Sidney is emerging as a more interesting character than her first impression because what exactly is she hiding?
By the end of Alert: Missing Persons Unit Season 1 Episode 2, it’s clear that she’s the only one in the family with raised suspicions about this potential imposter in their home posing as the kid they loved.
Within the hour, the mystery surrounding Keith was more entertaining than the case of the installment.
Alert MPU is still settling into itself, but ironically, this second installment felt more “pilot-y” than Alert: Missing Persons Unit Season 1 Episode 1.
Some of the dialogue nearly made a girl wince on occasion. And certain scenes, like that shtick in the elevator as June and Jason argued, gave me second-hand embarrassment, among other things.
However, the cast of the series is strong, and there’s still heaps of potential.
The case with Hugo took a backseat during the hour, even among the majority of the MPU.
Mom said you were in charge of looking for me, and that you never gave up. Thanks.
Keith [to Mike]
For all the compassion and devotion Nikki displayed during the premiere, it barely seemed like anyone beyond Kemi spent ample time searching for Hugo. It was more puzzling when you considered how time sensitive the case was.
In this instance, the majority of the team getting bogged down by their personal lives and dynamics was a disservice to the case and this poor missing guy who nearly died for something he didn’t even do.
Molly was a grieving woman who wanted revenge against everyone responsible for her son, Asher’s death. It was a timely enough case as we’re deep in the throes of a fentanyl crisis that has taken many’s lives.
She wanted the dealer and the manufacturer taking matters into her own hands in an attempt to be some soccer mom version of John Wick and falling tragically short in every conceivable way.
You could tell they were having some fun with the optics as they started the case, zooming in on a young brown man leaving a fast food joint, showing this Karen-looking woman in a mini-van visibly upset at the presence of him, only to show her beating him to a pulp with a baseball bat.
But that’s about all they devoted to the case until later when Jason could use it to express his empathy for the mother because of his feelings about finding Keith’s abductor.
Hugo felt like a job and an afterthought, which was a pity. But at least they found him before he died from all the drugs Molly shoved down his throat, and he got reunited with his brother.
Mike took more of a backseat during this case, but we got a great deal of Kemi and C. And it’s not a surprise they’re designed to be opposites and potentially at odds with one another because of how they approach life.
Nikki: Can I have my ring back?
Mike: Anytime you want.
Kemi is an endearing enough character and engaging, and she could easily be a favorite of mine, but they also need to show more restraint with her, so she doesn’t become a cartoon or parody.
It’s genuinely intriguing that they have this spiritual woman on a team like this, setting aside how unorthodox the team dynamic is and how much of an acquired taste that can be.
Kemi’s spirituality and mysticism are rooted in something authentic and meaningful. We don’t often see it displayed on mainstream television. It’s more of a reason for requiring more nuance and less kookiness.
They haven’t struck the right balance for its depiction yet, which is a bit frustrating.
your father has a kind spirit. I wish I could say the same about mine.
Kemi [to C]
It’s especially when you get unprompted, ill-timed assertions of her sleeping with Benjamin Franklin in a past life, or she doesn’t ask someone who is visibly skeptical and put off as C permission before she invades his space to purify with Sandalwood and so forth.
She’s highly skilled and damn great at what she does. She merges these different aspects and concepts that people tend to act as if they can’t coexist.
Her time with C’s father was nice. It’s the perfect scenario that tickles both halves of the brain and walks that blurred line between two seemingly opposite concepts.
Were her faith and energy responsible for giving C’s father this moment of lucidity C had otherwise not listened to in a long time? Or was it just the lucidity that happens in these cases and the scientifically proven fact that scent triggers memories?
Mr. Hemingway: Sandalwood.
C: What did you say?
Mr. Hemingway: Sandalwood. Reminds me of your mother. She used to wear this fancy French perfume that smelled like that. Same scent for 40 years. I miss it. I’m sorry if I interrupted your work today.
C: No, dad. No, don’t be silly. I am really glad you’re here.
Whatever the case may be, the moment meant something to C, and it was sweet and a nice bit of insight into another character who could quickly become a weird caricature if not done well, too.
We met June, which was great, but she’s already taken off again because of Jason’s behavior. You get the sense that he was probably already on thin ice since he left the business they co-run to join his ex-wife’s MPU.
I wish we had also learned a bit about June and how she felt when she heard that Keith had returned. It was game-changing news for her, too. However, her scenes primarily focused on her own interest in a child and how it strained her relationship when she learned Jason lied to her.
The elevator scene was more awkward than amusing. None of these people have boundaries; bless their hearts.
And I can’t say there is enough investment to care about whether or not Jason is infertile and the effects of that on his relationship with June.
Disaster exes Nikki and Jason are so entangled with each other that their partners don’t really stand a chance. Even Nikki’s attempts to help Jason and June with their relationship only highlighted a significant issue: why did Nikki know these things about Jason and not his current spouse?
Do you feel bad for June and Mike for trying to build lives with two people who are forever inextricably linked and seem to be soulmates with one another? Or do you think they’re foolish gluttons for hurt and punishment and should’ve seen what they were getting into here?
With Mike, it feels like Nikki genuinely cares about and loves him, but in some ways, that may never be enough.
It all boils down to when he’s deemed family versus when he’s a colleague. He got excluded from the celebration on the night of Keith’s return because it would’ve overwhelmed Keith.
Despite the years he worked on Keith’s case, it was practically a fight for Nikki to allow Mike to do his job and talk to Keith at all. And sadly, there were no favors to this situation when Keith’s first interactions with Mike were as that of a cop than the man engaged to his mother.
And the second June voiced that with Keith back, she feared Jason would have his “real” family back, implying her insecurity that she was a placeholder until that day, Mike jumped all over it, his insecurities shining through.
It’s terrible that he only just proposed, and now he’s taking the ring back as a supportive gesture toward Keith.
But deep down, Jason is likely giving him the most pause about everything. Jason and Nikki still fight like a married couple, and they still comfort each other in the same way.
He was out of the primary case for most of the hour. He uncovered more things about Keith’s abductor instead. If anyone in the MPU will be the first to cast doubts on the Keith situation, it’ll be Mike.
Mike didn’t get very far with Keith discussing the night of the abduction, and Keith is great at redirection and deflecting.
The footage of the moments before Keith’s discovery set them up with a car to get into and a potential lead.
The shenanigans at the Inn, with an impulsive Jason busting down every room, revealed that it was a woman who was staying there, and they just missed her and the chance to get answers from her.
It’s a dead-end for now.
Of course, it’s Sidney we can’t rule out. Nikki can’t figure out why Sidney is behaving as she does toward Keith. As someone with years of experience with these cases, Nikki hasn’t adequately considered the impact on everyone outside her and Jason.
Her happiness over the return blinds Nikki and has her missing all these essential things. They got Keith checked out at the hospital and learned about the extensive abuse he endured, but is the guy assigned to a therapist?
Nikki: You don’t recognize yourself. I understand. You are nothing like you used to be, and yet you are everything I ever want you to be.
Keith: I wish Sidney felt that way.
Nikki: She will, she will. It’s a big adjustment, but sooner or later she’s going to embrace you just like that.
Nikki seems to think that he can settle into life and not have to revisit all his time away, and that’s neither true nor healthy. So far, Keith isn’t showing some of the signs you’d expect from this poor kid who returned home after six years.
His shutdown with Mike felt true to form, but it’s also conveniently how he escaped answering questions. He’s noted that his parents are no longer together and that Sidney doesn’t like him.
But everything so far points to Keith being an impostor. It would be interesting to learn who Sidney is chatting to about the situation.
Whoever also agrees with her about Keith, and they profess to know the truth about what really happened to Keith that night. But does that mean they think he’s dead, or what?
Everyone believes him! But we know it can’t be him. Because we know what really happened!
Sidney’s proof hinged on old Keith and new writing with different hands, but Nikki could dismiss that because of the extensive bone damage that may have prompted him to adapt.
Sidney isn’t going to let up on this and can’t believe everyone around her is falling for it. Her interactions with Keith moving forward are among the things I’m most looking forward to because it would probably feel like a cat-and-mouse game.
Keith knows that Sidney doesn’t believe him, and he has a lot of control over Nikki and Jason. He’s in the perfect position to spur discord.
He’s an abused kid who has endured a lot, but what is the game plan, and why? Do you guys have any theories?
My sister hates me. My parents are divorced.
Over to you, Alert Fanatics. Do Nikki and Jason’s spouses have reason to be frustrated by their dynamic? What are your Keith theories? How do you feel about the other characters? Sound off below.
You can watch Alert: Missing Persons Unit online here via TV Fanatic.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.