Tuesday, December 5, 2023

REVIEW: 'Found' - Gabi Examines the Past in a New Light When a Case Resembles Sir's Behavior in 'Missing While Indoctrinated'

NBC's Found - Episode 1.10 "Missing While Indoctrinated"

Gabi and the team revisit a previous case involving child trafficking and their heated investigation leads them in a shocking direction. Gabi confronts Sir about another one of his possible victims.

"Missing While Indoctrinated" was written by Zoe Marshall and directed by Keesha Sharp

Sir was Gabi's high school English teacher. He earned her trust through that position of authority. He groomed her into believing he cared about her more than any other adult ever had. It was all for his sick and twisted purpose of taking her and confining her to the cabin. This is new information to the viewer. It isn't new for Gabi. She lived it. It just now dawns on her that it wasn't the first time he did so. For twenty years, Gabi believed Sir took advantage of the situation as it was presented to him. She held onto that belief despite knowing Annie was a prior victim. She refused to accept that he took her the same way. She thought his tactics evolved over time to create a different outcome. Gabi survived while Annie didn't. Sir then spent the next two decades stalking Gabi. He was obsessed with her and could never let her go. He's preciously where he wants to be now. They are the same.

Gabi doesn't recognize any humanity within Sir. She lectures him on the importance of empathy. That's how she effectively does her job. He demands some of that for himself. He wants Gabi's compassion. He needs her to understand his situation. He still carries secrets. He still seeks to manipulate her. He is always testing the lines to see what he can get away with. Gabi doesn't see this arrangement as permanent. She is working to end this darkness. She searches for a way out. She has been given some hope. She is at peace knowing her actions don't carry lasting consequences. She feels some freedom. Sir is still chained up in her basement. He still makes her doubt herself. Annie is the cold case that haunts her the most. The team doesn't have any time to work these cases that have long been forgotten. They are always pulled into some new emergency. Gabi is certain that Sir killed Annie. However, she now recognizes Annie as the girl who came back to rescue her. It wasn't successful. It would be months before escape was possible. Annie gave Gabi hope. She is now reckoning with the truth of what happened all those years ago.

Some twist may still happen pertaining to Annie. Sir refuses to acknowledge Gabi is right with her assumption. Gabi has proven to be blind to some details about Sir in the past. She wants to move with precise clarity. She knows how to offer that advice to her allies at work. She knows Trent belongs on the police force. He shouldn't sacrifice his life because Gabi offers more freedom. He responds the way a cop should. As such, he's needed on the force to serve as a good example. He needs to make a difference within that environment. Gabi trusts him to act with integrity. She was harsh in condemning their personal flirtation previously. She was afraid and lashed out. He overcorrected. He knew things had to be strictly professional. He was still making decisions based on what his life could become. Gabi doesn't expect him to make that sacrifice. She can only give so much of herself because of the secret that lurks in the basement. She can't evolve past that until Sir is handled in a way that holds him accountable while allowing Gabi and Lacey the freedom to move past his manipulation. All that may be twisted further by whatever truly happened to Annie. Sir still wields that power.

Meanwhile, Gabi seeks to atone for the past. Tony has come out of his coma. She wants to protect him. She fights for him just like any other victim. The family is reluctant to hire the firm. However, they see Gabi as the only person who wants to keep Tony out of prison. He could be sentenced for abducting Matthew for the purpose of trafficking. Tony goes out on a redemption tour as well. He believes his life is over. As such, he wants to make amends for the terrible things he has done. He still blames his father for destroying their family. He also deserves redemption. People should extend empathy to him. He was groomed as well. He was conditioned into believing that he had to provide for the traffickers in this way. He was isolated and made to feel like they were the only ones looking out for him. When he failed to deliver what they needed, he would be punished. He was placed in a hopeless situation. He didn't know who to trust. He had to take matters into his own hands. And yet, his instincts can't be trusted. He's at risk of doing something he can't take back. He ultimately doesn't kill another student who also participated in this enterprise. Gabi saves him. She offers that redemption because Tony waking up gave her hope that she too could make better decisions. People need connection. That's the only way they can save one another.

The stakes have escalated because the police seek to remove Gabi's license to work as a private investigator. She needs that status in order to do this work legally. Even then, she's willing to cross lines. It's all in pursuit of a noble cause. Everything is heightened because much of the action takes place in a high school. Gabi is quick to assume a teacher is the one who brought Tony into this world. By taking a moment, the team eventually realizes it's actually the principal. She has weaponized the truancy statistics to target people who won't be missed. She analyzes which of the absent students come from broken homes. That offers a way into manipulating their emotions and force compliance. Gabi knows the pattern. She understands how these criminals choose their victims and make them believe this is the only choice they have. She refused to comply once Sir abducted her. She has fought him every step of the way. And yet, her life is still defined by him. Tragedy radiates throughout the lives of the entire team. They still have strained relationships with their families because of what happened so many years ago. Those loved ones showing up with a willingness to understand is a crucial first step. The team makes a massive difference in the lives of the people they save. They always aim for the best. They don't always succeed. That's not an excuse to tear down the entire business. The police want to believe it is because of how frustrating Gabi is to them personally. It doesn't work that way. Gabi has allies who want her to succeed because of the difference she makes in the lives of so many.