Absentia Season 1 Episode 10 Review: Original Sin

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After nine installments of twists, turns, ups, downs, shocks and thrills that had those around me shooting me strange looks because they heard me gasping at my screen, it's finally time to for Absentia Season 1 Episode 10!

Oh, what a ride it's been.

Emily Smiles - Absentia Season 1 Episode 10

It would be difficult to hyperbolize Stana Katic's stunning performance as Emily Byrne. 

Katic carries this series and somehow manages to humanize Emily's relentless persistence and strength by balancing it with a unique vulnerability that makes us care for Emily without ever making her appear weak.

Even when the evidence was stacking up against her and she took action I didn't always agree with, like kidnapping Adam Radford, I still couldn't help but root for Emily Byrne.

That continued through to the end of the Absentia Season 1 finale. 

Of course, that's not to say that there weren't some subtle flaws in the story, such as, how would young Emily even know what was in her file at the orphanage and that it could hurt her chances for being adopted? 

Also, how would Logan Brandt have known that her files were swapped with Emily's and that Emily was the person who did it?

But as any former Castle fan might say, Don't ruin my story with your logic.

The reveal that Logan Brandt was actually reporter Laurie Colson had me gaping at the screen. I knew that Laurie would factor back into the story, but I never imagined that she was involved in Emily's abduction. 

Now I have to ask if Laurie had a pair of stilts to go along with that mask because she looked considerably taller than Alice when they were running around in those tunnels, but I guess I'll let that go.

Listening to Laurie retell the horror of living through Dr. Shen's behavioral experiments made me shiver.

He promised he'd kill us if we told anyone. Who could we tell? We had no one. He had the power. For six years he tortured us.

Person in Mask

Shen chose his victims well. Those orphaned children had no one to tell, and the odds were that no one would have believed them anyway. 

Emily was one of the lucky ones who got out before Shen got there, but Laurie's never-ending plot for revenge pulled her back into the nightmare.

Finding Alice - Absentia Season 1 Episode 10

When Laurie ordered Emily to kill Alice in order to save Flynn, I really didn't know what she would do. I never believed that Emily was a cold-blooded killer, but there's little someone wouldn't do to save the life of their child.

Watching Flynn struggle as the water rose was almost too much for me, so I couldn't imagine what Emilly might be driven to in order to stop it. 

Six years breaking you down, taking everything away from you, recreating you and setting you free to watch your life crumble around you once and for all. It all went beautifully. Nothing would have been more satisfying than to see you kill your husband's new wife and show the world the truth about Emily Byrne. Sadly I watched as you did nothing. Shen would have been so surprised to learn that all of his work could have been undone by a mother's love for her child.


There's little doubt that Flynn's very existence is what drove Emily to survive those six years she was held prisoner, and he was the reason she fought so hard to prove her innocence now. 

But when Nick finally arrived on the scene and still thought that Emily had set all of this up, including putting their son in that water tank, my heart sunk. 

If Laurie hadn't decided to open fire as they left, would there have been enough evidence left behind to convince Nick and the FBI that Emily hadn't set up the whole thing?

Into the Woods - Absentia Season 1 Episode 10

Even after Emily killed Laurie and allowed herself to be taken into custody, I was concerned that the authorities were going to press charges against Emily. 

She did kidnap an FBI agent, and she did shoot several armed security guards in that strip club, so this Absentia quote between Agent Crown and Detective Gibbs allowed me the sigh of relief I had been awaiting. 

Agent Crown: So Logan Brandt killed Shen as revenge for the experiments.
Detective Gibbs: Can't say I blame her.
Agent Crown: Then she digs into his files, finds out about the switch that leads her to Emily.
Detective Gibbs: She dedicates her life to revenge, reinvents herself as Laurie Colson, and in Harlow she finds the perfect partner. He hated Emily. A match made in heaven.

When it was all over, I still found myself processing how I felt about Nick. 

I started the series hoping that he'd get back together with Emily, but when he continually believed she was guilty of such heinous acts, those feelings changed. 

I was even a little miffed with him when he got Alice and Flynn back to the car and ran back to help Emily without a word. 

I couldn't help but think that he should have shown Alice some sort of affection in that moment or told her he loved her before he ran off once again. 

But the biggest surprise came when Nick opened his eyes in the hospital and found Emily sitting next to him, smiling. 

I just never saw that coming.

Emily: Nick, in the hotel room, I didn't know if I was going to see you again, and I just wanted to relive it.
Nick: I did to.
Emily: But I'm not the same. I mean, we're both not the same. And things are different now.
Nick: I know.

Not only did Emily graciously accept Nick's apology for thinking she was a serial killer who abducted their son, but she also let him go so that they could both move on. 

It made me like Emily Byrne that much more. 

Flynn's Birthday Party - Absentia Season 1 Episode 10

After so much constant darkness and angst, Flynn's birthday party caught me completely off guard. Seeing that much happiness was almost jarring. 

It was good to see everyone getting along. If Emily, Nick, and Alice can all act like adults, there's no reason they can't all play a significant role in Flynn's life. 

But even as Gibbs was awkwardly hitting on Emily in the kitchen, I knew that this wasn't over. 

As much as I might have preferred a happy ending for all, having Emily see that disturbing vision of herself drowning someone while she was having a panic attack was a pretty good way to segue into Absentia Season 2.

And that's exactly what I'm hoping we get because as emotionally wrung out as I am after watching Absentia Season 1, I absolutely want more!

How about you, TV Fanatics? Did you enjoy this psychological thriller and will you watch an Absentia Season 2?

Don't forget that you can watch and rewatch Absentia online over and over again here at TV Fanatic!

Original Sin Review

Editor Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (28 Votes)

C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.

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Absentia Season 1 Episode 10 Quotes

Emily: Who are you?
Person in Mask: I am you.
Emily: What do you want?
Person in Mask: I want to show you what you are. Do you remember the first life you destroyed? You were just a child, but it came so naturally to you.

This is your second chance. Life doesn't give us second chances too often. Make the most of it.

Person in Mask