Taken Premiere NBC Review

NBC's Taken: Is Young Bryan Mills' Set of Skills Particularly Interesting?

NBC this Monday served up Taken, it’s prequel, set in 2017, to the film franchise that started up in 2008. Will you stick around to follow the evolution of Bryan Mills’ certain grouping of abilities?

Whereas Mills when we met him in the first Taken film was a retired CIA operative, here (with Vikings‘ Clive Standen succeeding/preceding? Liam Neeson) he only has his Green Beret past behind him, having served three tours in Afghanistan. He is making a trip home, via train, with his younger sister Cali, when he senses something isn’t quite kosher. Bryan gruffly whispers directions for Cali to follow, to keep her safe as he sizes things up, but once all the fighting and shooting is done, all of the passengers are alive and well… except her.

Bryan’s bittersweet heroics catch the attention of a super-secret somethingoranother group led by Jennifer Beals, who speculate that he had been targeted by cartel boss Carlos Meija, seeking revenge for Bryan’s killing of his son (who had a DEA agent at gunpoint during an undercover op). Bryan meanwhile  about laying his sister to rest back home — looking over his shoulder at all times, especially when black paneled vans lurk down the street. After a skirmish with one such van, Bryan brushes off his father’s plea to sit still and instead holes up at his own, remote house, where he quite ably fends off three would-be assassins and kills a fourth. “Dudes got some skills,” says one of Beals’ charges, surveying Mills’ handiwork.

Mills reaches out to the DEA agent whose life he saved years ago, warning that he will be targeted as well. But after hanging up, Bryan sees a text message arrive on the phone of the assassin he killed — from his DEA agent pal. Bryan leads his friend to believe he got taken out, then gets the jump on him in a parking garage. After eluding another killer during a parking garage car chase, Mills and the DEA dude retreat to some metro tunnels, where the latter explains that his own family was being threatened. “Don’t ever have kids — especially not a daughter,” he advises Mills, wink-wink.

After sparing the snitch’s life, Mills allows himself to be captured by Meija‘s men, who then string him up in a remote barn. There, Meija himself arrives to confront his son’s killer — and exact more revenge, while Mills realizes that the cartel boss was the actual triggerman on the train. That is when Beals’ team swoops in on the scene, teeing up a massive shootout. Mills gets free and trains a gun on his sister’s killer, but gets shot by Beals’ men before he can kill Meija.

When Mills wakes up in a Buffalo hospital, Beals introduces herself as Christina Hart, the deputy director of a special portfolio (“emergency covert action team”) of the Office of National Intelligence, where she answers to the president. She says that she sees in Mills a man who is “wired to protect others,” and explains that in keeping Meija alive, they can do much good working off of the valuable intel he can provide. Will Bryan be a part of Hart’s team? Or will he let Cali’s death be for nothing?

Will you keep tabs on NBC’s Taken?