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Series / Kidnapped

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A short-lived Cop Show that aired on NBC for part of one season in 2006. Created by Jason Smilovic, a screenwriter best known for the film Lucky Number Slevin, and executive produced by David Greenwalt of Profit fame, the series lasted just five episodes before being canceled, with the remaining eight episodes eventually broadcast online.

The series follows the investigation into the kidnapping of fifteen-year-old Leopold Cain (Will Denton), the son of Wall Street billionaire Conrad Cain (Timothy Hutton) and his oil heiress wife Ellie (Dana Delany). Because the kidnappers demand that the police not be called in, the Cains instead turn to the mysterious Knapp (Jeremy Sisto), a shady "retrieval expert," and his assistant Turner (Carmen Ejogo), to help rescue their son.

The FBI is soon involved anyway, however, as it is revealed that Leopold's bodyguard Virgil (Mykelti Williamson), who was critically wounded in his abduction, is the brother-in-law of Special Agent Latimer King (Delroy Lindo), the head of the Bureau's anti-kidnapping squad. With sidekick Agent Archer (Linus Roache) and rookie Agent Atkins (Michael Mosley) in tow, King sets up shop in the Cain's apartment and gets to work.

Meanwhile, Leopold finds himself chained to a bed and watched over by a pair of goons, the violent sociopath Bellows (Robert John Burke) and the kindly Otto (Otto Sanchez). The resourceful Leopold quickly escapes, only to discover that his captors have spirited him to Mexico. Although recaptured, he redoubles his attempts to escape.

As the series unfolds, it becomes clear that this is no simple criminal gang out to make a quick buck, nor is money even the motivation, as the abduction is eventually revealed to be the work of an international criminal conspiracy of incredible complexity, dedicated to one proposition: the utter destruction of the Cain family.

Not to be confused with the short-lived MTV game show or the adventure novel by Robert Louis Stevenson.

Provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Clueless Mystery: There is one clue, but its significance to the culprit is not explained until his identity has already been revealed to the viewer.
  • Contract on the Hitman: When the Accountant screws up one too many assignments, his employers decide to have him killed.
  • Deadly Euphemism: The Accountant doesn't kill people. He closes accounts.
  • Defective Detective: Knapp, who escaped from a cult as a child and was eventually kicked out of the FBI and sent to a mental hospital.
"You listen to me now, kid! RUN! RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!
  • "Eureka!" Moment: The show often likes to have King and Knapp have the same one, at the same time, after arriving at it through two very different methods.
  • Fake Guest Star: Michael Mosley appears in all 13 episodes, and, up until the finale, Agent Atkins has just as much screen time/ storyline (if not more) as Agent Archer, yet Mosley is listed as a guest star, and Linus Roache is part of the starring credits. Gee, I wonder which one turns out to be the evil mastermind? Lydia Jordan (Alice Cain) gets it even worse... she's in nearly every episode and has decent screen time, yet always gets delegated to the guest star list in the closing credits.
  • Finger in the Mail: The kidnappers send the Cains an ear in a box. It turns out not to belong to Leopold.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Ellie Cain's actual first name is the rather masculine "Elliot," while her husband, Conrad, frequently goes by the feminine "Connie."
  • My Greatest Failure: The case that got Knapp kicked out of the Bureau and into a mental hospital. He caught the kidnapper, but never found the girl.
  • No Name Given: The Accountant.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Averted. Virgil eventually dies from his untreated shoulder wound. Played straight with Knapp's injuries in episode nine... admittedly we don't see how extensive his torture was, but he looks in pretty rough shape at the end of the episode. Next episode (and keep in mind each episode only covers one day) he says he's in pain and is moving stiffly, but only has some faint bruising, and in the remaining episodes he's perfectly fine.
  • Only One Name: Gibson. Gutman. Bellows. Otto. Mr. Greene. The Operator's name is revealed only to be "Bill."
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Linus Roache's American accent slips all over the place, particularly when he has to say more than one sentence at a time. He improves a lot by the time he gets to Law & Order.
  • Sequel Hook: The final scene of the series features the brother of the girl Knapp failed to recover contacting him with a challenge.
  • Shout-Out: One of the conspiracy's lackeys is a mercenary who also works for a firm called the Gracen Group. Executive producer David Greenwalt was the co-creator of the series Profit, which was set at a company called Gracen & Gracen.
  • Spotting the Thread: King flushes a fake FBI agent by telling him to call in a nonexistent code.
  • The Unreveal: They never did explain how Agent Archer stole all that money from the Ramone bust without being seen.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Or "What Happened to the Monster" in this case... most of Agent Archer's underlings are killed, a few are captured, but the Accountant is last seen killing Guttman and then... nothing.