Absentia season 3, episode 5 recap – what happened in “Quid Pro Quo”? Finding Emily.

4.5

Summary

Episode 5 speeds into espionage mode, which is what Absentia does best but it also gives the audience the exciting opportunity of Cal and Emily working together again on a mission, bringing the prospect of those similar exciting moments from season 2.

This recap of Amazon original series Absentia season 3, episode 5, “Quid Pro Quo” contains spoilers.

Access all the episode recaps.


How does Absentia season 3, episode 5, “Quid Pro Quo” open?

Emily and Dawkins are on a plane. Dawkins inserts the data in his laptop and asks for the encryption key — Emily points out it is a trade and that the data will unlock as soon as Nick is freed. Emily is taking a huge risk entering the depths of the enemy’s lair. Dawkins tells Emily that if her plan doesn’t work, this will be the last trip she ever makes — this villain is brilliant so far. Nick is continuing to have hallucinations, seeing Alice talk to him talk about their history. He’s mentally inflicted; struggling with the guilt of the past caused by his torture.

A mole

Crown tells Cal that Dawkins and Emily are heading to Berlin. Cal is upset that Emily deliberately ghosted him — Crown shows him information on a potential mole for Meridian. Someone in the FBI is using a dead person’s access code to get into the system. Crown is not ruling anyone out and he is looking into it deeply. It’s very difficult at this stage to not assume that either of these men are moles. It’s later revealed that Crown is looking into Julianne as well. This could be a good twist.

Hijacked

While driving through Berlin, Emily and Dawkins are hijacked by a group of men. Emily is thrown into a car and Dawkins is left behind. Meanwhile, Cal tells Julianne he can use unofficial channels to find Emily. Julianne approves but he has to keep it low — she also states she has looked into Cal’s past which worries him; Julianne asks him to check in regularly. Meanwhile, it’s revealed the hijack was planned by Emily and her former FBI instructor Rowena. Emily tells Rowena she needs the files to free Nick and that Rowena needs the decryption key to access the cloud vault. And then Emily asks Rowena a list of questions, prying into her life since the FBI days, but Rowena isn’t interested in answering. There’s a weird, strange tension between these two women — the history does not feel good.

I should have been better

At the midway point of Absentia season 3, episode 5, “Quid Pro Quo”, Nick thinks he’s at home with Alice. She tells him to focus and asks what Kai gave to him. The woman in the white lab coat keeps pretending to be Alice, asking for the decryption key, teasing that Emily is in Berlin. Nick stands up and tells her he should have been better for Alice and says goodbye. The torture is not working on Nick. Episode 5 finds a way for Nick to confront his demons in the worst way possible, but it’s also a testament to his mental toughness.

Meeting an old friend

Cal has arrived in Berlin and speaks to an old friend. He wants to know where Meridian is working these days and talks about “Payback”. There’s history between Cal and his friend — his friend talks about the nightmares he has regarding the bodies. Cal clearly cares about Emily — it was hinted in season 2 how much he cares.

Emily now has debt

Rowena gives Emily a location and a way in and tells her not to “f*ck with these people” — Rowena then slowly walks up behind Emily and tells her “You owe me Emily and I’ll call you in one day — and I’ll expect you to show up”. This debt to Rowena could potentially become important in later seasons…. or maybe this one.

Party time

Emily attends a party that Rowena gave her access too — it is a charity fundraiser. Dawkins is there as well. Emily scours the establishment while the party is in full swing. She finds a list with Jericho on it in an office. A man walks in to feed his cactus so Emily hides before confronting him. She asks him “What is Jericho?” but he sets off an alarm so Emily has to flee.

How does Absentia season 3, episode 5, “Quid Pro Quo” end?

Nick asks the woman in the white lab coat how he can get out of here — she tells them to give “them” what they want. Meanwhile, Cal’s friend has a tail on Meridian’s operations and gives him information — he tells Cal this is as far as he goes — “I don’t want to see you again”. Cal finds Emily and they look happy to see each other.

Episode 5 speeds into espionage mode, which is what Absentia does best but it also gives the audience the exciting opportunity of Cal and Emily working together again on a mission, bringing the prospect of those similar exciting moments from season 2.

Additional points
  • Dawkins tells Emily that they are similar — like wolves.
  • Julianne tells Crown that she knows he was watching her have dinner with her ex.

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Daniel Hart

Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.

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