'Absentia' Season 2 Finale Explained: That Ending, Alice, And Everything Else

Absentia Emily Byrne Stana Katic Alice Durand Cara Theobold Amazon
The ending of “Absentia” Season 2 finale ensures the Amazon series going out with a vengeance. Ten episodes of thrills all culminate in a conclusion that is impossible to imagine when Season 2 begins. Throughout it all, Emily Byrne (Stana Katic) struggles for clarity in the aftermath of the harrowing ordeal she survived in Season 1.

What follows for her is a personal rebuilding season. Emily’s quest for answers regarding her traumatic ordeal and whether everything is truly over continues in “Absentia” Season 2. Only as the season dashes towards its finale do those answers start to come into clear view.


Following a slow build, Season 2 combusts. To help boil down the significant developments in an easy to understand format (it is super complicated), let’s go with the question and answer route. Here are some of the major plot points that happened and some reactions to them.

Spoilers for the ending of “Absentia” Season 2 and the finale are discussed and disclosed beyond this point.

Does Emily Find Her Biological Parents?

Her mother? Yes. Her father? No. Emily inadvertently locates her mother, Valerie Chandris (Penny Downie), who actually finds her first. This is a plot that I wish would have lasted longer. Emily’s son has an outburst, which causes her mother to leave the safe confines of Emily’s place.

Flynn has always been hard to empathize with, and this incident is a prime reason why. He cares little about how his actions impact other people. In this instance, his aggression is explained later, but the damage is done. His grandmother gets murdered. As Season 2 continues, Emily adds getting justice for her mother to her list of things-to-do.

Who Is Behind the Fentanyl Murders?

Rex Wolfe (Andrew Brooke) carried out the murders on the orders of Flynn's therapist, Dr. Oduwale (Hugh Quarshie). Wolfe was also a patient of Dr. Oduwale's. When Emily confronts Dr. Oduwale, she says that he injected Rex and he had Rex inject six other patients with a serum. More on that in a bit.

According to Dr. Oduwale, Rex was the only patient it worked properly on because Rex was a soldier. The others were civilians. After it failed on them, Dr. Oduwale had Rex murder the others to cover up all traces of his work, so it could move forward. He also had Tommy murdered because he had gotten too close to the truth.

How was Dr. Oduwale involved in Emily’s kidnapping?

Dr. Oduwale received an anonymous vial of blood containing properties that he had never seen before. Properties he needed to develop his serum. The vials of blood kept coming. They came from Season 1 big bad, Laurie aka the girl who had been experimented on by Dr. Shen (Kok-Hwa Lie) at Barrette House.

After kidnapping Emily for revenge, Laurie invited Dr. Oduwale to meet the owner of the blood she had sent him. Dr. Oduwale took her up on it. From there, he developed the so-called “resilience serum” from Emily's blood after subjecting her to the tank torture and countless other brutalities to heighten her resilience.


Dr. Oduwale was killed before he could tell Emily if he had injected Flynn. While being treated by Dr. Oduwale, blood samples had been collected from Flynn. Who was Dr. Oduwale’s assistant in doing this? Alice (Cara Theobold).

Alice Is Implicated

For those of us, who suspected Alice of possible involvement from the get-go, Season 2 provides the semi pay-off you have been waiting for. She is finally exposed! Yes, Emily’s ex-husband’s treasured wife worked with Dr. Oduwale.

In the end, Emily learned that Alice was involved in Dr. Oduwale’s research. Viewers are shown how she ingratiated herself to Nick as Flynn’s therapist, so they could continue the research. As Emily got closer to the truth, Alice ended up killing Dr. Oduwale.

Alice would later tell Emily that she did it because of what Dr. Oduwale had done to Emily. However, an attempt to cover up her involvement in the research was undoubtedly more of a motive. Alice denied knowing that Emily was kidnapped when confronted by her. She also said she did not know what the research was for, saying that she thought they were “monitoring stress.”

What Happens to Alice?

When Alice knows that Emily is zeroing in on her, she tries to get out of town. Emily found her first and confronted the woman who stole her life. Alice said that she did not know what the purpose of the research was. As well as claiming her feelings for Nick (Patrick Heusinger) and Flynn (Patrick McAuley) turned genuine.

Emily, being a considerably more lenient person than myself, agreed to let Alice go. Emily ends their standoff, putting her gun inside her jacket. However, Alice still keeps her gun up and pointed at Emily. For reasons that are not entirely clear, Alice starts to suspiciously close the distance between herself and Emily.

That is when the new head of the FBI branch, Gunnarson (Natasha Little), shoots Alice, apparently killing her. Emily is shown telling Nick and Flynn the apparent news. But “Absentia” does not let us hear exactly what she says.

Absentia Emily Byrne Stana Katic Amazon
Image by Amazon / AXW

Thoughts

Alice is the worst. All of the characters on “Absentia” always seemed to treat her as the moral center of things. However, her endgame makes it readily apparent that she is far from it. She was not even brave enough to face the lives she helped destroy. I still think she played more of a role in everything than she claimed to Emily. Still, a magnanimous Emily agreed to let her go.

The same woman who kept railing against Emily every chance she got in Season 1. All the while knowing that Emily was suffering, emotionally shattered and tormented. No empathy ever emanating from her.

Alice, who refused to step aside or assist in the reformation of Emily’s family. Alice deserved no breaks. After all that Alice had put Emily through with her self-righteousness, I was ready for a fiercer climax between them.


Was Emily trying to spare Nick and Flynn? Or doing a favor for Alice due to her misguided gratitude to Alice taking care of her family? The one she never should have had. Not sure. Either way, Emily was super generous to do so.

Surprising Exit

Alice getting killed off was a major shocker. Her story seemed to only just be beginning with this latest confirmation. I would have liked to see her have to deal with the consequences. She got to die as a hero to Flynn and Nick. They never got to confront her, and Nick never got to come face-to-face with her knowing what she pulled.

After suffering through all of his indignation and Alice worship in Season 1, it would have been gratifying to see him deal with her alive. To see Alice, get a chance to know what it felt like to be on the outside looking in for a change. For her to finally be on the losing side of things.

Nick has to realize that he pushed away and devalued his wife and the mother of his child because he was blinded and influenced by an abject interloper. With Alice apparently dead, she and the audience will never get to know if he would have told her he was wrong to choose her.

Whatever his reaction, Alice proved that she was never the brave person that Emily is. She ran away like a coward. Alice inflicted all of this damage on Emily and her family, undermining Emily’s position in a life that belonged to her. Only to run away instead of facing facts. In the end, Alice did not live long enough to answer for any of it.

What’s Next

The third season of “Absentia” is reportedly in the works, per Deadline. As for the show, the question now becomes if Gunnarson killed Alice solely because she was an apparent threat to Emily. Or if there was more to it than that. I kind of want to hold onto some outside hope that Alice is still clinging to life.


Her affair with Emily’s brother, Jack (Neil Jackson), seemed to be leading to something incredibly climactic. Maybe that was put in for Nick to find out about later and get angsty about? Alice loved her secrets. As much as she infuriated me, she gave “Absentia” an exciting perspective to deal with.

Not to mention, I am curious to see what, if any, impact this has on Nick. He betrayed Emily so thoroughly in Season 1 and seemed only slightly apologetic for it in Season 2. Will he feel any guilt about how he treated Emily after learning everything Alice did?

It would be great to see him actually express broken-heartedness for his behavior. He was able to be quite remorseful when it came to Alice, even though he knew she had cheated on him. When it has come to Emily, his empathy has ranged from being in short to non-existent supply.

As for Emily, I hope her relationship with Cal (Matthew Le Nevez) can continue to blossom. They had a good connection throughout Season 2 and this viewer enjoyed everything they did together, including how they played off of one another. He treated her like a partner and I am curious to see where it could take them.

Season 1 and 2 of “Absentia” are currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video. Season 3 will hopefully arrive soon. Based on the previous release pattern, personal estimates put it coming in 2021 at the earliest. That is just speculation, though. Wishful thinking has me hoping I am wrong and it will come sooner. Stay tuned.

[Featured Image by Amazon / AXW]

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