'Missing' creator Gregory Poirier answers burning questions
The hunt continues tonight on ABC’s Missing, which stars Ashley Judd as former CIA agent Becca Winstone, a widow who’s crying and kicking butt all over Europe as she searches for her kidnapped son Michael (Nick Eversman). “In this episode, she definitely gets a better line on who might have her son and where to go,” creator Gregory Poirier tells EW. And so will viewers. “One of the things that I love about this episode is that we actually start to go with Michael and follow where he is and what’s happening to him while she’s looking for him,” he says. “What I like about Michael is that without knowing it, he’s sorta been trained for a situation like this his whole life, just because of who raised him. He may not even be aware that he’s thinking the way he’s thinking in terms of ‘How do I get out of here? Where I am?’ But you really see that in play when you start to follow his story, that he is probably a lot more resourceful than I would have been in a similar situation at his age.”
Who’s the big bad? Poirier won’t say, but we’ll at least meet a bad tonight, played by Karel Dobry. “Everywhere I went in Prague, I saw his face on the side of buildings,” he says. “He’s a huge star there, which I didn’t really know until we cast him. As for whether he’s the ultimate bad guy or not, I can’t really reveal that. He’s a formidable guy. You’ll be seeing a lot of him going forward. Let’s just say that.” Poirier is quick to tease that a “humongous, humongous twist” awaits us in the April 5 episode, which, of course, he can’t divulge either. “I think it will rock all of our viewers,” he says. But we did get him to answer a few other burning questions.
How soon will we see Sean Bean again? In the pilot, we watched as Becca’s husband Paul Winstone (Game of Thrones‘ Bean), also a former CIA agent, was killed in Europe in front of young Michael 10 years ago. “I just wanted to try to set the record for how quickly you can kill Sean Bean on a show. That was my whole motivation in casting him,” Poirier jokes. So when will we start to see him in flashbacks? “We actually start to do the flashback thing in episode 4 [airing April 5],” he says. “It starts to play very heavily.” Is there any chance that he’s still alive? “I have no idea,” Poirier laughs. “You think I’m gonna answer that? I’m gonna reveal all right now in this interview.”
That April 5 episode also includes the first appearance of Keith Carradine, who’ll recur as Becca’s former CIA mentor (pictured, at her wedding). What can you say about their relationship? “They have a very contentious relationship, and some of that is because of her relationship with Paul, which is really what episode 4 is about — uncovering what was going on with them in the past, and how that led to the estrangement between her and Keith’s character, and what his motivations were for what he may have done back then that tore them apart,” Poirier says. “He’s like a father figure to her. I’ve always said, at the heart of the show, it’s a family drama. And he, I guess, is the father in that family.”
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How soon will we learn more about her past relationship with Giancarlo Rossi (played by Adriano Giannini)?
GREGORY POIRIER: “That will happen throughout, really. I think you’ll get a little bit of it in episode 3 [tonight], which is a good sort of romantic episode in every sense of the word, with her friendships and relationships. He’s around for the rest of the way.”
Tonight’s episode was shot in Italy. In the coming weeks, locations include Croatia and Prague. The show travels as Becca follows clues?
“Yes. We said, ‘We want to go all around the world on this show, but we don’t want to do it just to do it.’ We want to make sure there’s a story reason to be there. So we do go all over the place, but it’s always because that’s where the search takes her. It’s not just, ‘Hey, it’s Tuesday. Let’s go to Spain.'”
Tonight’s episode has an epic boat race. How do you look at the action sequences on this show on a scale of realistic to John McClane?
“My whole thing has always been that she’s not John McClane. She’s not going to be able to climb on the back of a moving jet fighter and then jump onto a truck from there,” he says. “She’s not a superhero. But she’s definitely got skills the rest of us don’t have. She’s been trained for this. What I’ve always told the writers, and what I always try to hang onto is, it is has to be based in physics. It may be very unlikely that anyone of us would ever do any of these things, but they could happen. They could be done by someone much more talented and physically adept than I…. The show’s not only about your greatest fear as a parent, it’s also a wish-fulfillment show as a parent. I’ve got four kids, so I know the scariest thing in the world is that one of them goes missing.”
Will we get a resolution to the kidnapping by the end of the 10-episode first season?
“This story will close by the end of the season, and you will have a very strong idea of where we’re going next season,” he says.