missing Plot Synopsis
June is a teenager with a cold relationship with her mother, Grace. Grace tried to move on and is now dating successful technician Kevin Lin.
June doesn’t admit it openly, but she feels that life is moving too fast for her. When Kevin and Grace go to Colombia for a romantic getaway, she throws a wild party. It’s almost too late to pick them up from the airport the next day, but it doesn’t matter; they are missing.
With the help of her mother’s lawyer friend Heather, she turns in a missing person case. June also gets help from Colombian gig worker Javi, who helps her on the ground in uncovering the truth. The search yields incredible results for June, one that shapes her life and forces her to rethink her past. He also finds himself in a bid against time, as his search for Grace becomes impossible by the minute.
Why does Kevin Lin take Rachel Page to Columbia and cause a scandal?
Through Kevin’s emails, we discover that he is an imposter. He lured women with false identities and robbed them of their money. June goes through a bunch of emails that show Kevin is a veteran.
Another Google search brings up evidence of his court case, which shows that he was convicted. He met James while in prison and was offered money by James to create this mess. James wanted revenge on Grace. He pretended to be a taxi driver and kidnapped Grace, but without Kevin’s help.
Kevin then hired Rachel, an aspiring actress and Grace lookalike, to make the trip seem smooth. Rachel’s face is hidden from all sides to avoid revealing the truth about her identity. The kidnapping by the actors was another cog in the plan to complete the scene of Grace leaving and help James recover Grace’s body.
What drives June to locate Grace?
June had almost given up hope when she discovered Heather was dead. What aggravated him was the realization that he was indirectly responsible for Heather’s death by alerting the chief in the Guise program. He barely shuts down his laptop and we also see that the person behind all of this is tampering with June’s local resources. They can read and see everything that happens on his laptop and phone, and even access his Ring device. But suddenly June opens her laptop again and sees different screens on the security footage her mother installed.
One of them looks like his previous house. He immediately uses the video on his laptop to compare the two pieces, and he strikes gold. The two locations are a perfect match and June senses something fishy is happening which gives the story a whole new twist. She gets a call from Jimmy, the “church boy” who turns out to be someone else.
Who kills Heather and why? What makes him so important in Grace’s life?
Jimmy turns out to be June’s father, James! This was a major turning point in Missing that really opened up a world of possibilities. He is the criminal behind the whole incident. James met Kevin while incarcerated at Eastham Institution. It was here that he hatched a plan to get revenge on Grace for taking him away from June, when in reality he had no valid reason to blame Grace.
James is the one who killed Heather in his office, which June discovers while following Guise’s lead. Heather’s phone number is how he found her.
But Heather had nothing to do with this illegality. James killed her because he thought the truth was out and June would go to the authorities. Heather was an important presence in Grace’s life as it ended. He was the first resource person to contact Grace and help her start a new life; from changing her former name Sarah to adopting the new identity of Grace. The opening bits we see are an elaborate reflection of how Heather helps Grace move to Los Angeles and work through her emotional baggage.
Google proves how missing “missing” is the center
Google is at the center of everything Kevin and Grace do in Missing in June, from accessing their Gmail accounts to using web search to find Javi. Without Google, the mystery of Grace’s disappearance would never have been solved. It is a very important thing to note because Google reflects the indispensable place of the internet in our lives. It has become indispensable for us. Another feature of his position in the narrative is how easy it is to recognize someone through his web footprint.
With a few simple clicks, anyone can invade your privacy and gain an advantage over you. The universe of disappearances brought to life a terrifying reality where distrust and paranoia would peak.
The editors wisely left out the second half of the opening clip, where we see James playing with June. At first glance, it was a warm, precious moment from the memory of June’s father. But when we actually watch the whole video, we realize that there was more to it than expected.
James was actually physically and emotionally abusive to Grace. her old name was Sarah. James was a drug addict and even sold drugs. Despite going to rehab and vowing to change, he returned to his old habits. Grace was tired of his tricks and wanted him out of June’s life.
He went online and had the idea to make him guilty of a drug case that would completely filter him out. He would spend nearly two decades in prison. She calls the police on James, who vows to kill Grace.
Grace lies about James to justify herself in June’s eyes. He makes up a story about her dying of cancer to make sure June remembers her well. But as we have seen, the truth has a hard time with him.
How does Grace and June’s relationship revive in the face of adversity?
The end of the disappearance saw June kidnapped by James and brought back to their old home. She manages to lift James up when he walks in and runs towards the house. James had discarded a piece of June’s clothing and Grace recognized him immediately. He opens June, but James recovers in time to return. He then takes June hostage and tries to lock her up again, but Grace stabs James with a piece of broken glass.
June’s attempts to call Javi using Angel’s smartwatch are futile as the battery dies before she can tell him his full address. June uses Siri and tells her to call 911 through the video camera. The sound is picked up by the microphone of the phone James keeps on the table.
The police arrive in time and rescue the mother/daughter duo. However, James dies from his wounds at his desk. It wasn’t long before Grace and June returned to normal life, but adversity completely changed their relationship.
The soft spot that June felt for James is gone, and it makes her love for Grace grow. We saw in the beginning that June took Grace for granted and maybe we didn’t realize how hard parenting can be. He listened to the voicemails Grace sent him when she went missing. It shows how crisis can really bring people together and give them a renewed sense of the importance of life.
This was also a topic taken from Search. And this is equally true in our real world. The fear of losing someone we love is enough to increase our love for him. Incomplete drives this point home, and does so with a sense of humor at the very end when Grace reacts to June’s “I love you” text with a joke, mimicking what June did earlier in the film.