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NOTORIOUS “Missing” Recap

By on October 21, 2016
PIPER PERABO

(ABC/Nicole Wilder) PIPER PERABO

By Kirsty Pearce

Babies, Introspection, and an Intriguing New DA

Still maintaining the sharp and fluid camera-work that has become the show’s hallmark, this episode’s opening shows Julia still deeply disturbed from witnessing Levi’s suicide, and going in to the DA’s office to give her statement.

Painting Levi as Sarah’s killer in the wake of his suicide, Jake is outside holding a press conference, calling for the new DA, Max Guilford, to release Oscar. This prompts a phone call from Sarah’s brother Alan, who gives Jake an incriminating video of Levi threatening Sarah. When asked by Max whether she agrees with Jake that Levi killed Sarah, Julia says she doesn’t, just before his secretary comes in with a large envelope containing copies of the photo of Jake and Sarah in bed together. Julia then invites the DA to lunch to talk about appearing on LHL before she leaves. Back at the office, Megan expresses concern towards Julia, who proceeds to double-down on work due to the fact that it was her story on Levi catfishing Oliver which led to his suicide.

We are then introduced to our case of the week, as Jake finds a pregnant woman, Jenna, standing in his parking space. She is the surrogate mother of a baby whose biological parents she’s never met, and has come to Jake because their payments to her have stopped, and they appear to have skipped out on their child, a child Jenna is not equipped to raise. Jake is automatically determined to take on the case as it hits home for him, and we learn that he was a victim of the foster care system himself, his biological father having refused to sign over his parental rights for a number of years.

We then shift back to Julia, who is spacing out at work, reliving Levi’s suicide, and second-guessing herself and her decisions. Blaming herself for his death, she refuses to show the video of himself Levi made which proves he had motive to kill Sarah, until she has the overly-confident DA on her show, and the urge to put him on the hot-seat is too much to resist. Clearly mad, he calls her nothing but a mouth-piece for Jake before storming out.

Meanwhile, Jake’s meeting with the fertility lawyer, Maggie Sherman, does not go well, as she refuses to divulge the names of the biological parents. So, he naturally decides to ask Julia to put Jenna on LHL. Going into labour at the end of the segment, as a result of her appearance on the show, a couple, the Gowers, come forward saying they signed a contract with Maggie to be the baby’s adoptive parents, and we find out Maggie has been running a scam, charging one amount from the biological parents, and another from the adoptive ones, while pocketing the difference. Unfortunately, Child Protective Services were also alerted to the situation through LHL, and take the baby until the biological parents can be found. The threads start coming undone at this point, as the camera intercuts between scenes of Jake and Julia separately falling apart in some nice character work from the actors.

After spending all night researching, Jake finally makes the discovery that Maggie is an alias. Picking her up from the train-station, it’s revealed her scam was actually trying to re-sell the baby to another adoptive couple, with the biological parents being egg and sperm donors from Prague. And with this news, Jenna, the baby and the Gowers get their happy ending.

Julia apologizes to Max for blind-siding him, and Louise later invites him to happy hour, where Julia buys him a drink on her, signalling the start of a possible romance. The episode ends with Oscar confronting and firing Jake after having seen the picture of him and Sarah that was sent to him anonymously. I think it’s a strong bet that the DA is the culprit, as the camera then shifts to the next room, where he is watching what is going down with a colleague. With this new information that Oscar did not know about the affair before Sarah’s death, Max is now appearing to get ready to go after Jake with a vengeance.

Another entertaining and strong character-driven episode, while I could see Max being set up as a romantic possibility for Julia coming from a mile off, his disdain for Jake could set up some interesting conflicts for Julia going forward as she tries to balance her relationships with both men. Witnessing how Jake does use the media to help his clients through Max’s eyes was also an interesting point of view, as it brought home the fact that Jake is very much a manipulator sometimes. However, this rather unflattering observation was cleverly juxtaposed with his involvement in a case which tugs at the heart-strings. The glimpses into Jake’s past and how that’s informed his character going forward were also nicely played out, and I really felt the brotherly bond between Jake and Bradley when they enjoyed a brief respite and reminisced over when Bradley’s father brought Jake home the first time.

We didn’t see much of Louise, Ella, or Ryan this week unfortunately, as the episode’s clear focal point was in introducing Max Guilford and further exploring the psyches of our two main characters, and how they are being affected by the ongoing business of Sarah’s murder. This week was Julia’s turn to feel the consequences of her actions when so driven by telling the story, and the relatability I found in seeing her doubt herself, like we all do at some point or other, was refreshing. One of my favorite parts in this show however is the solid friendship between Julia and Jake, and seeing episode after episode that even when they are not on the same page, they still manage to be there for each other. I hope to see this continue through the challenging situations that will no doubt come in the future.

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