Becca Winstone (Ashley Judd) has had enough! Her husband’s (Sean Bean) car exploded in a fireball a decade ago, and now her son, Michael (Nick Eversman), has been kidnapped by shadowy operatives in Europe. Working with the CIA’s point man, Agent Dax Miller (Cliff Curtis), and allied again with her former lover, Giancarlo Rossi (Adriano Giannini), Becca traipses from one scenic locale to another, desperately seeking her son.
Missing serves up an action-laced miniseries (ten episodes) as the audience follows Becca wherever she goes. Juxtaposed within each episode are Michael’s situation (as he works to escape from his captors while his mother seaches) and flashbacks to happier times in the Winstone family. Additional touches of history and drama are provided by the introduction of Becca’s training officer, Martin Newman (Keith Carradine), and CIA Director Jamie Ortega (Gina McKee), who either support the search for Michael or appear hellbent on capturing the criminals (at the expense of the Winstone family). There’s enough drama to go around, but sometimes, this one feels like a Judd vehicle that would’ve made a terrific movie, especially in light of previous kidnapping-related serials (Kidnapped, Vanished).
But this is a TV show, and if you watch long enough, you’ll be hooked. Michael’s relationship with another prisoner, Oksana (Tereza Voříšková), proves pretty compelling, as we try to establish whether or not she’s really on his “team”. Becca’s balance of working with and against the authorities gives us the tension between angry mother and trained operative. We know some of the “good guys” aren’t good (and if you don’t know that, you don’t watch many spy thrillers) and we have to wait for quite a while until we know exactly who is who.
Bonus features will benefit those who have enjoyed the show: In “Missing: In Action,” we hear from two producers and Judd, learning what went into their thought process when they mapped out the show. In “On Location: Inside Istanbul,” we get a behind-the-scenes tour of the city, and some of the background to filming the show. And a couple of deleted scenes give you some more material to consider.
Now available on DVD, you’ll either decide that this is too sappy to make it through, or determine that the rather clean cut adventure is exactly what you’re looking for. With a high powered cast (especially for a short run network series), this one asks us how far we would go to rescue someone we loved, and what we would hold to be true regardless of what proof seems to be presented to us. We know we’re called to sacrifice ourselves to a life of faith and love, but would we be prepared to go as far as Becca does? It’s a powerful question, and one which drives this ABC drama.