Taken’s pilot jumps straight into the action, with Bryan’s and his sister, Cali on a train home. The premier was only an hour; it should have been longer. So much is packed into it. I hope the series continues this way. It feels more like a condensed movie, rather than a tv series. If you blink, you miss out on vital tidbits.
The opening scene is a nice bait and switch. The actual killer is in plain sight. Mills thinks his sister needs protection from the ogling of an old man, asking him if he thinks the scenery is beautiful, meaning his sister. Ironically when Cali says she doesn’t need his protection, Bryan says, “You never know. The guy may be a killer.” (Hint: he is the killer.)
She whispers back to her brother, mortified, and Bryan informs her that speaking in his own raspy, low-toned voice is a more effective way to not be heard. (It’s nice to know that his voice has a more practical use than just creeping out bad guys.)
Bryan has his sister create a diversion, then duck and cover, when he sees two suspicious riders. After Bryan takes out two gunmen, he returns to his sister dead in their train car. It’s assumed a stray bullet hit her. The official story for the news is that the shooting was random. But we learn later it was this guy:
The train shooting draws the attention of the media and Christiana Hart’s special off-grid operation. Her group thinks the shooting involved a drug lord. This Covert Special Ops group hopes to use Mills as a decoy to bring down the drug lord, Mejia. They bug Mill’s phone while he is at his sister’s funeral. He left the phone at his parent’s house, nice and neat on his dresser. (Who doesn’t have their cell phone on them at all times these days!?)
At the wake, Mills meets his sister’s best friend. During their conversation, Mills notices a black van and is run down when confronting it. Bryan decides he was the intended target of his sister’s shooting, and leaves for his parent’s safety.
In a flash back, Mills remembers killing Mejia’s son to save his comrade, Mike Hall. At his own home, Bryan takes out four of Mejia’s mercenaries. Bryan grabs the last one’s phone before escaping. He calls Mike Hall from the hotel room to warn him of Mejia’s vendetta. In more foreshadowing to Bryan’s future, Hall, divorced, has his daughter for the weekend.
The special ops team, listening in on Bryan’s line, is confused to hear another phone in Mill’s room after Bryans conversation with Mike. It isn’t Mills’ phone. It’s the dead assassin’s phone. Mike Hall is texting the assassin that Bryan is still alive. Bryan plays along to confirm Hall has betrayed his location. Bryan later texts Hall via the killer’s phone, that Mills has been taken care of. “K” is the only response from Hall. (Man, image a brother-in-arms, whose life you saved, reducing your death to “K”!)
Bryan kidnaps Mike in a parking garage to get answers. (Yup, Bryan definitely didn’t appreciate the “K” at all.) Mejia’s men attack. Mike points out that,“The exit is that way.” But Bryan drives their car straight into the action, not the exit. They ultimate escape to the lower subway tunnels with the bad guys in pursuit. Hall confesses the drug cartel threatened to kill his daughter. He then gives Bryan the ominous advice of “Don’t ever have kids. Especially not a daughter.” (We all know Bryan DOESN’T take that advice.)
Bryan releases Hall before handing himself over to Mejia’s group. He now assumes they must want him alive. Mejia’s men toss Mill’s phone to the side, so he can’t be tracked.
In a rouse, the special ops guys grab Mike Hall and convince him that Mejia’s men took his daughter. The lie results in a trace on Bryan’s abductors when Hall calls his contact.
Mills by this point is strung up in a barn and Mejia makes his intentions known. He killed Bryan’s sister in retaliation for his son. He wanted to see Bryan’s pain, which he did, and it looked like this:
And now he’s going to torture Bryan, specifically with a #22 knife. (At this point I have to interject “#PoorRollo.” It’s an involuntary reflex after four years as a Vikings fan.)
Just in the nick of time the special ops team storms the barn, repelling from helicopters. Hart’s men won’t shoot Mejia, so Bryan breaks free and tries to kill the drug lord. The good guys end up shooting Mills to prevent Mejia’s death.
Finally, in the hospital, recuperating from his wounds, Mills is recruited by Hart. Bryan is pissed they shot him to save his sister’s murderer. You can tell Hart is a little disgusted with some of her job. When Bryan asks, “What if I say no?” Hart responds with “Then Cali died for nothing.” Low blow, Christiana. (She can’t even look at him.)
See you next Monday at 10pm for another episode of “Taken” We’ll see if Bryan get recruited. Hint: I think he does.
picture source: http://www.nbc.com