Finally, the Keith mystery is picking up some speed!
Sidney hasn’t hidden the fact that she does not believe Keith is who he says he is, but by the end of Alert: Missing Persons Unit Season 1 Episode 3, she was thrilled to find out that Nikki may be on board, too.
How long did Imposter Keith believe he could keep up this ruse?
It was apparent that the writers got inspired by Harvey Weinstein and Ghislaine Maxwell when it came to this case.
Jaqueline was a garbage human for exploiting college girls like Zoey and Sarah, setting them up, and essentially pimping them out to Harry and other high-paying men of prestige.
It shouldn’t matter, but the truth is that it’s always so much worse and viler when another woman is behind or enables sexual violence against other women.
In your mind, you want to believe that they should know better and do better, but the world and people don’t work that way.
Keith wanted us here. Just because our family is back together doesn’t mean we get to stop helping other families.
Zoey was such a bright girl, and they reminded us of that all throughout, but we saw firsthand when she was clever enough to bust out the tail light and toss her license out so that anyone in the parking lot would find it.
If that’s what it took to sound the alarms that she’d gotten abducted, then so be it. Inquiring minds want to know how that guy drove so far with a busted tail light without getting pulled over. It must be nice!
Some of the frustration with the case was how blase Zoey’s friends and roommates were about her disappearance. With friends like that, who needs enemies?
Sarah at least had reason to be sketchy as we learned her connection to the whole thing as the hour progressed, but there was no excuse for the others.
They were so alarmingly apathetic, and had Jason not strong-armed their phones from them; they wouldn’t have been helpful in the case at all.
Zoey’s ex-boyfriend was a real piece of work, too.
Nikki and Kemi were right to comment on how it was plain as day that something terrible had upended Zoey’s life a few months prior, and it was upsetting that no one took enough notice or seemed to care.
The second they started talking about how Zoey essentially stopped doing her art, her passion, and changed everything about her lifestyle, it was apparent that she had probably endured some trauma.
Zoey was nothing if not a good friend for trying to do everything right for Sarah. Even after her abduction, she tried to help Sarah as best as possible.
She figured out that Jaqueline and Harry took her to pay off Sarah’s debt, and she seemed resigned to the fact that she’d be assaulted before her friend was released.
Thank goodness they got to her in the nick of time.
Of course, Zoey’s father was ready to put a bullet in “Baby’s Breath,” and you can’t blame him for it. The guy acted accordingly, given the fact that he was the person who introduced her daughter to the man in the first place.
Understandably, he was guilty and super-protective of his daughter. One can envision how inadequate he felt as a father after all that. And maybe the DA will be lenient on him when it comes down to it, and he won’t have to do too much time for shooting a man.
We’ll never really know.
But it’s the second time they so overtly made a person involved with the case, someone with whom Jason could empathize and identify, and they’ll need to pull back on that and stop being so heavy-handed.
By now, we can tell that Jason runs hot, and he’s all about the action and getting the desired results with little care about how he gets to them.
It makes him the loose cannon on the team, but they have yet to commit to that in a way that maximizes the tension or conflict. Instead, he’s become almost as much of a quick-fix person as Kemi.
Speaking of Kemi, it still irks me that this character has no nuance or restraint. She could be so much stronger than this without feeling like a cartoon. It’s frustrating how much of a caricature she is.
I literally cringed when she asked Paul and his wife if she could rub eggs on them, and it took everything in me not to walk out of the room during yet another description about her past lives, marriages, and lovers randomly and confoundingly tossed into her latest update on a case.
You’re killin’ me, Smalls!
Everything Kemi says and does is so gimmicky it grates.
But she’s also the person who often feels like she does most of the heavy lifting on a case. But at least during this one, it was all hands on deck, and Nikki and J weren’t too distracted by Keith.
Although, it was a bit of an unusual choice to have Nikki so sex-starved and horny that she managed to talk Mike into a quickie in the evidence room in the middle of a case involving two missing girls connected to sexual exploitation.
No, Nikki and Mike didn’t know all the details on the sex part at the time, but from a writing perspective, it felt off to have these two storylines operating within the same installment.
But Nikki’s unapologetic sexuality could’ve coincided with an hour about women and agency, and maybe it was their way of connecting Nikki to the bold, feministic Zoey.
It also was another way that they could remind us that even though Nikki and Mike are on pause, she still wants to be with him.
After all, it can get confusing sometimes. One of the downsides to all of them working together these days is that Mike has a front-row seat to Nikki and Jason’s dynamic.
Mike doesn’t have any space where he’s not reminded of who Nikki and Jason are to each other, which can suck.
Nikki has taken to pairing up with Jason all the time during cases, so even Mike’s role as Nikki’s work partner is nonexistent these days.
She also dismisses many of his concerns, ideas, and input. And she typically does that in favor of Jason or excuses some of his behavior and approaches.
On top of that, Mike has to watch the two of them comfort each other so openly in front of everyone all the time or carry on as if they’re each other’s better half.
Jason’s comment about getting his family back further fueled the fire and added to Mike’s insecurities at work and in his relationship with Nikki.
He suspects that Jason wants his full family back and perfectly intact the way things were before, and he’s not entirely sure Nikki doesn’t want that either.
But then, to make things worse, Nikki approached him like a married woman indulging in a fling rather than the woman who was or is supposed to be his fiancee.
He was so vulnerable with her when he shared the story about the married woman he loved before and the peaches. Nikki’s gesture at the end was a nice one.
It was her way of promising their day would come, and she wasn’t pulling his leg. Once they got past this hurdle with Keith, she and Mike would be back on track.
But it doesn’t feel like that’s going to be the truth. And that genuinely sucks for Mike.
Now, it’s not even Jason that’ll preoccupy Nikki’s mind but rather Keith or this kid who is posing as him.
In so many ways, it’s puzzling why two professionals are handling this Keith situation so poorly.
When it comes to Sidney, her opinion and feelings should matter. Nikki’s opposition to Sidney wanting a lock on her door and some boundaries was frustrating.
Sidney isn’t unreasonable for being uncomfortable. Even if everything was on the up with Keith, she deserves the ability to process at her own pace and establish some boundaries for her mental health.
It shouldn’t solely be about sympathizing with Keith and making him feel welcome. And it sure as heck shouldn’t be a matter of acting like over half a decade hasn’t gone by, and things could simply go back to normal.
And even if Keith was who he said he was, thrusting him back into life without providing enough of an adjustment period is strange.
It’s also bizarre not to have him actively in therapy often and to walk through some of his experiences.
Nikki freaks out anytime anyone asks Keith a question about his abductor or works toward finding out the truth about where he’s been. These are professionals with Keith’s best interest at heart and a desire to get justice.
It’s irrational and unsensible that she stalls anything that could resolve this mystery.
Running DNA should’ve been the first thing they did, right? How do you let a troubled teen into your home and not prepare yourself for the challenges he may face, and you and the family will too?
They finally took some measures to test Keith to figure out what his placement would be in school. And the end result was that he was brilliant.
Sidney: You may be able to fool everyone else, but you can’t fool me.
Keith: Sid, please. I’m your brother.
Sidney: My brother is dead.
They were anticipating that an average middle schooler who went missing would be behind and what we learned is that he’s leaning toward advanced for his current age.
Imposter Keith chalked it up to reading a lot while he was away, but it’s raising more red flags, as it should.
His comprehension of Beowulf and choice of character analysis in a way to win over Sidney was intense.
The interactions between Keith and Sidney were among the highlights of this installment. I love watching these two supposed siblings navigating around each other.
Keith is very much aware of how Sidney feels about him, and he wants to minimize her suspicions and even imply that she is trying to tear the family apart with them.
He attempted these gestures by writing her paper for her and other things to get on her good side, but there has to come a time when he’ll stop trying to impress or win her and opt for something else entirely.
Sidney implied that Imposter Keith is a monster. And she also seems resigned to the fact that her real brother is dead. And this makes you wonder what she knew about that night and why she’s convinced Keith is gone.
At least now, she has an ally in Nikki. Sidney’s constant resistance was probably a significant factor in raising Nikki’s suspicions.
But there comes a time when she can’t excuse all the weird things. The results from his placement test were a huge red flag and one she couldn’t come up with an explanation for there.
She and Sidney are united right now in their suspicions, but Jason is the one who seems adamant that this is their child.
Something tells me that the DNA test may be a match, though. The one thing about having Keith as an adopted child is that his DNA will never match Nikki and Jason.
But it also means that they probably don’t know as much as they may have thought about Keith’s life. What if Keith is a twin, and that’s who the imposter is?
Nikki: I can explain.
Sidney: Thank you for believing me!
It would be a great way to add to the confusion and draw out the mystery. Identical twins have identical DNA.
Imposter Keith is invested enough in this ruse, and we still don’t know anything about his motivations. But what if it’s as simple as wanting the type of family he never got to experience?
I’d love to hear all of your theories and responses in the comments below, Alert Fanatics!
You can watch Alert: Missing Persons Unit online here via TV Fanatic.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.