Taken Season 1 Episode 1 Review: Pilot

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Well, this is certainly a Bryan Mills we have never seen before.

He's not the weary Bryan we have seen in the three Taken films, trying to find his way in the real world after decades in the CIA.

No, this is a fresh-faced (well, bearded) Bryan, who instead is trying to make his way back into polite society after seeing too much that he can't talk about as an heroic Green Beret on Taken Season 1 Episode 1.

Into the Woods - Taken - Season 1 Episode 1 - Pilot
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Huh, I guess there is some symmetry there, after all.

So the idea behind this prequel is to show how young, hunky Bryan will gain the skills he needs to become, in about 30 years, the older, but still fairly hunky, Bryan.

It's sad how doing the right thing, saving a DEA agent from a drug lord's son, came back to bite Bryan in the ass.

He saved the agent, who proved not to be worth it, and later nearly 100 total strangers, yet his baby sister still got killed.

You've got to feel for the guy.

It's pretty amazing how Bryan can just sense trouble coming: the hinky guy on the train, the van that doesn't belong near his house, the couple knocking on his door.

I guess that comes in pretty handy in his line of work: soldier turned fledgling covert operative.

Silbings on a Train - Taken Season 1 Episode 1

Poor Bryan. First, he loses his sister, and then he has to go on the run, so the rest of his family isn't collateral damage.

Bryan certainly has developed a healthy degree of paranoia through his military career. I mean, who keeps guns in holsters under his kitchen sink and has closed-circuit cameras covering his house?

It's almost like he expected something like this to happen, based on his flashbacks to Colombia.

Although he can handle himself just fine while being pursued by Mejia's thugs, he has no idea he's the bait being used by Christina's super-secret unit to draw out Mejia. And she's quite fine with that.

Becca: Don't we have a moral duty [to tell Bryan he's bait]?
Christina: Now you're boring me.

All the way he's been shadowed by Christina's faceless minions.

Here's the Plan - Taken Season 1 Episode 1

I call them that while they're pretty and diverse, we find out virtually nothing about them. Being literally in the dark a good percentage of the time doesn't help.

At least, in the end, Bryan gets to face Mejia.

Mejia: You killed my son.
Bryan: And you killed my sister.
Mejia: Yes, yes, I did.
Bryan: Your son died holding a gun to the head of a DEA agent. My sister died defenseless and innocent. So what kind of a man, I wonder, does that make you? Just as I figured, but I had to see it for myself, the eyes of a coward.

Unfortunately, the drug lord is too valuable to Christina for Bryan to get vengeance. Hell, the poor guy even ends up taking another bullet instead.

So now Bryan's skills have been documented, and they're potent enough that Christina is giving him the hard sell.

Bryan: You're recruiting me. And if I say no ...
Christina: Yeah, you're right. None of this ever happened, and Cali died for nothing.

I'm just not sure where Taken goes from here. I guess it's about how Bryan becomes a clandestine agent.

But there's got to be more to it than him kicking ass and taking names. That's great for two hours, but not a whole season.

I'd love to see the minions get more involved, so that it takes on a Mission Impossible vibe rather than just being about Bryan's metamorphosis.

I'm also puzzled if Bryan's family continues to be part of the series. Asha, Cali's best friend, is a regular character, but I don't see where she fits in. Youngish love interest? Surrogate little sister? 

We're already seeing that Bryan has some psychological scars, and Cali's death is sure to add to that. Is that something that gets dealt with?

There's an opening for Taken. Scorpion owns the time slot, but Quantico has been a time-shifting quagmire all season, so Taken could slide into second.

To catch up now, watch Taken online.

How do you like young Bryan? Do you think Christina and her team have potential? What kind of series is this going to be? Comment below.

Pilot Review

Editor Rating: 3.25 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (23 Votes)

Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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Taken Season 1 Episode 1 Quotes

John [to captured gunman]: Didn't she just tell you it would be impossible to say nothing forever?
Gunman: You cops?
Becca: Please.
John: If you haven't figured it out already, your life is now in our hands. If I were you, I'd learn to live in the moment.

Bryan: Excuse me to lookng out for my little sister.
Cali: All grown up now.