Flynn. How strong is their marriage since Emily's return and Alice's miscarriage?

But the person in for the biggest shock, as usual, is Emily.

An Unlikely Story - Absentia Season 2 Episode 2

Unless whoever is lurking in the dark is after something very specific, I can't imagine that Valerie will live through that attack in the bathroom, which will be a shame since she delivered my favorite Absentia quote of this installment...

Emily: My birth mother is dead.
Valerie: I may not be the freshest daisy in the garden but hey, you know, I’m still breathing.

And the guilt of having her biological mother killed after kicking her out could crush Emily. 

With that said, it's time to get to my review of Absentia Season 2 Episode 3!

Valerie Has To Leave - Absentia Season 2 Episode 2

Don't forget, you can watch Absentia online here at TV Fanatic.

Madness Review

Editor Rating: 4.3 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 2.3 / 5.0 (21 Votes)

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

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Absentia Season 2 Episode 2 Quotes

Julianne: We can’t rule things out until we’re certain.
Crown: Then get certain.

Emily: My birth mother is dead.
Valerie: I may not be the freshest daisy in the garden but hey, you know, I’m still breathing.