If you have NOT watched this movie: my advice, pay close attention to details- then read this review.
Many people are not understanding that the point of this series was meant to be open-ended. The ending of Amber seems to irritate those who are used to media productions concluding with all the answers spelled out, wrapped up in a nice box; but, life doesn't always work out that way!
This series is not a murder mystery, or a traditional thriller- it's an emotional drama.This series focused on the family and friends of Amber, how they each dealt with her disappearance, and how it affected their lives; which is further promoted by the episode titles and repetitive scenes from different POV. What I really enjoyed was the 'butterfly effect,' we saw how Amber's disappearance impacted the lives of strangers and how these strangers impacted Amber's case (ex: Charlie and his family, the volunteer who's child tossed the phone, the pickpocket, Terrance, etc.).
Were you paying attention? Okay, here's my take:
Personally, while watching the series, I didn't expect her to return. Amber meets with Magna_Boy24, he shows her to the store which sells the black-lights, she buys the lamp and heads home. On her way, she rejects a call from 'Mum.' A man bumps into Amber (episode 3 @1:56 & @46:09) as she walks down the street, just after she rejects the call. He is an experienced pickpocket; he lifted her cell phone and sells it to Charlie, along with a handful of other phones, (episode 3 @ 3:00). The pickpocket is the man in prison with Terence. The pickpocket gives Terrance the cell while serving his meal. The images of Amber's room, mermaids, 'daughters of the air,' and other personal info was on her phone- the pickpocket 'bragged' to Terrance. Conclusion: The phone itself, Terrance, the man, and Charlie are all dead ends. Amber is on the train and realizes her cell is gone (episode 3 @ 47:24).
This is where you know for sure that the repetitive scenes are important to the story, and use these clues to form your own opinion as to what happened to Amber. I think she got off the train to turn around and search for her phone. People have their lives on their cell phones today-- when we lose our phone our instinct is to try our best to find it-- this was a mistake for Amber. Her parents can replace a cell- not a child (moral lesson for children). In conclusion, just like life, we don't always get the answers we seek. What happened to Amber? Something tragic... obviously.
If you have experience in media analysis, there are some water imagery clues (according to production) which indicate that Amber is dead. Possible clues could reference the consistent 'mermaid' messages, 'daughters of the air' meaning, as well as a focus on Amber's bedroom being a 'hidden' underwater theme and is self described as her 'grand design.' Further, Terrance, the character in prison, has a poster of a lake hanging on his cell wall and it's raining in the scene when his true crime is revealed (auto accident with teen girl). Also, there's a scene where the black-light lamp (bought by Amber in town) was found at the bottom of the lake. As the team searched the water, viewers were shown the 'missing' flyers with Amber's image. These flyers are shown underwater several times in the series and the image of Amber's face is covered with something unknown, which could reference blood splatter (Episode 3@14:48).
Enjoy the series! For those of you who've watched- what clues did you find?