Absentia Season 3 Episode 5 Review: Quid Pro Quo

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Nick Durand is a guilty man on Absentia Season 3 Episode 5.

At least in his own head.

Nick blames himself for not continuing to search for Emily when everyone thought she was dead. He fears he only fell in love with Alice to erase the pain of losing Emily.

Nick Sees Alice - Absentia

On top of all that, Nick hates himself for both not seeing who Alice truly was, and not being able to save her. 

You make promises, you break them. You did it to Emily. You did it to me. You’ll do it to Kai too.

Nurse (as Alice)

That's a lot of self-recrimination for one man, and it's given Nick's captors plenty to torture him with. 

Despite all of that, it was good to see Alice again, even if she was only a drug-induced hallucination. 

Alice loved Nick and Flynn as best as she was able to while being implanted in their lives for another purpose, but she always felt second best to Emily Byrne. 

Alice Looks Up Adoringly - Absentia Season 3 Episode 5

When Emily returned, it changed everything, and Nick was doomed no matter what he did.

He'd sworn to love two women for the rest of his life, but his first wife was irrevocably changed after being held captive for six years, and his new wife had secrets that would make real love impossible.

Nick internalized the blame for much of this, but in reality, he had little control over any of it. 

Right now, the only control he has is to attempt to survive this torment until someone can help him escape.

And that someone is Emily. 

Rowena Helps Emily - Absentia Season 3 Episode 5

Emily's alliance with Rowena was intriguing. They went through Quantico training together, and at some point, it appears Rowena went rogue. 

There's obviously a lot more to this story, and how it involves Emily Byrne. I'm guessing we'll learn all about it when Rowena calls in that favor. 

You owe me, Emily, and I will call it in one day. And when I do I expect you to show up.


There appeared to be an undercurrent of intimidation between Rowena and Emily, and there aren't a lot of people in the world who intimidate Byrne. 

The way that Rowena got so physically close to Emily after her shower and whispered in her ear made me question the foundation of their relationship, but again, we'll have to wait to get those answers too. 

Crashing Dawkins Party - Absentia Season 3 Episode 5

Emily being able to ditch Dawkins was a relief. He's not the one in charge, simply the hired fixer, and his odd demeanor was beginning to wear on me. 

As for the fundraiser, every season of Absentia should have a party scene just so we can see Stana Katic decked out in an incredible dress. 

Did anyone else have a bad feeling about Border Outreach?

When Brigitte said the organization was involved in reducing the population of homeless refugees in the E.U., I couldn't help but wonder if that meant they were stealing their organs, killing them, and dumping their bodies in other parts of the world. 

Back at the FBI, Julianne made it clear she doesn't trust the agents she works with, especially Crowne, who she called an idiot. 

Crowne's Disbelief - Absentia Season 3 Episode 5

But Crowne appears smart enough not to put his trust in anyone easily, including Julianne. Let's just hope his trust in Agent Thompson isn't misplaced.

Thompson: Special Agent Crown, thank you.
Crowne: For what?
Thompson: For trusting me.
Crowne: You were literally the only option.
Thompson: Oh.

The way Thompson's face fell when Crowne explained why he was trusting her was a little heartbreaking, but if she's smart, and not the mole, she'll make the most of this opportunity. 

Julianne doesn't particularly trust Cal either as she threatened to use his questionable past with Meridian to strong-arm him into keeping her updated.

Gunnarson needs to learn that bullying and intimidation will only get her so far, and that true loyalty is earned.

Confirming the Mole - Absentia Season 3 Episode 5

And Cal's loyalty lies with Emily.

Cal's conversation with his old friend was enlightening. The man said he still has nightmares about the bodies. It's clear that his dealings with Meridian and what they "made us do" still haunt him. 

He's also absolutely terrified that helping Cal will put him and his family in danger. That said, he still chose to help Cal, which shows how strong their bond still is. 

Dawkins had compared himself and Emily to werewolves that were forced to roam alone, but that's not the case for Emily because she has Cal.

Cal and Emily appear to be kindred spirits as chaos seems to follow them both, even when they try to live somewhat normal lives.

Flying With Dawkins - Absentia Season 3 Episode 5

It was such a relief when Cal showed up.

Emily: Why are you here?
Cal: I had vacation days. I thought it would be a good time of the year to see Berlin.

I know Emily is more than capable, but getting to Nick won't be easy. He's locked in a prison with cameras everywhere, and Emily has Dawkins and Meridian on her tail determined to get to Kai's files. 

As long as Cal isn't a traitor, and maybe it's wishful thinking, but I don't believe he is, Cal and Emily make a great team. The odds of successfully rescuing Nick and getting him back to the U.S. have to be better if these two are working together. 

So what did you think, Absentia fans? Were Gunnarson's threats useful in getting Cal to comply, or shortsighted and counterproductive?

Julianne's Attitude - Absentia Season 3 Episode 5

Is Crowne the idiot that Julianne believes him to be, or will he figure out who the mole is in the FBI?

Can Agent Thompson be trusted, or is she the biggest wild card of all?

Will Nick be overwhelmed by his guilt, or can he hang onto his sanity until Emily can save him?

And am I right to suspect Border Outreach of being behind the organ harvesting ring?

Hit that BIG, BLUE, SHOW COMMENTS BUTTON down below to share your thoughts, and then let's check out Absentia Season 3 Episode 6!

Quid Pro Quo Review

Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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Rating: 3.5 / 5.0 (31 Votes)

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

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Absentia Season 3 Episode 5 Quotes

When he finds out the kidnapping was a ruse, Dawkins is going to come after you, viciously.


Losing an agent on my watch is unacceptable. If you can cut through the bullshit using your friend, go for it.