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Absentia or Nah?

Or Nah? is a feature where we watch and review the first episode of a new TV show. We’ll let you know if it’s worth checking out. As always, these reviews are the opinion of the reviewer, but we’ll try to adequately explain why you should or shouldn’t give the show a chance and provide shows for comparison.

Images: Amazon

Absentia | Starring: Stana Katic, Patrick Heusinger, Cara Theobold, Neil Jackson, Bruno Bichir, Ralph Ineson, Richard Brake

What’s It About?

FBI agent Emily Byrne (Katic) goes missing while tracking serial killer Conrad Harlow (Brake). She’s eventually declared dead in absentia and he’s convicted of her murder. Six years later, Harlow calls Emily’s husband and fellow agent, Nick Durand (Heusinger), and says he has just under an hour to rescue Emily from a water tank in a remote cabin. With no memory of where she’s been the last six years, Emily tries to re-enter a life that has moved on without her. Her husband has remarried, her son is no longer a baby, and she finds herself the suspect in the murder of a criminal she investigated years ago.

What’s Good

Stana Katic. I had no interest in Castle so this is my first experience with the actress. She deftly switched from heartbroken, confused victim to angry and powerful agent demanding answers.

The mystery. The premise isn’t wholly original, but the possibility of Emily committing crimes she’s unaware of is a fresh twist. Also, with Emily being very much alive, Harlow’s conviction can be overturned; and with no proof that he abducted her, he may go free all together. I’m here for a twist where Harlow doesn’t end up being the bad guy at all.

Very cool to see Ralph Ineson as Nick’s boss - a very big departure from his role on Game of Thrones.

Not So Good?

Again, the premise isn’t new, but they’re pulling it off effectively in the premiere. We’re probably not supposed to care for Nick’s new wife, Alice (Theobold), and by the end of the hour I was definitely rooting against her. She hasn’t done anything wrong, but it’s kind of hard not to cheer for the one who was kidnapped and kept from her child for six years.


Totally in on this. I’ll be bingeing the rest of it throughout the week. All episodes are currently streaming via Amazon Prime Video.

Watch This If You Liked: Silence of the Lambs, Line of Duty, Marcella

Avoid If: You’re over serial killers.

Absentia Premiere Review Score
  • 7.5/10
    Plot - 7.5/10
  • 8/10
    Dialogue - 8/10
  • 8.5/10
    Performances - 8.5/10


Absentia | Starring: Stana Katic, Patrick Heusinger, Cara Theobold, Neil Jackson, Bruno Bichir, Ralph Ineson, Richard Brake

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About Nina Perez (1391 Articles)
Nina Perez is the founder of Project Fandom. She is also the author of a YA series of books, "The Twin Prophecies," and a collection of essays titled, "Blog It Out, B*tch." Her latest books, a contemporary romance 6-book series titled Sharing Space, are now available on for Kindle download. She has a degree in journalism, works in social media, lives in Portland, Oregon, and loves Idris Elba. When not watching massive amounts of British television or writing, she is sketching plans to build her very own TARDIS. She watches more television than anyone you know and she's totally fine with that.

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