Alert: Missing Persons Unit made its premiere on Jan. 8. The series, which follows the head of the MPU Nikki Batista and her ex-husband Jason Grant, got off to an explosive start. While the audience was getting their bearings with the day-to-day operations of the department and Jason’s, at first inappropriate role in it, the series dropped a bombshell. Keith, their son could be alive.
Keith went missing six years prior. The tragedy the family suffered tore Nikki and Jason’s marriage apart. Though they didn’t grow to resent one another and there’s still an abundance of respect and love left in their relationship, their partnership (outside of being parents to their daughter Sydney) couldn’t sustain the stress of Keith’s absence.
Heading into the premiere, viewers likely assumed the reinstated search for their son would have at least been a season long plot, but that didn’t end up being the case. The picture of an older Keith that had been texted to Jason’s phone led them to Las Vegas where they found a burner phone. Who ever set this in motion demanded one million dollars in exchange for their child.
It seemed like the trail would grow cold again but then Nikki and Jason received a call from Keith himself and they were reunited with him. But strangely, the premiere ended with the newly found young man tearing pages out of a notebook which was full of notes on his life and newspaper cutouts about his abduction.
To be honest, it somewhat looked like a notebook on how to assume Keith’s identity. Is that the real Keith or have Nikki and Jason let a stranger into their lives?
Is that really Keith on Alert: Missing Persons Unit?
In a post-mortem with Deadline, showrunner John Eisendrath broke down just what’s going on in that scene:
"It’s funny, because when I wrote the pilot, I was worried that I had not given enough clues to the viewer that there might be some mystery about Keith coming back. But everybody who watches television is so trained to look for the mystery that may or may not be there that no one missed the fact that by tearing up the pages in the diary, he might be wanting to hide something. So we are suggesting that he has something to hide.Is he their son? That is a question that is going to be central to the show, and we will give the audience concrete answers in most episodes to the question that is being asked on that topic in each episode. After the first episode, clearly there is a question about who he is. What I like is the situation where the audience may be ahead of our heroes. The audience sees Keith ripping those pages out, his parents don’t see it. So I’m hoping the audience is like, ‘Hey, Nikki and Jason, he ripped the pages out of the diary. Come on, guys. Look, you gotta know there’s something going on.’Even in the pilot, you might sense that the sister, their daughter, is a little standoffish to Keith. Why is she standoffish? What does she know? It’s going to become evident to the parents, and once the parents start to wonder why their daughter is not bonding with their son that will begin a series of stories that will peel back the question about Keith."
As you can see, there’s no definitive answer to whether that’s Keith or not, but the show is going to be taking us on a ride as we piece together this central mystery. After all, there was already doubt thrown on that picture of him that was only cleared up by Nikki recognizing his eyes in person.