Alert: Missing Persons Unit Season 2 Episode 3 Review: Gemma & Isabel

What is Hollis Braun hiding?

The MPU’s antagonist is actually and potentially an all-around antagonist of the final moments of Alert: Missing Persons Unit Season 2 Episode 3 is any indication.

At the forefront of the hour, we had the MPU investigating the disappearance of a pregnant woman who was supposed to be giving her daughter up for adoption.

Wedding Bells Ring - Alert: Missing Persons Unit Season 2 Episode 3

However, there were a lot of work moves beneath the surface that suggested that Braun is the MPU’s chess master and that he has a larger plan in mind.

Life is going well for Nikki Batista and Mike, which was evident by the release of their wedding invitations.

Helping an Adoptive Mom - Tall - Alert: Missing Persons Unit Season 2 Episode 3

Is there a hint of some possible friction down the road regarding children?

Let’s start this review by asking: Does Nikki feel sidelined within her own series?

Considering how strong of an opening she had during Alert: Missing Persons Season 1 Episode 1, it was surprising that she had such a muted presence during Alert Missing Persons Season 2 Episode 1.

And we’ve since got this peek into her background and more intel about her during Alert: Missing Persons Season 2 Episode 2.

Finding a Missing Mom-to-Be - Alert: Missing Persons Unit Season 2 Episode 3

However, this installment had her taking the backseat a bit again, and it generally feels as if, with the plethora of changes the MPU is undergoing, Nikki is tied to the dest more than anything else.

When you consider what Alert: MPU is at a procedural, Nikki is and should be our Olivia Benson.

But as arresting (pun totally intended) as Dania Ramirez is, it so far feels as if she’s disappeared in this season.

It’s unfortunate, as we’ve had to set her to the side more so that Jay and Mike’s odd couple partnership could take front and center more.

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And it’s one of many changes in the series that has disrupted the equilibrium.

Nikki and Jay were at the heart and soul of the series during Alert: Missing Persons Unit Season 1, and now, Jay and Mike are serving those respective roles for the sophomore season.

And there’s nothing wrong with the burgeoning bromance, of course. One thing the season has done well is expand Mike Sherman’s role and round him out more.

And with his particular brand of humor, mesmerizing eyes, and perfect hair, a girl isn’t complaining about that.

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But there’s a notable imbalance here that’s making this season feel off, and the heart of that is the series’ trio stalling and tipping heavily into one point rather than any of the others.

Mike and Jay are a good duo. They feed off one another well, and the constant banter between them (while try-hard) often lands with the humor.

Mike: This place smells like a jockstrap.
Jay: that’s soul you’re smelling.

The two have this tension as well. They both care about Nikki, but it looks different for both of them, especially when they’re working on cases.

Jay isn’t afraid to break the rules and do whatever he feels necessary, consequences be damned, to find a person and close a case.

Philly's Finest - Alert: Missing Persons Unit Season 2 Episode 3

And Mike plays things safer, with his primary motivation tending to be not wanting to rock the boat or make Nikki’s job harder, especially as they face more scrutiny.

In some ways, they have these methods.

Related: Alert: Missing Persons Unit Review: Benjamin Franklin

Mike has a better understanding, due to his own experience, of navigating the field as a man of color, which makes him both sympathetic and empathetic to the uphill battle Nikki faces.

He can immediately see the picture in a way Jay doesn’t. Jay has the luxury of running rogue and roughshod without considering the ramifications as much.

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But he may have met his match with Hollis Braun, who has his sights set on Jason Grant and doesn’t hesitate to throw out threats with a smile.

Braun’s delivery of some of the menacing threats he makes under the cool, calm, collective stature of someone with a lot of power makes him a fascinating antagonist.

Jay: How can I help?
Braun: It’s more how I can help you. More specifically how I can help you help Captain Batista. She’s doing good work here, but there’s only one thing standing in her way, and that’s you.

It’s more than meets the eye when it comes to him, and he’s had an intriguing reaction to the Bus case and the subsequent car bomb that happened after it.

Something has been off about him, and this installment confirms it. We know that the person who was behind that ransom bombing situation wasn’t found, and it’s been much bigger than what we believed.

Hollis Braun - tall - Alert: Missing Persons Unit Season 2 Episode 1

And the death of a fixer implies some more powerful people don’t want to be found out. Braun has to be in bed with someone with power, and now, it’s his job to line up his pieces and make moves on the chess board without the MPU realizing they’re pawns.

It explains why he’s the most wary of Jason Grant, the epitome of a wild card.

He doesn’t want Jay to look into this car bombing because he knows that, like a dog with a bone, he won’t stop until he finds the truth.

But it’s also fascinating how Braun speaks about Nikki. His praise and platitudes feel fake, and he doesn’t hesitate to threaten her in a way, too.

Past Unraveled - Tall - Alert: Missing Persons Unit Season 2 Episode 2

He makes it seem like she has an exceptionally high bar to maintain, and he needs her to meet his expectations regarding that, or everything will fall apart.

I don’t know if he is setting Nikki up to be a patsy when something happens or he expects her to cover up what he’s doing, but Braun’s obsession with her and keeping her in line is alarming.

What does Hollis Braun not want me to see?


It doesn’t come from a genuine place at all.

He can bend to her will when he feels like it, though, which is how things played out.

New Boss - Tall - Alert: Missing Persons Unit Season 2 Episode 1

On paper, the MPU shouldn’t have taken it because they had no reason to issue an alert for a woman who walked off alone.

It was such overreach, and yes, Nikki was being too emotional about it because she connected with Charlotte.

Related: Alert Missing Persons Unit Review: Bus 447

Meanwhile, Braun’s reasoning for approving the alert gave off sanctimonious political undertones, tipping the scales as applied to the job.

He mentioned how hard it was for him to have a child and emphasized the importance of finding this unborn child, with her serving as the priority, not the “human incubator” who went missing.

Reining Jason In - Alert: Missing Persons Unit Season 2 Episode 3

The issue with them taking this case in the first place is that Gemma had a right to back out of her adoption deal, and while that’s not what she was doing, no one at the MPU nor David and Charlotte knew that for sure.

A lot was placed on this belief that Gemma didn’t want to risk Isbael’s life knowing she was supposed to have a C-Section, and that wasn’t enough to be a convincing argument.

I’m not doing this for Isabel. I’m doing it for Gemma. What she did, it saved my life. So I will save hers.


It also sucked that Mike was treated as if he was the bad guy for trying to consider all angles of this case, including the theory that David had something to do with it.

While it was evident that Mike’s assessment of David hovered on judgment because he fixated on him and showed some ignorance of the pursuit of fatherhood via adoption, he also wasn’t wrong for presenting theories.

Searching for Franklin -tall - Alert: Missing Persons Unit Season 2 Episode 2

It looked shady that David was paying Gemma throughout the whole pregnancy. His reasoning made sense once he explained it, but it raised some flags.

Things got convoluted when it came to Gemma and Dante. For a while, it still seemed like she was working alongside him, with the only indication that she wasn’t serving as her requesting an angel shot at a diner.

Related: Grey’s Anatomy Round Table: Bailey Brings Back her Five Rules in Nostalgic Premiere

As a side note, I’m used to Angel shots at bars and clubs, but I’ve never heard of anyone mentioning them in diners or similar venues. It’s a good thing somewhere there; they knew what she meant.

Things escalated terribly with Dante, and we had a red herring with Marvin.

Kemi's Intensity - tall - Alert: Missing Persons Unit Season 2 Episode 3

But in the end, everything returned to Dante trying to get from beneath some debt over a fixed boxing match.

Fortunately, even with all the action during the back half of the installment, Gemma delivered Isabel without much issue, even if it was in some dingy apartment.

In what world does Michael B. Jordan beat Carl Weathers? It just doesn’t happen!


The almost archaic scene of the men waiting outside until they heard good news about Isabel’s birth inspired something in Mike.

It sounds like he wants to consider a family of their own, with Keith gone and Sid away.

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Nikki sounds like she’s experiencing the empty nest syndrome, which is customary, but she also didn’t seem as invested in the idea of pursuing adoption again.

She made it seem like it’s something they can revisit after their wedding, but there’s uncertainty there that’s hard to explain.

Related: How Amanda Rollins’ Return on SVU Could Help Balance Benson’s Obsessive Need to Help

Some of it may have to do with her mixed-up feelings regarding Jason and Wayne.

It’s evident that it bothers her that the two of them are close, and she doesn’t know how to behave when it comes to those feelings because she doesn’t “have a right” to have him as a woman headed down the aisle.

Unshakeable Bond -tall - Alert: Missing Persons Unit Season 1 Episode 10

We still get those little hints of the chemistry between her and Jason and their complex relationship, but it’s primarily gone unaddressed as both head in different directions.

Interestingly, it doesn’t seem like Jason is ready to move on and have a real, healthy relationship.

Mike: Maybe we should consider it. Do we start down that path; start our own cycle?
Nikki: I don’t know. Maybe we should start with the wedding and then we go from there.

Wayne is calling him out on that while simultaneously making moves on him, and he keeps shutting her down.

Perhaps he wants to avoid making the same mistakes he did with his ex-fiancee.

Working With Mike -tall - Alert: Missing Persons Unit Season 2 Episode 2

The sexual chemistry we’re supposed to feel between Jason and Wayne isn’t convincing.

But she’s at least entertaining when she’s interacting with Kemi. Until we meet Kemi’s mysterious beau, it’s a great Kemi dynamic to explore.

Over to you, Alert Fanatics. Did you enjoy this case? Are you shipping Wayne and Jason? What did you make of Nikki’s response to more kids?

Sound off below.

Alert: MPU airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on FOX. You can stream the following day on Hulu.

Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. She is an insomniac who spends late nights and early mornings binge-watching way too many shows and binge-drinking way too much tea. Her eclectic taste makes her an unpredictable viewer with an appreciation for complex characters, diverse representation, dynamic duos, compelling stories, and guilty pleasures. You’ll definitely find her obsessively live-tweeting, waxing poetic, and chatting up fellow Fanatics and readers. Follow her on X.

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