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The Family “Pilot” Recap

“They say every cop has two: the case that makes you and the case that breaks you. Sometimes there the same.”- Nina Meyer (Margot Bingham)

The episode starts with a flashback to 10 years ago. Claire Warren (Joan Allen) is running for city council and her family is helping her campaign. It isn’t going so well. Her son Danny (Rarmian Newton) is buying votes! Smart kid. Claire’s husband John (Rupert Graves) asks Danny and his daughter Willa (Madeleine Arthur) to watch his youngest son Adam (Maxwell James) while they go for ice cream. Willa goes to find Danny. He is caught making out with a girl named Bridey (Alex Steele). Willa tells him that she can’t find Adam. He doesn’t think it’s a big deal and he leaves. Willa sees police lights. The police are searching for Adam. The family is back at the house. They are fighting about how Danny should have been watching Adam. Officer Nina Meyer comes in and begins questioning the family. Claire thinks Nina is a little girl and is too young to be handling this case. Nina sets Claire straight real quick!


A teenage boy is at the police station. He is staring at the paper that talks about Adam Warren’s case. The boy is looking for Nina Meyer. Another officer calls her and tells her someone is looking for her. She asks the boy  who he is?


Claire who is now the Mayor of Maine is giving a speech when the news of Adam’s return breaks. She and Willa (Alison Pill) rush to the police station. John Warren is in San Francisco talking about his book Grieving With Grace: Learning to Live with Loss when he too learns of the news of his son. Danny (Zach Gilford) is hungover and in a hotel with a couple of women when he hears the news of the return of his brother. The man who was convicted of murdering Adam hears the news in his cell. It seems like everyone’s world is turned upside down…again! Everyone in the family, except John, are at the hospital and  are waiting to see Adam. Nina walks in and tells them that Adam is in the other room. Danny asks how does she know it’s him? Willa and Claire don’t like this question. Nina assures him that they did a DNA test and it is in fact Adam. Claire is understandably emotional. Nina tells her that they all need to take this moment and shut it down because he needs to feel safe. They all see him. Claire goes in first and she is glad to see her son again. Such an emotional scene.


Nina is questioning Willa. She asks Willa if anyone was with them before Adam went missing. Willa says it was only her, the ice cream man, and Hank Asher (Andrew McCarthy). The family is uneasy when they hear this name. He was their neighbor and a sex offender.

Now, Hank is sitting before a judge. His lawyer wants him to be released immediately. The judge does not see why he can’t be released. She apologizes for his wrongful incarceration. Hank Asher is a free man.

Nina is taking the Warren’s back to their home. The paparrazi are camped out on their lawn. John arrives home and is rushing to see his son. He says hi to Adam and is full of emotion. He wants to hug his son, but Claire tells him to save it for when they go inside. Adam is finally back in his real home. He goes by the mantle and notices that the mantle used to be higher. Claire feels guilt when she tells Adam that she took all photos of him off the mantle. Willa takes him to his room. Nina comes in and tells John and Claire that she needs to question Adam immediately. Claire is not having it.


John convinces her its for the best. Maybe they can find his kidnapper and stop him from doing it ever again. Claire leaves the room and its only John and Nina. He tells her that he’s glad she is here. She tells him she is not here for him. You could feel the sexual tension in this scene.

Hank returns to his home. He is looking for his mom and he finds out she passed away a month ago. A man tells him they were gonna sell the house, but he can stay there if he wants.

Nina is questioning Adam. She wants to know what the man looked like. Adam tells her that his skin looked like gravel and he had holes in his face. She asks if he ever went outside. He says he didn’t and that the kidnapper always came to him. Adam tells Nina that the man forgot to close the door sometimes so he could see a red dragon breathing fire right at him when the man was laying on top of him. Time for Nina to find this kidnapper!


We go back 10 years ago. John and Claire are fighting outside. Nina interrupts to tell them that the judge denied the search warrant to search Hank’s place. It’s in the present day again and everyone is having breakfast. Willa and Claire see Adam’s return as a political opportunity. This doesn’t sit well with John. Adam is hungry and is asking for seconds. Danny finds his choice of food odd.


It seems like Danny is the only one who is considering that this might not be his real brother Adam.

Bridey Howard (Floriana Lima) is working for the local magazine. She tells her boss that she has a lead on the Warren story. He asks what she writes about. She writes the lesbian lifestyle blog. Her boss said Mayor Claire Warren wont talk, but Bridey says her son will.

John sees Hank at the grocery store. He apologizes to Hank. Hank tells him not to be sorry.


Danny goes to see Adam in his room. He is asking him why he never ran away when he had the chance. Adam explains that this was the first time he had the chance to run. Danny keeps asking him questions about his past and then Adam shocks him when he asks about his ghost ship. He wants to know how the paper gets in there. Danny goes to the kitchen. He talks to his mom and Willa. He tells them maybe this isn’t the real Adam!.Willa and Danny get into a heated argument and Claire has had enough. She pulls Danny aside and tells him that he is a drunk and nothing more. Now isn’t that the best conversation to have with your mother?

Nina is driving around looking for more clues that will help her find Adam’s kidnapper. She sees smoke coming out of an oil refinery and then sees a red sky. She thinks this could be the red dragon that Adam was talking about.

There’s another flashback. Young Willa is sneaking in to Hank’s house. Hank is out walking the dog and she takes advantage of  the opportunity. Hank’s mother is asleep so she is good for now. She heads upstairs and is looking through the drawers. When she comes to the top drawer she finds one of  Adam’s ghost ships.

Back in the present day,  Nina is gathering some officers and telling her about her discovery. She said the red dragon could have been the mountain range and the oil refinery  acted as the smoke.

Claire and John are talking outside . She admits that she gave up on more than just Adam. She tells him she won’t run for governor. She doesn’t need to be governor when she has her family.


Danny is at the bar. He sees a guy trying to pick up a woman and she says she is with someone. She sees Danny and says its him. She kisses him and he isn’t complaining. She asks if he remembers her. He doesn’t. She tells him she is Bridey and he remembers. She was the one he was making out with on the day of Adam’s kidnapping. She asks how Adam is doing and he tells her that he is doing as good as he can given the situation. He still  has guilt about that day. It turns out this reunion wasn’t a coincidence. She paid the guy who was trying to pursue her.

Adam wakes up. He is in his room with Claire. He sneaks out of his room and goes to watch a home movie. He is watching a video from the birthday before he was taken. He is repeating the words he sees in the video…but why?


Willa is walking into a church. She is going to confession. It’s the first true confession in 10 years. What has she been hiding?

Nina is interrogating Hank 10 years ago. She shows him his computer.The stuff on his computer won’t help his case. Hank tells her that he only watches it and doesn’t act on it. She said she will help him if he tells her what he did to Adam. In the present day, Nina is back in the interrogation room. She is drinking and looking at pictures from Adam’s case again.  John walks in. She tells him that he should blame her because she is the one who gave up on finding his son. She is the monster. He tells her he won’t blame her because she saved him.


Things definitely got HOT in the room. I knew something was there.

Claire is about to hold a press conference. She is teaching Adam how to tie his tie. Everyone seems to be at this conference including Hank. Claire makes a huge announcement. She is announcing her candidacy for Governor. John is shocked. I mean she told him to his face that she wasn’t going to run. Nina sees Hank drinking a bottle of water and she heads to the evidence room.

Bridey’s boss tells her everyone seems to be beating them with new information on Adam’s case. She tells him not to believe everything he reads. She said she called the doctor that matched Adam’s DNA for a comment and found out that the doctor doesn’t exist.


Nina is looking at evidence. She is holding Adam’s ghost ship. She can’t believe that they only got prints if he was so attatched to it. Maybe someone cleaned it and planted if for her to find.

In the last scene, a man is buying a newspaper with the Warren family on the front cover. The cashier says that she is praying for that family because they have a long road ahead. The guy agrees. Who is  he?


Guess we just have to keep watching to find out. Make sure to watch a new episode this Sunday at 9/8pm CST on ABC.

-Perfectly Perez




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