The latest episode of TAKEN is titled “Gone” and that is exactly what I can’t wait for this show to be.
It’s the worst type of network show where the writing has constant baked in exposition telling the audience exactly what has happened and what’s going on, and yet it’s still somehow hard to follow. I’ll admit, perhaps I struggle with following due to my complete lack of interest in any of the characters, and how I already know that whenever there is an action sequence it will be extremely mildly entertaining.
This episode should be a big one for the series. It brings Bryan Mills and captured cartel boss Carlos Mencia… Sorry, Mejia. Carlos Mejia… Face to face again. Bryan has spent all season stewing over the man who murdered his younger sister practically right in front of her still being alive. Christina Hart and her team who subsequently recruited Bryan are keeping Mejia alive and in their custody for information on bringing down other various bad guys. Bryan Mills, as we know from the movies that this story and character comes from, is not one to let bad deeds go unpunished. So it has been with some major reluctance he’s stepped aside and allowed Mejia to still be breathing.
At the beginning of the episode we are in Bryan’s dream. His deceased younger sister Cali is speaking to him about how he has let Mejia go after what he did to her. A nice reminder for how Bryan feels about the cartel boss just before the team gets news that the guy is being extradited back to the Mexican government. But Bryan was still holding onto hope that he could murder him! C’mon, guys!
The team rightly points out that it could be the cartel itself pulling strings at the Mexican government to get their man back. Bryan is not okay with losing Mejia just so he can go back to doing what he was doing before the death of his sister. Turns out that the Mexican government really does want him back, but the cartel is of course planning on hijacking Mejia’s transfer to the Mexicans. At any rate Christina, Bryan, and the team have to hand Mejia off to the FBI.
Enter FBI Agent Marie Salt and her civilian husband George. When we first meet them, she has made George a healthy breakfast before they start their respective days, and George has been called in early to work for a meeting. She literally says the words “I want you to live as long as possible” in justification for making a healthy breakfast, but also in an extremely obvious foreshadowing of what is to come. Of course the bad guys grab George and blackmail Marie into helping them get Mejia.
Our team quickly figures this out and works with Marie to help save George to take away their leverage before the trade off happens. They learn that George’s co-worker, the one who called the early meeting the day he was taken, set George up. He leads them down the path to discovering where George is being held, and the pressure is on to get to him literally minutes before the Mejia delivery is supposed to happen. Bryan begs Christina to wait until the very last second, and they successfully save George.
A gunfight ensues and Mejia escapes in the chaos! Bryan quickly apprehends him and now it’s just him and his sister’s killer out on the road. He’s taking him back to captivity since he never wanted Mejia in the hands of any Mexicans, government or cartel. Bryan is very tempted to just take this guy out and be done with him BUUUUT…
Hey, remember earlier this season, Bryan’s sister’s best friend Asha (and the girl he’s been dating) had an overly friendly new neighbor named Elena? And remember how she was working with Mejia’s men and planted cameras/bugs in her place so they could monitor Bryan? Well, not is the time to blow their cover. In an actually really well-directed scene that grabbed me more than any other this episode, two men show up at Asha’s door with a huge heavy rolled up carpet claiming to be a delivery. They then BASH her face with the end of the carpet and attack her. She almost escapes, but when she gets to the front door, Elena injects her with something and she collapses. Why didn’t she just do that in the first place? No idea, but it wouldn’t have been as exciting.
Anyway, Mejia’s men have Asha, so now SHE’S been taken (show really living up to its name, if nothing else) and Bryan’s desire to put Mejia in an early grave is compromised. In the end he is forced to let Mejia go (only after he slams the guys head on his car a whole buncha times, which is understandable). Now we only have the season finale left, and Bryan Mills is going to have to retrieve his kind of sort of girlfriend who we know he doesn’t end up with anyway because he’s married (and divorced) someone else in the movies and this series is a prequel. THE STAKES HAVE NEVER BEEN SO HIGH (they have been higher).
So, notice I didn’t mention any other characters on the team. That’s because I do not know their names because they are barely characters. There’s the guy with the mustache. I know that. That’s the most personality any one of them has. A mustache. So there’s that.
Season 1, Episode 9 (S01E09)
Taken airs Monday at 10PM on NBC
Paul has a very particular set of skills. Skills he has acquired over a very long career. Skills that make him a nightmare for people like you… Just kidding, his skills are limited to that of writing mediocre TV show reviews. You are safe.
Follow Paul on Twitter: @paulgulyas
Keep up with all of Paul’s reviews here.
Paul Gulyas | Contributor