In some ways, this scene is more disquieting to me than Ferris’ death and dismemberment itself. We see death rendered in media all the time. One can’t help but get a little desensitized to images of corpses after playing a first-person shooter, and reading DC Comics in the 2000s was sufficient to get me bored with scenes of hacking off arms. But thinking about the subject from a fresh angle–what would happen to your house if you vanished at work? How long would the light that you absentmindedly left on that morning keep burning, how long would they deliver your periodicals?–it forces me to contemplate the reality of being gone, and the existential terror that implies. It’s the sort of shudder we could only produce by following the grounded approach we’ve taken in Shanna’s arc.

Some of her dry humor helps keep the moment from getting too dark. Her last line is typical cynicism, but it’s also fun to see her plan out a little role-playing of her own (in the name of journalism, of course). She’s even worked out a sort of catchphrase for Felinda (“That’d be greaaat” a la Office Space, but with a more cheerleader-y tone), which, sadly, she won’t get to use again.

Ferris more or less lived for his work. Lots of hours, probably a long commute. No romantic prospects. Maybe some living relatives, but nobody he called all that often. So it’s depressingly believable that he could vanish for a week or longer without his few acquaintances or family noticing or the law getting involved. It took at least that long for my wife and me to realize that her father had passed; he was prone to “hibernation” in the winter.

The Five weren’t all quite so easy to disappear, as we will see. But combined with Hurricane’s restrictive NDA, that kind of disconnected, low-footprint lifestyle is one reason I find it believable that Shanna, rather than a police detective, is the one who has to put these jigsaw pieces together. And with the state of local journalism in America today, she can forget about getting any backup.