The Family Series Premiere

ABC's The Family: Will You Return, Like Adam Warren (Mayyyybe) Did?

In the event that ABC’s #TGIT lineup ever needs to fill a vacant time slot, might we suggest adding The Family to that OMG!-inducing block of programming?

I ask this because, even in its debut hour, the Joan Allen-fronted thriller served up enough plot twists and juicy unanswered questions that it would fit right in with the likes of Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder. But what did you think of the series premiere?

Before you answer that question, here’s a quick recap of Thursday’s events (keeping in mind that The Family will settle in at its usual Sundays-at-9 time slot on March 6, hammocked between Once Upon a Time and Quantico):

The series takes place in Red Pines, Maine, where 10 years ago, Allen’s Claire Warren is seen campaigning for City Council. Aside from the fact that zero passersby seem interested in Claire’s political efforts, it’s an idyllic day: Her husband is supportive, two of her children are helping out on the campaign trail and Claire’s youngest, Adam, is keeping himself occupied on a bench a few yards away.

But just moments later, that picture-perfect family scene crumbles when Adam suddenly goes missing without a trace.

When we pick up with the Warrens a decade later, they’ve all moved on in some form, whether they’ve carved out a successful political career (Claire) or gone down the dark road of alcoholism (the eldest son, Danny,  played by Friday Night Lights‘ Zach Gilford). When a pale, frightened boy stumbles out of the woods and makes his way to the local police station, claiming to be the long-lost Adam, that’s when things really take a turn for the already-messed-up clan.

In the hour that follows, a number of mysterious storylines begin to unfold. In one corner, there’s the Warren family, torn between feeling overjoyed at Adam’s return and skeptical that it’s really him (despite the police station’s claims that they ran a DNA test on the boy, with positive results). In another, there’s Nina Meyer, the detective who investigated Adam’s disappearance a decade ago and is now hell-bent on finding the man who actually kidnapped him.

There’s also Hank, the Warrens’ onetime neighbor (and convicted sex offender) who was imprisoned for abducting Adam and must now cope with being an innocent man. And there’s Bridey Cruz, a local newspaper reporter — excuse me, “lesbian lifestyle blogger” — who wants to uncover the “real” story of Adam’s disappearance and reappearance.

In fact, even though The Family‘s series premiere is filled to the brim with secrets (what exactly is Claire’s daughter, Willa, confessing to her priest at church?!), it might just be Bridey’s subplot that becomes the most interesting. That DNA test I was telling you about earlier? Well, when Bridey follows up with the clinic, she makes one massively interesting discovery: the doctor who reported the results doesn’t exist. (Now tell me that kind of cliffhanger doesn’t fit in perfectly with all of Shonda Rhimes’ shows.)

Also intriguing? In the final moments of the hour, we watch as a rugged-looking man — presumably Adam’s captor, given how well he fits the boy’s physical description — stops into a convenience store, buys a newspaper with the Warrens’ photo on the front page and drives off in his exceptionally muddy truck.

OK, your turn. What did you think of The Family‘s first outing? Grade the episode via our poll below, then hit the comments to back up your choice!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. says:

    I guess perhaps he was too old, but I wondered if that guy wasn’t actually Adam and Adam somehow set up the whole thing?

    • B says:

      Ya that guy at the end looked so much like Adam!

      • Diamond says:

        I really do believe he is really Adam Warren,The missing boy from ten years ago. How i know that is because of episode 2, Is because the way he gave hank the deaf look. An hank looking frighten seeing him. I do believe that Adam memories are gone from being held there for 10 years. Or is it he hiding it so his family doesn’t get hurt from his capture, An if they do get him he probably explain where he got him, Or is it that the key he found is were his stuff is being held from where he was 10 years old

  2. Mr. Tran K says:

    Great to see Matt Saracen aka Zach Gilford back on TV.

  3. Steph says:

    How could any network let child abduction and abuse be viewed as a form of entertainment. It is a serious issue. The show is a failure. You can see where the disturbed minds of the producers are taking this series without watching another episode.

    • N says:

      Oh shut up and don’t watch

    • Zerb says:

      I agree that it’s a touchy subject, but in fairness, it’s a subject that has been applied to tv shows (along with murder and other things) for a long time whether it be in episodes of tv series, or as the subject for series, so while that doesn’t necessarily make it a good thing, I’m curious as to why you are acting like it’s a new concept.

      • Zerb says:

        BTW, even though I said that I agree that it’s a touchy subject and that it isn’t necessarily a good thing, I am not complaining about it personally.

    • Simon says:

      Isn’t that cute one of the One Million Moms is using a computer again.

    • BrightLight says:

      FYI: Don’t watch the movie “Room” or the BBC series “Thirteen” then.
      As for me, I’m already addicted to this show. The only thing that really bugged me was that it was obvious the father and cop had a relationship by how they looked at each other during that first meeting after “Adam” was found. I really hope the mom didn’t have “Adam” discovered in the hopes that it would help her win the gubernatorial race. Let’s face it, she probably wouldn’t be the mayor of that town if her son hadn’t gone missing and presumed dead since no one cared about her at that picnic when she was running for city council.

    • You do realize that this is a MYSTERY, right?
      Things are seldom what they seem in mysteries. But by all means, do go back to clutching your pearls and overreacting.

  4. Bwhit says:

    If I have learned anything from watching these types of shows, it is that you should always listen to the first person who raises a red flag. Sure Danny is a drunk but he called BS right away, so maybe they should listen. Oh and Adam could eventually given Norman from Bates Motel a run for his money… The scene with him watching those videos was creepy. I’ll give it a go on Sundays if only to have Zach Gilford back on my TV, I just binged on OUAT and I seem to want to test my TV patience by watching Quantico, so why not?

    • Ann says:

      Quantico has turned out to be a pretty captivating show like Once Upon A Time used to be. OUAT is pure Disney trash now, it’s so hard to watch a once good show go down the route of Disney propaganda.

    • I dont kow you, but i just did the same thing. i watched 9 episodes of OUAT and today i finished Quantico, watch it!! you will not regret that

  5. Bryan says:

    Liam James is perfectky cast as maybe Adam. One of the shows that caught my eyes since last May. Will definitely watch again

  6. Melanie says:

    Very confusing and i love it. I do think that isnt adam and i NEED to know what the sister did…. Dyingg to find out!!!!!

  7. I found the pilot interesting and I’ll keep watching it. I’m glad it’s on Sunday night. It would be well paired with Secrets and Lies, though i don’t know when that show is coming back. I like weird, twisted mysteries, and you know there are plenty of mysteries involved in this story.

  8. TJ says:

    So did the sister do more than plant the ship in the bottle at the neighbors house?

  9. N says:

    Someone actually mentioned “Secrets & Lies”! Where is it?

  10. serg says:

    I believe the man at the end is the real Adam.

  11. laurelnev says:

    It’s possible this kid was kidnapped along with Adam, but maybe had no family to return to. So when the child escaped, he stole the only life he knew–that of his co-captive. He could even potentially be truck dude’s son, who knew all about Adam and wants a life away from Monster Dad. But I think they’re making it pretty clear that this is most likely NOT Adam. We’ve already had “I Know My Name is Stephen” and “The Deep End of the Ocean.” There’s no reason do do that same story again.

    • herman1959 says:

      Don’t forget the film “Changeling”; you’re right, we’ve seen this story before.

    • TrickyGreyArea says:

      That’s what I was thinking as well, but wasn’t sure if I’ve just watched too many episodes of “Criminal Minds”. There were a few things in the pilot that seemed too predictable to me, but I’m intrigued enough to keep watching for now.

  12. John036 says:

    I have a theory that the kid was kidnapped around the same time as Adam, during captivity Adam died, and this kid took over his life

  13. Joel Felan says:

    I’m hooked!!! The actor who played Adam was very good. Can’t wait to see how it plays out!

  14. Maryann says:

    I am totally intrigued. Will have to rewatch for clues I may have missed.

  15. liame says:

    I’m in until the end.

  16. Tracy288 says:

    Given the non-interest in her original campaign, I’m betting that she’s arranged her son’s kidnapping to gain sympathy and votes, but it’s gone horribly wrong. And too bad they’ve cast Rupert Graves as American – he has a wonderful English accent.

  17. So Happy says:

    My sister and I think that the boy Adam is another boy who was held captive with the real Adam. That’s how he knows so much.
    Definitely watching more. I’m intrigued :)

  18. Mark says:

    The show has an interesting plot but the characters are extremely underdeveloped and forgettable. For a show to really draw me in I need to find characters that I like and all of them on this show are kind meh.

  19. Weezy says:

    Wasn’t even really planning to watch it until I saw TVLine’s solid review of the pilot. So i decided to give it a shot and boy am I glad I did. I really enjoyed the pilot and feel like the table has been set for a great series. Well except for the “twist” at the end. In this day and age a doctor that doesn’t exist validates a DNA test and only ONE reporter (and no one else) catches on? Seems highly unlikely….

    Are they trying to insenuate that maybe the daughter/mother orchestrated this whole thing to give her a leg up in her first political race? Now 10 years later you bring him back just in time to announce for governor? Wow I have to say I’m intrigued and that would be bonkers….of course I don’t think network TV has the balls for that, so I’m guessing it will end up being a red herring.

  20. Joe Labrat says:

    Way too much soap opera gets in the way of what could’ve been a really cool thriller.

  21. Cray says:

    I really like the show didn’t give an awesome cuz i don’t want it to be like Empire and lose me….. Willa has me really wondering what she has done wrong she acts weird. Idk about that Adam hmmm. Can’t wait till Sunday!

  22. Mel says:

    So if the neighbor is free and he apparently has some revenge ( guessing from the coffee scene) against the family but not adam and ends up really killing adam can he be charged for his murder again?

  23. Andrew says:

    So I’m confused. I’m watching this Family show on ABC and Thirteen on the BBC. The 2 shows are mirror images except that The Family is awful and Thirteen is awesome. These 2 shows have to be related in some way like, say, The Slap, but I can find no mention anywhere discussing them in tandem. Is there some kind of conspiracy going on here?

  24. Diamond says:

    I really do believe he is really Adam Warren,The missing boy from ten years ago. How i know that is because of episode 2, Is because the way he gave hank the deaf look. An hank looking frighten seeing him. I do believe that Adam memories are gone from being held there for 10 years. Or is it he hiding it so his family doesn’t get hurt from his capture, An if they do get him he probably explain where he got him, Or is it that the key he found is were his stuff is being held from where he was 10 years old

  25. Joann says:

    Loving The Family. So many twists and what if’s and who dunnit. Love it, please keep this show on the air ABC!!!

  26. P Wilson says:

    What is the plan for the length of time this show is going to run.? It doesn’t seem like a show that will be able to run for more than 1 season.

  27. P Wilson says:

    What is the plan for how long this show will run? It doesn’t seem that it can run more than one season.

  28. kathleen moscillo says:

    I am addicted to this show!

  29. Joan says:

    Shot too dark. Not enough light. Can’t see actors. Too hard to watch have to squint to see. I can’t believe it was released like that. It’s over for me

  30. Barb says:

    This series needs to come back! We all need to find out what happens to Ben and Adam. AND. We need to find out what article was in the paper! Too many unanswered questions

  31. Janet A says:

    Please bring The Family back! Where has Adam been? I enjoyed this show..

  32. Elizabeth Clavijo says:

    Great suspense show

  33. Cori says:

    We love this series! The critics have been weirdly harsh on the writers and actors alike.
    I love the excitement of all the chaos.
    The actors make the characters believable and provide us with better enterainment than the other shows available on Sunday nights by a long shot.

  34. Cori says:

    Okay so, on the “touchy subject” note..
    Anybody ever seen Criminal Minds ??
    How about Law and Order SVU??
    Get a grip !! That’s TV!!

  35. Shirley Baptiste says:

    I can’t wait to see what happen next.

  36. Angela says:

    I hope we will have a second season

  37. chrissy says:

    A very good 2 thumbs up 👍👍 I hope for continuous episodes 😀

  38. Rashel says:

    I loved the show…I don’t know why it was cancelled. I wish they would put the show back on!

  39. Natalie Villescas says:

    I love this show I’m obsessed with it, I really hope they don’t cancel this show!!! It’d be a mistake just how they canceled Freaks and Geeks.