Editor’s Note: Stana Katic’s new series Absentia will premiere internationally long before it arrives on U.S. TV screens. But that doesn’t mean U.S. fans will have to wait. As with most things, people make movies and TV shows available on the internet. Even though this is illegal, Katic’s US-based fans and others who have to wait are downloading and streaming the series. While I re-tweeted a link to the first two episodes, I won’t do this again. So you’re on your own from here on out.
Absentia is worth the wait for U.S. fans
My opinion of the first two episodes is that Absentia is worthy of a watch. For me, anything that keeps my attention is good. The first two episodes were engaging. I was immediately drawn into the story.
A fair warning, there are spoilers though I don’t give a lot of the plot away. If you want to avoid anything, then you can stop here. Otherwise, keep reading.
The first episode dives right into the story and the pacing is fast. Normally a fast pace to a story can make the plot seem rushed. I didn’t find this the case.
The writer doesn’t waste time getting the viewer acquainted with the overall storyline. We meet all the important characters within the first 10 minutes of episode one. We quickly learn who they are and the role they will play in the story going forward.
If the show follows the “boilerplate” of the “who-done-it” then we’ve already met the real killer and as the story progresses into the second episode, the traitor within the FBI. At this point, it could be anybody—though at least one person is quickly ruled out by the end of the second episode. But I suspect this character will return in flashbacks as the investigation progresses into Emily’s disappearance.
The second episode leaves the viewer with questions over a character’s death. There are several possible suspects and their whereabouts will definitely be called into question in future episodes. Several characters have something to gain from this person’s death. And it’s not just Emily who’ll come under suspicion. Nick will definitely have a light thrown on him. The end of the second episode also sets up why Emily feels she’ll have to go this alone to protect her family.
The writing of the show is tight so far. We’re only two episodes into the show so those typical inconsistencies in the storyline have yet to show up. I suspect some will show up because of the way they shot the series. They filmed all ten episodes at the same time. They would shoot all the scenes calling for a certain location in one swoop before moving onto the next. There’s also the post-production elements where scenes are dropped for time, pacing, etc. This could leave future episodes feeling choppy. I can see that happening because of the length of the episodes seem to be non-conforming at this point. It will be interesting to see how they format them for broadcast in the U.S.
The acting is good but that is purely subjective. Emily Byrne is definitely not Kate Beckett. No one should go into this show thinking the two characters are the same. Katic is not type-cast in this role. The production did an excellent job casting the rest of the characters.
Overall, I give the first two episodes a B+.