Meet the Cains. They seemingly have it all -- the fabulous penthouse apartment overlooking Central Park, the indoor swimming pool, and a son who just got kidnapped as part of an elaborate, mysterious plot involving forces neither they nor we the viewers can fully comprehend. Of course, that last part was more or less given away by the title of the show, no?
At any rate, Leopold Cain, scion of the Cain family, is nabbed during a daring daylight heist in midtown Manhattan that leaves his trusty bodyguard, Virgil, writhing in pain from a sniper's bullet. The kidnappers warn the Cains not to go to the police, so instead, they turn to an especially twitchy finder of missing persons named Knapp, played by an especially twitchy Jeremy Sisto. Knapp doesn't get along too well with the FBI, which is a shame, as they soon get wind of the kidnapping and show up to take over the investigation, led by Latimer King (played by the dapper Delroy Lindo).
It isn't long before the kidnappers make contact, the FBI guys set a trap, the drop goes terribly, terribly wrong, and we realize we are dealing with a bunch of crooks who are smarter than the average bear. Oh, and also the Cains appear to have many, many secrets, though exactly how many and how juicy we'll apparently leave to future episodes.
All in all, not a bad start to the season for this rookie show, which already stands head and shoulders above fellow find-the-missing-person drama Vanished, just by virtue of not making me want to flip off the TV five minutes into the episode.
We begin with a young man floating face-down in a pool. Holy crap -- my TiVo screwed up and recorded Sunset Boulevard instead of Kidnapped. Damn you, TiVo! Damn you to the everlasting pits of appliance hell! However, instead of cutting to the desiccated face of Gloria Swanson in a decaying Hollywood mansion, we instead see Mykelti Williamson get out of an SUV in front of a fashionable Manhattan apartment. Oh, TiVo -- you didn't wrong me after all. I'm sorry, baby. Let's never fight again. Mykelti Williamson -- Virgil, to the folks on this show -- is clearly one no-nonsense kind of guy. He doesn't break stride as he takes off his coat in the lobby or return the greetings of the assorted doormen and hangers-on. He even has no time to make small talk with the guy in the elevator bringing up an armload of flowers, except to correct him that those are hydrangeas, not roses. So we're not a minute into this show, and already we know a key detail: Virgil knows his flora. We soon learn another detail when Virgil gets out of the elevator and a darling little girl opens up the penthouse door and snottily informs him that he's 38 seconds late: based on the fact that he doesn't snap her neck like a Twix bar for this effrontery, it's clear he has a soft spot for the kids. Or that she's the daughter of the guy signing his paychecks. Either or.
We'll guess that it's the latter, based on the cutaway to a man shaving to the melodious strains of a TV talking head rattling off stock market news. It's Timothy Hutton -- Turk 182 his own bad self! -- and a woman appears in the doorway -- Dana Delaney, her own bad self! Timothy Hutton remarks on how she's smiling, which I take to mean that she does not smile much, at least not around him. Dana Delaney didn't appear just to comment on the status of her grin -- she informs Timothy Hutton that "the reporter from the Times is here" to do a "Breakfast with the Cains"-style profile. "Did you tell her we don't actually eat breakfast?" jokes Timothy Hutton, who we will now call Mr. Cain for the duration of the show. Dana Delaney laughs in that "Yeah, that's real funny, Funny Man" laugh I know all too well, and informs Mr. Cain in no short order that his clothes are laid out on the bed and that he missed a spot shaving. Apparently, that spot was somewhere on his jugular, judging by the amount of blood that comes spurting out when he nicks himself. So that's either a symbol of bloody turmoil about to enter his life unexpectedly, or it's a sign that he needs to switch to an electric razor.