Found Season 1 Episode 1 Review: Pilot

Spoilers

Rarely does a broadcast show deliver the perfect pilot episode where everything is a pleasure to discover while you’re hanging at the edge of your seat.

Found Season 1 Episode 1 was that rare occasion as we were introduced to Gabi Mosley and her capable but unique team.

As an introductory chapter into the story, it did a great job of previewing what the season will tackle while teasing the obstacles the characters might have to overcome.

There is a lot to unpack about this show, but we’ll start with the characters because there is no story without the characters.

The show introduced Gabi Mosely, the main protagonist portrayed by the incomparable Shanola Hampton.

She proved that someone could be born to play multiple roles because anyone who saw her on Shameless could have sworn that she was Veronica Fisher. And after seeing her in action, wasn’t she born to play Gabi?

Gabi was presented as a complex individual.

Young Boy: Excuse me? You that chick Gabi Mosley, right? You’re always on the news.
Gabi: Woman, lady, queen. Sometimes, sis, never chick. Understand.
Young Boy: Yes, ma’am.

She was nothing short of a savior to many people in the outside world. She had saved a lot of people in her team and even more people with missing loved ones whom she had found and delivered safely.

But as an added twist, Gabi harbored a secret that if it got out, it would tarnish her reputation and make her cause significantly more challenging, if not impossible, to do.

The complexity was not only in her history but also in her manner of approaching things.

She would engage in some illegal things here and there if it helped find a missing person.

There are some shows where the supporting or side characters lack personality and can feel like an extension of the main character, where they serve the role of an advisor or a manifestation of the lead character’s conscience.

On Found, however, everyone felt essential and distinct in their temperament, history, and careers.

Gabi’s team consisted of various people from all walks of life, which made them effective. From Lacey, the lawyer, to Zeke, the IT expert, they felt like a perfect selection of people capable of doing the task at hand.

Gabi: We’re a crisis management firm. We are PR specialists, lawyers, tech experts, and private investigators, all doing the job the police seem too busy to do.
Reporter: And what do you say to the people who call you vigilantes?
Gabi: We find missing people who have slipped through the cracks and bring them home. You’re talking to a woman who, 20 years ago, had to rescue herself from her kidnapper because no one was looking.

Undoubtedly, they could do the job; that is the point.

And then there was the story.

Telling a story chronologically is usually the safest bet because it makes it easier to follow, but if you’re gunning for suspense, employing both modes is the only option. Found did that and delivered a perfect blend.

As Gabi kicked ass in the present, the story flashed back twenty years when she was just like the people she worked so hard to find. That explained why she cared so much and behaved as she did.

While she appeared to have always had the fire clearly visible in her dedication to the job, young Gabi also displayed those same qualities as could be seen when she rescued Bella and herself from Sir.

That ordeal was a catalyst for her to pursue this cause.

Several other characters were introduced, each with their strength, weaknesses, and something a little extra to make them mysterious.

There was Dhan, the default muscle in case things went physical, played by Karan Oberoi. To say that he fits the role perfectly is an understatement.

Kelli Williams played Margaret, and her story was just heartbreaking. Seeing her sit at the bus station, looking at strangers’ faces in the hopes that her now grown son would be one of the passengers to alight, was one of the saddest things ever.

Never have I wished someone’s dream would come true.

Zeke was the IT guy for the group, keeping Gabi and the rest of the team abreast with his findings. He was agoraphobic, but that didn’t prevent him from being an essential part of the team.

Lacey rounded out the team, the little girl Gabi saved (another twist), all grown and ready to save Gabi from herself with her casual disregard for the law.

Unofficially, there was Detective Trent. He would never admit it, but he rooted for Gabi’s people like anyone else.

The hour set up the dynamics between the characters while not revealing too much.

Gabi had a cordial relationship with the police but was closer to Detective Trent due to their shared history.

Dhan was not Zeke’s biggest fan because Zeke’s parents bought him a place in the team, and that caused some conflict between them that Gabi had to mediate severally.

Camilla’s case was the perfect opportunity to show the team in action, and boy, did they deliver.

The case was interesting and only became more interesting with every twist.

Toward the end, they delivered the mother of all plot twists, which was surprising. It is usually the people closest.

Camilla’s case had several lessons infused in it, from the reality of foster care for some children to assumptions.

The running assumption was that Camilla was acting out and would be back, but that wasn’t the case. She had seen a child being kidnapped and intervened.

Were it not for her, something terrible might have happened to the little girl, and were it not for Gabi and her team, she might not have been found.

It was a commentary on how societal bias puts people in danger, where factors such as race, gender, age, and economic status might decide if someone lives or dies.

Gabi: Who is this?
Reporter: Sarah Holden, Senator Holden’s missing daughter.
Gabi: Sarah went missing 29 hours ago while playing in the park with her brother. There isn’t a person in America who hasn’t seen Sarah’s face all over their TVs, highly increasing her chances of being found. Now who is this? [silence] This is why there will always be a need for what I do. Tasheika has been missing from the DC area for the last two weeks, and no one is talking about her. I sincerely hope they find Sarah. I do. But while you keep prioritizing the missing high-profile blonde girls of the world. My team and I will gladly continue to pick up the slack for the rest.

And when stats show the tendency of a particular group to be prioritized, it is a cause for concern.

A lot happened in this premiere episode, but all of it had a purpose, so it didn’t feel overwhelming. It felt thrilling, acknowledging the circumstances, of course.

Intrusive Thoughts

  • Gabi has some of the best lines she might win: “most quotable character.” Sometimes, it felt like,” Should she say that? Can she say that?”

Boyfriend didn’t do it. He’s a little bitch ass, but he didn’t do it.

Gabi

  • The performances in this show are spectacular — even Mark-Paul Gosselaar, who had a few seconds of screen time delivered in those few seconds.
  • The end scenes were heartbreaking to see these heroes’ struggles alone, and no one else could help. If someone out there gives out blessings, people like these are the ones who most deserve it.

The hour concluded with a shocking twist where Gabi held her kidnapper captive and used him to solve cases. How did that happen? Does anyone else know? How long has that been going on? Is it emotional?

By the episode’s end, enough intrigue had been created to warrant following this story. As a matter of fact, they had us. They had us, and we won’t be going anywhere.

What about you? What did you think of the show and the episode?

Hit the comments section.

Denis Kimathi is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. He has watched more dramas and comedies than he cares to remember. Catch him on social media obsessing over [excellent] past, current, and upcoming shows or going off about the politics of representation on TV. Follow him on X.

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