I thought my heart was going to pound right out of my chest during the last five minutes of Absentia Season 1 Episode 3.
But let’s go back to the beginning.
Someone stabbed Conrad Harlow to death and dumped his body in his pool. Seems appropriate for someone who most likely locked Emily in a glorified fish tank.
Unfortunately, that leaves Emily Byrne as the prime suspect for his murder.
Lt. Campbell: No one in this department thinks she's innocent.
Det. Gibbs: That doesn't make her guilty.
How disappointing is that Absentia quote? That the majority of the police believe a woman is guilty without actually taking the time to prove it. Never mind, the fact that she's also a fellow law enforcement officer.
Luckily for Emily, Det. Gibbs appears to be just stubborn enough to do his job and investigate this murder. He’s also willing to give another law enforcement officer a little leeway, at least after Nick practically begs him for time to look into the crooked agent at the FBI.
But I can’t blame Gibbs for insisting Emily come in to be arrested when that surveillance video turned up.
Now Emily is going to need Alice to back up her story. Awkward!
I wanted to cry when Emily admitted to stalking outside of Nick and Alice’s home that night. From her point of view, it must have looked as though no one really missed her. Nick had a wife. Flynn had a mother.
Even her own dog was growling at her.
It's like that movie where the angel takes the guy and shows him what life would be like without him and everybody is so much worse off, except in my case it's the opposite.
Emily was experiencing steps forward as well as steps back.
It became clear that Nick believed in Emily’s innocence, and that he trusted her with Flynn despite Alice’s reservations.
Emily: Nick, why do you trust me?
Nick: I know you.
Little by little their feelings for one another are resurfacing. There was more than one moment where it looked as though Nick wanted to touch Emily or even kiss her.
I was so relieved when he hugged her after her confession. The poor woman has lost everything and feels like her family would have been better off if she’d never returned.
But being around Emily has Nick feeling as though he’s betraying Alice, and yet being married to Alice must feel like a betrayal of Emily.
The guy is in a lose - lose situation if there ever was one.
Nick certainly proved his trust in Emily when he let her take Flynn out go-kart racing.
There was so much joy in Emily’s interactions with Flynn, the first real joy she’s experienced since her return. I found myself rooting that she could just have this moment with him, without anything marring it, even though I knew the odds were against it.
At first I was simply happy that Alice didn’t come storming into the hospital screaming at Emily. I was worried they might make a scene in front of Flynn, but thankfully, the adults acted like adults.
But Alice’s anger was boiling just under the surface…
Nick: Thank you.
Alice: For what?
Nick: For being so patient with her.
Alice: It's not her fault, it's yours. You were supposed to be there.
In Alice’s defense, I can understand why she’d be angry with Nick for not telling her that Flynn was only out with Emily.
Suddenly the dynamics have changed. All of these years she’s had the authority of being Flynn’s mother, but the boundaries have gotten blurry. Now that Emily is back, Alice is officially his step-mother. Their new reality has Nick making decisions that she doesn’t necessarily agree with, possibly for the first time in their marriage.
Alice sees her happy life slipping away and no one can blame her for not being happy about it. I can’t imagine she’s going to soften to Emily’s presence in their lives any time soon.
And then there was Jack…
Jack: You know what really gets me? It's that just as life was starting to become bearable again, you had to come back.
Emily: You're such an asshole when you drink, you know that?
Wow! Talk about resenting your sibling. He’s angry because he had to take care of Dad while she was supposedly dead, and now he’s angry that she’s come back and upset his life once again.
Jack is a typical addict. Somehow they always find a way to blame their problems on somebody else while finding their own behavior blameless.
When Jack came home flustered by the press, I half wondered if he had killed Harlow, but now I doubt it. However, I wouldn’t put it past Emily’s father to want to see the man dead.
At the moment, the main suspect is Special Agent in Charge Adam Radford.
Is it just me, or does everyone in that FBI office seem miserable? I know it’s a difficult job, but it looks as though no one there ever smiles.
I was a little surprised that Nick confronted Adam so directly about the crooked agent. It felt like Nick was giving away his hand far too quickly, but I suppose he was desperate considering he was just ordered to turn Emily over to Boston PD.
Emily finding that journal with all of the drawings of the eyes was horrifying.
When she thought there was real blood and she couldn’t breathe I started to wonder if the book was somehow booby trapped.
It took me a moment to realize she was having a panic attack.
Watching Emily attempt to sneak back out of Adam’s nearly stopped my heart. That was one of the most suspenseful scenes I think I’ve ever seen in any thriller.
And that’s one of the things I like most about Absentia. The fear is psychological. There’s very little actual blood and gore because it doesn’t need to go there.
It had my heart pounding without it.
Check back in for my next review of Absentia Season 1 Episode 4.
You can also continue to binge watch Absentia online with all of us here at TV Fanatic.
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.