This week Amber West and I review two new 2012 midseason replacements starring two of Hollywood’s biggest stars on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday — Fox’s Touch, starring Kiefer Sutherland, and ABC’s Missing, starring Ashley Judd.
What would you do if your child went missing while studying abroad?
This frightening situation is the premise behind ABC’s new drama Missing.
The series begins with Becca Winstone (Ashley Judd) as she witnesses, or overhears really, an explosion that kills her husband (CIA Agent Paul Winstone, played by Sean Bean from Game of Thrones) while talking to her son, Michael, on the telephone.
Missing then fast forwards ten years when a now eighteen year old Michael (played by Nick Eversman) informs his mother that he has been accepted to an architectural summer program in Rome. Becca’s hesitant at first, considering Venice is where her husband was murdered, but agrees to Michael’s study abroad opportunity.
The two only have each other, and they share a very close relationship as apparent with their secret “I love you” code — 235@W’ — “23” is Michael’s soccer number; “5” because the heart is the 5th largest organ in the body; and “@W’” because Becca is the head of the Winstone household, thus making her Winstone Prime.
A little while into Michael’s trip, all texts and calls stop. Making her worry even more, Becca receives a phone call from the architectural program that Michael has missed multiple courses and has since been withdrawn from school. Becca decides to do what any mother would do — she takes it upon herself to travel to Rome to search for any leads and clues into her son’s disappearance.
Becca first visits Michael’s apartment where she discovers spoiled food on the table and his cell phone plugged into the wall charger. What teenager goes anywhere without his or her cell phone? She’s reading his outgoing call history when she is interrupted by a man with a gun. A struggle ensues, but Becca kicks some serious booty, grabs his gun, and flees from the window after she hears the Italian police.
How in the world can a soccer mom (literally, she’s a soccer mom) and flower shop owner disarm and kill a man so effortlessly? Well she has bruises, but still. Because like her deceased husband, Becca is a retired CIA agent (she retired following her husband’s death).
While on the run, Becca reaches out to an old ally (Giancarlo Rossi, played by Swept Away’s Adriano Giannini) who informs her that the man she just killed in her son’s apartment is former Italian intelligence. This just keeps getting worse…
Becca manages to track down Francesca, one of the most dialed phone numbers on Michael’s cell phone, at her place of employment (a nightclub). Francesca admits to seeing Michael the day he disappeared and sends Becca to a soccer bar hangout where Michael likes to frequent. Once there, Becca runs into two more men with guns. She escapes by stealing a moped and drives back to the nightclub where she finds Francesca murdered. This just keeps getting worse…
While resting at Giancarlo’s, Becca continues to study Michael’s phone and from a photograph discovers a surveillance camera out on the street behind her son’s apartment. She tracks across town, breaks in, disables the security alarm, and hacks into the video footage of the day her son disappeared (she knows Thursday was the last day Francesca saw him alive). Becca watches the surveillance as two men grab Michael and throw him into the back of a black van with French plates. A mother’s worst fears realized…
Becca returns to Giancarlo’s where the two discover the black van is registered to a warehouse in France. Becca’s next stop — Paris.
**Missing was filmed on location in Europe (eight different cities, I believe) — the settings are real, not studio CGI imagery.**
In the meantime, viewers meet the Italian based CIA operatives who are now hot on the trail of Becca, led by Agent Dax Miller (Cliff Curtis, Trauma). These agents have access to Becca’s CIA file, but learn very little because of the size of said file — “the thinner the file, the better the agent.”
Becca is “persona non grata” in France, and the CIA must intercept her before she crosses the border. They send in a team who singles her out, and a fight ensues (yes, another fight). Despite Becca’s phenomenal fight skills, the agents subdue her.
While in CIA custody, Becca somehow manages to befriend Agent Miller and he allows her three hours in France to do what she needs to do. She immediately tracks down the warehouse and finds evidence that her son was indeed held prisoner in this location from his wall etchings — 235@W’.
Becca’s visit to the warehouse is interrupted by a guard, who she disarms and incapacitates before going about her business searching for any clues or evidence as to where Michael might be being held now. She discovers a package of surveillance photos in a desk drawer — photos of her son since he was a small boy. Finished at this location, Becca picks up a phone and dials the CIA requesting Agent Miller. She lays the receiver down, allowing a trace.
Obviously she’s not completely against working with the CIA, but she has her own mission to worry about. Nothing will stop her from finding her son. Seems like the kidnappers picked the wrong woman to mess with…
The pilot ends with Becca walking along the streets of Paris studying the photographs from the warehouse. Once again she is being followed and is shot in the shoulder, causing her to fall over a bridge and into a body of water. This just keeps getting worse…
Only two episodes of Missing have aired to date, and the action does not slow down. Becca is a woman on a mission, comparable to a female Jack Bauer. Seriously.
Missing was a television series that my guy wasn’t all that interested in. He thought it was just going to be another one of my mysteries that I can’t live without, so he declared Missing as one I could watch without him — we have his, hers, and ours programs. After telling him all about the action in the first two episodes, he now wants to check it out.
But because only two episodes have aired, I must award Missing with the SSTV rating. Not only do I like Ashley Judd (I can watch Double Jeopardy and High Crimes over and over again), but the non-stop action and actual European filming adds heat to the already rapidly boiling water. It may not take many more episodes for Missing to be upgraded to the MacTV rating, but we’ll see…
What do you think? Have you caught an episode of Missing? Does Becca remind you of a female Jack Bauer? I’d love to hear from you!
Now click over to Amber’s blog and see what she thinks about Kiefer’s new series, Touch. And speaking of Jack Bauer, will Kiefer be able to shake his popular 24 personality we’ve all grown to love over the years with his new role?
Come back next week when Amber and I review something…
Remember to stop by the #watchwed hashtag in Twitter to discuss any of today’s reviews, or to mention any television programs that you’d like to see on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday in the future.
A Recap of The WatchWed Review System:
GTV (Gourmet TV): Everything we want and more
MacTV (MacNCheese TV): Guilty pleasure. Not perfect, but is satisfies
GMacTV (Gourmet MacNCheese TV): A combination of fine wine and comfort food
JFTV (Junk food TV): It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds
TBPTV (Twice Baked Potato TV): Part gourmet and delicious, while absolutely horrible for our cholesterol
SSTV (Still Simmering TV): It has potential, but the jury is still out
NIV (Nyquil Induced Viewing): Perfect for that late night television sleep timer
LOTV (Liver&Onions TV): Do we really have to explain? Blech