Absentia has just been released on Amazon Video. Stana Katic leaves behind the comfort of Kate Beckett’s 12th Precinct to become Emily Byrne, a wanted FBI agent who struggles to clear her name after being hunted down by her own people and those that held her captive.
After six years of being “dead”, Emily returns to a world that isn’t hers anymore. Her husband Nick Durand (Patrick Heusinger) remarried, and her son Flynn (Patrick McAuley) doesn’t acknowledge her as his mother at first. Not only that but by resurfacing, all the evidence points to her as the one responsible for a series murders both from before and after her disappearance.
In Absentia, nothing ever is what it seems and this might be why the narrative is sometimes hard to follow. When you think you understand what’s going on, some new “evidence” points into another direction involving Emily. Still, Katic manages to portray a great role. Emily Byrne represents a flawed human in a constant struggle for survival, but with a strong determination to keep going. It’s only thanks to her strength of character that she uncovers the truth. By solving her own kidnapping and the series of murder linked to her comes to show the incompetence of two government agencies, the FBI and the Boston police. From the beginning, they are always one, or even two steps behind the truth. It’s clear that the narrative is not strictly attached to the work of law enforcement but rather Emily Byrne herself. Being an FBI agent is just a means to justify her skills and resources when trying to stay alive.
There is so much we don’t know about Emily and her family. Details from her past and even her captivity are revealed in pieces, making it hard to connect with the character. From before the kidnapping, we only have some brief flashbacks from her past as a mother and wife but we know that is not the same Emily we have known. So, the new mystery is: who is this new Emily? What is she capable of? How will she adjust to her new life? These are the questions that should be answered in the second season. Now let us see if Absentia gets there.