This episode is one that falters not on its ideas, but the execution of those ideas it takes on. Liz losing her journal forces her to take inventory on her life, and assess where she stands now that everything’s been changed. But is it the world that’s different, or is it just her? Now that she’s aware of everything that goes on behind the scenes, does she envision everything in a completely different way?
The quest to bring Liz’s journal back home is one that’s drawn out an unnecessarily long time. There’s a lot of running around accusing people who were so obviously not responsible, but as I’ve already said, all of this isn’t without merit. It forces Liz to come face to face with how she’s changed to those around her. The every lovable Alex now sees her and Maria as cagy, avoiding him at every possible turn and Kyle, someone who cared for her quite a bit, not sees her as an untrusting liar. It’s a painful reality that Liz has to come to terms with now that she’s part of Max Evans’ life.
Even though it could have used a lot of beefing up, Missing takes things that bit further with regards to the bigger picture. Ms Topolsky’s meddling is revealed to be more than just professional curiosity, at least with regards her position in the school. It’s a revelation that isn’t all that surprising given her sudden appearance, but it’s a great use of an actress like Benz, who deserves far more than to be shoved behind some counsellor’s desk. And Michael’s visions finally give them aliens something more to go on than some vague ramblings by his truly, which lead into next week’s road trip down south.
With a bit more meat on its bones, Missing could have been a lot more successful than it was. As it stands, it’s not a terribly written piece of television; it’s just a bit too slow-burning for its own good.