Review: Absentia, season 3

Stana Katic in Absentia

Absentia, season 3, features danger, endless action, and suspense with the cop who never gives up, Emily Byrne (Stana Katic).

Absentia continues to explore themes of torture, evil, and greed up against family, love, and right. Season 3 is darker than ever, if that is possible with this series. The stakes are upped from Emily’s personal story to include many, many more people in jeopardy and a worldwide conspiracy of evil.

Stana Katic and Patrick Heusinger in Absentia

Emily’s ex-husband Nick (Patrick Heusinger) is still in the FBI. Emily is out, but somehow gets involved in everything without consequence. Also still an agent in the FBI is Cal Isaac (Matthew Le Nevez). These three can defeat whole armies together.

Patrick McAuley and Stana Katic in Absentia

These three protect Emily and Nick’s son Flynn (Patrick McAuley), who has grown up a lot since season 2. He’s often under threat from the bad guys who want to know what Emily knows. Flynn is guarded by his grandfather Warren (Paul Freeman) and his uncle Jack (Neil Jackson).

In 10 episodes, the storyline covers plenty of territory. It begins with the discovery of dead people with organs removed. They are all immigrants, apparently brought into the country simply to use as organ sources. This leads to international operations around organ sales, drug creations (could the story from season 1 be related to these drug experiments?), and virus creation. Viruses – how topical. There are evil and heartless rich and famous criminals to catch. Our heroes have plenty to do and many opportunities to get the bejeezus kicked out of them before they defeat the bad guys.

Included with these crimes, there are moles or double agents in the FBI.

So much about this series is improbable, you have to accept it and suspend disbelief to keep going. A woman who was no longer an FBI agent could never get away with any of what happens here. I was driven a bit nuts by continuity errors this season, but that’s a nitpick. The most disappointing thing about season 3 was that I saw everything coming. I knew who the bad guys in the FBI were. I knew the twists before they began to spin. I knew who would save the day at the family farm.

The one bit that did surprise me was the set-up for season 4. That takes a new direction. All 10 episodes of season 3 were written by Katrina Cabrera Ortega. Kasia Adamik directed some of the episodes.

Many of the smaller parts were filled by women, where once it would have been men getting the roles. I especially appreciated Kai (Kaja Chan), the hacker who brought Emily the stolen files that were the evidence to convict all the bad guys.

There was the tiniest possible nod to the LGBTQ community with the revelation that Special Agent Gunnarsen (Natasha Little) was a lesbian. She isn’t the lesbian character everyone’s always wanted, however. In other sexy news, there is one gratuitous scene for the straight folks.

With Absentia, Stana Katic proves herself an action star, as much as Charlize Theron, who’s been getting all the chatter about it lately. I wish Katic had a less dark and tortured tale as proof.

poster for absentia

If you want to dig into this series a bit more, there’s a Facebook page. Here’s a look at the trailer.

Have you seen season 3 yet? What did you think of it?

Author: Virginia DeBolt

After many years as an educator and writer, Virginia retired from working life. She's always loved a good movie or TV show and wants to use her free time to talk about them with you now. She's Old Ain't Dead!

9 thoughts on “Review: Absentia, season 3”

  1. Stories written by a single writer get predictable pretty fast. The cure is multiple writers so that discussion and arguments can push stories in unexpected directions.

    La Niña had six writers and stayed exciting and unpredictable until the end. And the end left you wanting more.

    There is no reason to write an impossible scenario such as a non-agent operating outside the law. That was just laziness and sort of insulting to the audience.

    1. Operating her own outside the rules has been Emily’s thing all three seasons. These kinds of shows are always full of impossible things – the bad guys can’t shoot straight but the good guys never miss, and on and on…

    2. so much of what we watch in movies or tv shows could be deemed an “impossible scenario,” whether in action or science fiction or even soap operas. hell, even “reality tv” is unreal. i mean, if all shows were made strictly with the possible scenarios in mind, why would anyone watch.

  2. “With Absentia, Stana Katic proves herself an action star, as much as Charlize Theron, who’s been getting all the chatter about it lately. I wish Katic had a less dark and tortured tale as proof..”

    Come on, Katic did EXACTLY that in Castle. She will always be remembered as detective Kate Beckett from that show.

  3. I couldn’t suspend my disbelief, Stanic’s fight scenes were laughable, her beating up men far bigger and stronger than her. I mean, the scene in Season 2 where she beats up some massive Moldovan security guard… one punch from him would certainly kill her. One punch from her and he wouldn’t feel it. I stopped watching the series after this, it was turning into a satire.

      1. for real. most fights in tv and movies are unrealistic. if size/strength were the only issues in fights, most actions stars would lose to their opponents, who are almost always larger and therefore supposedly stronger, as that size differential is what is supposed to impress us when the hero wins. dont get me started on gun battles. sheesh.

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