Found introduced a disturbing plot point in episode 2, “Missing While Sinning,” as Gabi shaved Sir in repayment for helping her find Jinny. He’d told her that she’d neglected to mention a very important gift he had given her on the first anniversary of her abduction. Bella, who now goes by Lacey, was brought to Gabi as a present. That piece of information shocked Gabi and it became a central part of the storytelling in episode 3, “Missing While Widowed,” as she sought to remember what exactly happened.
Sir told Gabi that he kidnapped Bella because she’d asked for a companion. Gabi denied this, that she would never do such a thing. But Sir assured her that she had. He retold the moment, sharing that she’d been off during day 358 of their time together. They were listening to “Come Fly with Me” by Frank Sinatra (which is supposedly “their song”), and he’d offered to get her a friend. After an incredibly short window to decide, Gabi blurted that she would like a companion.
For the rest of the episode, Gabi kept her distance from Lacey as she tried to figure out whether or not she’d been told the truth or if she was being manipulated. Avoidance, however, wasn’t providing her with answers so she asked Margaret how she could go about recovering a memory from 20 years ago. Margaret explained that you have to recreate the moment. That’s how she’s keeps the memory of her son Jamie’s abduction alive in her mind. It’s also why she goes to the bus station every night so that she doesn’t forget every detail about that day.
Did Gabi ask for someone to be abducted on NBC’s Found?
Due to her memory being impacted by Sir’s story, Gabi decided to finally talk to Lacey. She asked her to tell her how she appeared that day, whether it seemed like she knew she was coming or was excited to see her. Lacey provided the reassurance Gabi needed. She shared that she remembers Gabi being surprised but immediately leaping into action to take care of her.
Based on the writing in “Missing While Widowed,” we’re meant to believe that this was the true sequence of events. This is confirmed when Gabi confronts Sir and he admits that he was manipulating her to see if he could. The tactic he used to do this is called memory implantation, it’s a technique in cognitive psychology used to make people remember something that never actually happened.
Fans of The Irrational will remember Dr. Alec Mercer used this technique on his students in the series premiere while working through a case where the suspect had been manipulated by his sponsor into believing he’d killed his ex-girlfriend. But I would caution taking Gabi’s recovered memory at face value. The heartbreaking New Amsterdam season 4 episode, “This Be the Verse,” showed how memory can be tricky.
In the episode, Helen learned that the recovered memory of her father abandoning her as a child wasn’t as clear cut as she thought. It’d hadn’t been raining that day and her necklace broke because her father was trying to hold onto her while her mother was yanking her away. The revelation devastated her because of the years she lost with her father that she couldn’t get back because he’d passed before they were able to reconcile. Had she retained the full scope of that memory rather than an incorrect version of events her mind had conjured up, she likely would have accepted her father’s attempts to be in her life again.
As for Gabi, she’s standing strong in the conviction that she hadn’t shown weakness and a brief disregard for the safety of someone else. But it’s possible she could have, or some version of what Sir said is true. We know that she was lonely, she admitted as much on the first anniversary of her abduction, that’s why she wanted to call her father.
We also know that Lacey is loyal and devoted to Gabi, she’s also significantly younger than her and has more than a tad of hero worship toward her because she got them away from Sir. Not to mention, Lacey isn’t privy to the conversations Gabi and Sir had prior to her arrival. And it’s doubtful that Sir chose to manipulate Gabi on a whim or because he was bored, there has to be a plan he’s hatching and it seems to be built around getting Gabi to see their relationship as being between equals of like-mind and thought.
The plot of Found keeps twisting. I wouldn’t be surprised if this implanted memory turns out to have a grain of truth to it that later affects Gabi’s sense of self and Lacey’s idea of who she is. After all, her hiding the fact that she has Sir in her basement is already going to fracture their relationship irreparably once it’s revealed. That’s going to be a heart-wrenching moment on the series.
In the meantime, Gabi gets to revel in her punishment of Sir for his manipulation by taking his precious library from him. If you noticed during Found episode 3, he was reading “Allegory of the Cave” by Plato and “The Crucible” by Arthur Miller. Both classic works deal with perception and reality. They’re perfect literary symbols for the struggle at the heart of “Missing While Widowed,” because of the memory implantation and because Gabi’s sense of self rests on the idea that she is nothing like Sir, that she’s the hero of her own personal story, and that the morally grey decisions she’s made are based on helping others not selfishly soothing herself.
Though to be fair, if Gabi at 16 had a moment of weakness and asked for a friend, the blame for Bella’s abduction still lies squarely on Sir’s doorstep and not hers. He could have gotten her a fish, a turtle, some kind of animal companion that’s not difficult to take care of, he chose instead to kidnap a child. That is not Gabi’s burden to carry, it is solely his.
Stay tuned to Hidden Remote for more Found news and coverage!