Honoring the Heroine: Rebecca “Becca” Winstone

Yeah, I can already see the question marks. After all, “Missing” (2012) was a show which only lasted one season due to bad ratings – and I can honestly not understand why it wasn’t more successful. The show had good characters, good actors, good action scenes and a good story. A big plus was also the fact that it managed to portray different European countries fairly well (I am actually still not sure how much was shot on place). Perhaps it failed because it was so different from the usual US-Shows. Perhaps it didn’t get enough advertising. Perhaps the audience was just not ready for a female heroine who is as kick-ass as Becca Winstone (played very convincingly by Ashley Judd). Who knows.

Becca-Winstone

In a way it was perhaps a good thing that it ended after one season, because to be honest, the premise was never made for  one of those long-running shows which never seem to end.  After all, the kidnapping plot gets old at one point. But I wish there had been more of it, mostly because it was such a joy to see Becca on screen. Imagine a middle-aged former spy who will do everything to find her kidnapped son. This is made for all kinds of awesomeness, and “Missing” delivers on all fronts. Shooting, hand-to-hand combat, scaling a building, breaking into a high security vault, Becca can do it all.

Female Agents are usually portrayed as the “sensitive ones”, as special because of their female point of view. But not Becca, she is one of the best in the field who doesn’t form emotional attachments easily, and her only point of view is not “female”, what drives her is being a parent. And to rescue her son she is ready to do whatever necessary, even crossing lines even a lot male heroes would never be allowed to overstep on the grounds that heroes have to act honourable. But Becca is not a heroine in the idealistic sense, she is someone who will do whatever necessary to reach her goal.

What makes her character so great is an element of realism in all this. She can fight, but that doesn’t mean that a stronger fighter can’t outclass her. When she is hit by a bullet, she does need recovery time. And while she is smart and has principles, she does end up making wrong and sometimes morally questionable
decisions along the way.

Quote: “I spent the last ten years trying to be a decent human being and in two weeks you took me back.”

This show is worth a look for everyone, who likes action mixed with a good story. Also for everyone who likes shows which challenge the notions of “right” and “wrong”, as well as questions spy-policy. The first season was concluded properly (the ending was a little bit rushed for my taste, but what can you do), so it works as a nice little mini-series. There was an additional scene during the first airing which would have lead into a second season, this time with Becca missing, but it was cut out in the later airing I saw. I am not sure if it is on the DVD version (since it wasn’t released for my region – but I am still hopeful that it will one day), but it’s easy to ignore either way.

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