Tuesday, November 21, 2023

REVIEW: 'Found' - Gabi's Lies About Sir Complicate Her Ability to Find a Suicidal Man in 'Missing While Homeless'

NBC's Found - Episode 1.08 "Missing While Homeless"

Dhan spearheads the search for a missing homeless man who's been an integral part of a tight-knit encampment. When Trent shares troubling news about Sir, Gabi goes to great lengths to protect her secret.

"Missing While Homeless" was written by Sonay Hoffman and directed by Chad Lowe

Gabi has no idea what she'll be walking into when she returns home. Sir destroyed the camera monitoring him. Trent shared that a sighting of Sir was reported near her house. Despite this, she couldn't allow the police to investigate her life. She had to walk into potential danger by herself. The Sir sighting was just a false report. He didn't escape. He's still chained in the basement. Moreover, this is precisely where he wants to be. He evaded captured for twenty years. During that time, he stalked Gabi. He was always near wherever she was. She never knew that. He never made his presence known. He was always obsessed with her. And now, he gets the satisfaction of interacting with her again. He expects to be treated well. The conditions haven't changed in the basement. Gabi simply becomes aware of how much pleasure Sir continues to get out of this experience.

Trent wants Gabi to continue taking the threat from Sir seriously. Gabi considers herself the foremost expert on the man who kidnapped her. And yet, the investigation has details that have been kept from her. She didn't know anything about his movements in the twenty years after she escaped. Meanwhile, he explicitly blames Bella for ruining the happy family he had at the farmhouse. Taking her was the only mistake he made. He spent decades watching Gabi because he could never find Bella again. Lacey's life was saved because she changed her identity. Gabi never wanted anyone to take that power away from her. She was proud of the name her parents gave her. That connection also allowed Sir to remain close. Gabi becomes aware of that now. She sees how deep the obsession goes. Control is being taken away from her once more. She fights to maintain as much as she can. It's a futile effort especially when the rest of the team expects her to act more rationally by this situation.

Gabi knows precisely where Sir is. She isn't troubled by the thought he could hurt her again. Lacey continually lives in the unknown. She seeks comfort from Gabi. Instead, she enters a home that eerily mirrors the interests of her captor. Gabi twists those concerns into a lesson about respecting how others cope with tragedy. Just because her response is different doesn't make it wrong or unhealthy. Gabi is carrying this massive secret. It grows more precarious with each passing day. She wants to be of service to her community. Trent aims to protect her by confining her only to safe and secure environments. It's risky for her to go anywhere. Sir could be lurking. He is potentially planning his next attack. Gabi pushes beyond those restrictions because she knows the truth. She can't share it with anyone. Even when she's seemingly caught, Zeke innocently believes the heat signature in her home belongs to her police detail. No one suspects Gabi of behaving like this. That makes for a perfect cover as she embraces the darkness of her actions.

Sir promises to kill Lacey should he ever have the chance. He declares that intention. That's the eventuality should he ever escape or be set free. Gabi is willing to risk everything on a potential insanity defense if she gets caught. She knows Sir's life would forever be ruined. He would hate having to live in a prison. That would be absolute torture for him. She delights in that thought. However, she is always protective of Lacey. That was true from the moment they first met. Sir wanted Gabi to enact control over Bella. He wanted to mold her into his image. She refused to ever accept that. It's much more complicated though based on what her life has become. Gabi still sees how Lacey is suffering. She has other friends to rely on when she's struggling. Gabi no longer needs to be her sole support system. That also creates loneliness for Gabi. She is committed to this path. She knows what fuels Sir. She still believes she needs him. He deciphers the meaning of the tattoos on her latest missing person. Lacey doesn't even question where Gabi got that information from. It was simply the next meaningful lead that allowed Sampson to be found before he succumbed to his pain.

For thirty years, Sampson blamed himself for the deaths of his family. They died in a house fire after he accidentally passed out while smoking. He couldn't rescue them in time. He has created happiness within an unhoused community. Every year on a specific date though, he falls into a deep depression. He can't live with himself anymore. He can't protect the people he loves the most. That's what triggers his latest suicidal headspace. Too many people are willing to take advantage of him and the people he cares about. He believes they would all be better off without him. That isn't true. He needs to be reminded of that. He has a home to return to within these people. Circumstances have left him without a house. He still has aspirations for more out of life. He has interests worthy of pursuing. He just needs the love and support to be recognized for his humanity. He needs help. For too long, he was unwilling to share his trauma. In confronting it head on, he's allowed to acknowledge the harm it continues to wreck on his psyche. He hurts the people around him. That doesn't have to be inevitable. It just takes honest communication to change that fate. That's what Gabi and her team ultimately provide him. They always see people's humanity. The show doesn't always have to point out how countless people feel unseen and ignored by the world at large. It gets at the heart of the show. Its mission statement is to always uplift these stories even during their darkest hours. That drives Gabi even though she's constantly distracted by her own trauma. It's not in the past either. It still impacts her every single day.