Gone for Good episode 1 recap – what happened in “Guillaume”? Poor, Guillaume.

August 13, 2021
Michael Frank 0
Netflix, TV Recaps
3.5

Summary

Netflix’s French-language Gone for Good begins with a central mystery strong enough to hold your attention and swift pacing that focuses your attention towards a grief-stricken lead.

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3.5

Summary

Netflix’s French-language Gone for Good begins with a central mystery strong enough to hold your attention and swift pacing that focuses your attention towards a grief-stricken lead.

This recap of Netflix series Gone for Good episode 1, “Guillaume”, contains spoilers.

Gone for Good is steeped in grief and misery. More specifically, the grief and misery of a 30-something named Guillaume Lucchesi (Finnegan Oldfield), a young man who loses his ex-girlfriend and his older brother in the same night in 2010. Adapted from the Harlan Coben English-language novel of the same name, Gone for Good both advances Coben’s five-year, five-series deal with Netflix and grabs international viewers hoping to fill a mysterious void left by more popular, “prestige” television. 

Gone for Good episode 1 recap

From creators David Elkaïm and Vincent Poymiro, the French original series opens on that night in 2010, wasting little time in showing the heartbreak filling Guillaume’s life. Often switching between 2010, present-day, and 2017 in Nice, the first episode, “Guillaume,” follows the titular character as he meets, and subsequently falls in love with, Judith (Nailia Harzoune), a fellow social worker working with underprivileged and crime-averse teens. 

With Guillaume’s mother’s recent death, the couple attends her funeral, with Judith leaving early to respond to urgent teenage-crime duty, not before the former proposes to the latter. After she gives a tepid version of yes, she drives off in her car, only to disappear from everyone’s lives, starting his hunt for her whereabouts. Nearly a decade after the deaths that shaped him, Guillaume must reckon again the loss of someone he loves; it’s an apt, albeit somewhat standard setup for a thriller baked in the aforementioned grief. 

The ending

His search starts with those at the care center including the director, Daco (Guillaume Gouix), who joins the search party. While the two scour Nice, Guillaume remembers the first day he met Judith, the night they spent at the police station, and their joint effort to help a teenager avoiding a court date. They learn that she was rushing through rough areas with bags full of cash, she was involved with a major drug dealer, and her DNA has been found mixed with two dead bodies, all to the surprise, but not dumbfoundedness of her boyfriend. 

This initial episode of the series gives Oldfield a chance to experience a full range of emotions, from love to heartbreak to pure sorrow. It’s a showcase for the actor and the character to be put through the ringer, washed of all hope or happiness, and the grim nature of “Guillaume” works best when you believe there’s light somewhere to be found. 

Highs:

  • Finnegan Oldfield in a major way. The actor eats up screen-time in this starring role, with all characters’ lives intersecting with him. He gets opportunities to be emotional, angry, loving, and bewildered over the span of 15 minutes. 
  • TV series in which a girl/woman disappears/dies in the opening scene. These mystery-thrillers seem to be coming quick and often across streaming platforms. 
  • Social work as a great career. 

Lows:

  • Guillaume’s love life.
  • Proposing at your mother’s funeral.

Ramblings:

  • How do you recover from losing your ex-girlfriend and your brother in the same night? And then you become a social worker? Guillaume seems to have a heart of gold.
  • He’s way too hard on Judith on her first day. She comes in with a wide smile and he calls her a “child he has to babysit.” Maybe bullet point #1 is too kind. 
  • Oldfield looks like an actor that could play either a 17-year-old or 35-year-old depending on the moment. 
  • For being a social worker, which isn’t the highest paying profession, Guillaume has a startlingly fancy apartment with floor-to-ceiling windows and enough space for a good-sized party. 
  • Coben’s other Netflix series have been in English, Spanish, and Polish, which sounds like the coolest way to use your 5-year Netflix deal. Very un-Ryan-Murphyesque. 

What did you think of Netflix series Gone for Good episode 1? Comment below.

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