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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I was hoping that "Missing" would blow me away, like "Taken" or "Bourne
Ultimatum" or even "24."
Ashley Judd is certainly an actress who can pull off the trying role of anguished mother very effectively.
However, it's Judd unbelievability as an action star that continues to hurt this show. The viewing audience is conditioned to expect knock-down, drag-out fights or car chases.
Judd is somewhere between Claire Danes in "Homeland" and Maggie Q in "Nikita," alternating between wilting or wanting to take on the whole world. If she didn't try both aspects at the same time, it would be a lot better.
Well, enough of that. On to this episode.
Rebecca breaks yet another rule and heads to France where, years earlier, we learn she killed two French DGSE agents. She contacts the deputy director of the DGSE. He is Antoine Lussier (Joaquim de Almeida, from "Clear & Present Danger"). Like anyone who spends a career in covert intelligence, he has a lot of secrets.
Rebecca and Lussier make a deal. Lussier will find Rebecca's son, Michael, while Rebecca gives him Hard Drive, not a computer program but a man (Lothaire Bluteau looking eerily like Anthony Perkins) with a computer-like memory. He has secrets Lussier wants.
Bluteau clearly carries the episode, often being the voice of reason to counter Rebecca's character switches. Whether it's a rigged swap or infiltrating DGSE headquarters, Bluteau's Hard Drive is the model of efficiency and acting.
Rebecca, however, is not. She's supposed to be a professional, one of the CIA's best. Yet, at times, when she sees Michael being slapped around, she acts cries, freezes and acts like she hasn't got a clue. Okay, we get it. She's a mom (as she tells us 50 times). She wants to find her son. But, she's also one of the CIA's best agents. She should be like Jason Bourne when his girlfriend was murdered in India.
To get information on her son, Rebecca decides to break into DGSE HQ. Now, when Jason Bourne does it, it looks believable because the technical consultants go over the scene two hundred times and the director films it 50 times.
Rebecca has none of that. Instead, she has Hard Drive use a stolen ID badge to activate a fire alarm. The workers leave. Rebecca then scales a wall, runs across a beam, jumps to the floor of the main offices and goes right into the computer room.
She gets her info, lets Hard Drive in and then lets him hack Lussier's computer. Seems okay, right? Well, there's no believability in the entire scene. Not one person in the entire parking lot sees Rebecca scale the wall. No one sees her standing in plain view on the cross beam. No one sees her run across the floor or enter the computer room.
Are we to believe that DGSE headquarters does not have a security system, that there are no security cameras anywhere? And Rebecca gets the info she needs because ALL of the computers are logged in. Even a low-level government agency or business requires workers to log off or shut down computers in case of an emergency.
It's like the producers told the writers to hell with reality, just speed things along. When you think about, though, breaking into DGSE headquarters sounds like something an entire episode should be devoted to, not 15 minutes.
A couple of security officers investigate but Rebecca gives them a couple of backhands and they're out cold. If it's Jennifer Garner or Linda Hamilton, I'll believe it. But, not Ashley Judd.
When Lussier returns, he sees his computer was hacked and then sees a damning article on Wikileaks detailing all of his dirty dealings. Wikileaks has been a pain in the backside to many governments, but Julian Assange has never posted anything this fast.
Rebecca gets the info she wants, steals a motorcycle and races to an out-of-the-way airport. There, she sees her son being hustled onto a plane. She runs after it like that ever works on anything but "Walker, Texas Ranger," doesn't catch it (darn) and, she collapses to the ground, crying. Again, the professional goes bye-bye and the emotional wreck takes over.
As I said before, the show has promise but it can't be slapdash. It has got to be believable.
Ashley Judd's face may be puffy because of the medicine she's taking, but she still needs to hit the gym and get a personal trainer. Right now, she looks like what she is -- a movie actress desperate for work even if the role isn't a good fit.
There's still time to fix things (including getting Judd a personal trainer), but as Spielberg learned with "Terra Nova," a big name producer doesn't guarantee anything.
As it stands right now, the only thing "Missing" may be the show's name from the Fall 2012 lineup.
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