The parents are brought in to pass on the news but do not seem too hopeful or shocked at the start of episode 2 for The Calling. Avi is confused as to what to make of them. Dania goes to comfort Nora and she asks about any occasion when Vincent mentioned running away. Dania does mention something but is too innocuous for suspicion.
Nora’s reaction kind of manipulates Dania into thinking that she might have suggested he run away from the house. Janine and Avi meet with Benjamin Lafferty. He tells them that Vincent never said he would run away from the house, despite the troublesome household. He does mention a date with one of the most popular girls in the school, Hailey Towsend. So why would he run away before that?
Hailey confirms the same. They were about to go on a movie date but she was only doing it to make his boyfriend Billy jealous. Zach’s new poem about a boy running away from home and his parents evokes shocking responses from the class. Michael too is taken aback by his riveting material and compliments him for the work. Leonard feels Nora is attracted to the detective. But she claims that it is his paranoia speaking. There is nothing going on between the two, even if they are drawn to each other considering the circumstances.
Leonard tries to brainwash her against Avi, saying he suspects them of being involved. Nora cries and storms out of the room, saying “I am done lying to everyone about this”. Zach and Dania try salsa classes and it takes the strain off their relationship. Earl confronts Billy about threatening Vincent but he writes the possibility off.
Janine reveals to Avi that Vincent and Hailey weren’t just French class pals. They were sexting each other but Vincent seemed uninterested. They find other intriguing texts from unknown numbers, including a burner phone. One of them is from his sister Olivia, saying “she’d rather he died”. Olivia plays it cool when the detectives question her about it. “Sibling love”, she says.
Janine confirms the suspicion is off Hailey and Billy. Avi sees something in the window of a shop selling luggage and rushes to the Conte house. When he sees the cupboard once again, he does not find the larger suitcase that the parents bought in a combo with the smaller one, as he saw in the shop’s window. He implores Nora to think harder and she breaks down in his arms. Leonard misinterprets this as an affair and Kathleen says she is compelled to take Avi off the case.
He insists to remain on, feeling he owes it to Vincent. Nora meets him outside the house and apologizes for Leonard. She wants Vincent to remain on the case as she trusts him. Even if he is taken off officially, she beseeched him to continue to look for Vincent. Earl meets with Jon but the former teacher takes it as an attempt to intimidate him and “put bad thoughts into his head”.
John seems harmless for now but Earl feels he knows something. Janine proposes the idea that Nora knows in her heart if Vincent is still alive or not and she might be hinting towards one or the other with her body language.
Dania puts Luke to sleep and reads Zach’s new work on his laptop. She is instantly frightened by the contents of it as Zach has written it from Vincent’s perspective. When he returns home, she confronts him about it and the two have a huge fight. She is shocked at the kind of insight Zach has into Vincent’s state of mind and the fact that he is using the letters he wrote in his personal space for Zach’s material. She suspects Zach’s involvement and washes her hands off any responsibility he might incur.
The Episode Review
There is a sprinkle of mistrust in the cinematic universe in episode 2. Vincent’s disappearance is gradually beginning to uncover some dark secrets that his neighbors and family harbored. The banality of ordinary life hid them well but they could not be held back for too long.
Avi, played by Jeff Wilbusch, seems a terrific mix of faith, religion, and scientific mind. His budding partnership with Janine is on the right track. What was quite likable in episode 2 was the development of their relationship away from a romantic space to a teacher-pupil dynamic.
It seems like this dynamic is the right creative choice. For some reason, I felt that the Millers are sort of underwhelmingly acted by the performers. Despite the potent emotional prowess inherent to Dania and Zach, the characters seem to have trouble being established in the narrative, yet, and that is hurting it big time.
Episode 2 was marginally disappointing, as compared to episode 1, but a decent precursor of what’s to come.