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Missing: Pilot

“I am not a CIA agent. I am a MOTHER looking for her son!”

That had to have been one of the most entertaining yet horribly written pilots I've seen in my life. So many things just felt off about this hour and yet, I couldn’t stop watching. And hey, I didn’t check my watch once so there’s definitely something here.

First off, the dialogue was atrocious. Seriously who writes this stuff? It literally felt like it was written by a two year old. And the editing! My lord it just felt so choppy and cheap. And let's not even comment on the green screen work particularly during the motorcycle chase as it was an utter embarrassment.

However, amidst all of these flaws, this was a surprisingly engaging pilot. It wasted absolutely no time and moved at a blisteringly fast pace. And that's not all it had going for it; I love that it was shot on location in Europe. That kind of authenticity is refreshing and adds some wonderful visual touches to the proceedings.

And can we please discuss Ashley Judd for a moment? She’s an absolutely wonderful lead. Yes she had a few off-moments in the pilot but that was obviously due to the fact that she didn't really have a script to work with. Each of her breakdown moments were splendid and appropriately tug at my heartstrings. In addition, she was phenomenal during the action scenes as I was pleasantly surprised by the pilot's numerous fight sequences.

It's just a shame that the script isn't stronger because the premise is a good one. Yes while the idea of a mother searching for her son is cliche and generic, it's also one that undoubtedly WORKS on a primal level. It's a premise that inherently hooks you and makes you root for Becca. And I think that's why I'll be sticking around with this show. If the remaining 9 episodes move at a similarly fast and exciting pace, then I’ll definitely be willing to overlook the forced dialogue and abundances of contrivances. I hope.

Missing Pieces:

-- Am I total freak for noticing the insanely obvious stand-in running instead of Ashley Judd in the wide shots? It just feels to cheaply edited.

-- The car bomb was suitably shocking and straight to the point. I’m hooked.

-- The “secret code” used by Becca’s son is pathetic and highly unrealistic.

-- Becca glancing at a picture of her family as she’s being choked to death. REALLY? That cheesy moment just ruined an excellent fight scene.

-- My eyes went blind during that motorcycle chase. It was truly laughable.

-- Becca hacking into the security footage was very poorly cobbled together.

-- Unexpectedly cool ending to the pilot with Becca getting shot and falling into the river. Definitely didn’t see that coming.

Memorable Quotes: Absolutely none. The writers didn’t even bother to put any effort except for the famous “I’m a mother searching for her son” line so I’m going to return the favor.

Ultimately, while this was not by any means good television, it was undeniably entertaining, which is enough reason for me to stick around.

2 and a 1/2 out of 4 missing sons.

Previously posted at Nad TV Reviews.


  1. Nadim, your review is as great as it is merciless. I love it even more than this pilot.

    I think the reason it worked despite all flaws was Ashley Judd's performance. You can see she is all in. If the show grows in terms of writing, I can see an Emmy nomination further down the path.

    I had a different interpretation re the photo: I had no doubt at the time that she was observing the broken glass to assess it as a weapon.

    Why do American films/shows in Italy ALWAYS have a motorcicle race? And it HAS to be a scooter. I can't remember an exception.

    Now a SPOILER if you haven't seen the pilot. You've been warned of the SPOILER.

    Is that a new record for Sean Bean? 3 minutes in and he's no more?

    Nadim, if you liked it, you should take a look at the film Taken, with Liam Neeson. The pilot follows the script to this film almost step by step.

  2. Hey Gus,

    Thank you for your kind words. It was great reading your comments!

    You have a very interesting theory regarding the glass in the photo. Could it be that I was so eager to rag on the show that I didn't consider that possibility? Haha. Let's give the writers some credit and assume your theory is correct and Becca was assessing her surroundings :)

    And by the way, I might be the only one on Earth who hasn't seen Taken. People really seem to love it and I've read in numerous places that Missing is practically the exact same thing. I must definitely watch it!

  3. Thank you so much for posting this, Nadim. I still haven't seen this pilot, but I'm hoping to get around to it this week. (Busy week!)

  4. First of all - welcome, Nadim! And thanks for an entertaining review.
    I liked the pilot enough to come back for second episode, though I did check my watch once :)

    Ashley Judd, spies, Europe.... very tempting to want to see more, though I must admit it seems I was wrong about the premise of the show. I thought the 'missing son' bit was meant as a way for her to come back to active duty as an agent, and now especially after reading that they're basing the show on "Taken" I'm afraid she will be looking for her son for all 9 episodes that's left. And I'm just not sure how I feel about it. And if that's the case what will they base the second season on if/when it comes.

    p.s. "Taken" is absolutely fantastic, you should definitely check it out.

  5. Hi Olga :)
    Yes I was thinking the same thing. It's going to get very tiresome if she looks for him all throughout the season but I guess that's where the writing talent comes in. After all, Prison Break managed to brilliantly stretch out a thin premise over the course of it's first season wonderfully!
    Here's hoping this show can do the same!
    Thank you for reading and I will definitely watch "Taken" soon!


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