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TV Series Review

There's something primal about the bond between mother and child: Threaten a cub, and Mama Bear'll make you pay. And if Mom's a former CIA agent? Well, the cost may be steep indeed.

Becca Winstone hasn't been active in the agency for a decade now. After her husband was killed in Europe, she set aside her trenchcoat and gun, settling into a safer, more mundane life—running a small floral shop while raising her son, Michael.

He's 18 now, and in Rome studying architecture. She's living text to text as he keeps her updated on his adventure. And then the messages stop. He's been kidnapped. So Becca wastes no time dropping her facade of normalcy and returning to her danger-dealing past, flying to Europe in full mama bear mode, determined to rescue him.

Missing is serialized escapism—a James Bond-style caper filled with guns, fisticuffs and exotic locales featuring a middle-aged mother instead of dapper 007. Star Ashley Judd shines here, conveying both the desperation and danger the role requires. And through her eyes we see just how powerful motherhood—and family—can be. She will stop at nothing to rescue her little boy from the clutches of evil; she'll track down every lead, break every rule and knock out every bad guy she sees if she thinks it'll bring her even a millimeter closer to her son.

That, naturally, is both good and bad news. While her dedication to family is indeed admirable, Missing forces us to ask difficult questions: Is it right to lie, cheat and even kill for the sake of your progeny? Does the end, in such a case, justify the messy means?

They're worthy questions. But to even reach them, we must swim through our own gauntlet of perilous content: Becca's adversaries aren't above killing people who get in their way, and she herself never even once hesitates when it comes to knock-down-drag-outs with thuggish lackeys twice her size. Any given episode's blood quotient and body count, therefore, can get pretty high.

Neither she nor the other women who appear onscreen are reluctant to downplay their womanly wiles, either. Skin exposure and passionate encounters are sure to be an issue as the season progresses.

So maybe there are a few things better left lost. Not Michael, of course. Just a few of the things his mom has to wade through to get to him.

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Episode Reviews

Missing: 3-29-2012



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Ashley Judd as Becca Winstone; Cliff Curtis as Dax Miller; Adriano Giannini as Giancarlo Rossi; Nick Eversman as Michael Winstone; Tereza Vorísková as Oksana; Aunjanue Ellis as Mary Dresden; Sean Bean as Paul Winstone






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Paul Asay

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