Is Fred alive?
Episode 5 of Gone For Good swings the pendulum again, this time turning the attention to Guillaume’s brother, Fred. We begin in present day Nice with Guillaume trying to find Nora after learning where she’s staying. Only, when he arrives at the hotel room he finds it completely empty. It seems like she’s been taken.
The TV is playing static (until Guillaume punches the screen, that is) and it seems hope has slipped through his fingers again. When Guillaume heads back to his apartment, Fred steps out the shadows to greet his brother.
Guillaume’s in no mood for a happy reunion though but given Fred knows that Nora has been taken – and seems to know where to as well.
What happened to Fred in 1995?
We then jump back to Nice in May 1995. Fred loses a tennis match and his coach is not happy. Little Guillaume is there too and bears witness to Fred being abused by his Father. As a side hustle, Fred ends up selling drugs with Kesler. Interestingly, Ostertag is there too but only by accident. He’s been bullied badly and the pair decide to get revenge for him and help the kid out.
This incident involving Ostertag’s bully ends in disaster though, especially when Fred slams a rock into the kid’s face. It’s technically self defence(ish) but with a dead body on their hands, they have a serious problem. Well, Fred’s Father strikes a deal with Kesler’s father, calling in the police and framing Ostertag for all of this. He’s inevitably thrown in juvenile prison.
Does Ostertag kill his Father?
Fast forward to Nice in 2006 and Ostertag is released from prison, more muscly and hardened than before. His first port of call (after a swig of champagne and a smoke) is to his Father’s trailer, where he kills the man in cold blood.
Several years pass and Fred starts to slip further into dealing drugs. While he does, Guillaume and Sonia start to cozy up and grow closer together. An incident at a party aboard a ferry ends in disaster though. As Fred gets into a fight, a man brandishes a pretty wild bucher’s knife. As the scene cuts to present day and we see the scar on Fred’s forearm, it’s safe to assume this was a pretty gnarly injury.
Is Sonia still alive?
A year passes and with Fred continuing to slip further into the darkened world of drug dealing, he meets with Sonia down at the port. Fred recruits her to his cause, encouraging her to get involved with ferrying drugs while running the story of being a student.
Where is Judith/Nora?
Back in the present, Fred brings his brother to a secluded area where he happens to have pictures of Alice up. He promises the girl is being kept safe and reveals she’ll meet Guillaume soon. Fred has bigger problems though, given Kesler and Ostertag’s ties with his past involving drugs. It was Fred who convinced Nora to leave originally but he’s been tracking her phone and now he reveals where she is. She’s at Kesler’s place.
With Fred armed to the teeth, he drives off with Guillaume, who joins his brother in this crusade to bring Nora back. Well, they find her in the backseat of a car, alive and well.
Are Kesler and Ostertag stopped?
Kesler shows up but just before he shoots the man in the head, Fred fires first and kills Kesler. There’s a really nice moment of ringing in the ears – an authentic touch on the part of the sound design guys – before Ostertag shows up and sprays the scene with a barrage of machine gun fire.
It’s a stalemate – and one that Ostertag takes full advantage of to reveal what happened in 2010.
What happened in 2010?
After being questioned by the police earlier in the day, Fred shows up at Sonia’s place, panicking. He’s offered up Kesler and Ostertag in exchange for immunity but needs money to skip town. Their fight gets heated, spilling over to the swimming pool outside where Fred eventually ends up drowning the girl.
Believing he’s in the clear, Fred stumbles away from the pool but runs right into Ostertag. He notices Sonia in the pool dead and chases after Fred with a gun. This catches us up to the moments from episode 1, as we see this perspective play out with more context. The duo wrestle with the gun before Fred is eventually shot down by the shore. However, he’s obviously not dead and skips away to remain anonymous until the right time.
Does Fred die?
Cut back to the present and Guillaume realizes the truth; his brother killed Sonia. “Someone’s gotta be the bad guy,” He retorts, as Guillaume makes his choice and kills his brother in cold blood.
With the case closed and everything resolved, we cut forward to a beach as Guillaume heads across to meet Nora’s child, Alice. With her Father dead, this poor child grieves as she realizes that both her parents are now deceased. The final shot is one of grief, bringing everything back full circle as the show sticks closely to its themes of despair, secrets and grief.
The Episode Review
There’s been a lot of Harlan Coben adaptations on Netflix, and in truth there’s a real mixed bag of the good, bad and in-between. Gone For Good has been an interesting one in that respect, with some glimmers of brilliance mixed in with a bit of filler and an awful lot of time jumping.
While there’s nothing wrong with that, some of this does distract from the main mystery a little. The jumping between different characters is a nice inclusion though and helps to give the episodes a slightly different flavour, while the main mystery is enticing enough to stick with until the very end.
Compared to other Coben mysteries, this one’s a solid offering but doesn’t quite do enough to stand out. The finale ultimately ends with more misery and bloodshed – while also answering all the big questions in a relatively satisfying manner.
In the end though, the show doesn’t finish with a big happy moment or cathartic release, instead doubling down on the grief we’ve seen across the season and reinforcing that in the final shot.
Read More: Gone For Good Season 1 Review