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On The Tube

March 15, 2012
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By Dean Robbins

A former spy searches for her son

In “Missing” (Thursday, 7 p.m., ABC), Becca (Ashley Judd) is a normal middle-aged mom who sends teenage son Mike (Nick Eversman) off to school in Rome. We feel their strong bond as Becca talks to Mike long-distance from the flower shop where she works. Then, Mike uncharacteristically stops returning her calls. In a panic, Becca flies to Rome and stumbles on an armed intruder in Mike’s apartment. To our shock, she disarms and strangles him in a jiffy.

The normal middle-aged mom, it turns out, has skills. She’s an ex-CIA agent who can speak multiple languages, handle a firearm and ride a motorcycle through a glass window. Becca can apparently do anything, and that includes worming her way into our hearts.

The production, meanwhile, efficiently establishes its premise. Every scene is assured, whether aiming for humor, pathos, romance or action. The pilot ends with a cliffhanger, but “Missing” had me hooked long before then.

‘In Plain Sight’

Friday, 9 p.m. (USA)

U.S. Marshal Mary Shannon (Mary McCormack) returns for the fifth and (boo!) final season of “In Plain Sight.” The season premiere is a typically gripping story about a guy who needs government protection after witnessing a murder. Mary returns to work after two cataclysmic events: shooting a suspect and then going into labor. She’s now a single mom who must balance her baby and her rough-and-tumble job. Motherhood seems to have softened her, but whenever things get too sappy she comes through with a bitingly sarcastic comment.

That’s what I love about “In Plain Sight.” It gets into heavy-duty emotions without taking itself too seriously. When the series ends, I’ll certainly miss McCormack’s outsized character — big gun, big mouth, big heart.

I’m sure Mary would consider that sentiment too sappy. Insert bitingly sarcastic comment here. CV



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