Vanished - Sunday July 8

black box (6/13)

Continuing this week is the intriguing US drama series revolving around the disappearance of Sara Collins, the wife of Georgia senator Jeffrey Collins. This week, Agents Kelton and Mei chase the source of the video feed showing Sara Collins in captivity; Marcy’s secret comes to light; and Judy’s story about Sara’s past life is disputed by another reporter.

The FBI has new evidence that Sara Collins is alive in the form of a video feed beamed to a suspect’s laptop. The video shows Sara chained to a bed in a bare room – but when the feed is cut, the FBI has to race to locate its source. Agent Kelton turns to their prime suspect for answers: the mysterious Quinn, who appears to be connected to Sara’s kidnappers. However, Quinn refuses to answer Kelton’s questions, even when he offers to protect her from her paymasters. “You can talk all you want,” she says. “I’m done.”

Kelton tries a new approach and suggests to his technician, Agent Cedar, that they broadcast a signal from Quinn’s laptop to track the source of the feed. The signal leads them to an empty field with an antenna. Kelton climbs the mast and finds a black box attached to it. The box is a cell phone receiver used to transmit the video of Sara – but it offers no further clues as to her location.

Kelton returns to the video of Sara and watches it again. This time, he catches a flash of lightning outside the room. It transpires that there was a thunderstorm in the vicinity of Sara’s hiding place, so the agents check weather patterns in the area within the range of the black box, and come up with a location: Stone Mountain. Could the search for Sara Collins be nearly over?

Meanwhile, the agents pursue another lead in the form of Judge Wallace Rainer. Kelton knows that Jeffrey Collins was being blackmailed to vote in favour of Rainer’s elevation to the Supreme Court, which would implicate the judge in Sara’s disappearance. Realising it will be difficult to investigate Rainer’s background without drawing attention to themselves, Kelton and Mei ask for help from someone outside the FBI: feisty reporter Judy Nash.

Judy supplies them with files on Rainer which contain some surprising information: it would appear from the judge’s phone records that he called Marcy Collins 18 times in one month. “If they were having an affair, that would explain why Jeffrey’s turned against him,” Kelton says. Under questioning, Marcy is forced to confess to her relationship with the judge: “We were seeing each other, okay? It’s over,” she says. Marcy adds that Sara found out about the affair and told Jeffrey that Rainer was seeing an underage girl – but did not say who.

Also this week, Judy is annoyed when her story about Sara’s past life under the assumed name of ‘Nicky’ is refuted by another journalist. The rival reporter interviews a fisherman who claims he found the body of Nicky in the sea 12 years ago – and shows the TV report of the casket being exhumed to prove it. Determined to expose the claim as false, Judy calls in a favour from Kelton and asks him to have the FBI analyse of the body to find out who it really is. “They exhumed a body,” she says. “I think it was planted.” But will the answer bring them closer to the truth about Sara Collins?

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