Absentia Season 3 Episode 2 Review: Capta Est

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Emily Byrne is a superwoman.

Or so Absentia Season 3 Episode 2 leads us to believe because who else could get stabbed in the abdomen, lose a significant amount of blood, go through surgery, and in less than 24 hours pull themself out of bed and head out on the latest mission. 

That's something out of an action-adventure spy movie, which I suppose is what Absentia aims to be in episodic form. 

Things Turn Explosive - Absentia

On one level, I love it, but on another, I wish it would try to be a touch more realistic. 

When Emily insisted on getting out of bed immediately after surgery, I was a little surprised that Jack didn't sedate her or have her restrained. 

Jack: What are you doing out of bed?
Emily: I need to find Nick.
Jack: Okay, well let’s get you back to your room.
Emily: The FBI’s got nothing.
Jack: Yeah. Well, what are you going to do about it? Huh?
Emily: I don’t know. Something.

Even the formidable Emily Byrne's body needs time to heal, and if her goal was to make sure Flynn didn't lose another parent, perhaps she should have started by taking care of herself.

But kicking back and enjoying an IV of fluids and antibiotics while taking some time to recover isn't in Emily's DNA.

Refusing To Stay Put - Absentia Season 3 Episode 2

Jack knows that, which is why he did what he could to patch her up so she could leave.

He knew she was going to bolt either way. so he did his best to give her a fighting chance. 

You know, I’ve patched you up so many times but one day I’m worried I’m not going to be able to.


I'm not quite sure how Kai's prayer beads (was it a rosary or something else? I couldn't tell.) led Emily to that particular church. And it seemed even more convenient that a lie about spousal abuse led Emily to the women's shelter where Kai was hiding out, but at least it moved the story along quickly. 

Kai strikes just the right balance between innocence and strength and it keeps me both guessing about her motives and engaged in wanting to know more. 

Jack Tries To Help - Absentia Season 3 Episode 2

It's also entertaining to witness her reaction to Emily...

Kai: You’re so badass, it’s weird to think you’re, um…
Emily: What?
Kai: A mom.
Emily: Surprise.

One moment, Emily is an aggressive, intimidating super spy, and the next she's talking to her kid about dinner. 

It's a fascinating dichotomy to see Emily on the attack one moment and then struggling to maintain a normal home life the next, and Kai was trying to make sense of it.

Kai knows Meridian is involved in an organ harvesting network, and she encrypted and stole files to give herself some leverage if she were threatened. 

Kai Is Wary - Absentia Season 3 Episode 2

But when Kai says her former employer has sources everywhere, does she mean inside the FBI? And if she suspected that, then why go to Nick in the first place?

Is her fear based on overall paranoia, or does Kai know something specific, and if she does, then why not tell Emily? But if the previous two seasons of Absentia have taught us anything, it's to trust no one. 

Special Agent in Charge Julianne Gunnarson has attracted suspicion since her introduction, but I tend to wonder if she's the red herring. Julianne has always had Nick's back, however she is skeptical of Emily's ability to do the job, but I can't say that I blame her.

Not that Byrne isn't a top-notch spy. She definitely is and will do anything to get the job done. But Emily's also a lone wolf who plays by her own rules, and that doesn't always work well within the constructs of the FBI.

She's also survived many years of intense physical and psychological trauma, which makes her unpredictable. 

Finding a Fight Club - Absentia Season 3 Episode 2

If I'm being logical, I can understand Gunnarson's apprehension. 

Then there's Cal Issacs. I love Cal. He's been a great, loyal partner to Emily, and they work well together. 

The flip side is that we've always known that Cal has secrets, and it appears that one of them is some sort of association with the European criminal organization, Meridian. 

When Cal stonewalls Julianne by telling her that his time with Meridian is part of a national security investigation, does he mean he was working on the investigation, and it's classified even from Gunnarson?

Was he undercover? Or is his involvement something more insidious?

Cal Has Secrets - Absentia Season 3 Episode 2

And Agent Crown has always been a bit of a wild card. I've never been sure if he's just meant to be a mid-level FBI lackey or if he's got more to hide than an ill-founded affair with a member of the media. 

At some point, I would think that Emily is going to have to bring Kai in, and then we'll find out if the young woman is right about the dangers of working with the FBI.

Unfortunately, if she is correct, she'll more than likely turn up dead. 

One of my bigger issues with this episode was the level of violence. 

I know Absentia is a dark and gritty and that there's a certain level of brutality that comes with that. But in this one episode, we had Emily's stabbing, the barbarism of the fight club, the stabbing and torture of Kristophe, and then we watched Nick get savagely beaten.

Emily Drinks - Absentia Season 3 Episode 1

Some violence is to be expected in a spy thriller, but when it goes too far, it can become off-putting or even a complete turn-off. The merciless attack on Nick was a step too far, at least with everything else packed into this installment.

When it appeared that the team was about to find Nick, it seemed too eashy and that made the explosion less shocking. 

Do I believe Nick is dead? No, or at least I hope not. This is only episode 2 and a shock like that, if it comes, seems more worthy of an end of the season twist. 

But Flynn and Emily don't deserve to lose any more loved ones, so I'm rooting for Nick to be alive. I just don't want to see him beaten or tortured more than he's already been. 

Capturing Her Prey - Absentia Season 3 Episode 2

So you tell me Absentia fans, is Nick still alive? 

Can Emily trust Cal? 

And how long do you think Kai will survive?

Now it's time to check out Absentia Season 3 Episode 3 and see if we can find some answers?

Don't forget to hit that BIG, BLUE, SHOW COMMENTS button down below to share what you think of "Capta Est."

Capta Est Review

Editor Rating: 4.4 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (55 Votes)

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

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Absentia Season 3 Episode 2 Quotes

Jack: What are you doing out of bed?
Emily: I need to find Nick.
Jack: Okay, well let’s get you back to your room.
Emily: The FBI’s got nothing.
Jack: Yeah. Well, what are you going to do about it? Huh?
Emily: I don’t know. Something.

Crown: You look…good.
Emily: I look like shit.