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TV Review: 'Absentia' Season 3 Premiere Packs A Strong Punch

Absentia Emily Byrne Stana Katic Amazon Prime Video
Image by Amazon and AXN
Stana Katic’s loveably prickly heroine, Emily Byrne, is back! “Absentia” picks up Season 3 a while after the events of last season’s ending. In doing so, the Amazon original presses reset yet again, as Emily and her family are in an entirely new phase of life with Cal (Matthew Le Nevez), Crown (Christopher Colquhoun), and Gunnarsen, back to assist. The results pack a punch.

Spoilers for the ending of “Absentia” Season 2 are discussed below.

Alice has been dead for a while with Gunnarsen (Natasha Little) cleared of any wrongdoing when “Absentia” resumes. Emily has moved back in with her former husband and son. The trio seem to be making it through okay, although, Flynn remains in the dark about who Alice really was. Season 3 leaves that plot for a later episode to uncover.

Of course, it is not long before trouble finds Emily and her family as a new mystery emerges that gets off to an even more explosive start than last season’s. If you were curious about what life would be like with Emily embraced by the husband and son that rejected her, “Absentia” gives you a taste.

The Season 3 premiere surprises by leaving the morsels about Alice, her affair, and all of her lies, dangling in the ether. It is clear that “Absentia” will eventually let the fallout play out. Nick (Patrick Heusinger) is knowledgeable of Alice’s duplicity yet fails to act particularly outraged by it. Is that to keep his cover with Flynn going?

One can only hope. While losing Alice (Cara Theobold) changes the dynamic of “Absentia” in terms of familial conflict, the crime thriller makes up that lost ground by leaning into its life as a “crime thriller.” There is a riveting fight sequence and a mystery that naturally flows from its set-up. Meanwhile, Stana Katic’s Emily continues to be one of my favorite TV protagonists.

The Season 3 premiere readily reminds viewers why she is so likable. Emily does not put up with anything, speaks her mind, and fights like hell both physically and emotionally to survive her life. It is this admirable determination peppered with her no nonsense personality that makes her shine. Well, that and Stana Katic’s electric performance.

As it did last season, “Absentia” only continues to get better. It is finding its footing and comfortability with the audience’s familiarity with these characters. The Season 3 premiere opens up a smorgasbord of possibilities for this year’s installment to go in, which feels freeing, and scary. It is going to be a fun 10-episode binge.

Rating: 8/10

Seasons 1 through 3 of “Absentia” are currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

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