Tracker Season 1 Episode 9 Review: Aurora

Spoilers

Colter found himself in a rather odd search during Tracker Season 1 Episode 9.

This one saw him visiting an abandoned hospital, sitting down with a convicted killer, and once again questioning the impact the traumas from his childhood continue to have on him.

I’d say it was a typical day for Colter overall, but this one differed from most of his past cases.

Tracker has a vast canvas to work with as Colter traverses the continental United States to chase his rewards, but aside from switching up the locations, they also can get creative in the kinds of cases he works.

In Tracker Season 1, we’ve already seen him on the hunt for missing teens, an adult indoctrinated into a cult, a man being held against his will, and a witness to a heinous crime.

Digging Into Facts - Tracker Season 1 Episode 9

And this variety of intriguing cases of the week has made Tracker a hit with viewers.

During this hour, they tapped into something completely new by introducing a supernatural element to the mystery of a missing teen, and you guessed it, Colter was far from convinced a ghost had anything to do with her disappearance.

Detective Brock: You afraid of ghosts?
Colter: Nah. Too much of a cynic. Besides, with all the bad people in the world, who has time for ghosts?

Colter’s an open-minded individual but also a cynic. He even said it during this hour, and you can see it in how he approaches his job and life.

Though cynics are often considered negative, Colter’s more of a realist than an outright hater.

When Colter got called to Aurora, Vermont, teen Lana had already been missing for three years, and not only had the case run cold, but it seemed her sweet father was the only one still looking for her.

Colter Looks Around - Tracker Season 1 Episode 9

I’m enjoying the recent trend of Colter working alongside law enforcement who are helpful, not intimidated by him, or seemingly working against him.

Detective Brock was as helpful as she could be, even skirting the rules at times to help Colter get to the bottom of a mystery that haunted her to the point it caused upheaval in her personal life.

On the surface, it certainly seemed like this would be a case that ended in tragedy. How often do we hear on the variety of crime shows populating the universe that the first 48 hours or so after a disappearance are the most crucial?

The chances of a positive outcome after someone has been missing for three years are relatively low, and Colter was firmly aware of that, but he felt he owed it to Mr. Russo to get him some closure at the very least.

Colter sometimes does some unconventional things on his quest to find people, and when he first went to the abandoned mental hospital, I wasn’t even sure what he was looking for exactly.

Colter Takes On a New Case - Tracker Season 1 Episode 9

The chances of finding evidence after three long years were next to zero, but Colter was mainly going there to take a walk in her shoes and get a feel for what Lana may have been going through in the days leading up to her disappearance.

And that’s something that sets him apart from others.

To say that hospital was a creep-fest is an understatement, and I was on edge the whole time Colter was walking around there, even if it was the middle of the day.

Luckily, his mini-tour was interrupted, and he got the biggest break when he and Detective Brock discovered that the girl in the newspaper Mr. Russo swore was Lana was, in fact, Lana.

That’s the kind of break you need in a cold case to get the ball rolling, and that information invigorated Colter and Brock.

Going Over Facts - Tracker Season 1 Episode 9

I’ve said this before, and I’ll repeat it here. Tracker tends to get complex in its storytelling, but that could also be because they try to cram a lot into the hour they have.

There’s usually a red herring or two, but here, we had the threat of a ghost one second and then an actual convicted killer, and it was not even remotely clear how everything would connect.

Ever the realist, Colter was not at all convinced that a witch had anything to do with Jamie’s death or Lana’s disappearance. Still, he heard Toby out when he told him what he thought and showed a level of compassion that I’m sure Toby never felt when he told other people his story.

Whether you believe in spirits and the supernatural or not, is it your place to tell someone who does they’re wrong to believe that?

Toby, Jamie, and Lana, for that matter, believed, and their final trip to the abandoned hospital yielded the clue that blew everything wide open.

Colter's In Town - Tracker Season 1 Episode 3

There was an air of creepiness that followed this whole hour, and the atmosphere was genuinely eerie, which isn’t exactly the norm for a procedural.

It’s not as if it was scary or there were jumpscares or anything, but it was just unsettling. Finding Richard and then learning that he saw Lana the night she vanished was disturbing.

As was finding out the possible connection between Lana and a murdered teenager from many years ago.

This was where I struggled to see where everything was headed because time was running out, and they were no closer to finding Lana. And how was a killer who was already locked away three years ago going to help things?

Errol was lying. And it is evident to Colter (and the audience) in the way he didn’t seem at all curious about Colter’s motives. Usually, if someone comes sniffing around and you genuinely don’t know what they’re talking about, you’ll make that clear while also trying to figure out what exactly they’re trying to get at.

Dark Spaces - Tracker Season 1 Episode 9

That wasn’t Errol. He was sticking to the same talking points until he slipped up.

Maeve: You have no idea what it’s like to answer for the sins of your family.
Colter: Actually, I do.

Look, how this all ended up with Errol’s sister being the killer/kidnapper, I don’t know. It was so random that when Colter went to that lady’s house, all I could think about was how this woman would help Colter get his next lead when there was so little time left.

But then he spotted that tote bag and string.

Question for the audience: do you like it when the clues align and you can figure things out without an information dump? Or do you like a surprise reveal and an information dump to tie everything together?

The blood drive bag and the string made it rather obvious that Maeve took Lana, and then Colter did what Colter does, and he saved the day.

Taking A Call - Tracker Season 1 Episode 7

But how did we get from the Harkwood Witch to that basement?

Brock came in with all the info in a thirty-second episode tie-up that was necessary and appreciated, but I can’t help but wonder if there was a way better way to weave things together so we could have figured it out without it having to be spelled out for us.

Maybe there wasn’t a better way, but I’ll still wonder.

Colter did his Colter thing, and he once again found himself thinking about his family and his past, which are on a collision course this season and probably heading into Tracker Season 2 as well.

Investigation Time - Tracker Season 1 Episode 9

Colter’s been avoiding the questions that have plagued him for half his life, but things will have to come to a head at some point. Hopefully, it’s sooner than later, for the show’s sake.

I love a slow burn as much as the next person (well, maybe not love, but I’ll allow it if done correctly), but this one has stalled and needs to be restarted before the audience loses interest.

Tracker Notes

  • Two weeks in a row with no Reenie. I’m keeping track of this with an angry scowl on my face.
  • Perhaps I missed it, but if Maeve was behind everything, then how did Toby get hurt that night at the hospital?
Making His Calls - Tracker Season 1 Episode 8
  • Why did Maeve even let Colter into her home?
  • I liked Detective Brock; she and Colter had great chemistry in how they interacted and worked together. For someone who, in general, is so guarded, Colter so easily opens up about his family to those he feels a kinship or comfortability with.
  • Will we see Colter in the same place as Velma and Teddi this season? Place your bets!
  • I continue to love the little wrap-up scenes where Colter gets paid or says a kind goodbye to the people who hired him. It’s just a real human moment and a nice way to close out each individual case.

That was a different kind of hour, but still one that was entertaining. Let me know all your thoughts in the comments, including whether or not you’re still invested in the Shaw Family drama! 

Whitney Evans is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. She is a lover of all things TV. Follow her on X.

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