“Missing” was one of this season’s riskiest new television series. Starring Ashley Judd in her first regular television role since “Sisters,” the show featured international locations and movie caliber action sequences. The premise was simple: former CIA agent Becca Winstone will do whatever it takes to find her missing son. The journey, however, was anything but. As befitting a suspense show, the series is on the bubble for a renewal, so showrunner Gregory Poirer had to craft a season finale that could both serve as a conclusion to the series and set up the next season. Below, Poirer previews the May 17 finale and reflects on the first season’s challenges.
Take us inside your approach to the finale, and what you wanted to accomplish.
We conceived the ten episode season as a whole, so episode ten was in the planning far ahead of time. One of the things that was important to me, and that was a mandate from the beginning, was that we not leave the audience unsatisfied. I always said, if we don’t get renewed I don’t want our loyal viewers to be angry or feel shortchanged. As a result, the first season has to feel like a satisfying first chapter in what could be the bigger novel of Becca Winstone. I won’t say whether she finds her son or not, but I will say that the story reaches an end, and you will have a good idea where we are headed next season if we are fortunate enough to be renewed.
In terms of character, we felt that in the season finale Becca has to be taken to the point of no return. We wanted to take her to a place where she questions her most personal, core values. All season long we played with the question of “How far would you go to save your child?”, so we felt we had to answer that question in the finale. We push her character to the brink of breaking, maybe even past it.
Catch Up on the Latest Episode of “Missing”:
Did anything disappoint you about this season? Anything you wish you could have done, but didn’t have the time, forethought or resources?
Just our time slot.
What should fans look forward to next season? And if you haven’t gotten that far yet…what would your dream season be?
If we are lucky enough to be renewed, we have a really exciting season planned. I can’t talk about plot too much without giving things away, but our intention is to start in Europe but move rather quickly into Africa. One of the allures of the show for Ashley Judd was the opportunity to tell stories that address the issues she is passionate about; specifically the plight of women and children in Africa. Season two will take us into that world, not in a preachy way, but maintaining the action and twists and character development that our fans love. We have a really exciting story planned.
What were the high points of the season?
It was a wonderful experience all around. Two of my favorite things were shooting in Dubrovnik, Croatia, and shooting the finale in Istanbul, Turkey.
Do you have a favorite episode, line, or scene from this season? If so – what?
This won’t make sense until you see the finale, but I love the line “You’re right, I’m not. I’m a mother”, and the action that immediately follows it. I think my favorite episode is number seven, which I co-wrote with Dana Greenblatt. It focuses on parenting and the horrible things we do to our children. It shows a time in Becca’s life when Michael (Nick Eversman) was young and she wasn’t the ideal mother; in fact, she is struggling with being a mother at all. And the case they are on mirrors her search for answers in her own life. It is a really fun episode because we present Becca as such a supermom, so getting to explore a time in her life when she was really struggling with her role as a mother was a great change.
”Missing” airs Thursdays at 8/7c on ABC.