Vanished - Sunday July 29

the new world (9/13)

Continuing this week is the intriguing US drama series revolving around the disappearance of Sara Collins, the wife of Georgia senator Jeffrey Collins. In tonight’s episode, Agents Lucas and Mei uncover an incredible new lead in the case; the kidnappers play mind games with Sara; and Marcy Collins takes matters into her own hands.

After the suicide of Edward Morrell, the prime suspect in the Sara Collins case (see last week’s episode, ‘Aftermath’), agents Lucas and Mei are desperate for new leads. Fortunately, Mei has discovered that shortly before slitting his own throat, the mysterious Morrell sent a coded text message from his phone. The FBI’s lab tech sets to work deciphering the message, while an autopsy on the dead man throws up another lead: an ID chip is embedded in Morrell’s hand, designed to unlock a security system. The chip functions as a key – but where is the door?

The lab provides Lucas with a duplicate of the chip while the coded text message is found to match the numbers on a freight train that is due to arrive in Atlanta. Lucas and Mei head to the train tracks, where they observe the clandestine delivery of a large box, which is loaded into a waiting car. The agents trail the car to a warehouse where the delivery is unloaded. Lucas refuses to wait for back-up and decides to investigate: “Sara might be inside – I’m not waiting!” he says.

Inside the warehouse, Lucas hides as a group of scientists and heavily armed men carry the box to a laboratory and remove its contents. Inside is a set of ancient parchments covered in Hebrew writing. The documents are placed under a scanner and uploaded to a computer. Speaking to Mei through a headpiece, an astonished Lucas describes the scene: “Whatever we thought about this case, it’s time to re-think it,” he says.

Moving on, Lucas uses the duplicate ID to open the door to a room full of computers. With the help of a palm pilot, he uploads data from one of the machines and sends it back to the lab for analysis – only to be interrupted by a man with a gun.

Realising that Lucas is in trouble, Mei creates a distraction by firing her gun and setting off the alarm. Lucas overpowers his assailant but not before the computer equipment is blown up. With sirens wailing, the mysterious criminals pack up the parchments and escape in their vans under a hail of gunfire. The equipment they left behind is destroyed, but the images extracted by Lucas provide a clue to the group’s activities. An FBI specialist confirms that the parchment in the box is one of the Dead Sea Scrolls – a set of ancient texts throwing light on early Christianity. But how is this new revelation connected to Sara’s abduction?

Meanwhile, Sara languishes in a windowless cell at the mercy of her kidnappers. After undergoing a medical exam, she meets a new, nameless captor who engages her in mind games. The man claims that Jeffrey is doing little to rescue her: “He refuses to co-operate,” he says, before revealing that the senator has moved his ex-wife back into the house: “He’s not the person you think he is,” the kidnapper says. With seeds of doubt in her mind, will Sara succumb to the man’s manipulation?

Also this week, Marcy Collins discovers that her father is being blackmailed to vote for Judge Rainer’s elevation to the Supreme Court, and decides to confront the judge herself. Marcy flies to Washington DC and presents her former lover with a stark choice: “Tell the kidnappers to give Sara back or I’ll tell everyone about us,” she says. Judge Rainer has 24 hours to decide his future…

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