Michael Pena is really phoning it in, and it’s beginning to distract me from the episode, so much so that it pulls me out entirely.
Other than that, it isn’t a bad episode at all, if not quite as good as it should be considering how close it is to the season’s end. Once again, we’re left with the show leaving us more questions rather than giving us answers. People are revealing some darker sides this week, such as Vince threatening Susan, and Ellie in a moment of desperation threatening a man suspected of having killed Danny and abducting her son, also threatening to make him suffer. Paul is seen speaking privately with Tom, which makes Carver suspicious, and the town, as hive-minded as ever, has turned its self-righteous anger and mob mentality away from Jack, who committed suicide, to Carver. Carver is now the town’s punching bag because he has yet to solve the case.
Anyone else find it downright humorous just how many people attended Jack’s funeral after last week when they were all too quick to bust out the pitchforks? It goes to show you that when you live in a small town, appearance is key. To appear as good Samaritans they needed to show up and show their support, even if it’s all nothing more than a bit of posturing. Paul at least gets to lecture them about how terribly they’ve behaved, but all it does is ramp up his suspicious nature. We’ll have to wait and see what becomes of his character; despite his easygoing and peaceful attitude, he seems all too eager to preen toward a news camera pointed in his direction.
This week’s main priority is Tom, and more importantly, Tom’s disappearance. Tom hasn’t seemed right since Danny’s death (although in fairness to the kid, who the hell would be?). Ellie’s whole family has been in the shadows a bit due to her ongoing time spent on the case, but this week we get to see more of Joe and Tom. Tom disappears after Joe lets him ride his bike alone for the remaining three blocks to school, never expecting him to end up anywhere else. Ellie gets a call about her son missing and immediately is thrust into panic mode. Joe tries to calm her down by saying it isn’t like what happened with Danny, but Ellie can’t imagine anything but. How, she asks, can he be so sure anymore? This episode does a nice job of conveying the panic of a parent in times of crisis. For Ellie we see how nefarious the hiker seems to her, especially when we learn he’s been off his anti-psychotic medication for months. We get it, and Gunn does a fine job with the material. To counteract the onslaught of parental turmoil, we get Carver’s daughter appearing, with Carver unable to give her a moment of time due to Tom’s disappearance. She finds his medication and asks him if he has a heart condition, while he brushes the concern off, asking her to wait a little longer. She tells him that he’s always cared about other kids more than his own, and he has nothing to argue back with. She leaves shortly after, and I can’t say I blame her.
The episode ends with nothing resolved, just an ominous shot of Tom’s bike alone in a ditch. The search party is out and ready, Mark leading the pack trying to help however he can, but signs are getting more and more grim while more time passes and Tom still isn’t found.
Solid episode, if nothing particularly gripping.